What Do Scholars Read in the Summer?

You won't find any John Grisham thrillers on this list.

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When choosing books to bring to the beach or on vacation, most people opt for breezy page-turners. But our Chazen Senior Scholars are learning all the time, even — especially — in summer.

We asked them what’s on their reading list for the next few months. See if any of these volumes spark your interest.

Jonas Hjort, assistant professor, finance and economics

Mother Earth Mother Board, by Neal Stephenson (Wired, December 1, 1996): A book-length article from Wired magazine (one of the most-read magazine articles of all time) on the laying of Internet cables across the world, and fun background to my research on their (big!) economic consequences.

The Fire Next Time, by James Baldwin (1963, Dial Press): I realized I needed to read this when I saw the amazing film “I Am Not Your Negro.”

Euphoria, by Lily King (2017, Atlantic Monthly Press): A fantastic novel about Margaret Mead, her relationships with her colleagues, field research in Papua New Guinea, and the birth of modern social anthropology at Columbia University.

Visit Jonas Hjort's website.

Emi Nakamura, associate professor of business

The Man Who Knew: The Life and Times of Alan Greenspan, by Sebastian Mallaby (2016, Penguin Press): A fascinating discussion of one of the most important actors in the history of the Fed. [Ed. note: This book won the George F. Eccles Prize for Excellence in Economic Writing, bestowed by Columbia Business School. Watch a video of a discussion between the author and Glenn Hubbard, dean of Columbia Business School.]

Brazillionaires: Wealth, Power, Decadence, and Hope in an American Country, by Alex Cuadros (2016, Penguin Random House): A colorful narrative of inequality in Brazil.

The Curse of Cash, by Kenneth S. Rogoff (2016, Princeton University Press): An important academic narrative on the role of cash in the economy and society.

The Great Escape: Health, Wealth, and the Origins of Inequality, by Angus Deaton (2013, Princeton University Press): For a story of health, inequality and economic development in the modern era.

Visit Emi Nakamura's website.

Jón Steinsson, associate professor of economics

A Farewell to Alms: A Brief Economic History of the World, by Gregory Clark (2009, Princeton University Press): Why our living standard stuck close to subsistence for thousands of years before breaking free and starting to rise about 1800.

Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future, by Ashlee Vance (2017, HarperCollins): A fascinating biography about one of the most innovative entrepreneurs of our time.

The Prize: Who’s in Charge of America's Schools by Dale Russakoff (2015, Mariner Books): About Cory Booker and Mark Zuckerberg's failed attempt to change the public school system in Newark.

Visit Jón Steinnson's website.

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