A lot of people have asked for my summer reading list so I thought I would share a few books that are top on my list to read this summer.
If you only read one book this summer…
Tomorrow’s Lawyers – Richard Susskind
I was lucky enough to hear Richard at a talk a few weeks ago discussing the ways in which tech will transform the legal industry which has long been resistant to change. He is both an amazing speaker and amazing writer, having predicted the tech overhaul of the legal industry long before it happened and wrote his PhD on Law and Computing at a time when technology was still very much a vision rather than a reality. His book is supposed to be one of the top reads for the incoming generation of lawyers and discusses how the legal industry is going to change and what lawyers will look like – hint: they will be outcomes-focused, technology aware, and leaders in innovation. For anyone looking for a great read that is an eye opener into law, law tech and the challenges facing future lawyers, this is the book you must read this summer.
Books to help you understand issues in politics and society today
I love political philosophy lit, but I’m aware that often the way the books are written is not always accessible. As a result, I have compiled my top list of books written by leaders in their fields about different political and sociological issues ongoing in the world today that ask all the right questions but don’t expect a lot of background knowledge. All lawyers need to be aware of what is going on in politics and societies and how this could affect their jobs and clients, the societies they both live and work in, that encourage you to look at the wider world and how different parts are merging, separating and changing.
1. How Democracy Ends – David Runciman
Read this if: you feel that Trump’s election and the control that corporations have has proved negative for society and proves that something needs to be done to stop executive and far-right power from limiting democracy. Runciman identifies three crises that democracies have already or will succumb to: coups, catastrophe and technological takeover; is democracy really ending or do we have time to transform it? Filled with solid examples and critical thinking, this book questions what democracy has become and what we should fear will end it. (*if you’re a climate change activist you’ll like this one)
2. Identity – Francis Fukuyama
Read this if: you want to learn more about how identity politics are shaping conflicts around the world today from anti-immigration protests, ethnic and religious warfare, to the rise in white nationalism. Fukuyama assesses the issues surrounding identity that divide us by looking at both ancient and modern philosophy, and the terms in which we need to change our understanding of identity in order to pave a way for humanity that promises dignity and equality for all, something we are far from.
3. Like a Thief in Broad Daylight – Slavoj Žižek
Read this if: you are interested in how technological and scientific innovations are going to transform the way our world works and manifests itself. The blurb quotes Marx’s projection which predicted ‘all that is solid melts into air’. Like a Thief in Broad Daylight acknowledges the revolution which has already begun, and that is already taking the floor from underneath us.
4. The Great Delusion – John J. Mearsheimer
Read this if: you are sceptical about liberal dreams and US foreign policy, and want to learn more about the reality of power politics which, as Mearsheimer argues, are ultimately destined to fail. Hailed as a book to unite both realists and idealists, Mearshimer questions the intentions of liberalism and nationalism and the chaos that is facing not just international communities but the American home front too.