News & Opinion

2014 FT/McKinsey Book of the Year Announced

November 12, 2014


The business and economic world's most visible book award was announced today.

The business and economic world's most visible book award was announced today when Financial Times and Mckinsey revealed that their top prize, which includes a 30,000 award, went to Thomas Piketty and his book Capital in the Twenty-First Century (Belknap Press). Each year, the winning selection goes to the book that represents "the most compelling and enjoyable insight into modern business issues, including management, finance and economics."

Picketty's tome is at or near the top of just about everyone's list, including lists from strategy+business and Amazon, but it's at least mildly surprising that Capital was chosen, not because the award is not deserved - it certainly is - but because over the summer FT itself has some issues with the book... a fact that FT even mentioned in their announcement of the award:
The FT has in the past questioned some of the French economist's research for Capital, but the book has provoked a fierce debate about growing inequality and the means to tackle it. "While not everyone agreed on the policy prescriptions, we recognised the quality of the scholarship," Mr. Barber (Lionel Barber, FT editor and chairman of judges) said on behalf of the judges. He called it "a challenging, but ultimately important book".
Weighing the merits of the six finalists during an intense discussion on Tuesday, the seven judges praised Mr. Piketty's book, which runs to nearly 700 pages, for its depth of research, ambition and influence. "The issue of inequality touches everything, from CEO pay to political unrest," one judge pointed out.
Also announced by Financial Times and McKinsey was the winner of the inaugural 15,000 Bracken Bower Prize to the "best proposal for a business book by an author aged under 35." The winning proposal was titled Womenomics in the Muslim World, written by a senior director of the World Economic Forum, Saadia Zahidi, about the advancement of women in Islamic countries. No doubt that we'll keep our eye on this one. 

Capital in the Twenty-First Century beat out the following five shortlisted books: 

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