Books Read in 2019

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In 2019, I somehow managed to read more than a book a week with 59 books in total and nearly 20k pages (19,965). But all of these are vanity metrics, I felt like reading a lot this year partly because I had to write my dissertation. School is an easy time to get external reading done: the boundaries for “work” are very vague.

The books in bold are the ones I would recommend (* are must reads). Please reach out if you’d like to discuss any!

Letters to a young contrarian*
On Grand Strategy
The Trial of Henry Kissinger
How Proust can change your life
Time Series Analysis
Beginning of Infinity
Death of Nietzsche’s Zarathustra
The New New Thing*
Coddling of the American Mind
The Little History of Philosophy
The Strange Death of Europe
Efficiency (WSP)
The Course of Love
Why Nations Fail
Street of Eternal Happiness
PayPal Wars
Genius: Feynman*
The Beautiful and The Damned
The Revolt of the Public
Crash Early, Crash Often
Insane Mode
The Four
The Buy Side
Living in the End Times
Rocket Billionares
The Cambridge Economic History of Modern Britain: Volume 2
Handbook of Macroeconomics
Hitch 22: A memoir of Christopher Hitchens
Range: How Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World
Japan and the Shackles of the Past*
The Master and the Margarita
One Giant Leap
The Empire of Air
The Facebook Effect
Icarus Fallen
The Radiologist Report
Road to React
The Seekers
The Airbnb Story
The Quants: How a New Breed of Math Whizzes Conquered Wall Street
The Seven Ages of Paris
Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber
Algorithms to live by
The Concept of the Political
Bullshit Jobs*
The Madness of Crowds*
The World of Yesterday*
Down and Out in Paris and London*
George Orwell’s A Collection of Essays*
Bronze Age Mindset
Road to Wigan Pier
Lifespan: Why We Age—and Why We Don’t Have To
Naked Statistics
This is Not the End of the Book*
A World lit only by Fire
Wittgenstein: Duty of Genius*
The Collected Short Stories of Stefan Zweig

Mindfulness is the End of Capitalism

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“Subjection of Nature’s forces to man, machinery, application of chemistry to industry and agriculture, steam-navigation, railways, electric telegraphs, clearing of whole continents for cultivation, canalization of rivers, whole populations conjured out of the ground–what earlier century had even a presentiment that such productive forces slumbered in the lap of social labor?”

Marx and Engels, The Communist Manifesto

The Beginning of Economic History

1989 saw the first set of GPS satellites in space; it also encompassed the fall of the Berlin Wall and Woodstock ’89. As time has passed however, it looks as if Francis Fukuyama’s 1989 brief, written in the National Interest, on the liberalized democratic society as the end of history remains an even more powerful concept today than ever before.

What was yet to be seen in 1989 was how accurate Francis Fukuyama’s piece on the End of History? would be. America’s future in 1989 seemed endless and certain – it was going to climb Olympus and take its mantle as the lead superpower of the world. But, 2016 ushered in critiques from elites that Fukuyama was wrong: we were undoubtedly heading back into the global abyss of nationalism and to a level not seen since the 1930s.

Fortunately, they haven’t been proven right thus far. Fukuyama’s critics miss the crucial fact that he hasn’t been quite proven wrong: a return to nationalism doesn’t imply that we have found a better alternative to the liberal democratic system that the West has adopted since WW2.

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