Rahul Gupta’s Recommendations


Rahul Gupta (a well thought-out URL, that) graduated from Gokhale Institute, and now works with EY in Gurgaon. He sent across his list of recommendations for students to go through, and it can be found below.

Keep ’em coming, everybody!


Here is a list of my recommendations –

  • For students of Economics –

    • Hubris: Why Economists Failed to Predict the Crisis and How to Avoid the Next One – Lord Meghnad Desai
    • History of Economic Thought: A Critical Perspective – Emery Kay Hunt
      Both books by Abhijit Banerjee & Esther Duflo (currently reading the second one)
    • Most books recommended by you and the faculty at GIPE. Hopefully, some of them will be read cover to cover. Please do.
    • An Economist in the Real World: The Art of Policymaking in India – Kaushik Basu
    • In service of the Republic – Vijay Kelkar & Ajay Shah (Thank you!)
  • General stuff that I would recommend –

    • Anything by Yuval Noah Harari
    • Books and lectures by Jordan Peterson (if you can digest that kind of stuff easily)
    • The Emperor of All Maladies – Siddhartha Mukherjee
    • Following books in the domain of philosophy and political economy –
      • Leviathan – Thomas Hobbes
      • Art of War – Sun Tzu
      • Republic – Plato
  • Some of the books that are on my radar –

    • A Theory of Justice – John Rawls
    • Anarchy, State and Utopia – Robert Nozick
    • Road to Serfdom – Friedrich Hayek
    • How Fascism works – Jason Stanley
    • The Book of Why – Judea Pearl
    • The origins of Political Order – Francis Fukuyama
    • and some more additions to it, it will be a long list.
  • For the students who are currently figuring out what to do, some things that might interest all:

    • https://www.elementsofai.com/ – It’s a free course that really explains the ideas behind AI/ML in an easier to digest and intuitive way. Randomly stumbled across this and really loved the content.
    • Introduction to Statistical Learning – Gareth James et al. Highly recommended, it digs deep into statistical learning, takes some time for the non-math-y person, but eventually it is an interesting read.
    • 3Blue1Brown YouTube channel, already posted in your recommendations. It is a delight to watch.
    • Numberphile YouTube channel – Good to know how much of maths and numbers you have no clue of, and an occasional greek letter that you never knew existed.
  • Finally, anyone who doesn’t like reading. These podcasts might be a welcome addition to daily schedule –

And he ends with a request:

Would love to know your top 5 books of all-time/2019, my reading list would keep growing this way.

All time is a dangerous thing to think about, because you end up thinking about all day long, and keep wishing you could go back and change, but for what its worth, here you go:

  1. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, by Robert Pirsig
  2. Mahabharata, pick whichever version you like to start with – Amar Chitra Katha is actually under-rated – and keep reading other versions
  3. How Asia Works, by Joe Studwell – this taught me more about international trade and development than any other single book. Not even close.
  4. Triumph of the City, by Ed Glaeser. Urbanization is increasingly my favorite topic to read about, which is also why the final book is…
  5. Order Without Design, by Alain Bertaud


I owed you a fair amount of beer in any case, let’s just end up doubling the owed amount for sending in this list, Rahul. Thank you so much!

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