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By Brad Tuttle
July 31, 2017
Justin Sullivan—Getty Images

Mark Cuban, the billionaire entrepreneur, Dallas Mavericks owner and star of TV’s Shark Tank, turns 59 on Monday. He shares July 31 as a birthday with the actor Wesley Snipes and author J.K. Rowling, among others.

But Cuban isn’t reading any of Rowling’s Harry Potter books lately. He doesn’t seem to be interested in breezy books to read on the beach either. Instead, Cuban’s 2017 summer reading list consists mostly of dense, deeply researched works that shed light on current events.

“I’m trying to keep up with what’s happening around the world. So my reading has been a little more eclectic than past summers,” Cuban said to Politico. Here are the four books Cuban told Politico that he’s reading at the moment:

Machine Learning for Dummies
By John Paul Mueller, Luca Massaron

This edition of the “For Dummies” series covers the basics of how machines now handle everyday tasks such as producing credit scores, filtering email spam, and creating targeted ads on the web in real time. Cuban made much of his fortune in software in tech, and presumably he’s trying to keep up to speed with how computers and automation are being used to tackle a wide variety of jobs today. Buy here.

Mr. Putin: Operative in the Kremlin
By Fiona Hill, Clifford C. Gaddy

Russian president Vladimir Putin, the former KGB agent who has been the country’s unquestioned leader for nearly two decades, is easily one of the world’s most powerful men. He could secretly be the richest person on earth as well. This biography offers a deep psychological profile of Putin, who many believe was at least aware of Russian efforts to hack the 2016 U.S. elections, and who President Trump has praised as a “strong leader” and “very smart.” Buy here.

The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements
By Eric Hoffer

First published in 1951, The True Believer remains a seminal tome analyzing the roots of how and why individuals embrace mass movements—including religious and political ideas that seem extremist and nonsensical to outsiders. The book was the first written by Hoffer, who worked as a longshoreman and became a celebrated philosopher-intellectual-author and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Ronald Reagan shortly before his death in 1983. Readers today say that the book still offers remarkable insights into human behavior and sheds light on why people might, for instance, sympathize with terrorists or support a dangerous demagogue as a national leader. Buy here.

White Working Class: Overcoming Class Cluelessness in America
By Joan C. Williams

Why did the white working class overwhelmingly support Donald Trump in the 2016 election? And why is the media’s understanding of this demographic mostly misguided and condescending? This is the ground covered in the recently published book by Williams, a professor at the University of California Hastings College of the Law, who has written “a blunt, bracing narrative that sketches a nuanced portrait of millions of people who have proven to be a potent political force,” in the words of Harvard Business Review. Buy here.

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The purpose of this disclosure is to explain how we make money without charging you for our content.

Our mission is to help people at any stage of life make smart financial decisions through research, reporting, reviews, recommendations, and tools.

Earning your trust is essential to our success, and we believe transparency is critical to creating that trust. To that end, you should know that many or all of the companies featured here are partners who advertise with us.

Our content is free because our partners pay us a referral fee if you click on links or call any of the phone numbers on our site. If you choose to interact with the content on our site, we will likely receive compensation. If you don't, we will not be compensated. Ultimately the choice is yours.

Opinions are our own and our editors and staff writers are instructed to maintain editorial integrity, but compensation along with in-depth research will determine where, how, and in what order they appear on the page.

To find out more about our editorial process and how we make money, click here.

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