Annotated Bibliography

This list of books is a work-in-progress and is intended to be expanded with the help of its readers. We have read some of the books and merely dipped into others. If you, after reading it, wish to correct or expand our description of one of them, or add a new book to the list, we would be highly appreciative and quick to adopt your emendation.                                                                               The editors


Books About the Very Rich

Liar’s Poker by Michael Lewis                                                                                                                                        A hilarious first-hand account of young men and women working on the trading floor of Salamon Brothers investment bank.

Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt by Michael Lewis                                                                                                An insider’s look at high-frequency trading where investment bankers take advantage of high speed computers to buy or sell a fraction of a second before their competitors.

The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine by Michael Lewis                                                                    The inside story of the how the financial crisis of 2008 came about, from which the recent award-winning film was made.

Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right by Jane Meyers                                                                                                                                                                             The author shows how a network of exceedingly wealthy people with extreme libertarian views bankrolled a systematic, step-by-step plan to fundamentally alter the American political system.

Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else by Chrystia Freeland                                                                                            This book is an attempt to understand the changing shape of the world economy by looking at those at the very top: who they are, how they made their money, how they think and how they relate to the rest of us.

Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer – And Turned Its back on the Middle Class by Jacob S. Hacker & Paul Pierson                                                                                                     The good news reported by Hacker and Pierson is that American wealth disparities are not the residue of globalization or technology or anything else beyond our control, but of politics and policies which tilted toward the rich beginning in the 1970s and can, over time, be tilted back.


Books About the Poor

The Other America: Poverty in the United States by Michael Harrington                                                     First published in 1962, this book is regarded as a classic work on poverty. “That the poor are invisible is one of the most important things about them. They are not simply neglected and forgotten as in the old rhetoric of reform; what is much worse, they are not seen,” wrote the author.

The American Way of Poverty: How the Other Half Still Lives by Sasha Abramsky                                                                                                                          When poverty flourishes as a direct result of decisions taken, or not taken, by political and economic leaders, and, either tacitly or explicitly, endorsed by large sectors of the voting population, then it acquires the rancid aroma of scandal, capable of eating away at the underpinnings of democratic life itself.

American Hunger by Eli Saslow                                                                                                                         Nearly 1 in 7 Americans – and almost a quarter of all children – now receive food stamps, the highest participation in the program’s history. Hunger remains the lasting scar of the recession.

$2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America by Kathryn J. Edin                                                          In early 2011, 1.5 million households with roughly 3 million children were surviving on cash incomes of no more than $2.00 per person, per day in any particular month. That’s about one out of every twenty-five families with children in America.



Books about Our Situation: How We Got into it and How We Can Get Out

The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith                                                                                                                   Where it all began. The book from which the founding fathers fashioned our economic system.

On Liberty by John Stuart Mill                                                                                                                                 Mill’s believed that true freedom would prevail only when an individuals’ drive to better his/her station could proceed without impeding others in their own efforts to do the same. This clearly-expressed belief has formed the basis for our free enterprise system.

Chicagonomics: The Evolution of Chicago Free Market Economics by Lanny Ebstein                                                                                                                            The University of Chicago, founded by John D. Rockerfeller, and its leading economist, Milton Friedman, are principal purveyors of laissez-faire capitalism as practiced today.

Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Picketty                                                                                                  The classic work on inequality by the Frenchman who discovered inequality. A Harvard University Press best-seller, highly readable.

 Inequality: What Can Be Done? By Anthony B. Atkinson                                                                        Atkinson, a knighted British economist, is one of the leading authorities on inequality. His book is a difficult read but I believe he has the answer; so be patient and read it.

 The Price of Inequality: How Today’s Divided Society Endangers Our Future by Joseph E. Stiglitz                                                                                             A highly readable exposition of our plight.

Saving Capitalism for the Many, Not the Few by Robert B. Reich                                                                             A myth-shattering breakdown of how the economic system that helped make America strong is now failing us and what it will take to fix it. Reich sees hope for reversing our slide toward inequality and diminished opportunity when we shore up the countervailing power of everyone else.

Five short articles in the Jan/Feb Issue of Foreign Affairs:

 Inequality and Modernization by Ronald Inglehart

 Inequality and Globalization: How the Rich Get Richer as the Poor Catch Up by François Bourguignon

 How To Create a Society of Equals: Overcoming Today’s Crisis of Inequality by Pierre Rosanvallon

 Equality and American Democracy : Why Politics Trumps Economics by Danielle Allen

 How to Spread the Wealth : Practical Policies for Reducing Inequality by Anthony B. Atkinson


 Books About Quakers in Business

Meeting House and Counting House; The Quaker Merchants of Colonial Philadelphia 1682 – 1763 by Frederick B. Tolles                                                                                                                                                        Almost since the beginning Quakers, in both Britain and America, became successful businessmen, a tradition that descends almost to the present, and hence qualifies them to be leaders in the necessary reform of present harmful and malicious practices.

Quakers Living in the Lion’s Mouth: The Society of Friends in Northern Virginia 1730 – 1865 by A. Glen Crothers                                                                                                                                                              The difficulties of a group of Quakers to accommodate themselves to a slave-owning society, as an example to today’s Quakers attempting to survive the injustices of an abhorrent economic system.

Good Business Ethics at Work: Advices and Queries on Personal Standards of Conduct at Work

Today many people are dismayed by unethical business practices they see around them. They believe that business itself is unethical. This book is to act as a guide and an inspiration to running a better and ethical business for the benefit of all stakeholders.


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