And those examples are:
Good for Nudge. But there is a cautionary tale here, and one to which all aspirant salesmen of ideas should pay heed.
Wonkish books occasionally hit the big time but their shelf life is often fitfully brief. How much influence can the authors of Nudge expect to wield in five years' time? Go to any second-hand bookshop and bear humbled witness to the debris of big ideas past, books which merited only a flicker on the attention span of the intelligentsia on their way to the bargain bin.
Take these five examples.
- The De-moralization of Society by Gertrude Himmelfarb (1995)
- Beyond Left and Right by Anthony Giddens (1994)
- The State We're In by Will Hutton (1995)
- Connexity by Geoff Mulgan (1997)
- Happiness: Lessons from a New Science by Richard Layard (2005)