Sunday, October 20, 2013

OPINION: Why Give a Damn? 10 Books you Should Read if you Want to Have an Impact

Cover of "Small Is Beautiful: Economics a...
Cover via Amazon
by Paul Polak, Unreasonable.is: http://unreasonable.is/opinion/10-books-you-should-read-if-you-want-to-have-an-impact/ 

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by hard problems, here is a list of resources to help you increase your understanding of the world and then take action.

Polak has brought 22+ million farmers out of poverty. His work is dedicated to designing products for the Other 90% (the 2.6 billion customers who live on less than $2/day). Following is a list of the ten books that have been most helpful in increasing my understanding of the world.
  1. Small Is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered, by E. F. Schumacher (Blond & Briggs, 1973)
  2. The White Man’s Burden: Why the West’s Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good, by William Easterly (Penguin Press, 2006)
  3. Mao’s Great Famine: The History of China’s Most Devastating Catastrophe, 1958-1962, by Frank Dikotter (Walker & Company, 2011)
  4. Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937-1948, by Madeleine Albright (Harper, 2012)
  5. Three Cups of Deceit: How Greg Mortenson, Humanitarian Hero, Lost His Way, by Jon Krakauer (Anchor, 2011)
  6. Hell’s Cartel: IG Farben and the Making of Hitler’s War Machine, by Diarmuid Jeffreys (Metropolitan Books, 2008)
  7. Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China, by Jung Chang (Simon & Schuster, 1991)
  8. Mao: The Unknown Story, by Jung Chang and Jon Halliday (Knopf, 2005)
  9. Freedom’s Forge: How American Business Produced Victory in World War II, by Arthur Herman (Random House, 2012)
  10. The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid: Eradicating Poverty Through Profits, by C.K. Prahalad (Wharton School Publishing, 2004)
What are some books that have had an impact on your understanding of the world?
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