The Financial Times and McKinsey’s best business books of 2021 cover pressing topics like global cybersecurity, climate change, and the opioid epidemic


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  • The Financial Times & McKinsey announced the best business book of 2021 on December 1.
  • Judges chose “This Is How They Tell Me the World Ends” by journalist Nicole Perlroth.
  • Below, find this year’s shortlist — ranging in topics from the opioid epidemic to climate change.

The Financial Times and McKinsey have announced the winner and finalists for the 2021 Business Book of the Year award.

This year’s winner, “This Is How They Tell Me the World Ends” by “New York Times” reporter Nicole Perlroth, delivers a crucial and thorough analysis of the cyber arms race, encountering hackers, spies, and criminals clamoring to infiltrate essential computer systems.

Intrepid journalist Nicole Perloth delves into cyber crime to create an urgent, alarming analysis of the threat posed by the cybercriminals arms race.

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“Nicole Perlroth has done something that hasn’t been done before: going this deep into the mysterious world of hackers,” Financial Times editor Roula Khalaf said in a press release. “Cyber security isn’t featuring highly enough on CEOs’ agenda. I hope this award will prompt them to read this book and pay attention.”

McKinsey’s Managing Partner Europe, Magnus Tyeman, echoed the importance and singularity of Perlroth’s book. “Nicole Perlroth has written a book that is more than just a timely wake-up call to the fact that the world has largely ignored the realities and profound implications of the arms race between hackers, cybercriminals and businesses and national governments,” Tyeman said. “It is an alarming book, one in which the author makes a compelling, granular and matter-of-fact case for how vulnerable global computer systems have become, even as it also comes with an urgent plea for specific and systematic action.”

Below, you’ll find the six books listed on this year’s shortlist — stacked with journalists and ranging in topics from the opioid epidemic (by the prolific author of “Say Nothing“) to racism, climate change, and meritocracy. 

The winner of the Business Book of the Year…

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