Patrick Collison’s books of the year picks

Furious crowd of people protesting for human rights on the streets. Focus is on Caucasian woman with raised arm.
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The best book I read this year was “The World of Yesterday” by Stefan Zweig. A vivid account of Austria and its pre-WWI cultural vibrancy, it left me sharing his sorrow for what was destroyed. (And his description of Insel Verlag, his publisher, provides good aspirational material for Stripe Press.) Relatedly, Peter Watson’s “The German Genius” provides the first comprehensive account I’ve read of what exactly happened in the 17th and 18th centuries that gave rise to Goethe, Bach, Euler, Kant, von Humboldt, etc. In Ireland, we don’t tend to appreciate Edmund Burke very much, but I found Richard Bourke’s “Empire and Revolution” to be a terrific account of Burke’s thinking. His contributions to the debates around the American and French Revolutions are well known, but he thought his opposition to the colonial abuses in India was more important. We recently started Arc, a new biomedical research organization, and I’ve been digging into the early days of other institutions. Thomas Lee’s “Eugene Braunwald and the Rise of Modern Medicine” stood out. So did “Upstart” by Ed Walsh, the founding president of the University of Limerick.

Here is the link, you will find other people’s picks too.

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