Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is known to pick up a new hobby or side project each year. In the past, he has built an Artificially Intelligent personal assistant, learned to speak Mandarin, and vowed to meet one new person outside of Facebook every day. Reading books is also a hobby he has picked up over the years and it’s one reason why he decided to launch a Facebook-based book club last year, with a reading list that focused on “different cultures, beliefs, histories, and technologies.”.
Here are some of Mark Zuckerberg’s suggestions for books he thinks everyone should read.
‘The Muqaddimah’ by Ibn Khaldun
The Muqaddimah is an attempt to strip away biases of historical records and find universal elements in the progression of humanity.
“The Muqaddimah,” which translates to “The Introduction,” was written in 1377 by the Islamic historian Khaldun.
Khaldun’s revolutionary scientific approach to history established him as one of the fathers of modern sociology and historiography.
Zuckerberg has this to say about the book, “While much of what was believed then is now disproven after 700 more years of progress, it’s still very interesting to see what was understood at this time and the overall worldview when it’s all considered together.”
‘Why Nations Fail’ by Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson
“Why Nations Fail” is an overview of 15 years of research by MIT economist Daren Acemoglu and Harvard political scientist James Robinson, and was first published in 2012.
The authors argue that “extractive governments” use controls to enforce the power of a select few, while “inclusive governments” create open markets that allow citizens to spend and invest money freely, and that economic growth does not always indicate the long-term health of a country.
Zuckerberg’s interest in philanthropy has grown alongside his wealth in recent years, and he writes that he chose this book to better understand the origins of global poverty.
Related: 5 Books Recommended by Bill Gates
‘Portfolios of the Poor’ by Daryl Collins, Jonathan Morduch, Stuart Rutherford, and Orlanda Ruthven
Researchers Daryl Collins, Jonathan Morduch, Stuart Rutherford, and Orlanda Ruthven spent 10 years studying the financial lives of the lowest classes of Bangladesh, India, and South Africa.
A fundamental finding that they include in “Portfolios of the Poor” is that extreme poverty flourishes in areas not where people live dollar to dollar or where poor purchasing decisions are widespread, but instead arises where they lack access to financial institutions to store their money.
“It’s mind-blowing that almost half the world — almost 3 billion people — live on $2.50 a day or less. More than one billion people live on $1 a day or less,” Zuckerberg writes. “I hope reading this provides some insight into ways we can all work to support them better as well.”
‘The Rational Optimist’ by Matt Ridley
“The Rational Optimist,” first published in 2010, is the most popular and perhaps the most controversial of popular-science writer Matt Ridley’s books.
In it, he argues that the concept of markets is the source of human progress, and that progress is accelerated when they are kept as free as possible. The resulting evolution of ideas will consistently allow humankind to improve its living conditions, despite the threats of climate change and overpopulation.
Zuckerberg says that he picked up this book because it posits the inverse theory of “Why Nations Fail,” which argues that social and political forces control economic ones.
“I’m interested to see which idea resonates more after exploring both frameworks,” Zuckerberg writes.
‘World Order’ by Henry Kissinger
In former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger’s 2014 book, “World Order,” the 91-year-old analyzes the ways different parts of the world have understood the concept of empire and political power for centuries, and how the modern global economy has brought them together in often tense or violent ways.
It’s “about foreign relations and how we can build peaceful relationships throughout the world,” Zuckerberg writes. “This is important for creating the world we all want for our children, and that’s what I’m thinking about these days.”
‘Creativity, Inc.’ by Ed Catmull
“Creativity, Inc.” is the story of Pixar, written by one of the computer-animation giant’s founders.
Catmull intersperses his narrative with valuable wisdom on management and entrepreneurialism and argues that any company should consciously avoid hampering their employees’ natural creativity.
“I love reading first-hand accounts about how people build great companies like Pixar and nurture innovation and creativity,” Zuckerberg writes.
Source: Business Insider