The Winners of the getAbstract International Book Award 2019

Denise Hearn, Benedikt Herles, Dan Pontefract, Kai Strittmatter, and Jonathan Tepper honored for their outstanding works at the Frankfurt Book Fair.

The Winners of the getAbstract International Book Award 2019

On October 16, 2019, getAbstract’s long-time Vice President Arnhild Walz-Rasilier and Co-Founder Patrick Brigger announced the winners of the 19th getAbstract International Book Award at a well-attended award ceremony at the Frankfurt Book Fair.

The shortlist from which the winners were chosen recognized the most innovative and forward-looking English and German business books published this year. For the first time, getAbstract partnered with the German-language business magazine Capital, whose editor-in-chief, Horst von Buttlar, emphasized the jury’s efforts to pick books that enable better decision-making at all levels of society.

The books and their authors honored this year are:


Dan Pontefract: Open to Think (Figure 1 Publishing)
read the Abstract / read the Interview

Consultant Dan Pontefract offers a strategy for thinking more clearly and making better decisions. As he explains how his “dream, decide, do” system works, he provides real-life examples of “open thinkers” whose accomplishments stem from their deliberative cognitive practices. People tend to rush to conclusions, accept misinformation, skip nuance or trust shallow assumptions. Instead, Pontefract says, pause to ponder. The effectiveness of your thought process depends on how well you sort evidence, reflect upon it and challenge your conclusions. In our exclusive interview, he explains how to reclaim the “white space of creative and critical thinking.”

Jonathan Tepper and Denise Hearn:
The Myth of Capitalism (Wiley)
read the Abstract / read the Interview

In their illuminating examination of the early 21st-century economy, researchers Jonathan Tepper and Denise Hearn present a perhaps not-so-jarring idea: that, for all the focus on it today, wealth and income inequality is just a symptom of what ails capitalism rather than a root cause of its malaise. A lack of competition is, according to the authors, the real culprit.

In an exclusive interview, getAbstract asked about the initial spark to write the book. Jonathan Tepper answered: “When Thomas Piketty said returns on capital are high and only go higher, I thought he was wrong. Because in capitalism, competition would bring them down.”


Benedikt Herles: Zukunftsblind (Droemer)
zum Abstract / zum großen Gespräch

Benedikt Herles zeichnet die nahe Zukunft der Menschheit und ihres Planeten in düsteren Farben. Biologische Kasten, ein Leben innerhalb digitaler Superorganismen, kollektive Depression – mögliche Folgen einer politischen Haltung, die dem Fortschritt meilenweit hinterherhinkt. Dabei können die Errungenschaften in Technologie und Wissenschaft viele Probleme der Welt lösen. Vorausgesetzt, die Weltgemeinschaft verständigt sich auf verbindliche globale Spielregeln. Die Politik muss den Wandel aktiv gestalten. Eine Reihe konkreter Ideen liefert Herles gleich mit.

Kai Strittmatter: Die Neuerfindung der Diktatur (Piper)
zum Abstract / zum großen Gespräch / read the Interview

Das “Reich der Mitte” ist wieder da. Allerdings nicht so, wie man sich das im Westen vorgestellt hatte: Während die chinesische Wirtschaft wächst, schwinden die Freiheiten der Bevölkerung, sagt China-Kenner Kai Strittmatter. Das Repressionssystem, das diesem Wandel zugrundeliegt, entwickelt sich nun zum Exportschlager. Im grossen Exklusivinterview gibt Kai Strittmatter Auskunft darüber, nach welchen Regeln das “neue China” unter Xi Jinping funktioniert und welchen Einfluss es bereits heute auf die westlichen Gesellschaften hat.

We will be posting additional information on the award-winning books, along with author interviews, in the coming days.

More information about the nominees of the 19th getAbstract International Book Awards can be found here:

English: 1 / 2
German: 1 / 2

The corresponding channel at can be found here.

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October, 22 2019 — Update: February, 1 2021