Four booksSince completing the manuscript for The Buddha on Wall Street new books have appeared that cover some of the topics contained in different chapters.

Professor Danny Dorling of Oxford University has published a new book “Inequality And The 1%”, a trenchant argument against the concentration of wealth of the top 1%, and the threat caused to our society by this increasing inequality. A book that combines thoughtful analysis with punchy commentary.

When researching and writing my book I gained a broader view of Adam Smith, the author of Wealth of Nations, the book often seen as the foundation of modern economics, and its promotion of unbridled self-interest. Russ Roberts has now written a fascinating account of Smith’s other major, and not-so-famous, book The Theory of Moral Sentiments.  Roberts’ book is called “How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life: An Unexpected Guide to Human Nature and Happiness”. A serious book about moral philosophy that raises questions about the relationship between the two sides of Adam Smith the economist and Adam Smith the philosopher and promoter of virtue and empathy.

Nicholas Carr features strongly in The Attention Economy (ch.7 in The Buddha on Wall Street) and he’s just published a fascinating exploration of the impact of automation on our personal and economic lives. It’s called “The Glass Cage: Automation And Us”. It’s worth buying and reading just for the last chapter alone, a lyrical piece of writing about technology and people based on a poem by Robert Frost entitled “Mowing”:

There was never a sound beside the wood but one,
And that was my long scythe whispering to the ground.
What was it it whispered? I knew not well myself;
Perhaps it was something about the heat of the sun,
Something, perhaps, about the lack of sound—
And that was why it whispered and did not speak.
It was no dream of the gift of idle hours,
Or easy gold at the hand of fay or elf:
Anything more than the truth would have seemed too weak
To the earnest love that laid the swale in rows,
Not without feeble-pointed spikes of flowers
(Pale orchises), and scared a bright green snake.
The fact is the sweetest dream that labor knows.
My long scythe whispered and left the hay to make.

Finally, there’s “Think Like A Commoner: A Short Introduction to the Life of the Commons”, by David Bollier. Bollier looks to what ordinary people are reinventing on the ground to counter the dominance of what he sees as the corrupt Market /State. Urging an alternative of cooperation and fairness built from the bottom up, Think Like A Commoner offers a different path to the corrupt pathology of neoliberal capitalism.