Bill Gates recommends five books for a turbulent year (Part 2)

The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz – Erik Larson

The book tells about the years 1940-1941, British people had to take refuge in tunnels and subway stations when the Germans bombed the ground.

Erik Larson has recreated a period of vivid history in England, how people faced war as well as British leaders like Winston Churchill overcame the crisis.

The Splendid and the Vile will cover only a very small part of World War II history, but it will be a great complementary material for those looking to delve deeper into that tragic period.

The Spy and the Traitor: The Greatest Espionage Story of the Cold War – Ben Macintyre

This non-fiction book tells the story of Oleg Gordievsky, a Russian KGB officer who later became a double agent for the British and MI6.

It was Gordievsky’s secrets that contributed to the end of the Cold War period between Russia and Western countries.

Author Macintyre recounts this thrilling and vivid espionage story from not only a European perspective, including from Gordievsky, but from a Russian perspective as well.

Breath from Salt: A Deadly Genetic Disease, a New Era in Science, and the Patients and Families Who Changed Medicine – Bijal P. Trivedi

This is a book Bill Gates evaluates to bring a lot of hope for the future. It captures the story of modern science and how it has improved the lives of cystic fibrosis patients and their families.

This story is particularly meaningful to Gates because he sees the future of biomedical science evolve and people will benefit more from our own invention and innovation efforts.

Bill Gates recommends five books for a turbulent year (Part 1)

In a tumultuous year like 2020, Bill Gates has chosen 5 suitable books to help readers understand more deeply about instability issues, or simply relax.

2020 can be considered a difficult year for many people: Disasters, epidemics, ethnic and human rights issues, economic stagnation, unemployment, etc. The period of social isolation due to Covid-19 also said Bill Gates has more time to find and read books in depth and variety of genres.

Here are five books that the billionaire recommends on Gatesnotes, hoping readers will find something useful, or simply end the year with good notes.

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness – Michelle Alexander

The “Black Lives Matter” movement recently led Bill Gates to read and try to understand more deeply about racism as a white person in America.

The New Jim Crow offers an expanded view of how the US criminal justice system has treated the colored community through the historical facts and figures behind mass detention.

The book written by Professor Michelle Alexander, introduced in the title is a must-read for people of conscience.

Bill Gates shares that he is completely convinced by the book, and believes that a more equitable approach is needed to condemn a person, whether it is black or white.

Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World – David Epstein

After following David Epstein’s 2014 TED Talk, Bill Gates was impressed by what he shared.

The title of this book also tells part of the book’s content, why the good at general rule in a specialized world. In his book Range, Epstein argues that, while the world requires ever-greater specialization, what we really need are people who begin to expand their fields and learn to improve in also other fields.

Epstein has used many different examples to support this point, from Charles Darwin to Roger Federer. Bill Gates likes the idea in this book, because it helps explain some of Microsoft’s success, because the corporation has recruited people who are not only good at in their own area, but are slowly moving into other fields as well.