January books: four of the best reads out now

Are you looking for something to read this weekend? Here are three recommended readings from Spear’s

Kleptopia by Tom Burgis (William Collins, £ 20)

A Basingstoke banker who unearths the secrets of a Swiss bank, a former Soviet billionaire, a Canadian lawyer with a mysterious client, and a CIA-protected Brooklyn crook – these are the four stories that investigative journalist Tom Burgis has woven together in Kleptopia. He believes that “while we look the other way, everything we care about most is stolen”. From the Kremlin to Beijing, from Harare to Riyadh, he follows the dirty money that “floods the world economy, encourages dictators and poisons democracies”. The launch had an impact: According to Private Eye, it resulted in “some of the most famous legal minds in London and elsewhere firing threatening correspondence”.

Better Business By Christopher Marquis (Yale University Press, £ 22.03)

The origins of the B Corp movement can be traced back to 2006 when three friends gave up their careers in business and private equity to start an organization that, in its own words, is committed to protecting and protecting enterprise-oriented companies Making work easier will improve its positive effects over time ”. There are now more than 2,500 B-Corp companies in more than 50 countries. In Better Business, Cornell Professor Christopher Marquis examines the movement in the context of contemporary capitalism. He makes a compelling argument that “socially and environmentally responsible companies are critical to everyone’s future”. A forward-looking book when capitalism in its current form is challenged.

The Mighty and the Damned by Lionel Barber (WH Allen, £ 25)

Lionel Barber could hardly have picked a more eventful time to become an FT editor. Between 2005 and 2020, he led the influential broadsheet through a global financial crisis, the rise of China, Brexit, Trump and, perhaps most relevantly, an era where the media faced existential threats, from fake news to declining advertising revenues. Barber takes the reader behind the headlines and in meetings with political leaders, talking to billionaires as they face economic collapse, and more. The book was also intended to provide media watchers with insights that the FT long regarded as a success story against the backdrop of the widespread media decline.

The Windsor Diaries 1940-45 By Alathea Fitzalan Howard (Hodder & Stoughton, £ 25)

From the search for freedom to the waiting lady, the past few years have been fruitful for books about the royals. Along this path, the Windsor Diaries will be followed by the late Alathea Fitzalan Howard who, as the story goes, would have become the Duke of Norfolk if she had been a boy. During World War II, she was sent to Windsor Castle, where Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret were her closest companions. Beginning in 1939 at the age of 16 and through Howard turns 22, these diaries reveal an invisible side of the future queen and a bird’s eye view of royal life in wartime. In a style that has been labeled “honest yet loving”, we get a vivid portrait of a young woman about to be crowned.

Main picture: newspaper reader in his back yard, by Carl Spitzweg c. 1845-1858

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