Reading List & Recommendations

Peter Andreas Thiel is a German-American entrepreneur and venture capitalist. He is a co-founder of PayPal, Palantir Technologies and Founders Fund.

Brilliant thinking is rare, but courage is in even shorter supply than genius. — Peter Thiel.

100 Plus
by Sonia Arrison
Print | Audiobook

In Summary: Futurist Sonia Arrison brings together over a decade of experience researching and writing about cutting-edge advances in science and technology to paint a vivid picture of a future that only recently seemed like science fiction but is now very real. In the words of Thiel: “Its message is evergreen: how scientists are directly attacking the problem of aging and death and why we should fight for life instead of accepting decay as inevitable.”

The American Challenge
by Jean-Jacques Servan-Schreiber
Print | Audiobook

In Summary: The signs and instruments of power are no longer armed legions or raw materials or capital. The wealth we seek does not lie in the earth or in numbers of men or in machines, but in the human spirit. And particularly in the ability of men to think and to create. In the words of Thiel: “I like the genre of past books written about the future.”

Atlas Shrugged
by Ayn Rand
Print | Audiobook

In Summary: A single individual brings the world to a halt by persuading the world’s innovators to withdraw from it.

by Timothy Snyder
Print | Audiobook

In Summary: Assiduously researched, deeply humane, and utterly definitive, Bloodlands will be required reading for anyone seeking to understand the central tragedy of modern history. In the words of Thiel: “Tells how the Nazis and the Soviets drove each other to ever more murderous atrocities as they fought to dominate Eastern Europe.”

The Diamond Age
by Neal Stephenson
Print | Audiobook

In Summary: Vividly imagined, stunningly prophetic, and epic in scope, The Diamond Age is a major novel from one of the most visionary writers of our time. In the words of Thiel: “I like the genre of past books written about the future it up when I need motivation.”

The Great Illusion: A Study of the Relation of Military Power to National Advantage
by Norman Angell
Print | Audiobook

In Summary: No great community like that of modern America can remain indifferent to the drift of general opinion throughout the world on matters wrapped up with issues so important as those of war and peace. In the words of Thiel: “I like the genre of past books written about the future.”

The Hard Thing About Hard Things
by Ben Horowitz
Print | Audiobook

In Summary: Ben Horowitz analyses the problems that confront leaders every day, sharing the insights he’s gained developing, managing, selling, buying, investing in, and supervising technology companies. In the words of Thiel: “[Ben Horowitz] has written the first true guide for protecting a startup from self-sabotage.”

The New Atlantis
by Ben Horowitz
Print | Audiobook

In Summary: The New Atlantis describes a group of sailors who are lost at sea and stumble upon an unknown island called ‘Bensalem’ inhabited by a perfect ‘utopian’ civilisation, where people live better lives because of science. Bacon “focuses on the duty of the state toward science, and his projections for state-sponsored research anticipate many advances in medicine and surgery, meteorology, and machinery.” In the words of Thiel: “I like the genre of past books written about the future.”

by Adam Hart
Print | Audiobook

In Summary: In Originals Hart addresses the challenge of improving the world, but now from the perspective of becoming original: choosing to champion novel ideas and values that go against the grain, battle conformity, and buck outdated traditions. How can we originate new ideas, policies, and practices without risking it all? In the words of Thiel: “It can sometimes seem as if one must learn everything old before one can try anything new. Adam Grant does a masterful job showing that is not the case; we are lucky to have him as a guide.”

by Jean-Michel Oughourlian
Print | Audiobook

In Summary: Oughourlian, who pioneered an interdividual psychology with Rene Girard, reveals how all people are bound together in a dynamic, contingent process of imitation, and shows that the same patterns of irrational mimetic desire that bring individuals together and push them apart also explain the behavior of nations. In the words of Thiel: “For a fresh application of Mr. Girard’s insights into power politics, that great international theater of irrationality.”

Resurrection from the Underground
by René Girard
Print | Audiobook

In Summary: In a fascinating analysis of critical themes in Fyodor Dostoevsky’s work, Rene Girard explores the implications of the Russian author’s ‘underground,’ a site of isolation, alienation, and resentment. In the words of Thiel: “The great French thinker René Girard’s classic study of Fyodor Dostoevsky.”

Things Hidden Since the Foundation of the World
by René Gerard
Print | Audiobook

In Summary: This is the single fullest summation of the ideas of one of the most eminent and controversial cultural theorists of our time.. In the words of Thiel: “We [followers of Girard], had sort of a sense that we had figured out the truth about the world in a way that nobody else did.