The Guardian has produced one of those ‘we’re desperate for hits, so lets troll a little’ lists it’s so fond of, this time selecting the 100 Greatest Non-Fiction Books of all time. Though apparently selected by a blind man throwing darts in a library, there are some superb works in there – It’s nice to see EP Thompson and Eric Hobsbawm, though decidedly unsurprising.
What did jolt me a little was this: there is not a single book about development nor about economics in the entire list. They have one by Achebe (his famous The Image of Africa, which attacked Heart of Darkness and Conrad himself for racism), and they have We Wish To Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families, Philip Gourevitch’s excellent account of the genocide in Rwanda, but that’s it. The economics omission is sad, but unsurprising, given the poor quality of the Guardian’s economics writing in general; the lack of a single real development tome is astonishing, what with it’s high profile International Development blog and constant articles by impressive development thinkers.