Charlie Munger, vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway and one of the world’s most respected investors, offers a wide range of insights and perspectives. If you’re looking for books recommended by Charlie Munger, look no further.
In this article, we’ve compiled a list of books that Munger believes are essential reading for anyone looking to improve their thinking. Whether you’re interested in psychology, philosophy, or economics, there’s something on this list for you.
The Wealth and Poverty of Nations by David S. Landes
The book The Wealth and Poverty of Nations by David S. Landes is a look at the history of economics and how nations have become wealthy or not.
He looks at various factors, such as geography, culture, and natural resources. One interesting idea he discusses is the role of institutions in economic development. He argues that countries with better institutions, such as those that protect property rights and enforce contracts, are more likely to be prosperous.
Landes provides a lot of data and historical examples to support his argument. For instance, he points to the fact that many countries in Europe and North America became wealthy during the Industrial Revolution, while most of Africa and Asia did not. He attributes this difference to the fact that countries in Europe and North America had better institutions than those in Africa and Asia.
Getting to Yes by Roger Fisher and William Ury
In their book, Getting to Yes, Roger Fisher and William Ury present a framework for negotiating agreements between parties who have different interests.
The book has been influential in the field of negotiation and has been translated into multiple languages.
The key idea behind Getting to Yes is that the best way to negotiate an agreement is to focus on the interests of both parties, rather than their positions. This approach is known as “interest-based bargaining.”
Master of the Game by Connie Bruck
In her book Master of the Game, Connie Bruck tells the story of how former Goldman Sachs chairman and CEO Lloyd Blankfein amassed his fortune.
Blankfein started out as a commodities trader in the 1970s and quickly rose through the ranks at Goldman. He became known for his risk-taking and deal-making and was eventually named chairman and CEO in 2006.
The Little Book of Common Sense Investing by John C. Bogle
John C. Bogle is the founder of Vanguard and one of the most respected voices in the investing world. In this book, he lays out a simple and effective way to invest for the long term. Bogle’s approach is based on common sense and historical evidence, which makes it a great read for both beginner and experienced investors.
Titan by Ron Chernow
Ron Chernow’s Titan is a sweeping biography of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. – the legendary oil tycoon and philanthropist who was one of the most influential and controversial figures of the early 20th century.
Chernow paints a complex and nuanced portrait of Rockefeller, tracing his humble beginnings in upstate New York to his rise as the head of Standard Oil, one of the most powerful corporations in history. Along the way, Chernow details Rockefeller’s complex relationships with his family, business associates, and political rivals.
Titan is a masterfully researched and engrossing read that offers new insights into one of America’s most iconic figures.
Benjamin Franklin by Walter Isaacson
In Walter Isaacson’s Benjamin Franklin, the renowned author provides an in-depth exploration of the life and legend of one of America’s most well-known founding fathers.
Through extensive research and interviews with those who knew Franklin best, Isaacson paints a complex portrait of a brilliant man who was constantly reinventing himself.
Getting It Done by Roger Fisher
In “Getting It Done,” Roger Fisher provides readers with a step-by-step guide to resolving conflict and reaching an agreement. He begins by explaining the difference between Positional and Interest-Based bargaining, and why the latter is usually more effective.
He then outlines key principles for successful negotiation: focusing on interests rather than positions, Inventing Options for Mutual Gain, insisting on using Objective Criteria, and acknowledging the Emotional Dimension. By following these tips, negotiators can overcome obstacles and reach mutually beneficial agreements.
The Greatest Trade Ever by Gregory Zuckerman
In his book, The Greatest Trade Ever, Gregory Zuckerman tells the story of how John Paulson made billions in a single year by betting against the subprime mortgage market.
Paulson, a hedge fund manager, saw that the subprime mortgage market was about to collapse and decided to bet against it. He hired Zuckerman to help him research the trade and find the best way to make money from it.
Paulson’s bet paid off, and he made billions in 2007. The trade is considered to be one of the greatest trades ever because of the amount of money made and because it helped to cause the financial crisis of 2008.
Zuckerman’s book is a fascinating look at how Paulson made his fortune and at the financial crisis itself.
How the Scots Invented the Modern World by Arthur L. Herman
In his book, How the Scots Invented the Modern World, Arthur L. Herman argues that it was the Scots who were responsible for many of the defining features of modernity.
He points to a number of key inventions and ideas that originated in Scotland, such as Adam Smith’s free market economics, James Watt’s steam engine, and Joseph Lister’s antiseptic surgery.
Herman contends that the Scottish Enlightenment was a major force in shaping the modern world. He argues that Scottish thinkers like David Hume and Adam Smith challenged traditional authority and championed reason and individual rights.
This spirit of inquiry and skepticism paved the way for the Scientific Revolution and the Industrial Revolution, which transformed the world in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
While Herman acknowledges that other cultures contributed to these developments, he argues that it was the Scots who were most responsible for ushering in the Modern Age.
A Piece of the Action by Joe Nocera
In his book A Piece of the Action, Joe Nocera argues that the American economy has become increasingly rigged in favor of the wealthy. The book is a collection of essays that examine how this happened and what can be done to level the playing field.
Nocera begins by discussing how changes in technology and global trade have disproportionately benefited those at the top of the economic ladder.
He then turns to discuss what he sees as the three main pillars of the American economy: finance, healthcare, and education. For each pillar, Nocera offers a case study of how it has become increasingly difficult for middle- and working-class Americans to get ahead.
Models of My Life by Herbert A. Simon
In his book, Models of My Life, Herbert A. Simon recounts his many years as a groundbreaking economist and political scientist.
He begins by discussing how his work on decision-making led him to develop models that could be applied to other areas of life, including business and government.
He goes on to describe how these models have been used to improve our understanding of human behavior and make better decisions in both personal and professional settings.
While Simon’s work has had a profound impact on the field of economics, it is perhaps his work on artificial intelligence that has had the most lasting influence.
In the late 1970s, Simon and a colleague developed a computer program that was able to beat a human opponent in the game of checkers. This was an early demonstration of the power of artificial intelligence, and it helped pave the way for further advances in the field.
A Matter of Degrees by Gino Claudio Segrè
A Matter of Degrees is a book about the power of temperature. The author, Gino Claudio Segr, argues that temperature is the most important factor in determining the course of history.
He contends that temperature has a direct impact on human behavior and that it is the main reason why some cultures are more successful than others.
Segr provides a detailed analysis of how temperature affects human physiology and cognition.
He argues that people who live in warm climates are more likely to be outgoing and optimistic, while those who live in cold climates are more likely to be introverted and pessimistic.
This difference in personality leads to different cultural values and norms, which in turn leads to different levels of economic development.
The author’s thesis is provocative and sure to generate debate. A Matter of Degrees is an important contribution to our understanding of the forces that shape human civilization.
Andrew Carnegie Paperback by David Nasaw
In his new book, Andrew Carnegie, David Nasaw tells the story of one of America’s most famous and successful businessmen.
Born in Scotland in 1835, Carnegie came to the United States as a child and rose to become one of the richest men in the world.
He made his fortune in the steel industry, but was also a major philanthropist, giving away millions of dollars to causes such as education and peace. In this book, Nasaw chronicles Carnegie’s life from his humble beginnings to his death in 1919.
Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond
In his Pulitzer Prize-winning book Guns, Germs, and Steel, Jared Diamond argues that the differences in power and technology between human societies are due to geography.
He suggests that the Eurasian continent was better suited for the development of guns, germs, and steel which allowed its people to conquer the world.
The Third Chimpanzee by Jared Diamond
The Third Chimpanzee is a book written by Jared Diamond about the history and evolution of the chimpanzee.
The book discusses how the chimpanzee is a close relative of humans and how both species have evolved over time. The book also looks at the different ways that chimps and humans behave, and how this affects their ability to survive in the wild.
Influence by Robert Cialdini
Robert Cialdini is an American social psychologist who has written extensively on the topic of persuasion and influence.
His 1984 book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, has become a classic in the field and is required reading for many students of psychology and marketing.
In it, Cialdini outlines principles of influence that are widely used in both advertising and marketing: reciprocity, commitment and consistency, social proof, authority, liking, and scarcity.
These six principles are commonly known as the “weapons of influence” because they can be used to influence people’s behavior in a variety of ways.
For example, the principle of reciprocity dictates that we are more likely to comply with someone’s request if they have first done something for us.
The principle of social proof dictates that we are more likely to do something if we see others doing it first.
Living within Limits by Garrett Hardin
In 1968, Garrett Hardin published an article in the journal Science entitled “The Tragedy of the Commons”, in which he described a problem that he said would lead to the ruin of society.
The problem was that people were using up resources faster than they could be replaced and that this would eventually lead to disaster.
In his book Living within Limits, Hardin expands on this idea and argues that we must learn to live within the limits of our resources if we are to avoid catastrophe.
Hardin’s argument is based on the principle of carrying capacity, which is the maximum number of individuals that can be supported by a given environment.
He points out that our planet has a finite carrying capacity for human beings, and that we are already exceeding it. He also notes that technology cannot always be relied upon to solve our problems, as it often creates new ones.
The Warren Buffett Portfolio by Robert G. Hagstrom
In The Warren Buffett Portfolio, Robert G. Hagstrom introduces readers to the investing strategy of the world’s most successful investor.
Buffett’s approach is based on buying companies with a wide moat around them – meaning they have a sustainable competitive advantage that will protect them from competitors.
Hagstrom outlines how Buffett has applied this strategy to create a portfolio worth billions of dollars. He also provides advice for investors who want to follow in Buffett’s footsteps.
The Warren Buffett Portfolio is an essential read for anyone interested in learning more about the man who is often called the “Oracle of Omaha”.
Only the Paranoid Survive by Andrew Grove
In his book Only the Paranoid Survive, Andrew Grove argues that businesses must always be prepared for the change in order to stay ahead of the competition.
He discusses how companies can make themselves more flexible and adaptable to change and outlines some of the steps they can take to anticipate and respond to market shifts.
This book is essential reading for any business owner or manager who wants to ensure their company’s long-term success.
Genome by Matt Ridley
In Genome, Matt Ridley tells the story of the Human Genome Project and its implications for the future of medicine and humanity.
He chronicles the history of genetics from Gregor Mendel to James Watson and Francis Crick to Craig Venter and describes how the mapping of the human genome is changing our understanding of diseases, heredity, and evolution.
He also discusses the ethical implications of this new knowledge and its potential uses in designer babies and other controversial areas.
Faraday, Maxwell, and the Electromagnetic Field by Nancy Forbes
It is a fascinating book that explores the history and science of electricity and magnetism.
The book starts with Faraday’s discovery and goes on to discuss Maxwell’s equations and their impact on our understanding of the electromagnetic field.
Deep Simplicity by John Gribbin
In his book Deep Simplicity, John Gribbin offers a unique and interesting perspective on some of the universe’s most complex problems.
By breaking down these problems into their simplest form, Gribbin is able to offer new and insightful solutions that challenge the status quo. This approach has led him to be one of the most respected physicists of our time.
Gribbin’s theories have been instrumental in helping us understand complex phenomena like black holes and quantum mechanics. His work has helped us make sense of a seemingly chaotic universe.
Deep Simplicity is an essential read for anyone interested in understanding the universe we live in.
Fiasco: The Inside Story of a Wall Street Trader
In his book, F.I.A.S.C.O., Frank Partnoy paints a picture of the culture and workings of Wall Street firms in the 1990s.
He provides first-hand accounts of the rampant greed and risk-taking that led to the collapse of several major firms, including his own employer, Kidder Peabody.
While Partnoy is highly critical of the industry, he also offers some insight into why so many people are drawn to careers in finance.
He describes the allure of the high salaries and bonuses, as well as the adrenaline rush that comes from working in a fast-paced environment where millions of dollars can change hands in an instant.
For those who are interested in learning more about how Wall Street really works, F.I.A.S.C.O. is required reading.
Ice Age by John Gribbin
John Gribbin’s Ice Age is a fascinating look at the science behind one of the most important periods in Earth’s history.
Gribbin takes readers on a tour of the last Ice Age, explaining how it affected the planet and its inhabitants. He also describes the ongoing research that is helping scientists to better understand this period and its potential implications for the future.
Three Scientists and Their Gods by Robert Wright
In his book, The Evolution of God, Robert Wright set out to explore how the idea of God has changed over time. He looks at three scientists in particular and how their religious beliefs have influenced their work.
The Language Instinct by Steven Pinker
The Language Instinct is a book by Steven Pinker that explores the idea that humans have an innate ability to learn a language.
The book discusses the history of linguistics and the different theories about how language is acquired. Pinker also looks at how language is used in different cultures and how it has evolved over time.
The Years of Lyndon Johnson (4 books) by Robert Caro
In The Years of Lyndon Johnson, Robert Caro explores the life and Presidency of one of America’s most controversial leaders.
Caro draws on Johnson’s personal papers and interviews with over three hundred people who knew him to give readers an intimate portrait of a man who was both immensely talented and deeply flawed.
From his humble beginnings in rural Texas to his years in the Senate and finally the White House, Caro shows how Johnson’s ambition, determination, and charisma helped him overcome any obstacle in his path.
In the Plex by Steven Levy
In the Plex is a book about Google written by Steven Levy. The book chronicles the history of Google, from its inception in 1996 to its present-day status as one of the most powerful companies in the world.
In addition to recounting Google’s history, In the Plex also provides insights into how Google works and how it has changed the way we use the internet.
The Martians of Science by Istvan Hargittai
Istvan Hargittai’s book The Martians of Science is a fascinating look at the lives and work of some of the most brilliant minds of the 20th century.
Hargittai tells the stories of these “Martians” – men and women who were not only geniuses in their fields but also had very eccentric personalities. The book is full of interesting anecdotes and insights into the thinking of these remarkable people.
The Outsiders by William N. Thorndike
In this book, Thorndike provides an in-depth look at the history, background, and motivations of some of the country’s most successful people.
Thorndike’s research is based on interviews with more than one hundred billionaires, including Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, and Oprah Winfrey.
He also spoke with dozens of their family members, friends, and associates. The Outsiders offers readers a rare glimpse into the private lives and inner thoughts of the ultra-rich.
Hard Drive by James Wallace
James Wallace’s Hard Drive is a look into the life of one of the most important figures in the tech industry. The book gives readers a behind-the-scenes look at the man who helped create the modern computer.
Pride in Performance by Les Schwab
In “Pride in Performance by Les Schwab,” the author discusses the company’s history and how it has managed to remain successful for so many years.
The company was founded in 1952 and has since become one of the largest tire retailers in the United States.
Les Schwab is known for its customer service and its commitment to quality. The company has a no-haggle policy when it comes to pricing, which has helped it to build a loyal customer base.
Einstein by Walter Isaacson
Walter Isaacson’s Einstein is a fascinating biography of one of the world’s most renowned physicists. Born in 1879 in Ulm, Germany, Einstein was a slow learner who struggled in school. But he excelled in math and physics, eventually going on to develop the theory of relativity.
A Universe from Nothing by Lawrence M. Krauss
In “A Universe from Nothing,” Lawrence M. Krauss argues that the universe could have arisen from nothing. He begins by defining what he means by “nothing.” Krauss then reviews some of the history of the idea of the universe coming from nothing, including the work of Aristotle and Newton.
He also looks at more recent scientific discoveries that support the idea of a universe coming from nothing. Finally, Krauss addresses some objections to his argument.
The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins
In The Selfish Gene, Richard Dawkins argues that genes are the fundamental unit of selection in evolution and that natural selection is therefore ultimately about gene survival. He also suggests that organisms are just “survival machines” for their genes, and that altruistic behavior can be explained as a result of gene-level Selection.
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
Franklin’s Autobiography is one of the great American classics. It tells the story of his life, from his humble beginnings as a Boston printer to his later years as a successful diplomat and statesman. The Autobiography is also a valuable historical document, containing Franklin’s observations on such topics as the American Revolution, the Constitution, and slavery.
Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
In his book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell examines what it takes to be successful. He looks at how opportunity, hard work, and talent all play a role in achieving success.
Gladwell argues that successful people are often the product of many factors, not just one. He uses the example of Bill Gates, who was born into a wealthy family and had access to the best schools and resources.
Gates also had the opportunity to work with a computer at a young age, which helped him develop the skills he needed to become a successful software developer.
Gladwell argues that success is not just about talent or intelligence. It’s also about having the right opportunities and being willing to work hard. He provides readers with an insightful look at what it takes to be successful in any field.
Benjamin Franklin by Carl Van Doren
Carl Van Doren’s Benjamin Franklin is a comprehensive and well-rounded look at the life of one of America’s most iconic figures.
Though he was a man of many talents and accomplishments, Franklin is perhaps best known for his role in the American Revolution and as one of the Founding Fathers.
In this book, Van Doren paints a portrait of a complex man who was driven by a passion for knowledge and a desire to make the world a better place.
Yes! by Robert Cialdini
In his book, Yes!, Robert Cialdini provides readers with a step-by-step guide on how to be more persuasive. He starts by explaining the psychology behind why people say no, and then he provides the reader with six principles of influence that can be used to say yes more often.
The Blind Watchmaker by Richard Dawkins
In The Blind Watchmaker, Richard Dawkins makes a compelling case for evolution by natural selection. He starts with the example of a watch, which is a complex machine that can only be made by an intelligent watchmaker.
However, if we take a closer look at how watches are made, we can see that they are actually quite simple. The watchmaker does not need to understand the inner workings of the watch in order to make one. All he needs to do is put the pieces together in the right order and let the laws of physics do the rest.
In conclusion, books recommended by Charlie Munger are not only interesting and informative but can also provide valuable insights into how to think about and approach problems.
If you are looking for something to read that will make you think, these books are definitely worth checking out.