2016 Back-To-School Reading List by Goldman Sachs
Whether you’re heading back to campus this year, back to the office or just looking to get back into the swing of things this fall, the Goldman Sachs second annual Back-to-School Reading List features book recommendations for every age and career stage.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll continue to update this page with new book selects from leaders across the globe and across the firm so be sure to check back for more good reads.
Read the full article here.
See the full list with explanations below
Goldman Sachs: 2016 Back-To-School Reading List
Liz Bowyer – Executive Office, New York
Dispatches, by Michael Herr
Written on the front lines in Vietnam, Dispatches became an immediate classic of war reportage when it was published in 1977.
From its terrifying opening pages to its final eloquent words, Dispatches makes us see, in unforgettable and unflinching detail, the chaos and fervor of the war and the surreal insanity of life in that singular combat zone. Michael Herr’s unsparing, unorthodox retellings of the day-to-day events in Vietnam take on the force of poetry, rendering clarity from one of the most incomprehensible and nightmarish events of our time.
Dispatches is among the most blistering and compassionate accounts of war in our literature.
The Noise of Time, by Julian Barnes
A compact masterpiece dedicated to the Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich: Julian Barnes’s first novel since his best-selling, Man Booker Prize–winning The Sense of an Ending.
In 1936, Shostakovich, just thirty, fears for his livelihood and his life. Stalin, hitherto a distant figure, has taken a sudden interest in his work and denounced his latest opera. Now, certain he will be exiled to Siberia (or, more likely, executed on the spot), Shostakovich reflects on his predicament, his personal history, his parents, various women and wives, his children—and all who are still alive themselves hang in the balance of his fate. And though a stroke of luck prevents him from becoming yet another casualty of the Great Terror, for decades to come he will be held fast under the thumb of despotism: made to represent Soviet values at a cultural conference in New York City, forced into joining the Party and compelled, constantly, to weigh appeasing those in power against the integrity of his music. Barnes elegantly guides us through the trajectory of Shostakovich’s career, at the same time illuminating the tumultuous evolution of the Soviet Union. The result is both a stunning portrait of a relentlessly fascinating man and a brilliant exploration of the meaning of art and its place in society.
William Hurley – Investment Management Division, Austin
Massive Change, by Bruce Mau
Massive Change is a modern, illustrated primer on the new inventions, technologies, and events that are affecting the human race worldwide. This book is part of a broader research project by Bruce Mau Design, intended to provoke debate and discussion about the future of design culture – defined generally as the ‘familiar objects and techniques that are transforming our lives’. Through an original selection of essays, interviews and provocative imagery aimed at a broad audience, Massive Change explores the changing forces of design in the contemporary world and, from this angle, expands the definition of design to include the built environment, transportation technologies, revolutionary materials, energy and information systems, and living organisms. The book is divided into 11 heavily illustrated sections, covering major areas of change in contemporary society – urbanism and architecture, health and living, wealth and politics and the military. Each section intersperses intriguing documentary images with a general introductory essay, extended captions and interviews with leading thinkers, including engineers, designers, philosophers, scientists, architects, artists, and writers. In its totality, this volume embodies a graphic timeline of significant inventions and world events from 10,000 BC to the present, in a sweeping and scintillating intellectual tour de force.
Zero to One, by Blake Masters and Peter Thiel
If you want to build a better future, you must believe in secrets.
The great secret of our time is that there are still uncharted frontiers to explore and new inventions to create. In Zero to One, legendary entrepreneur and investor Peter Thiel shows how we can find singular ways to create those new things.
Thiel begins with the contrarian premise that we live in an age of technological stagnation, even if we’re too distracted by shiny mobile devices to notice. Information technology has improved rapidly, but there is no reason why progress should be limited to computers or Silicon Valley. Progress can be achieved in any industry or area of business. It comes from the most important skill that every leader must master: learning to think for yourself.
Doing what someone else already knows how to do takes the world from 1 to n, adding more of something familiar. But when you do something new, you go from 0 to 1. The next Bill Gates will not build an operating system. The next Larry Page or Sergey Brin won’t make a search engine. Tomorrow’s champions will not win by competing ruthlessly in today’s marketplace. They will escape competition altogether, because their businesses will be unique.
Zero to One presents at once an optimistic view of the future of progress in America and a new way of thinking about innovation: it starts by learning to ask the questions that lead you to find value in unexpected places.
Bobby Vedral – Securities Division, London
Inverting the Pyramid: the History of Football Tactics, by Jonathan Wilson
“An outstanding work … the [soccer] book of the decade.” —Sunday Business Post
Inverting the Pyramid is a pioneering soccer book that chronicles the evolution of soccer tactics and the lives of the itinerant coaching geniuses who have spread their distinctive styles across the globe.
Through Jonathan Wilson’s brilliant historical detective work we learn how the South Americans shrugged off the British colonial order to add their own finesse to the game; how the Europeans harnessed individual technique and built it into a team structure; how the game once featured five forwards up front, while now a lone striker is not uncommon.