22 September 2022: The Financial Times today published the shortlist for the 2022 Business Book of the Year Award. Now in its eighteenth year, the Award is an essential calendar fixture for authors, publishers and the global business community. Each year it recognises a book which provides the ‘most compelling and enjoyable insight into modern business issues’.

This year’s shortlisted books, selected by the eight distinguished judges (see below) are: 

  • Dead in the Water: Murder and Fraud in the World's Most Secretive Industryby Matthew Campbell and Kit Chellel, Atlantic Books (UK), Portfolio (US)
  • Influence Empire: The Story of Tencent and China’s Tech Ambitionby Lulu Chen, Hodder & Stoughton, (UK and US)
  • The Rise and Fall of the Neoliberal Order: America and the World in the Free Market Era by Gary Gerstle, Oxford University Press (UK and US)
  • The Power Law: Venture Capital and the Art of Disruption by Sebastian Mallaby, Allen Lane (UK), Penguin Press (US)
  • Chip War: The Fight for the World's Most Critical Technology by Chris Miller, Simon & Schuster (UK), Scribner (US)
  • Disorder: Hard Times in the 21st Century by Helen Thompson, Oxford University Press (UK and US)

Roula Khalaf, Editor of the Financial Times, said: “Our finalists have tackled some of the toughest and most important issues facing global capitalism, from the energy crisis to semiconductor supply to technology investment. They have done so in compelling and enjoyable prose, based on deep knowledge and extensive investigation.”

The judging panel, chaired by Roula Khalaf, comprises:

  • Mimi Alemayehou, Senior Vice President, Public–Private Partnerships, Humanitarian & Development Group, Mastercard
  • Mitchell Baker, Chief Executive Officer, Mozilla Corporation, Chairwoman, Mozilla Foundation
  • Mohamed El-Erian, President, Queens’ College, Cambridge University, Advisor to Allianz and Gramercy
  • Herminia Ibarra, Charles Handy Professor of Organisational Behaviour, London Business School
  • James Kondo, Chairman, International House of Japan
  • Randall Kroszner, Norman R. Bobins Professor of Economics & Deputy Dean for Executive Programs, Booth School of Business, University of Chicago
  • Shriti Vadera, Chair, Prudential Plc and Royal Shakespeare Company

To learn more about the award, visit ft.com/bookaward and follow the conversation at #BBYA22.

Photographs of the authors and books on the 2022 shortlist can be downloaded here: https://bit.ly/3CBuyig  

For further information please contact:

UK: Katrina Power
T: +44 (0) 79639 62538
E: katrinapowerpr@gmail.com  

Catherine Goacher, Financial Times
M +44 (0) 77724 25521
E: catherine.goacher@ft.com

US: Mark Fortier, Fortier Public Relations
T: +1 646-246-3036
E: mark@fortierpr.com

Notes to editors on The Financial Times 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 15. The winner will be announced at the V&A in London on 5 December 2022. 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 16 November 2021 and 15 November 2022. 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 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. The FT has a record paying readership of 1.2 million, more than one million of which are digital subscriptions. It is part of Nikkei Inc., which provides a broad range of information, news and services for the global business community.



Dead in the Water: Murder and Fraud in the World's Most Secretive Industry by Matthew Campbell and Kit Chellel, Atlantic Books (UK), Portfolio (US)

In July 2011, the oil tanker Brillante Virtuoso was drifting through the treacherous Gulf of Aden when a crew of pirates attacked and set her ablaze in a devastating explosion. But when David Mockett, a maritime surveyor working for Lloyd's of London, inspected the damaged vessel, he was left with more questions than answers. Soon after his inspection, he was murdered.

Dead in the Water is a shocking exposé of the criminal inner-workings of international shipping, an old-world industry at the backbone of our global economy. Through first-hand accounts of those who lived the hijacking – from members of the ship's crew and witnesses to the attacks, to the ex-London detectives turned private investigators seeking to solve Mockett's murder – award-winning reporters Matthew Campbell and Kit Chellel piece together the astounding truth behind one of the most brazen financial frauds in history.

 Influence Empire: The Story of Tencent and China’s Tech Ambition by Lulu Chen, Hodder & Stoughton (UK and US)

In 2017, a company known as Tencent overtook Facebook to become the world's fifth largest company. It was a watershed moment, a wake-up call for those in the West accustomed to regarding the global tech industry through the prism of Silicon Valley: Facebook, Google, Apple and Microsoft.

Yet to many of the two billion-plus people who live just across the Pacific Ocean, it came as no surprise at all.

Founded by the enigmatic billionaire Pony Ma, the firm that began life as a simple text-message operator invested in and created some of China's most iconic games enroute to dreaming up WeChat, the Swiss Army knife super-app that combines messaging, shopping and entertainment. Through billions of dollars of global investments in marquee names from Fortnite to Tesla and a horde of start-ups, Ma's company went on to build a near-unparalleled empire of influence.

In this fascinating narrative, crammed with insider interviews and exclusive details, Lulu Chen tells the story of how Tencent created the golden era of Chinese technology, and delves into key battles involving Didi, Meituan and Alibaba. It's a chronicle of critical junctures and asks just what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur in China.

The Rise and Fall of the Neoliberal Order: America and the World in the Free Market Era by Gary Gerstle, Oxford University Press (UK and US)

The epochal shift toward neoliberalism – a web of related policies that, broadly speaking, reduced the footprint of government in society and reassigned economic power to private market forces – that began in the United States and Great Britain in the late 1970s, fundamentally changed the world. Today, the word ‘neoliberal’ is often used to condemn a broad swath of policies, from prizing free market principles over people to advancing privatization programs in developing nations around the world.

To be sure, neoliberalism has contributed to a number of alarming trends, not least of which has been a massive growth in income inequality. Yet as the eminent historian Gary Gerstle argues in The Rise and Fall of the Neoliberal Disorder, these indictments fail to reckon with the full contours of what neoliberalism was and why its worldview had such persuasive hold on both the right and the left for three decades. As he shows, the neoliberal order that emerged in America in the 1970s fused ideas of deregulation with personal freedoms, open borders with cosmopolitanism, and globalisation with the promise of increased prosperity for all. Along with tracing how this worldview emerged in America and grew to dominate the world, Gerstle explores the previously unrecognised extent to which its triumph was facilitated by the collapse of the Soviet Union and its communist allies. He is also the first to chart the story of the neoliberal order's fall, originating in the failed reconstruction of Iraq and Great Recession of the Bush years and culminating in the rise of Trump and a reinvigorated Bernie Sanders-led American left in the 2010s.

An indispensable and sweeping re-interpretation of the last fifty years, this book illuminates how the ideology of neoliberalism became so infused in the daily life of an era, while probing what remains of that ideology and its political programs as America enters an uncertain future.

The Power Law: Venture Capital and the Art of Disruption by Sebastian Mallaby, Allen Lane (UK), Penguin Press (US)

Innovations rarely come from ‘experts’. Jeff Bezos was not a bookseller, Elon Musk was not in the auto industry. When it comes to innovation, a legendary venture capitalist told Sebastian Mallaby, the future cannot be predicted, it can only be discovered. Most attempts at discovery fail, but a few succeed at such a scale that they more than make up for everything else. That extreme ratio of success and failure is the power law that drives venture capital, Silicon Valley, the tech sector, and, by extension, the world.

Drawing on unprecedented access to the most celebrated venture capitalists of all time, award-winning financial historian Sebastian Mallaby tells the story of this strange tribe of financiers who have funded the world's most successful companies, from Google to SpaceX to Alibaba. With a riveting blend of storytelling and analysis, The Power Law makes sense of the seeming randomness of success in venture capital, an industry that relies, for good and ill, on gut instinct and personality rather than spreadsheets and data. We learn the unvarnished truth about some of the most iconic triumphs and infamous disasters in the history of tech, from the comedy of errors that was the birth of Apple to the venture funding that fostered hubris at WeWork and Uber, to the industry's notorious lack of women and ethnic minorities.

Now the power law echoes around the world; it has transformed China's digital economy beyond recognition, and London is one of the top cities for venture capital investment. By taking us so deeply into the VCs' game, The Power Law helps us think about our own future through their eyes.

Chip War: The Fight for the World's Most Critical Technology by Chris Miller, Simon & Schuster (UK), Scribner (US)

Power in the modern world – military, economic, geopolitical – is built on a foundation of computer chips. America has maintained its lead as a superpower because it has dominated advances in computer chips and all the technology that chips have enabled. Virtually everything runs on chips: cars, phones, the stock market, even the electric grid.

Now that edge is in danger of slipping, undermined by the naïve assumption that globalising the chip industry and letting players in Taiwan, Korea and Europe take over manufacturing serves America's interests. Currently, as Chip War reveals, China, which spends more on chips than any other product, is pouring billions into a chip-building Manhattan Project to catch up to the US.

In Chip War economic historian Chris Miller recounts the fascinating sequence of events that led to the United States perfecting chip design, and how faster chips helped defeat the Soviet Union by rendering the Russians’ arsenal of precision-guided weapons obsolete. The battle to control this industry will shape our future. China spends more money importing chips than buying oil, and they are China's greatest external vulnerability as they are fundamentally reliant on foreign chips. But with 37 per cent of the global supply of chips being made in Taiwan, within easy range of Chinese missiles, the West's fear is that a solution may be close at hand.

Disorder: Hard Times in the 21st Century by Helen Thompson, Oxford University Press (UK and US)

The 21st century has brought a powerful tide of geopolitical, economic, and democratic shocks. Their fallout has led central banks to create over $25 trillion of new money, brought about a new age of geopolitical competition, destabilised the Middle East, ruptured the European Union, and exposed old political fault lines in the United States.

Disorder: Hard Times in the 21st Century is a long history of this present political moment. It recounts three histories – one about geopolitics, one about the world economy, and one about western democracies – and explains how in the years of political disorder prior to the pandemic the disruption in each became one big story. It shows how much of this turbulence originated in problems generated by fossil-fuel energies, and it explains why, as the green transition takes place, the long-standing predicaments energy invariably shapes will remain in place.