The Wall Street Journal Picks the Year’s 11 Best Business Books

From a Wall Street Journal story headlined “Business Books of 2021: 11 Picks From Our Reviewers”:

Invention: A Life
By James Dyson | Simon & Schuster

Building a better vacuum cleaner is just the start for an inventor who wants his ideas to become a reality. The next steps are funding, distribution and, most crucially, trained engineers. Read the review

Ding Dong! Avon Calling!
By Katina Manko | Oxford

Avon’s impact on America went well beyond the home: The company’s national network of recruiters opened the door to a unique, female managerial class. Read the review

Becoming Trader Joe
By Joe Coulombe with Patty Civalleri | Harper Leadership

To found a new kind of supermarket, Joe Coulombe targeted the overeducated and underpaid—people who wanted real maple syrup at a discount. Read the review

20th Century-Fox: Darryl F. Zanuck and the Creation of the Modern Film Studio
By Scott Eyman | Running Press

Studio head Darryl F. Zanuck may have had a quick temper, a vindictive streak and an ego to match any of his moviemaking peers. But he also possessed a reliable sense of what would make a film sing—or sink. Read the review

Investing With Keynes
By Justyn Walsh |

John Maynard Keynes’s name is now often associated with his work as an economist and his views on government spending. He showed another side of his thinking as an investor—a savvy number-cruncher who was undaunted by the churn of the markets. Read the review

Trillions: How a Band of Wall Street Renegades Invented the Index Fund and Changed Finance Forever
By Robin Wigglesworth | Portfolio

When John Bogle wanted to move investments into portfolios managed by formula, he was ridiculed in the press. Now, the index funds he pioneered command a huge portion of the market. Read the review

The Antisocial Network
By Ben Mezrich | Grand Central

A bubble that was also a protest: GameStop’s small investors focused on the fact that, with every dollar the stock rose, well-to-do short sellers were losing money. Read the review

Flying Blind: The 737 MAX Tragedy and the Fall of Boeing
By Peter Robison | Doubleday

No one imagined that a major safety flaw could slip past both the aircraft maker and regulators, until a pair of tragic disasters in 2018-9. Focusing on Wall Street and not on its planes, Boeing forgot that its success depended on a reputation for superior engineering. Read the review

Collision Course: Carlos Ghosn and the Culture Wars That Upended an Auto Empire
By Hans Greimel and William Sposato | Harvard Business Review

The drama of the former Nissan chairman’s rise and fall is more than a character study. The case of Carlos Ghosn lays bare the differences in corporate, legal and political cultures between Japan and the West. Read the review

Midnight in Vehicle City
By Edward McClelland | Beacon

At the tail end of 1936, the Flint, Mich., auto workers at General Motors began a sit-down strike that stopped work and outraged Alfred Sloan, the company’s president. As days turned into weeks, he decided to make a deal. Read the review

Tata: The Global Corporation That Built Indian Capitalism
By Mircea Raianu | Harvard

Since its 19th-century founding, the Tata Group has been not only a dominant force in Indian business but in the life of the nation itself. And like many Indian corporations, it has been family-run for most of its existence. Read the review

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