The warts of capitalism are on display in a number of the big business books set to be released in spring 2020. The critiques range from systemic problems to examinations of individual instances where things went wrong.


The Case for Climate Capitalism: Economic Solutions for a Planet in Crisis

Tom Rand. ECW, Mar. 3 ($27.95, ISBN 978-1-77041-523-2)

Capitalism is broken, Rand says, and he urges the business community and environmentalists, bankers, and activists to unite to build practices that can sustain a new type of economy.

Competition Overdose: How Free Market Mythology Transformed Us from Citizen Kings to Market Servants

Maurice E. Stucke and Ariel Ezrachi. HarperBusiness, Mar. 17 ($32.50, ISBN 978-0-06-289283-6)

The theory that all of society’s ills can be solved by increased competition and less regulation is false and fuels greed and cronyism, the authors argue, proposing ways to create a healthier form of competition.

Dark Towers: Deutsche Bank, Donald Trump, and an Epic Trail of Destruction

David Enrich. Custom House, Feb. 18 ($29.99, ISBN 978-0-06-287881-6)

Deutsche Bank, the only bank willing to do business with Donald Trump, has made headlines for years and Enrich delves into the many mysteries that still shroud this financial institution.

Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism

Anne Case and Angus Deaton. Princeton Univ., Mar. 17 ($29.95, ISBN 978-0-691-19078-5)

The rise in premature deaths among working-class whites has become a national crisis, and the authors tie the problem to the weakening position of labor, the growing power of corporations, and to a health-care sector that redistributes working-class wages to the wealthy.

First Responders: Inside the U.S. Strategy for Fighting the 2007–2009 Global Financial Crisis

Edited by Ben S. Bernanke et al. Yale Univ., Feb. 4 ($37.50, ISBN 978-0-300-24444-1)

Policy makers who led the government’s response to the Great Recession provide a comprehensive accounting of the debates and controversies surrounding the measures that were taken to stabilize the financial system and the economy.

Monopolized: Life in the Age of Corporate Power

David Dayen. New Press, June 9 ($27.99, ISBN 978-1-62097-541-1)

The editor of the American Prospect lays out how monopolies have impacted every aspect of American life, and shows readers how to revive the antitrust movement.

Reimagining Capitalism in a World on Fire

Rebecca Henderson. PublicAffairs, Apr. 28 ($28, ISBN 978-1-5417-3015-1)

A Harvard professor debunks the view that the only purpose of business is to maximize shareholder value and argues that to create a fairer society, capitalism needs to be reimagined.

Soul Full of Coal Dust: The True Story of an Epic Battle for Justice

Chris Hamby. Little, Brown, June 16 ($30, ISBN 978-0-316-29947-3)

Pulitzer Prize–winner Hamby traces how laborers and a small group of lawyers and doctors challenged Big Coal to win overdue compensation for those suffering from black lung disease.

Startup Myths and Models: What You Won’t Learn in Business School

Rizwan Virk. Columbia Business School, July 7 ($27.95, ISBN 978-0-231-19452-5)

Virk debunks widespread misconceptions about how startups work and provides models that help guide decision-making about starting, growing, managing, and selling a business.

The Velvet Rope Economy: How Inequality Became Big Business

Nelson D. Schwartz. Doubleday, Mar. 3 ($27.95, ISBN 978-0-385-54308-8)

The New York Times reporter details how the equality gap plays out in myriad ways in every day life; on one side of the rope, the rich enjoy tremendous perks, while on the other side, some Americans have to fight to find empty hospital beds.

Business & Economics Listings

Abrams Image

Pretty Good Advice: For People Who Dream Big and Work Harder by Leslie Blodgett (Apr. 7, $19.99, ISBN 978-1-4197-4214-9). Blodgett turned around the fortunes of the struggling beauty company Bare Escentuals, allowing it to be sold for $1.8 billion in 2010. This is her story of how she approaches work and life.


Starting and Running a Food Truck Business: Everything You Need to Succeed with Your Kitchen on Wheels by Alan Philips (Feb. 4, $19.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-4654-9011-7) is a primer on the food truck industry that includes advice on topics such as the best types of equipment to use and social media strategies.

Andrews McMeel

The Multi-hyphen Life: Work Less, Create More, and Design a Life That Works for You by Emma Gannon (Apr. 14, $16.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-5248-5242-9) is aimed at readers who are looking to turn their crafts, hobbies, and side jobs into viable businesses.


The Fix: Overcome the Invisible Barriers That Are Holding Women Back at Work by Michelle King (Mar. 3, $27, ISBN 978-1-982110-92-5) outlines the barriers that hold women back at all stages of their careers and provides readers with guidelines aimed at helping them thrive in sexist workplaces.


Whatever Works: The Small Cues That Make a Surprising Difference in Our Success at Work—and How to Create a Happier Office by Thalma Lobel (July 14, $25.95, ISBN 978-1-950665-09-9) explores new psychological research on job performance, satisfaction, and creativity to share insights and takeaways to transform anyone’s professional life.


Full-Spectrum Thinking: How to Escape Boxes in a Post-categorical Future by Bob Johansen (Apr. 21, $27.95, ISBN 978-1-5230-8751-8) explains how full-spectrum thinking enables clarity and understanding to achieve breakthroughs in business, leadership, innovation, politics, community relations, and many other domains.

Bloomsbury Business

Checking Out: What the Rise of the Sharing Economy Means for the Future of the Hotel Industry by Katherine Doggrell (Mar. 24, $28, ISBN 978-1-4729-6872-2). Doggrell interviewed a number of high-ranking executives in the hospitality and related industries to give an insider’s perspective on what innovations like Airbnb and websites that highlight bargains mean for the future of the hotel industry.

China Bound: The Swire Group and Its World by Robert Bickers (May 5, $40, ISBN 978-1-4729-4994-3). A professor of history at the University of Bristol provides a detailed look at the 200-year-old Swire Group, which is now involved with shipping, airlines (including Cathay Pacific), luxury hotels, and agribusiness and continues to operate out of Hong Kong.

Cambridge Univ.

Feeding the People: The Politics of the Potato by Rebecca Earle (May 31, $24.95, ISBN 978-1-108-48406-0) traces the global journey of the potato from the Andes to everywhere else on the planet and explores the ways eating has become entangled with capitalism and its celebration of the free market.


Wait, I’m the Boss?!? The Essential Guide for New Managers to Succeed from Day One by Peter Economy (Mar. 1, $15.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-63265-164-8) is full of information, tips, and checklists that can be used by anyone who aspires to become a better manager.

Chronicle Prism

Supermaker: Crafting Business on Your Own Terms by Jaime Schmidt (Apr. 28, $24.95, ISBN 978-1-4521-8486-9). The founder of Schmidt’s Naturals shares how women can start their own businesses and offers advice on branding, product development, social media marketing, scaling, PR, and customer engagement.


The New Chardonnay: The Unlikely Story of How Marijuana Went Mainstream by Heather Cabot (June 2, $28, ISBN 978-1-984826-24-4) explores the economic and social forces that have collided to rebrand marijuana from an illegal drug into an exploding business that has attracted tens of millions in investor dollars while generating hundreds of thousands of jobs.

Powershift: Transform Any Situation, Close Any Deal, and Achieve Any Outcome by Daymond John, with Daniel Paisner (Mar. 10, $28, ISBN 978-0-593-13623-2). John, star of ABC’s Shark Tank, discusses how readers can drive change in their lives by mastering the three prongs of influence: reputation, negotiation, and relationships.


The Little Book of Economics by the editors of DK (May 12, $12.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-4654-9427-6) is filled with infographics and flowcharts that explain complex concepts clearly and simply, providing an introduction to the subject of economics and economic ideas.

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

The Double X Economy: The Epic Potential of Women’s Empowerment by Linda Scott (May 5, $28, ISBN 978-0-374-14262-9) argues that women’s systematic exclusion from economic participation has created an alternate system that she calls “the Double X Economy.” Scott presents a new model for women’s rights based on economic liberty.


Reprogramming the American Dream: From Rural America to Silicon Valley—Making AI Serve Us All by Kevin Scott with Greg Shaw (Apr. 7, $29.99, ISBN 978-0-06-287987-5) tackles the future of artificial intelligence and how it can be realistically used to promote growth.

Harvard Business Review Press

Context Marketing Revolution: How to Motivate Buyers in the Age of Infinite Media by Mathew Sweezey (Mar. 24, $32, ISBN 978-1-63369-402-6) argues that companies should focus on context—the close linkage between an individual’s immediate desires and the experiences a brand creates to fulfill them.

Harvard Univ.

Power After Carbon: Building a Clean, Resilient Grid by Peter Fox-Penner (May 19, $35, ISBN 978-0-674-24107-7) offers a road map for the future of the power industry as it faces climate change, technological disruption, new market imperatives, and changing policies.


A Reader’s Guide to Capitalism: An Introduction to Marxist Economics by Hadas Thier (June 2, $20 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-64259-169-9) provides an introduction to how capitalism works and doesn’t work, and also lays out a plan for activists who want to understand and dismantle the world of the 1%.


So You Want to Change the World: Manifesto for a Moral Revolution by Jacqueline Novogratz (May 5, $27, ISBN 978-1-250-22287-9). The author of The Blue Sweater and founder of Acumen shares leadership tools for the 21st century.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Die with Zero: Getting All You Can from Your Money and Your Life by Bill Perkins (May 5, $27, ISBN 978-0-358-09976-5) presents a new philosophy and a guide for how to get the most out of money and life.

Kogan Page

Confident Coding: How to Write Code and Futureproof Your Career by Rob Percival and Darren Woods (June 30, $19.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-78966-308-2) gives readers step-by-step guides to HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Python, building iPhone and Android apps, and debugging.

How to Future: Leading and Sense-Making in an Age of Hyperchange by Scott Smith with Madeline Ashby

(July 28, $19.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-78966-470-6).Smith and Ashby offer readers strategies for managing the daily flood of information and recognizing signals that can have a direct impact on the direction of their business.


Leading in the Digital World: How to Foster Creativity, Collaboration, and Inclusivity by Amit S. Mukherjee (Apr. 7, $34.95, ISBN 978-0-262-04394-6) draws on a global survey of 700 midtier to senior executives and interviews with C-level executives to show why new digital technologies call for leaders who emphasize creativity, collaboration, and inclusivity.

The Power of Experiments: Decision Making in a Data-Driven World by Michael Luca and Max H. Bazerman (Mar. 3, $29.95, ISBN 978-0-262-04387-8) describes the central role experiments play in the tech sector and details how successful experiments can save any company money or bring to light something previously ignored.

New World Library

Lifeboat: Navigating Unexpected Career Change and Disruption by Maggie Craddock (May 12, $17.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-60868-684-1) uses the stories of the survivors of the Titanic as a metaphor for contemporary professionals facing uncertainty and offers lessons for creating a workplace in which it’s recognized that “every man for himself” does not work long-term.

Oxford Univ.

Eurotragedy: A Drama in Nine Acts by Ashoka Mody (Feb. 3, $24.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-0-19-005632-2) is an account of the euro’s history in which Mody argues that instead of centralizing authority, it is time to loosen ties so that a liberal order can flourish.

Penguin Press

No Rules Rules by Reed Hastings and Erin Meyer (May 12, $30, ISBN 978-1-984877-86-4). Hastings, cofounder of Netflix, details how he developed a corporate philosophy and a set of management principles that made Netflix one of the most innovative companies in the world.


Always Day One: How the Tech Titans Plan to Stay on Top Forever by Alex Kantrowitz (May 12, $27, ISBN 978-0-593-08348-2) details how the CEOs of the tech giants do away with obstacles that block the free flow of ideas within their companies, how they’re creating systems to bring the best of these ideas to life, and how they use technology to make it all possible.


Think Like a Rocket Scientist: Simple Strategies You Can Use to Make Giant Leaps in Work and Life by Ozan Varol (Apr. 14, $28, ISBN 978-1-5417-6259-6). Varol, a former rocket scientist, reveals nine simple strategies from his discipline that readers can use to make their own giant leaps in work and life.

Random House

The Price of Peace: Money, Democracy, and the Life of John Maynard Keynes by Zachary D. Carter (May 19, $35, ISBN 978-0-525-50903-5) looks beyond John Maynard Keynes’s role in economics to delve into his life as an antiauthoritarian thinker who devoted his life to the belief that art and ideas could conquer war and deprivation.


Bezonomics: How Amazon Is Changing Our Lives, and What the World’s Best Companies Are Learning from It by Brian Dumaine (May 5, $28, ISBN 978-1-982113-63-6). In starting Amazon, Jeff Bezos founded what the author calls one of the most efficient wealth-creation machines in history, and he details what others can learn from one of tech’s biggest disrupters.

Simon & Schuster

No Filter: The Inside Story of Instagram by Sarah Frier (Apr. 14, $27, ISBN 978-1-982126-80-3). Journalist Frier provides a behind-the-scenes look at how Instagram’s founders combined art and technology to overcome skeptics and to hook the public on visual storytelling.


Staying in the Game: The Playbook for Beating Workplace Sexual Harassment by Adrienne Lawrence (Mar. 10, $26, ISBN 978-0-593-08411-3). A lawyer and former ESPN anchor provides a guide to help women navigate the complicated realities of sexual harassment and teaches them how to be their own best advocates in toxic work environments.

Univ. of California

Ultimate Price: The Value We Place on Life by Howard Steven Friedman (May 5, $26.95, ISBN 978-0-520-34322-1) explains how economists, corporations, regulators, and insurance companies put a price tag on human life and argues against the rampant unfairness in those methods.


The Blueprint: 6 Practical Steps to Lift Your Leadership to New Heights by Douglas R. Conant (Mar. 4, $25, ISBN 978-1-119-56002-9) is part leadership manifesto, part manual, in which Conant shares leadership skills intended to make meaningful change in organizations and in the world.

Yale Univ.

Trade Wars Are Class Wars: How Rising Inequality Distorts the Global Economy and Threatens International Peace by Matthew C Klein and Michael Pettis (May 19, $28, ISBN 978-0-300-24417-5) argues that while trade disputes are usually understood as conflicts between countries with competing national interests, they are often the unexpected result of domestic political choices to serve the interests of the rich at the expense of workers and retirees.

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