The Swagmen Reading List

Each week we make a point of asking our exceptional guest what they're reading. They've either written a few themselves or have some great recommendations.

We've collated their answers and compiled a list so the next time you're wondering what book to pick up (or download), just check out this page and learn from the best! 

 
 
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Capitalism for the people (EP 23)

When the Italian-born economist Luigi Zingales came to the United States in the 1980s, he embraced the American Dream: the belief that what brings you success is hard work, not luck or who you know. But the economic events of the past decade have put American capitalism in crisis. Now, living in America's heartland, Zingales warns in A Capitalism for the People that the U.S. economy risks deteriorating into a pro-business rather than pro-market system run by corrupt politicians. Presenting a real-world blueprint to restore true competition to our economic system, Zingales gives hope that the U.S. can rebound to greatness.

 

 

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Recollections of a bleeding heart (Ep 2)

Don Watson was employed as Keating's speechwriter. Based on the diaries Watson kept through the four turbulent and exhausting years of Keating's Prime Ministership, on its release Recollections of a Bleeding Heart was widely deemed a masterpiece. It is at once a groundbreaking 'inside' account of politics and a profound and extraordinarily frank study of the most intriguing and visionary politician in Australia's modern history. Now, when vision and character have all but vanished from politics, Don Watson's Recollections makes absorbing - and essential - reading.


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Can It happen again? (Ep 5)

In this book Minsky presents some of his most important economic theories. He defines "It", determines whether or not "It" can happen again, and attempts to understand why, at the time of writing in the early 1980s, "It" had not happened again. He deals with microeconomic theory, the evolution of monetary institutions, and Federal Reserve policy. Minsky argues that any economic theory which separates what economists call the 'real' economy from the financial system is bound to fail. Whilst the processes that cause financial instability are an inescapable part of the capitalist economy, Minsky also argues that financial instability need not lead to a great depression.


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stop bitching start pitching

In this book written by Ian himself, he gives unique insights into how to win the pitch, in and out of the workplace. 

* if you say you're a Jolly Swagmen Podcaster you'll receive a signed edition!


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outliers

In his provocative and inspiring new book, Malcolm Gladwell looks at everyone from rock stars to professional athletes, software billionaires to scientific geniuses, to show that the story of success is far more surprising, than we could ever have imagined. He reveals that it's as much about where we're from and what we do, as who we are - and that no one, not even a genius, ever makes it alone.
 


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Peak (ep 5)

Mozart wasn't born with perfect pitch. Most athletes are not born with any natural advantage. Three world-class chess players were sisters, whose success was planned by their parents before they were even born. Anders Ericsson has spent thirty years studying The Special Ones, the geniuses, sports stars and musical prodigies. And his remarkable finding, revealed in Peak, is that their special abilities are acquired through training. The innate 'gift' of talent, is a myth. Exceptional individuals are born with just one unique ability, shared by us all - the ability to develop our brains and bodies through our own efforts. Anders Ericsson's research was the inspiration for the popular '10,000-hour rule' but, he tells us, this rule is only the beginning of the story. It's not just the hours that are important but how you use them. We all have the seeds of excellence within us - it's merely a question of how to make them grow. With a bit of guidance, you'll be amazed at what the average person can achieve. The astonishing stories in Peak prove that potential is what you make it.


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thinking fast and slow

The "New York Times" Bestseller, acclaimed by author such as Freakonomics co-author Steven D. Levitt, Black Swan author Nassim Nicholas Taleb and Nudge co-author Richard Thaler, "Thinking Fast and Slow" offers a whole new look at the way our minds work, and how we make decisions. Why is there more chance we'll believe something if it's in a bold type face? Why are judges more likely to deny parole before lunch? Why do we assume a good-looking person will be more competent? The answer lies in the two ways we make choices: fast, intuitive thinking, and slow, rational thinking. This book reveals how our minds are tripped up by error and prejudice (even when we think we are being logical), and gives you practical techniques for slower, smarter thinking. It will enable to you make better decisions at work, at home, and in everything you do. 
 


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Strategic Intuition

Brain science tells us there are three kinds of intuition: ordinary, expert, and strategic. Ordinary intuition is just a feeling, a gut instinct. Expert intuition is snap judgments, when you instantly recognize something familiar, the way a tennis pro knows where the ball will go from the arc and speed of the opponent's racket. (Malcolm Gladwell wrote about this kind of intuition in "Blink.") The third kind, strategic intuition, is not a vague feeling, like ordinary intuition. Strategic intuition is a clear thought. And it's not fast, like expert intuition. It's slow. That flash of insight you had last night might solve a problem that's been on your mind for a month. And it doesn't happen in familiar situations, like a tennis match. Strategic intuition works in new situations. That's when you need it most.


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napoleon's glance

In Napoleon’s Glance strategist William Duggan shows how Clark, along with ten other important figures in the fields of politics, war and culture, owed their success to coup d'oeil. But what is coup d'oeil? Carl von Clausewitz spent twenty years struggling to pin down the genius of Napoleon. In chapter six of what would become “On War” he discovered the secret of Napoleon’s strategy: Napoleon's glance. Clausewitz calls it “coup d'oeil” meaning a stroke of the eye, or “glance.” A sudden insight that shows you what course of action to take, it comes from knowledge of the past, drawing on what worked in other situations in a new combination that fits the problem at hand. In Napoleon’s Glance, Duggan expertly weaves intellectual history and biography in showing how important and decisive coup d’oeil is in determining victory in war, art, the civil rights movement, third world development, and the battle for women’s suffrage in America.


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the blank slate

In "The Blank Slate," Steven Pinker, one of the world's leading experts on language and the mind, explores the idea of human nature and its moral, emotional, and political colorings. With characteristic wit, lucidity, and insight, Pinker argues that the dogma that the mind has no innate traits-a doctrine held by many intellectuals during the past century-denies our common humanity and our individual preferences, replaces objective analyses of social problems with feel-good slogans, and distorts our understanding of politics, violence, parenting, and the arts. Injecting calm and rationality into debates that are notorious for ax-grinding and mud-slinging, Pinker shows the importance of an honest acknowledgment of human nature based on science and common sense.


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the happiness hypothesis

In his widely praised book, award-winning psychologist Jonathan Haidt examines the world's philosophical wisdom through the lens of psychological science, showing how a deeper understanding of enduring maxims-like Do unto others as you would have others do unto you, or What doesn't kill you makes you stronger-can enrich and even transform our lives.


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dictator (ep 8)

‘Laws are silent in times of war.' -Cicero

There was a time when Cicero held Caesar's life in the palm of his hand. But now Caesar is the dominant figure and Cicero's life is in ruins. Exiled, separated from his wife and children, his possessions confiscated, his life constantly in danger, Cicero is tormented by the knowledge that he has sacrificed power for the sake of his principles. His comeback requires wit, skill and courage – and for a brief and glorious period, the legendary orator is once more the supreme senator in Rome. But politics is never static and no statesman, however cunning, can safeguard against the ambition and corruption of others. 
Riveting and tumultuous, Dictator encompasses some of the most epic events in human history yet is also an intimate portrait of a brilliant, flawed, frequently fearful yet ultimately brave man – a hero for his time and for ours. This is an unforgettable tour de force from a master storyteller. 

 
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clever guts diet (ep 7)

Your gut is astonishingly clever. It contains millions of neurons – as many as you would find in the brain of a cat – and is home to the microbiome, an army of microbes that influences your mood, weight and immune system.


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nudge (ep 8)

"Nudge" is about choices-how we make them and how we can make better ones. Authors Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein offer a new perspective on preventing the countless mistakes we make- including ill-advised personal investments, consumption of unhealthy foods, neglect of our natural resources, and other bad decisions. Citing decades of cutting-edge behavioral science research, they demonstrate that sensible "choice architecture"can successfully nudge people towards the best decisions without restricting their freedom of choice. S straightforward, informative, and entertaining, this is a must-read for anyone with interest in our individual and collective well-being.