Good Economics for Hard Times

Abhijit V. Banerjee

The winners of the Nobel Prize show how economics, when done right, can help us solve the thorniest social and political problems of our day.

Figuring out how to deal with today's critical economic problems is perhaps the great challenge of our time. Much greater than space travel or perhaps even the next revolutionary medical breakthrough, what is at stake is the whole idea of the good life as we have known it.

Immigration and inequality, globalization and technological disruption, slowing growth and accelerating climate change--these are sources of great anxiety across the world, from New Delhi and Dakar to Paris and Washington, DC. The resources to address these challenges are there--what we lack are ideas that will help us jump the wall of disagreement and distrust that divides us. If we succeed, history will remember our era with gratitude; if we fail, the potential losses are incalculable.

In this revolutionary book, renowned MIT economists Abhijit V. Banerjee and Esther Duflo take on this challenge, building on cutting-edge research in economics explained with lucidity and grace. Original, provocative, and urgent, Good Economics for Hard Times makes a persuasive case for an intelligent interventionism and a society built on compassion and respect. It is an extraordinary achievement, one that shines a light to help us appreciate and understand our precariously balanced world.

In this ambitious, provocative book Abhijit V. Banerjee and Esther Duflo show how traditional western-centric thinking has failed to explain what is happening to people in a newly globalized world: in short Good Economics has been done badly. This precise but accessible book covers many of the most essential issues of our day--including migration, unemployment, growth, free trade, political polarization, and welfare. Banerjee and Duflo will confound and clarify the presumptions of our times, such as:

  • Why migration doesn't follow the law of supply and demand
  • Why trade liberalization can drive unemployment up and wages down
  • Why macroeconomists like to bend the data to fit the model
  • Why nobody can really explain why and when growth happens
  • Why economists' assumption that people don't change their minds has made has made polarization worse
  • Why quite often it doesn't take a village, especially if the villagers aren't that nice

In doing so, they seek to reclaim this essential terrain, and to offer readers an economist's view of the great issues of the day--one that is candid about the complexities, the zones of ignorance, and the areas of genuine disagreement.

Carry On

John Lewis

A brilliant and empowering collection of final reflections and words of wisdom from venerable civil rights champion, the late Congressman John Lewis at the end of his remarkable life.

Congressman John Lewis was a paragon of the Civil Rights Movement and political leadership for decades. A hero we won’t soon forget, Lewis was a beacon of hope and a model of humility whose invocation to “good trouble” continues to inspire millions across our nation. In his last months on earth, even while battling cancer, he dedicated time to share his memories, beliefs, and advice—exclusively immortalized in these pages—as a message to the generations to come.

Organized by topic ranging from justice, courage, faith, mentorship, and forgiveness to the protests and the pandemic, and many more besides, Carry On collects the late Congressman’s thoughts for readers to draw on whenever they are in need of guidance. John Lewis had great confidence in our future, even as he died in the midst of one of our country’s most challenging years to date. With this book, he performs that crucial passing of the baton, empowering us to live up to the legacy he has left us with his perseverance, dedication, profound insight, and unwavering ability to see the good in life.

Awakening

Rachel B. Vogelstein

Foreword by Tarana Burke. Awakening chronicles the remarkable global impact of the #MeToo movement.
 
Since 2017, millions have joined the global movement known as #MeToo, catalyzing an unprecedented wave of women’s activism powered by technology that reaches across borders, races, religions, and economic divides. Today, women in more than 100 countries are using the hashtag to fight the violence and discrimination they face—and winning. What started as an online campaign against sexual harassment has triggered the most widespread cultural reckoning on women’s rights in history, with global implications for women’s participation in the economy, politics, and across social and cultural life.  
  
Awakening is the first book to capture the global impact of this breakthrough movement. Bringing together political analysis and inspiring personal stories from women in seven countries—Brazil, China, Egypt, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sweden, and Tunisia—Awakening takes readers to the front lines of a networked movement that’s fundamentally shifting how women organize for their own equality. 
 

About the book

Noise

Daniel Kahneman

From the Nobel Prize-winning author of Thinking, Fast and Slow and the coauthor of Nudge, a revolutionary exploration of why people make bad judgments and how to make better ones--"a tour de force” (New York Times). 

Imagine that two doctors in the same city give different diagnoses to identical patients—or that two judges in the same courthouse give markedly different sentences to people who have committed the same crime. Suppose that different interviewers at the same firm make different decisions about indistinguishable job applicants—or that when a company is handling customer complaints, the resolution depends on who happens to answer the phone. Now imagine that the same doctor, the same judge, the same interviewer, or the same customer service agent makes different decisions depending on whether it is morning or afternoon, or Monday rather than Wednesday. These are examples of noise: variability in judgments that should be identical.
 
In Noise, Daniel Kahneman, Olivier Sibony, and Cass R. Sunstein show the detrimental effects of noise in many fields, including medicine, law, economic forecasting, forensic science, bail, child protection, strategy, performance reviews, and personnel selection. Wherever there is judgment, there is noise. Yet, most of the time, individuals and organizations alike are unaware of it. They neglect noise. With a few simple remedies, people can reduce both noise and bias, and so make far better decisions.
 
Packed with original ideas, and offering the same kinds of research-based insights that made Thinking, Fast and Slow and Nudge groundbreaking New York Times bestsellers, Noise explains how and why humans are so susceptible to noise in judgment—and what we can do about it.

About the book

Madam Speaker

Susan Page

AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER! 

The definitive biography of Nancy Pelosi, the most powerful woman in American political history, written by New York Times bestselling author and USA Today Washington bureau chief Susan Page.

 
Featuring more than 150 exclusive interviews with those who know her best—and a series of in-depth, news-making interviews with Pelosi herself—MADAM SPEAKER is unprecedented in the scope of its exploration of Nancy Pelosi’s remarkable life and of her indelible impact on American politics.
 
Before she was Nancy Pelosi, she was Nancy D’Alesandro. Her father was a big-city mayor and her mother his political organizer; when she encour­aged her young daughter to become a nun, Nancy told her mother that being a priest sounded more appealing. She didn’t begin running for office until she was forty-six years old, her five children mostly out of the nest. With that, she found her calling.
 
Nancy Pelosi has lived on the cutting edge of the revolution in both women’s roles and in the nation’s movement to a fiercer and more polarized politics. She has established herself as a crucial friend or for­midable foe to U.S. presidents, a master legislator, and an indefatigable political warrior. She took on the Democratic establishment to become the first female Speaker of the House, then battled rivals on the left and right to consolidate her power. She has soared in the sharp-edged inside game of politics, though she has struggled in the outside game—demonized by conservatives, second-guessed by progressives, and routinely underestimated by nearly everyone.
 
All of this was preparation for the most historic challenge she would ever face, at a time she had been privately planning her retirement. When Donald Trump was elected to the White House, Nancy Pelosi became the Democratic counterpart best able to stand up to the disruptive president and to get under his skin. The battle between Trump and Pelosi, chronicled in this book with behind-the-scenes details and revelations, stands to be the titanic political struggle of our time.