Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty by Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson (March 20)
Why are some countries wealthier than others? Drawing from historical and modern-day examples, Daron Acemoglu, an MIT economist, and James Robinson, a Harvard political scientist, argue that troubled nations will not emerge from poverty solely by implementing recommendations from international organizations or through foreign aid. Economic success, the authors say, is fundamentally a product of granting political power to citizens.
Finance and the Good Society by Robert Shiller (March 21)
Yale economist Robert Shiller recently told the New York Times that teaching a class on financial markets in the wake of the 2008 crisis and Occupy Wall Street movement is "a little like teaching R.O.T.C. during the Vietnam War." Though his book doesn't apologize for Wall Street's slipups, it defends the virtues of finance as a tool to manage society's assets, ultimately for good.