Time for the RudeVC summer reading list again. The only guidelines for qualifying for this list are: i) to have some connection to startups, technology, VC, or Europe; and ii) to not be too heavy or overbearingly intellectual (it is summer, after all).
It’s Our Turn to Eat: The Story of a Kenyan Whistle-Blower. I enjoy reading everything Michela Wrong produces. The former Financial Times correspondent amazes me in her consistent ability to lift a veil in a powerfully readable way on a continent still seldom addressed in Western literature. It’s Our Turn to Eat exposes the pervasive and irremediable graft in Kenyan politics and even beyond.
On the other end of the spectrum, in one of the world’s most advanced economies, Michael Woodford recounts the corruption he uncovered as newly-appointed President of Olympus Corporation in Exposure: Inside the Olympus Scandal. The book reads like a fictional thriller yet frighteningly, is entirely based on actual events. Think this topic is old news? Apparently just yesterday the CEO of another venerable Japanese company, Toshiba, resigned amid a $1.2 billion accounting scandal.
Head of State, by Andrew Marr. I picked up this throwaway thriller at St.Pancras while stranded in London last month. It’s the accomplished broadcaster’s first foray into political fiction, but the story is gripping and highly relevant during today’s identity crisis in the European Union. I couldn’t think of more appropriate reading while stuck on the Eurostar due to French strikers.
I realized only after compiling this list that all of these books involve corruption in some form. That was not deliberate, though perhaps there’s a link at some subconscious level. Let’s just say that the topic has been on my mind a lot lately…