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Daniel Akst is a business writer, author, and novelist based in New York’s Hudson Valley. His books include Temptation: Finding Self-Control in an Age of Excess.

All articles by Daniel Akst

A man dressed in a pinstripe suit furtively pockets $100 bills.

What makes the rich steal?

March 17, 2021
In his novel The Embezzler, Louis Auchincloss delved into the true story of Richard Whitney, a patrician financier who lost it all.
by Daniel Akst
Detective examining clues in a case, arrayed on a bulletin board

Detective story

February 17, 2021
Homicide, David Simon’s classic study of Baltimore’s detective squads, contains powerful management lessons.
by Daniel Akst
An overhead view focuses on a hiker’s pair of mud-covered boots, with leaves, grass, and mud scattered on the trail beneath them.

Survival of the fittest

January 4, 2021
In his new book, John Hudson, a survival instructor for the British military, offers lessons on how to get through the most challenging ordeals.
by Daniel Akst
A photo of a sculpture of Atlas on the facade of an old house.

Revisiting Atlas Shrugged

November 3, 2020
The iconic novel, which celebrates risk-taking and self-interest, has important lessons for current debates surrounding inequality and liberty.
by Daniel Akst

Tales of the original Industrial Revolution

April 27, 2020
Elizabeth Gaskell’s Victorian-era novel North and South has a great deal to teach us about the enduring tensions between progress and prosperity, industry and labor, and rural and urban life.
by Daniel Akst

The evolution of trust

February 18, 2020
In his new book, Not Born Yesterday, Hugo Mercier argues that humans are wired to see through misinformation and lies.
by Daniel Akst

Exit strategies

January 24, 2020
Fifty years after its publication, Albert O. Hirschman’s Exit, Voice, and Loyalty still has a lot to tell us about the life of organizations.
by Daniel Akst

Smart and dumber

August 21, 2019
In his new book, The Intelligence Trap, David Robson explains why intelligent people engage in unintelligent behavior.
by Daniel Akst

The case for general excellence

May 14, 2019
In his new book, Range, David Epstein argues that although specialization has its virtues, businesses need people with wide horizons and ranges of interests in order to succeed.
by Daniel Akst

Poetry at work

April 8, 2019
The brilliant poet Wallace Stevens spent his career in the insurance industry. To what extent did these two aspects of his life nourish one another?
by Daniel Akst

Finance, disaster, and you

February 11, 2019
The Financier, an overlooked 1912 volume by iconic novelist Theodore Dreiser, has a great deal to teach businesspeople about hubris, adversity, and redemption.
by Daniel Akst

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