Updated Business Reading List


A few of my favorites. If you buy them by clicking on the list at right, I get credit from Amazon, but they won’t charge you anything extra! That way you support my efforts to review books for you. (I have reviewed most of these books on my Hooversworld, or have video book reviews of them on my Youtube channel, as linked below. Or, better yet, buy them from your favorite bookstore, although some of these are older and will not be in stock. Keep your bookstore, whether it be an independent or chain, in business! Long live Barnes & Noble.

My Book — of course one of the greats! Don’t ask me why Scribd warns that it contains adult content — it doesn’t. Buy a PDF here for $10 www.scribd.com/doc/25085990/The-Art-of-Enterprise-by-Gary-Hoover-January-2010. This addition has substantially more material than the original hardcover edition, which is out of print.

Business and Management
Anything by Peter Drucker, the greatest management academic/consultant of all time, including Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices (To me this is his “bible” – get the original edition, not the updated/revised edition!)
Innovation and Entrepreneurship
The Essential Drucker
The Daily Drucker

Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Peter Drucker’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Christensen et. al. Innovator’s DNA (a new favorite of mine)
Feld and Mendelson Venture Deals (the best book on how to cut a financing deal etc.)
Bagley and Dauchy The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Business Law (could save you a lot of money)

Company History and Biography
Alfred P. Sloan My Years with General Motors (Bill Gates says if you are going to read only one book about business, this is the one. I would not argue with Bill. It was perhaps the first business book I ever read, when I was about 12. I believe Sloan was the greatest business manager yet known.)
Sam Walton Made in America (one of the best examples of curiosity and customer obsession)
Conrad Hilton Be My Guest (guts, lost everything, started over, a great story)

General Business History
Evans They Made America: From the Steam Engine to the Search Engine
(The single best book to demonstrate the variety of entrepreneurs and innovators; get the hardcover of this book; it has a lot more good stuff in it than the paperback)
Alfred Chandler The Visible Hand
(the most important and best business history book ever written. If you really want to understand the rise of big business in America – which means the world – this is the book. How Management came about.)
Micklethwait and Wooldridge The Company (the history of the idea and practice of the corporation)
Hansmann The Ownership of Enterprise (the many ways to organize your enterprise)
Hopper and Hopper The Puritan Gift (fascinating contrarian thinking)

Miller, Benjamin, and North The Economics of Public Issues
Milton Friedman Capitalism and Freedom (my old teacher, a great man and thinker)

Ries and Trout Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind (most important marketing book ever written)
Pine and Gilmore The Experience Economy: Work is Theater & Every Business a Stage (new edition is now out; the “bible” on experiential marketing)

Big Business Leadership
Collins and Porras Built to Last
Collins Good to Great
Simon Hidden Champions of the 21st Century (my new favorite; think hard about the ideas and apply them to your own ventures and companies)
De Geus The Living Company (what it means to build a sustainable enterprise; the new list of the world’s largest companies shows his company #1)
Adizes Corporate Lifecycles (one of the few writers who thinks about such things, as do I)

Rumelt Good Strategy Bad Strategy (as well as all the Drucker and Chandler books, etc.)

How to Analyze and Think
Koomey and Holdren Turning Numbers into Knowledge: Mastering the Art of Problem Solving
Pink A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future
(both of these are really important books, the second one is an easy read)

Lidwell, Holden, and Butler Universal Principles of Design – new edition now out, one of my favorite all time books

The Future
Kotkin The Next Hundred Million (the future of America, not what you hear most of the time)
George Friedman The Next Hundred Years (speculation on the future of the world, provocative)
Diamandis and Kotler Abundance (counters the ever-popular pessimism)
Ridley The Rational Optimist (ditto)

Basic Data
Statistical Abstract of the United States (annual, US government; they say they are going to stop publishing this, a real loss to society. You can also find the same data at census.gov but I’d rather page through it and absorb it)
World Almanac (annual, my favorite book of all time! See www.youtube.com/watch)
Almanac of American Politics (every two years, by Barone & friends, the best single book to understand Americans and their regional variations. More here www.youtube.com/watch)
World Development Indicators (annual, from the World Bank, the single most important book on world data; more here www.youtube.com/watch)
Goode’s World Atlas (the best atlas for more than just geography, it also has economic maps, a classic)
Geography: Realms, Regions, and Concepts (by de Blij and Muller; this is by far my favorite geography book, as it organizes the world into more up-to-date regions than the old “continents” we all grew up with)

Thinking “Outside the Box”
Poor Charlie’s Almanac, the rants and ideas of the great Charlie Munger, “the brains behind Warren Buffett” — well, they are both pretty smart! I think this was the first book I reviewed on my blog.

Wall Street Journal, The Economist, Fortune, Forbes, Wired, INC, Fast Company, NY Times