thought i would kick off my personal year in review list with what i thought were best books of the year. as i looked across the books i read one thing i realized was that many of them help understand some of the key events of the year, such as Brexit or Trump. not all of these books were necessarily published in 2016 but of the books i read across 2016, these where the stand out titles:
- The Great Convergence — Information Technology and the new Globalization — this book probably best describes why globalization won’t be stopped but at the same time helps understand the fear many Trump, Brexit and other populist voting voters have around globalization and why globalization has had such a loop sided impact, especially in most developed countries.
- Hitler — Ascent 1889–1939 — this book probably best describes how Trump won — as a New Yorker story said, Hitler wasn’t Hitler until he became Hitler and this book explains how that happened and shows erie similarities between then and now.
- Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America — this books explains why Black Lives Matter is such an important movement. The book lays out in detail that in today’s USA black lives unfortunately do not matter, and policing is a core element to change this. But what makes this book special is that it doesn’t focus on too much policing, but rather on too little policing in minority neighborhoods.
- Gangster States: Organized Crime, Kleptocracy and Political Collapse — excellent overview of how to think about the rise of corrupt and criminal structures, and in the process questioning a lot of economic explanations for those.
- Zero K — a wonderful book that looks at our obsession with technology, and meditates on the questions about longevity. One of those books that should be mandatory reading among VCs and the rich and famous of Silicon Valley to help them think about mortality.