One should read business classics

The best business books to read

We have arrived in the 21st century for a few years now, and that also means that in addition to classic economic theories, it too many new models and approaches gives.

Since every famous economist also writes works, there are numerous business books on the market.

The advantage is that you have a wide range of options for further training in the field of economics and to better understand the (economic) reality around you. The disadvantage is that you can quickly lose track of things. And you can't read everything that falls into your hands ...

Aside from books, there are of course more ways to to stay up-to-date in the world of business:

  • Articles in newspapers and magazines (print and online)
  • Blog article
  • Podcasts
  • Apps
  • and much more.

But we'll stick with it today classic non-fiction book economy and imagine dhe best business books at a glance in front. Are you ready? Then it starts now - here are the top business books that you have to read!

Business books of the 21st century - read recommended!

Capital in the 21st century

Thomas Piketty, one of the most famous French economists, takes in his work Capital in the 21st century (Original title: Le Capital au XXIe siècle, 2013) don't mince words when it comes to Injustices in the distribution of income and wealth goes.

In his extensive work (816 pages) he deals with inequality in Europe and the United States since the beginning of the industrial revolution. According to him, one of the problematic phenomena is that wealth grows faster than economic products are created.

One of the conclusions he draws in his book is that there is economic and political instability with one worldwide wealth tax could be resolved (or at least mitigated).

Freakonomics: Surprising Answers to Everyday Life Questions

The book Freakonomics: Surprising Answers to Everyday Life Questions (Original title: Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything, 2005) by Steven Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner has made the very complex and sometimes arid field of economy accessible to a broader mass and lifted into pop culture.

It deals with very different topics of (everyday) life (such as drug trafficking or naming children) and puts it in an economic-sociocultural context.

Like all good business books, too has Freakonomics its critics, and some argue that it belongs in the field of sociology rather than economics, but it cannot be denied that it belongs to over 4 million copies sold in 35 languages is one of the most successful business books ever.

In 2009, by the way, a kind of sequel came out: SuperFreakonomics - Nothing is as it seems: About Earth's cooling, patriotic prostitutes and why suicide bombers should take out life insurance (Original title: SuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance).

The Return of the Master: Keynes for the 21st Century

Robert Skidelsky has written several books on John Maynard Keynes (some of them - like this one - have been translated into German, some have not).

If you like the older economists and philosophers Adam Smith, John Maynard Keynes, Adam Locke, Karl Marx etc., you can of course read their original works - or you take good business books that were later written about these gentlemen and their theories and approaches put in a historical context or apply the teachings to the present day.

The latter does The Return of the Master: Keynes for the 21st Century century (Original title: Keynes: The Return of the Master, 2009).

Of course, there are many other non-fiction books on economics that have been written in the last 20 years or so and that are among the best business books. In the last chapter we go into a few more German-language examples.

But now let's turn the clock back a few decades or centuries and dedicate ourselves to the great economists of the 18th and 20th centuries. Century.

Business books by famous economists - the classics

The prosperity of the nations

Although the first business book by Adam Smith Dating back to 1776, he is still considered one of the most influential economists of all time. His work is considered to be Pillar of classical economics.

In his monumental work The prosperity of the nations (Original title: The Wealth of Nations, 1776) it covers a number of important economic topics: the free market, productivity, division of labor etc.

If you look closer to the world of business or maybe even Study economics , it is worth - as I said - not only to read the current bestsellers in business books, but also to deal with the most important economic works from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries.

General theory of employment, interest and money

One of the most important economists of all time is of course also John Maynard Keynes (We mentioned him above because Robert Skidelsky wrote about him and his Keynesian theory, among others).

If you care more for his Keynesian theory interested, you could of course read one of his own works - e.g. his main work General theory of employment, interest and money (Original title: The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money, 1936).

You can tell that his work had a great influence by the fact that in it important economic terms which still serve as the basis of many macroeconomic arguments today.

Incidentally, the writing style is clear, and there are no mathematical formulas in his business book - so it is easily understandable for advanced beginners in the field of economics.

The capital

If you are reading this article, you are probably a native German speaker or at least understand German at a very good level.

That gives you the advantage that you thereceive the original of great German poets and thinkers can - something that many people dream of (I once had a very interesting conversation about this with a friend from Poland) ...

Use this opportunity for your philosophical and economic further education and read, for example The capital. Critique of Political Economy (1867) by Karl Marx!

Fast thinking, slow thinking

We have now touched on a few works by economic giants from past centuries, but the 21st century has also produced a few big names.

One of them is Nobel Prize in Economics (2002) Daniel Kahneman.

The psychologist summarizes in his book Fast thinking, slow thinking (Original title: Thinking, Fast and Slow, 2011) summarizes the results of the studies that he has carried out with his colleague over decades.

The bottom line is the realization that people often do not make rational decisions, as was assumed in previous economic theories.

Fast thinking, slow thinking is definitely worth reading and also makes a good gift under the Christmas tree!

Further bestsellers in business books

Finally, we would like to introduce you to four more recent (and partly German-language) works.

The Chinese. Psychogram of a world power

The business book The Chinese (2018) by Stefan Baron and Guangyan Yin-Baron deals with the economic importance and geopolitical ambitions of China, but also how people feel and think in the world's most populous country.

The book received the German Business Book Prize 2018.

In search of the truth

This book is an autobiography by none other than Hans-Werner Sinn, one of the most famous economists in Germany.

Sinn welcomes its readersa journey through time from the economic miracle over the years of transition to Germany under Merkel and Draghi's Europe.

The end of the middle class. Farewell to a successful German model

Daniel Goffart describes in his book how the middle class in Germany (but also in other countries) is being destroyed by "Revolution 4.0". He opposes the incorrigible optimists and belittlers from politics and business with facts and figures and shows possible solutionsfor a justly distributed added value in the digital age.

The book The end of the middle class (2019) is nominated (with 9 other top business books) for the German Business Book Prize 2019.

The donut economy

In the book The donut economy: Finally an economic model that won't destroy the planet (Original title: Donut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st Century Economist, 2017) the renowned (Oxford and Cambridge) professor Kate Raworth argues that in view of the impending collapse of the planet It is time to start a new chapter in the economy.

An absolutely recommendable book with lots of food for thought!

Which are the best business books for you?

In this article, we've suggested some of the best business books for you to read:

German titleOriginal titleAuthorInitial release
Capital in the 21st centuryLe Capital au XXIe siècleThomas Piketty2013
Freakonomics: Surprising Answers to Everyday Life QuestionsFreakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of EverythingSteven Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner2005
SuperFreakonomics - Nothing is what it seemsSuperFreakonomicsSteven Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner2009
The Return of the Master: Keynes for the 21st CenturyKeynes: The Return of the MasterRobert Skidelsky2009
The donut economy: Finally an economic model that won't destroy the planetDonut Economics. Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century EconomistKate Raworth2017
The prosperity of the nations The Wealth of NationsAdam Smith 1776
General theory of employment, interest and money The General Theory of Employment, Interest and MoneyJohn Maynard Keynes 1936
The capital. Critique of Political Economy> German titleKarl Marx1867
Fast thinking, slow thinking Thinking, Fast and SlowDaniel Kahneman2011
The Chinese. Psychogram of a world power> German titleStefan Baron, Guangyan Yin Baron2018
In search of the truth> German titleHans-Werner Sinn2018
The end of the middle class. Farewell to a successful German model > German titleDaniel Goffart2019

Which of them you rate as interesting and which you really read in the end, depends on several factors:

  • What economists and schools of business Most likely to appeal to you (Smith, Keynes or is it Marx?)
  • What books on the Reading list for your studies or your further education
  • Which Subject areas are dealt with in business books (e.g. behavioral economics)
  • How easy the book is to be read (e.g. also scope / number of pages)
  • and much more.

If you study or want to study economics, you certainly have to several of the classic economic works and maybe also read the relevant secondary literature. If you are simply interested in business privately, maybe you are too popular science books à la Harari.

By the way: If you don't have time to read several non-fiction books from cover to cover, but nevertheless the most important findings want to get to know it, try the app Blinkist off - there thousands of non-fiction books are grouped together in small bits (individual so-called "blinks").

Isn't that deep enough for you? Understandable and very commendable! How about one then professional economics teacher or a qualified business teacher?

You will find numerous possible candidates on Superprofthat you can choose from. They can help you:

  • You to approach the field of business in an interesting way and to prepare a possible business degree
  • exams at school or at the university to pass
  • More about each Economists then and now to learn
  • Economic theories and To better understand economic models
  • Yours own view on macroeconomics (or maybe even develop your own economic model)
  • Understand economic crises and their causes

What are you waiting for? Find your great economics teacher now and get started to learn all about the most important economic theories, the biggest economic crises and the most famous economists!

Looking for a business teacher?


You never stop learning ...