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Janesville: An American Story by Amy Goldstein wins the Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award 2017

6 November 2017: The Financial Times and McKinsey & Company today announce that Amy Goldstein is the winner of the 2017 Business Book of the Year Award for Janesville: An American Story, published by Simon & Schuster. The book explores the human consequences of the General Motors assembly plant closure in the American town of Janesville.

The award recognises the book that provides the most compelling and enjoyable insight into modern business issues. It was presented this evening to Amy Goldstein at a ceremony at the Lotte New York Palace, New York, by Lionel Barber, Editor of the Financial Times and chair of the panel of judges, and Dominic Barton, Global Managing Partner of McKinsey & Company. Keynote speaker at the ceremony was Barry Diller, Chairman & Senior Executive, IAC and Expedia, Inc.

Amy Goldstein saw off strong competition from a shortlist of titles that ranged in theme from gender imbalance and economic equality, to the history of the iPhone, to win the £30,000 prize. Each of the five runners-up received a cheque for £10,000.

Lionel Barber said, "Janesville is about the new industrial age and how you deal with it. I think it addresses deeply important policy issues, such as skills and retraining. But it's also a humane portrait of people and their community."

“Janesville is a deeply reported story that raises critical questions about the impact of economic disruption on communities, without offering simplistic answers,” said Dominic Barton. “It is an American story, as the subtitle suggests, but also a truly global one.”


The distinguished judging panel for the 2017 Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award, chaired by Lionel Barber, comprised:

Mitchell Baker, Executive Chairwoman, Mozilla

Mohamed El-Erian, Chief Economic Advisor, Allianz; previously Chair, President Obama’s Global Development Council, (Winner, 2008, When Markets Collide)

Herminia Ibarra, The Charles Handy Professor of Organisational Behaviour, London Business School

Rik Kirkland, Partner and Director of Publishing, McKinsey & Company

Randall Kroszner, Norman R. Bobins Professor of Economics, University of Chicago Booth School of Business

Dambisa Moyo, Global Economist and Author, Non-Executive Director, Barrick Gold, Barclays, Chevron, and Seagate Technology

Shriti Vadera, Chairman, Santander UK; Senior Independent Director, BHP Billiton and Non-Executive Director, AstraZeneca


The Financial Times and McKinsey & Company also announced Mehran Gul as the winner of the 2017 Bracken Bower Prize. The prize is designed to encourage young authors to tackle emerging business themes, with a focus on the challenges and opportunities presented by growth.

Mehran Gul was awarded £15,000 for his book proposal, The New Geography of Innovation, which examines the rise of new start-up ecosystems around the world and how the highly valued unicorns they are producing are changing the geography of innovation and the economic landscape of the world. It beat a record number of entries from 26 countries on topics ranging from technology, to gender, to the ethics of business.

The judges commented, "We received submissions from many talented young people, and the shortlist was a very impressive line-up. There were some really strong proposals, so much so that we faced an incredibly difficult choice in choosing a winner."


The distinguished judging panel for the Bracken Bower Prize comprised:

Christopher Clearfield, Principal, System Logic

Tina Bennett, Literary Agent, WME, New York

Isabel Fernandez-Mateo, Adecco Associate Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, London Business School

Jorma Ollila, Chairman, Outokumpu, and former chairman Royal Dutch Shell and Nokia


Photographs of the presentation of the Business Book of the Year Award, the winner of the Bracken Bower Prize, shortlisted authors, the judges, and speaker Barry Diller are available for download from https://www.flickr.com/photos/45442848@N05/albums/72157689777648236.


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To learn more about the awards, visit ft.com/bookaward and follow the conversation at #BBYA17 and #BrackenBower.


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Vicky Taylor, Financial Times
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E: vicky.taylor@ft.com


Media Relations, McKinsey & Company
DJ Carella T: +1 (202) 662-1168
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E: media_relations_inbox@mckinsey.com


The Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award 2017:



Janesville: An American Story, by Amy Goldstein, Simon & Schuster


Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Amy Goldstein spent years immersed in Janesville, Wisconsin, where the nation’s oldest operating General Motors assembly plant shut down in the midst of the Great Recession.  Now, with intelligence, sympathy and insight into what connects and divides people in an era of economic upheaval, she shows the consequences of one of America’s biggest political issues.  Goldstein takes the reader deep into the lives of autoworkers, educators, bankers, politicians and job re-trainers to show why it’s so hard in the twenty-first century to re-create a healthy, prosperous working class.


This is not just a Janesville story or a Midwestern story.  It’s an American story.



The Spider Network: The Wild Story of a Maths Genius, a Gang of Backstabbing Bankers, and One of the Greatest Scams in Financial History, by David Enrich, WH Allen (UK); Custom House (U.S.)


The Spider Network is the almost-unbelievable and darkly entertaining inside account of the Libor scandal – one of history’s biggest, farthest-reaching scams to hit Wall Street since the global financial crisis, written by the only journalist with access to Tom Hayes before he was imprisoned for 14 years.

Revealing never-before-seen details into the inner-workings and private lives of those involved, and with ramifications that reach across the British establishment – from the Labour Party to the Bank of England – The Spider Network is a gripping, thrilleresque story with a host of unusual characters and financial excess that will draw comparisons to bestsellers The Wolf of Wall Street and The Big Short, but with its roots in Canary Wharf.


Adaptive Markets: Financial Evolution at the Speed of Thought, by Andrew W. Lo, Princeton University Press

Half of all Americans have money in the stock market, yet economists can't agree on whether investors and markets are rational and efficient, as modern financial theory assumes, or irrational and inefficient, as behavioural economists believe—and as financial bubbles, crashes and crises suggest. This is one of the biggest debates in economics and the value or futility of investment management and financial regulation hang on the outcome. Andrew Lo cuts through this debate with a new framework, the Adaptive Markets Hypothesis, in which rationality and irrationality coexist.

Drawing on psychology, evolutionary biology, neuroscience, artificial intelligence and other fields, Adaptive Markets shows that the theory of market efficiency isn't wrong but merely incomplete. When markets are unstable, investors react instinctively, creating inefficiencies for others to exploit.

An ambitious new answer to fundamental questions in economics, Adaptive Markets is essential reading for anyone who wants to know how markets really work.


The One Device: The Secret History of the iPhone, by Brian Merchant, Bantam Press (UK); Little, Brown (U.S.)

How did the iPhone transform our world and turn Apple into the most valuable company ever? Veteran technology journalist Brian Merchant reveals the inside story you won't hear from Cupertino, based on his exclusive interviews with the engineers, inventors and developers who guided every stage of the iPhone's creation.

The One Device is a road map for design and engineering genius, an anthropology of the modern age and an unprecedented view into one of the most secretive companies in history. This is the untold account, ten years in the making, of the device that changed everything.


Reset: My Fight for Inclusion and Lasting Change, by Ellen Pao, Spiegel & Grau

The “necessary and incisive” (Roxane Gay) account of the discrimination case that “has blown open a conversation about the status of women” in the workplace (The New York Times).

In 2015, Ellen K. Pao sued a powerhouse Silicon Valley venture capital firm, calling out workplace discrimination and retaliation against women and other underrepresented groups. Her suit rocked the tech world—and exposed its toxic culture and homogeneity. Her message overcame negative PR attacks that took aim at her professional conduct and her personal life, and she won widespread public support—Time hailed her as “the face of change". Though Pao lost her suit, she revolutionized the conversation at tech offices, in the media and around the world. In Reset, she tells her full story for the first time.

Ellen K. Pao’s Reset is a rallying cry—the story of a whistleblower who aims to empower everyone struggling to be heard, in Silicon Valley and beyond.


The Great Leveler: Violence and the History of Inequality from the Stone Age to the Twenty-First Century, by Walter Scheidel, Princeton University Press

Tracing the global history of inequality from the Stone Age to today, Walter Scheidel shows that inequality never dies peacefully.  Inequality declines when carnage and disaster strike, and increases when peace and stability return.  The Great Leveler is the first book to chart the crucial role of violent shocks in reducing inequality over the full sweep of human history around the world.

Ever since humans began to farm, herd livestock and pass on their assets to future generations, economic inequality has been a defining feature of civilization.  Over thousands of years, only violent events have significantly lessened inequality.  The 'Four Horsemen' of levelling - mass-mobilization warfare, transformative revolutions, state collapse and catastrophic plagues - have repeatedly destroyed the fortunes of the rich.  Scheidel identifies and examines these processes, from the crises of the earliest civilizations to the cataclysmic world wars and communist revolutions of the twentieth century.  Today, the violence that reduced inequality in the past seems to have diminished, and that is a good thing.  But it casts serious doubt on the prospects for a more equal future.

An essential contribution to the debate about inequality, The Great Leveler provides important new insights about why inequality is so persistent - and why it is unlikely to decline anytime soon.


Notes to editors on The Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award

Entry forms and details of the terms and conditions are available from www.ft.com/bookaward. The annual award aims to identify the book that provides the most compelling and enjoyable insight into modern business issues, including management, finance and economics. The shortlist of six titles was chosen from a longlist of 17. The winner was announced at a gala event in New York on 6th November 2017. Submissions are invited from publishers or bona fide imprints based in any country.



Books must be published for the first time in the English language, or in English translation, between 16th November 2016 and 15th November 2017. There is no limit to the number of submissions from each publisher/imprint, provided they fit the criteria, and books from all genres except anthologies are eligible. There are no restrictions of gender, age or nationality of authors. Authors who are current employees of the Financial Times or McKinsey & Company, or the close relatives of such employees, are not eligible.


The 2017 Bracken Bower Prize Winner

Mehran Gul is the Project Lead for the Digital Transformation Initiative at the World Economic Forum in Geneva, Switzerland. His work focuses on topics at the intersection of technology and business. Specifically, he works with global business leader to develop strategies to ensure that their digital transformation investments result in tangible outcomes. He previously served as an expert at the United National Industrial Development Organization where he advised governments on the role of higher education and entrepreneurship on industrial policy. He received his graduate degree in International Relations from Yale where he was a Fulbright scholar and a Fox International Fellow and his undergraduate degree from the Lahore University of Management Sciences in Pakistan. He has been a visiting scholar at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, a Global Leadership Fellow at the World Economic Forum, and a regional fellow with the Acumen Fund.


Notes to editors on the Bracken Bower Prize

The Bracken Bower Prize is named after Brendan Bracken, who was chairman of the FT from 1945 to 1958, and Marvin Bower, managing director of McKinsey from 1950 to 1967, who were instrumental in laying the foundations for the present day success of the two institutions. This prize honours their legacy but also opens a new chapter by encouraging young writers and researchers to identify and analyse the business trends of the future. The inaugural prize will be awarded to the best proposal for a book about the challenges and opportunities of growth. The main theme of the proposed work should be forward-looking. In the spirit of the Business Book of the Year, the proposed book should aim to provide a compelling and enjoyable insight into future trends in business, economics, finance or management. The winner of the inaugural Bracken Bower Prize in 2014 was Saadia Zahidi for Womenomics; Christopher Clearfield and András Tilcsik were joint winners in 2015 for Rethinking the Unthinkable; and Nora Rosendahl won the 2016 prize with Mental Meltdown.


The best proposals will be published on FT.com. A prize of £15,000 will be given for the best book proposal. Once the finalists’ entries appear on FT.com, authors are free to solicit or accept offers from publishers. The closing date for entries was 5pm (BST) on September 30th 2017. Entry forms and details of the terms and conditions are available from www.ft.com/bookaward.



Only writers who are under 35 on November 30th 2017 are eligible. They can be a published author, but the proposal itself must be original and must not have been previously submitted to a publisher. Authors who are current employees of the Financial Times or McKinsey & Company, or the close relatives of such employees, are not eligible.


About the Financial Times

The Financial Times is one of the world’s leading business news organisations, recognised internationally for its authority, integrity and accuracy. In 2016 the FT passed a significant milestone in its digital transformation as digital and services revenues overtook print revenues for the first time. The FT has a combined paid print and digital circulation of almost 870,000 and makes 60% of revenues from its journalism.


About McKinsey & Company

McKinsey & Company is a global management consulting firm, deeply committed to helping institutions in the private, public and social sectors achieve lasting success. For 90 years, our primary objective has been to serve as our clients' most trusted external advisor. With consultants in over 120 cities in over 60 countries, across industries and functions, we bring unparalleled expertise to clients anywhere in the world. We work closely with teams at all levels of an organization to shape winning strategies, mobilize for change, build capabilities and drive successful execution.