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Matthew Taylor's Top Book Recommendations

Want to know what books Matthew Taylor recommends on their reading list? We've researched interviews, social media posts, podcasts, and articles to build a comprehensive list of Matthew Taylor's favorite book recommendations of all time.


The Hidden Wealth of Nations

Richer nations are happier, yet economic growth doesn't increase happiness. This paradox is explained by 'the hidden wealth of nations' - the extent to which citizens get along with others independently drives both economic growth and well-being. less
Recommended by Matthew Taylor, and 1 others.

Matthew TaylorDavid Halpern was a colleague of mine in Number 10 (now back in Downing Street advising David Cameron) and I admire him very greatly. Hidden Wealth of Nations is a lovely book. David is one of these people who loves statistics and it is full of fascinating angles on why it is that some societies seem to have higher levels of happiness, compassion, caring, volunteering, and on how you generate... (Source)

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Recommended by Matthew Taylor, and 1 others.

Matthew TaylorThe Progressive Dilemma is a really important book to me because it’s all about the tension between two models of progressivism: the Fabian state-focused model of reform on the one hand and the bottom-up, empowering, moral model of reform advocated by New Liberals like T H Green and L T Hobhouse. What Marquand does in this book is to show that dilemma between statist reform and bottom-up reform,... (Source)

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Stumbling on Happiness

• Why are lovers quicker to forgive their partners for infidelity than for leaving dirty dishes in the sink? • Why will sighted people pay more to avoid going blind than blind people will pay to regain their sight? • Why do dining companions insist on ordering different meals instead of getting what they really want? • Why do pigeons seem to have such excellent aim; why can’t we remember one song while listening to another; and why does the line at the grocery store always slow down the moment we join it? In this brilliant, witty, and accessible book, renowned Harvard psychologist Daniel... more

Jonathan HaidtHe’s one of the funniest people, certainly in psychology – he’s just endlessly witty, and reading it is like strapping yourself into a roller coaster. (Source)

Maria PopovaDan Gilbert "Stumbling Unhappiness" should be required reading for every human being. (Source)

Lisa Feldman BarrettOne of the ideas in this book is that minds are predictive, not reactive. It feels to us like we just react to the things that are happening to us, but in fact our brains are constantly guessing what’s going to happen in the next moment. Dan’s book was one of the first books that really took on this idea of prediction – which is, I would say, one of the great innovations in the last decade or two... (Source)

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Great Expectations

“Bütün ingilis dünyası Dikkensi sevir; 19-cu əsrdə dünyanın heç bir yerində yazıçı ilə onun xalqı arasında bu dərəcədə dərin qəlbi bağlılıq olmayıb. Bu məşhurluq bir fişəng kimi qəfil partlamış, ancaq heç vaxt sönməmişdir. Dikkens günəş kimi daim dünyaya öz şəfəqlərini saçacaq”. Ştefan Svayq
Dikkens uşaq yaşlarında səfil həyat tərzi sürüb. Bu iztirablı tale onun bütün yaradıcılığında əks olunub. Onun qəhrəmanlarının əksəriyyəti kasıb, köməksiz, yetim uşaqlardır. Ancaq o bu sadə uşaqların içindəki burjuaziya tərəfindən aşağılanan təmiz hisslərini ədəbiyyata çevirməyi bacararaq üstündəki...

Richard BransonToday is World Book Day, a wonderful opportunity to address this #ChallengeRichard sent in by Mike Gonzalez of New Jersey: Make a list of your top 65 books to read in a lifetime. (Source)

Marvin LiaoMy list would be (besides the ones I mentioned in answer to the previous question) both business & Fiction/Sci-Fi and ones I personally found helpful to myself. The business books explain just exactly how business, work & investing are in reality & how to think properly & differentiate yourself. On the non-business side, a mix of History & classic fiction to understand people, philosophy to make... (Source)

Robert Douglas-FairhurstWhat the rest of Great Expectations shows is that having Christmas lasting all the way through your life might not be a good thing. Having a Santa Claus figure who keeps throwing gifts and money at you when they’re not necessarily wanted or deserved might be a handicap. (Source)

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Oryx and Crake (MaddAddam, #1)

Oryx and Crake is at once an unforgettable love story and a compelling vision of the future. Snowman, known as Jimmy before mankind was overwhelmed by a plague, is struggling to survive in a world where he may be the last human, and mourning the loss of his best friend, Crake, and the beautiful and elusive Oryx whom they both loved. In search of answers, Snowman embarks on a journey–with the help of the green-eyed Children of Crake–through the lush wilderness that was so recently a great city, until powerful corporations took mankind on an uncontrolled genetic engineering ride.... more
Recommended by Matthew Taylor, Tim @Realscientists, and 2 others.

Matthew TaylorOryx and Crake is here because it’s about the logical conclusion of a whole set of processes that we could have called progress. In my lecture I talked about the logic of progress: the logic of science and technology, the logic of markets, the logic of bureaucracy. And if you want a wonderful dystopian vision of what happens if you take these forward without any recourse to ethical considerations... (Source)

Tim @RealscientistsThe theme of hopelessness was the most profound I thought, as the narrative rattles through the devastatingly self-conscious decay of the main character's mind, the echoes of his life writhing and senescing inside his withering brain. Please read this great book :) (Source)

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Engines of Privilege

Britain's Private School Problem

Britain's private, fee-paying schools are institutions where children from affluent families have their privileges further entrenched through a high-quality, richly resourced education. There is an irrefutable link between private schools and life's gilded path: private school to top university to top career. Engines of Privilege contends that, in a society that mouths the virtues of equality of opportunity, of fairness and of social cohesion, the educational apartheid separating private schools from our state schools deploys our national educational resources unfairly and... more
Recommended by Matthew Taylor, and 1 others.

Matthew TaylorThis is going to be interesting- I’m about to chair a session at #HMCConf2019 in which Francis Green and David Kynaston will discuss their book ‘Engines of Privilege - Britain’s private school problem’ in front of an audience largely made up of independent school leaders ! (Source)

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