Book Notes

Every now and then I put together a blog post where I list a bunch of books I've noticed in the library, book store, or on the web. Sometimes I include notes. This file just collects all of them so I can try to avoid repeating myself.

indicates that there is a book page for the book. [NB: all those book pages have been removed from the system, thanks to a few authors being really pissy about me quoting them.]


Henry J Aaron/Leonard E Berman, eds: Using Taxes to Reform Health Insurance: Pitfalls and Promises (paperback, 2008, Brookings Institution Press)

Alex Abella: Soldiers of Reason: The RAND Corporation and the Rise of the American Empire (2008, Harcourt).

Spencer Abraham: Lights Out!: Ten Myths About (and Real Solutions to) America's Energy Crisis (2010; paperback, 2011, St Martin's Griffin)

Ervand Abrahamian: The Coup: 1953, the CIA, and the Roots of Modern US-Iranian Relations (2013, New Press): Of course it was, something never much understood at the time. Previously wrote A History of Modern Iran (2008), so this is a sort of prequel, an attempt to understand where all the later mess came from.

Marisa Abrajano/Zoltan L Hajnal: White Backlash: Immigration, Race, and American Politics (paperback, 2017, Princeton University Press).

Jack Abramoff: Capitol Punishment: The Hard Truth About Washington Corruption From America's Most Notorious Lobbyist (2011, WND Books): Out of jail after 43 months, not like he killed anyone, just redistributed millions of dollars from the public till to needy clients ("a corporation, Indian tribe, or foreign nation"), congressmen, and himself and his fellow fixers. And now he's had a change of heart, trying to raise himself to muckraker from muck. Problem is, he hasn't had a change of character. As an Amazon reader put it: "This book could be really good if Abramoff wasn't such a total narcissist."

Elliott Abrams: Tested by Zion: The Bush Administration and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (2013, Cambridge University Press): A self-serving memoir in the manner of Dennis Ross and so many other failures, but Abrams didn't fail -- he was pure evil, and was remarkably successful not just at wrecking any prospects for peace in Israel's neighborhood but in making everyone involved, including the US, much meaner and crazier. No idea how much of this he admits to -- such creatures usually prefer to dwell in the dark.

Sasha Abramsky: The American Way of Poverty: How the Other Half Still Lives (2013, Nation Books): Fifty years after Michael Harrington's The Other America, we still live in a land of poverty and want -- even more so now than then, as the trendline is getting worse and the political will to do something about it has vanished. Mixed views on this book suggest that jumping between anecdotal description and broadside prescription doesn't reall handle either end, but the problem is real enough.

John Abramson: Overdosed America: The Broken Promise of American Medicine (2004; paperback, 2008, Harper Perennial): Just one of a bunch of drug industry exposes, shaded more toward the bad things the drugs do to your body rather than their reckless pursuit of profits. Others include: Marcia Angell: The Truth About the Drug Companies: How They Deceive Us and What to Do About It; Ray Moynihan/Alan Cassels: Selling Sickness: How the World's Biggest Pharmaceutical Companies Are Turning Us All into Patients; Melody Petersen: Our Daily Meds: How the Pharmaceutical Companies Transformed Themselves into Slick Marketing Machines.

Asad Abukhalil: The Battle for Saudi Arabia: Royalty, Fundamentalism, and Global Power (paperback, 2004, Seven Stories).

Ali Abunimah, One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse (2006-10, Henry Holt).

Ali Abunimah: The Battle for Justice in Palestine (paperback, 2014, Haymarket Books): Palestinian blogger, previously wrote One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse, tries to remain hopeful.

Daron Acenoglu/James Robinson: Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty (2012, Crown Business): The answer they find is "man-made political and economic institutions" -- an easy case study is to compare North and South Korea; harder ones go back to ancient Rome and medieval Venice, and try to predict where the US and China are going (mostly down, I gather). Authors previously wrote Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy (2005, Cambridge University Press).

Viral V Acharya/Matthew Richardson, eds: Restoring Financial Stability: How to Repair a Failed System (2009, Wiley): Some kind of group project from New York University Stern School of Business, which Amazon attributes as the author, with analysis and lots of recommendations.

Gilbert Achcar: The Arabs and the Holocaust: The Arab-Israeli War of Narratives (2010, Metropolitan Books): When the 1937-39 Palestinian revolt against the British failed, Haj Amin al-Husseini fled to safe havens open to him, Nazi Germany, thereby setting up a narrative that connected the Holocaust to Palestinian resistance to the creation and dominance of Israel. That at least is one thread the author must deal with -- practically the only one that seems to come up, but there must be more, even with most of the Arab world, including the future Israel, outside of WWII's grasp.

Christopher H Achen/Larry M Bartels: Democracy for Realists: Why Elections Do Not Produce Responsive Government (2016, Princeton University Press): Political scientists argue against the conventional view that voters make rational political choices by pointing out how their views at least as much shaped by primordial identities, a hint of what's become obvious as the red-blue divide has gone beyond analysis and prescription to selective embrace of facts. Still, title suggests something more, like pointing out how these distortions have opened up opportunities for politicians to do things contrary to the positions they adopt when campaigning. Those things are mostly favors for special interests -- favors that wouldn't stand a chance if "representatives" were actually responsive to voter views.

Diane Ackerman: The Human Age: The World Shaped by Us (2014; paperback, 2015, WW Norton): She has written poetry, children's books, and some fifteen non-fiction books, some quite personal but a couple taking on very broad topics -- like A Natural History of the Senses (1990) and A Natural History of Love (1994). This one explores the many ways humans have reshaped the world to their own tastes and interests, an extraordinarily profound story, one that's hard to wrap one's mind around if only because the change has been so pervasive.

Kenneth Ackerman: Young J Edgar: Hoover, the Red Scare, and the Assault on Civil Liberties (2007, Da Capo): I suppose it shouldn't be surprising that Hoover cut his teeth working for the DOJ during the 1919-20 Palmer Raids. He made a lifetime career out of trampling on citizens' civil rights and liberties -- from the first great red scare through the Black Panthers, he almost singularly cornered the market. I remain very interested in Ann Hagedorn's big book on the period: Savage Peace: Hope and Fear in America, 1919.

Amir D Aczel: The Jesuit and the Skull: Teilhard de Chardin, Evolution, and the Search for Peking Man (2007; paperback, 2008, Riverhead): Stephen J Gould wrote a piece charging that de Chardin was involved in the Piltdown Man fraud, so I figured this to follow up on that. Evidently, Aczel dismisses those charges in a single sentence. Not that Aczel doesn't have anything less controversial or less scandalous to write about.

Amir D Aczel: Uranium Wars: The Scientific Rivalry That Created the Nuclear Age (2009, Palgrave Macmillan): Short book on early uranium research, focusing on the 1920s but extending more or less to Hiroshima.

Jeremy Adelman: Worldly Philosopher: The Odyssey of Albert O. Hirschman (2013, Princeton University Press): Cass Sunstein wrote a review of this book, extolling Hirschman as one of the century's "most original and provocative thinkers." Not at all clear to me why, although he had an interesting life, narrowly escaping the Holocaust to land in academia.

Joseph Adler: R in a Nutshell: A Desktop Quick Reference (paperback, 2009, O'Reilly): Presumably R is a free software version of S, a very sophisticated programming language for statistics that was developed at Bell Labs back around 1975. [Yes, see here and here.] Big (640 pp), pricey ($49.95), most likely worthwhile if you use it a lot. I think I'd like to dabble, but haven't figured out how to break through. (I do have an ancient S manual but never could afford the software. I may even still have a videotape on a later commercial implementation of S Plus.)

Moshe Adler: Economics for the Rest of Us: Debunking the Science That Makes Life Dismal (2009, New Press): About time someone turned the tables on "the dismal science" and show that what's dismal about it is how susceptible it is to political whims of its practitioners.

Anat Admati/Martin Hellwig: The Bankers' New Clothes: What's Wrong With Banking and What to Do About It (2013, Princeton University Press): Presumably covers Dodd-Frank and still finds it wanting, which seems right. I'm inclined to go back to the "banking is boring" days, but I doubt if they go that far.

Theodor Adorno/Max Horkheimer: Towards a New Manifesto (2011, Verso): A 1956 dialogue -- maybe a sketch, maybe just an argument -- from the long-dead founders of the Frankfurt School, on what a contemporary revision of The Communist Manifesto should say. I doubt that they got very far: both much more skilled at tearing down bad propositions than forming good ones.

John Agresto, Mugged by Reality: The Liberation of Iraq and the Failure of Good Intentions (2007-03, Encounter Books).

Liaquat Ahamed: Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World (2009, Penguin): Actually, a history featuring four bankers from the 1920s, leading up to the 1929 Crash and Depression, and how the central banks bungled the crisis. Still, this appears at a time when the sequel is being acted out. Even if the analogies aren't obvious, the penchant for arrogance and error is still all too evident. Most likely the spookiest part will be Germany, given what happened there.

Liaquat Ahamed: Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World (2009; paperback, 2009, Penguin)

Akbar S Ahmed: Resistance and Control in Pakistan (1983; revised ed, paperback, 2004, Taylor & Francis): Revision of Religion and Politics in Muslim Society: Order and Conflict in Pakistan (1983).

Akbar Ahmed: The Thistle and the Drone: How America's War on Terror Became a Global War on Tribal Islam (2013, Brookings Institution Press): One thing US intervention under the "global war on terror" guise has done is to break down traditional tribal hierarchies, as jihadists vie with elders as to how to defend communities against foreign (and to some extent anything modern counts) attack. Author is Pakistani but solidly wedged into the US foreign policy estate.

Hisham D Aidi: Rebel Music: Race, Empire, and the New Muslim Youth Culture (paperback, 2014, Vintage): Explores musical subcultures among Muslim youth around the world, primarily hip-hop but also rock, reggae, and more traditional forms like Gnawa. Also seems to know the history where bits of traditional Muslim music worked into blues, jazz, and other genres we don't associate with the Muslim world. I see no mention of metal here, but it's worth noting Mark LeVine: Heavy Metal Islam: Rock, Resistance, and the Struggle for the Soul of Islam (paperback, 2008, Three Rivers Press).

JS Aikman: When Prime Brokers Fail: The Unheeded Risk to Hedge Funds, Banks, and the Financial Industry (2010, Bloomberg Press): E.g., Lehman Brothers, whose failure set off a chain of repercussions that ultimately convinced many skeptics that it was indeed "too big to fail." Not sure I can handle all this weeping over the poor hedge funds. [Apr. 21]

Taner Akcam, A Shameful Act: The Armenian Genocide and the Question of Turkish Responsibility (Henry Holt).

George A Akerlof/Robert J Shiller: Animal Spirits: How Human Psychology Drives the Economy, and Why It Matters for Global Capitalism (2009, Princeton University Press): A look at how psychological factors impact economic decisions -- presumably a corrective to the ultra-rationalism most economists assume to simplify their equations. Title, I believe, comes from Keynes. Schiller previously wrote Irrational Exuberance, about the stock bubble (second edition in 2006), and The Subprime Solution: How Today's Global Financial Crisis Happened and What to Do About It.

George A Akerlof/Robert J Shiller: Animal Spirits: How Human Psychology Drives the Economy, and Why It Matters for Global Capitalism (2009; paperback, 2010, Princeton University Press): Behavioral economics, the stuff that Richard Shelby hates; the original ideas picked up from Keynes and reformulated into various rules of thumb -- they strike me as realistic, verging on commonsensical.

George A Akerlof/Rachel E Kranton: Identity Economics: How Our Identities Shape Our Work, Wages, and Well-Being (2010, Princeton University Press): Sounds like another of those shaggy dog stories Akerlof theorized about in Animal Spirits: How Human Psychology Drives the Economy, and Why It Matters for Global Capitalism. No doubt that there is something to the idea, but the analogous Identity Politics has a nasty reputation, mostly as a refuge for racism and bigotry.

George A Akerlof/Robert J Shiller: Phishing for Phools: The Economics of Manipulation and Deception (2015, Princeton University Press): Two Nobel Prize economists who built their careers by exploring cases where markets fail, co-authors of Animal Spirits: How Human Psychology Drives the Economy, and Why It Matters for Global Capitalism (2009). Proper functioning of markets depends on perfect information, but that rarely exists. That leaves a lot of opportunity for profit through fraud, and that's what this is about.

Sina Aksin: Turkey: From Empire to Revolutionary Republic: The Emergence of the Turkish Nation From 1789 to Present (paperback, 2007, NYU Press): General history of an important nation that we tend to know little and understand less about.

Nadje Al-Ali/Nicola Pratt: What Kind of Liberation?: Women and the Occupation of Iraq (2009, University of California Press): Al-Ali previously wrote Iraqi Women: Untold Stories From 1948 to the Present. Not a lot of info on this book, but the title raises a good question, one that few have looked into.

M Shahid Alam: Israeli Exceptionalism: The Destabilizing Logic of Zionism (paperback, 2010, Palgrave Macmillan): First I've heard of "exceptionalism" not applied to America, but the concept is probably universal, even if its significance is that it forms a part of the peculiar US-Israeli bond. Alam also wrote Challenging the New Orientalism: Dissenting Essays on the "War Against Islam" (paperback, 2007, Islamic Publications International).

Alaa Al Aswany: On the State of Egypt: What Made the Revolution Inevitable (paperback, 2011, Vintage Books): Short book on the revolution in Egypt by a well-known novelist. I expect we will soon be deluged with books on Egypt: recent examples range from Joel Beinin/Frederic Vairel, eds: Social Movements, Mobilization, and Contestation in the Middle East and North Africa (paperback, 2011, Stanford University Press); to Alex Nunns/Nadia Idle, eds: Tweets From Tahrir: Egypt's Revolution as It Unfolded, in the Words of the People Who Made it (paperback, 2011, OR Books).

Richard Alba/Nancy Foner: Strangers No More: Immigration and the Challenges of Integration in North America and Western Europe (2015, Princeton University Press).

Greg Albo/Sam Gindin/Leo Panitch: In and Out of Crisis: The Global Financial Meltdown and Left Alternatives (paperback, 2010, PM Press): Missed this in the big banking book roundup, which may mean that even I am marginalizing the left. Panitch has been writing books like Working Class Politics in Crisis: Essays on Labour and the State and Global Capitalism and American Empire at least since 1986.

Kjell Aleklett: Peeking at Peak Oil (2012, Springer): An extensive review of the peak oil theory: the idea that the maximum point of oil extraction occurs when about half of all recoverable oil has been pumped, and is followed by declining production at elevated prices. US oil production peaked, as the theory predicted, in 1969, after which the US had to import oil to meet increasing demand (plus decreasing production). Recent advances in recovery technology have complicated things a bit, and the world (unlike the US in 1969) lacks a cheap external source to fill unmet demand, so the world production peak (predicted to have occurred some time in 2000-2010) has been a bit bumpy, but the basic facts remain: oil fields deplete, new ones become increasingly difficult to find and develop, and virtually no new oil is being created, so sooner or later we will run out, and along the way oil will become expensive, a painful way of weaning us from its use. All that and more should be in here.

Matthew Alexander/John Bruning: How to Break a Terrorist: The US Interrogators Who Used Brains, Not Brutality, to Take Down the Deadliest Man in Iraq (2008, Free Press): Alexander is evidently a pseudonym for an Air Force interrogator who worked on the intelligence that caught up with Zarqawi. Reviews claim this reads like a thriller, but the key point is that it works as an indictment of Cheney's torture methods.

Michelle Alexander: The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (2010, Free Press): Not that the result is colorblind; de facto the opposite.

Paul Alexander: Machiavelli's Shadow: The Rise and Fall of Karl Rove (2008, Rodale Books): One advantage this book has over all other Rove books -- for some reason I haven't been collecting them in these notes -- is that it gives us a taste of fall. Still has a good ways to go -- preferably to jail.

Christian Alfonsi, Circle in the Sand: Why We Went Back to Iraq (2006-10, Doubleday).

Tariq Ali: The Clash of Fundamentalisms: Crusades, Jihads and Modernity (2002, Verso).

Tariq Ali: Bush in Babylon: The Recolonisation of Iraq (2003, Verso).

Tariq Ali: Speaking of Empire and Resistance: Conversations With Tariq Ali (paperback, 2005, New Press).

Tariq Ali: Rough Music: Blair Bombs Baghdad London Terror (paperback, 2006, Verso).

Tariq Ali, Pirates of the Caribbean: Axis of Hope (2006, Verso). Actually, I don't have much interest in Castro or Chavez, but I've read three straight books by Ali.

Tariq Ali: Pirates of the Caribbean: Axis of Hope (revised/expanded, paperback, 2008, Verso): Originally published in 2006, focusing on Cuba, Venezuela, and Bolivia, with Ecuador added for this edition. I've been reluctant to pick this up -- I have a lot of respect for Ali as a critic of American empire, but distrust advocacy of politicians even when they build their careers on the rejection of that same power. Still, the independence movements in Latin America make for a remarkable story.

Tariq Ali: The Duel: Pakistan on the Flight Path of American Power (2008, Scribner): This, on the other hand, is the book I've been waiting for: Ali's home country, with the Musharraf regime caught between ham-handed American power, popular rebellion of more than one flavor, and its own peculiar interests. Was scheduled for early 2008, but Benazir Bhutto's assassination sent Ali back to the word processor. The situation is still volatile, impossible to keep on top of. This should certainly help one catch up.

Tariq Ali: The Duel: Pakistan on the Flight Path of American Power (2008; paperback, 2009, Scribner): A personal, rather idiosyncratic history of Pakistan willingly but not necessarily all that constructively under America's imperial thumb.

Tariq Ali: The Protocols of the Elders of Sodom: And Other Essays (2009, Verso): Title essay takes off from a Proust quote: if Zionism seeks a biblical homeland for the Jews on the basis of persecution, why not also look for a biblical homeland for gays and lesbians? More pieces on literature and politics.

Tariq Ali: The Obama Syndrome: Surrender at Home, War Abroad (paperback, 2010, Verso): Cover image shows Obama's face breaking up with Bush's pushing through, an effect you'll recall from The Clash of Fundamentalisms, where the cover blended Bush and Bin Laden. Short (160 pp), probably predictable from a leftist who doesn't see much in liberalism, but also no doubt smart and to the point.

Tariq Ali: The Extreme Centre: A Warning (paperback, 2015, Verso): British Marxist, novelist, filmmaker, part of the old New Left Review crowd, wrote a book in 2002 which excoriated extremists on both sides of the terrorism wars (which he dubbed the Oil Wars -- see The Clash of Fundamentalisms: Crusades, Jihads and Modernity). Now he finds comparable trouble in the so-called center, focusing on the UK and Europe where the traditional parties of left and right compete to support corporations.

Tariq Ali: The Dilemmas of Lenin: Terrorism War Empire Love Revolution (2017, Verso Books): One expects that the centenary of the Russian Revolution will produce the usual spate of new books, so this is nominally one of them. But for a good while now we've known that in his last couple years Lenin was unhappy about the drift of his revolution, so it's never been quite fair to blame him for the whole dead weight of the Stalinist system. Not sure whether Ali can freshen him up in any useful way, but it's worth noting that the hopes that many people held for the workers' paradise weren't wrong, even if they were somewhat misplaced. Forthcoming [Sept. 19]: Slavoj Zizek: Lenin 2017: Remembering, Repeating, and Working Through (2017, Verso Books).

Sami Al Jundi/Jen Marlowe: The Hour of Sunlight: One Palestinian's Journey from Prisoner to Peacemaker (paperback, 2011, Nation Books): Marlowe is a documentary filmmaker who has previously done work, including a book spinoff, on Darfur. Al Jundi is a Palestinian who spent 10 years in Israeli prison after a bomb he was working on misfired. Book documents his education in prison, his turn away from violence toward peaceable protest. Takes more than one to make peace, though.

Ali A Allawi: The Occupation of Iraq: Winning the War, Losing the Peace (2007, Yale University Press).

Ali A Allawi: The Crisis of Islamic Civilization (2009, Yale University Press). Author was a minor functionary in the post-Bremer Iraqi government, a role he described usefully in The Occupation of Iraq: Winning the War, Losing the Peace. This looks at the larger picture, going back to the impact of European colonialism on Muslim nations and the complex and often inadequate response.

Jonathan Allen/Amie Parnes: Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton's Doomed Campaign (2017, Crown): Purports to offer inside dirt on Clinton's failed presidential campaign. Of course, had she won we'd read this differently: perhaps as a triumph over adversity, or maybe just as a vindication for democracy, showing that the people could still see past the shortcomings of the candidate. On the other hand, the fact that she lost, and lost to as unpopular and despicable a candidate as Donald Trump, turns this into a scab you want to pick at.

Richard Alley: Earth: The Operator's Manual (2011, WW Norton): PBS television series companion book, focuses on climate change and future energy issues, which he is moderate and optimistic about.

Patrick Allitt: A Climate of Crisis: America in the Age of Environmentalism (2014; paperback, 2015, Penguin Books)

Gar Alperovitz/Lew Daly: Unjust Deserts: How The Rich Are Taking Our Common Inheritance and Why We Should Take It Back (2008, New Press): Been meaning to read Alperovitz's America Beyond Capitalism: Reclaiming Our Wealth, Our Liberty, and Our Democracy for a long time, and now I'm even further behind. Daly wrote a short book, God and the Welfare State, on Bush's faith-based initiative. Not sure what their analysis is, but my own take is that the rich are mostly lucky beneficiaries of market imperfections -- unwanted inefficiencies. They may be impossible to eliminate, but basing a social system on their self-perpetuation is a formula for disaster.

Gar Alperovitz: What Then Must We Do? Straight Talk About the Next American Revolution (paperback, 2013, Chelsea Green): Historian -- the first to take a look at what the Hiroshima bombing meant for US-Soviet diplomacy -- but by now perhaps even better known for exploring the limits of conventional capitalism in America -- cf. America Beyond Capitalism: Reclaiming Our Wealth, Our Liberty, and Our Democracy (2004; 2nd ed, paperback, 2011, Democracy Collaborative). Especially interested in worker-owned companies, cooperatives, etc.

Daniel Alpert: The Age of Oversupply: Overcoming the Greatest Challenge to the Global Economy (2013, Portfolio): Contends "the invisible hand is broken" by an "oversupply of labor, productive capacity, and capital relative to the demand for all three." Strikes me as true, largely the effect of technology on productivity but also growing inequality which converts those gains almost exclusively to capital. Not sure what an investment banker like Alpert wants to do about that, but demand could be increased by more equitable income distribution, and oversupply of labor can be reduced by increasing leisure time (which, if adequately supported, would also help out on the demand front).

Madawi al-Rasheed: A History of Saudi Arabia (paperback, 2002, Cambridge University Press).

Jonathan Alter: The Defining Moment: FDR's Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope (paperback, 2007, Simon & Schuster): Something to bone up on: Paul Krugman has argued how important it is for a Democrat winning the 2008 election to push critical legislation through in the new administration's first 100 days. I suppose someone could do a comparative analysis for Democrats -- Clinton sure blew his first days, digging a hole that he never climbed out of. In any case, this year is the best prospect we've had in a long time for a Roosevelt-level tsunami. In any case, the history should be inspirational.

Jonathan Alter: The Promise: President Obama, Year One (2010, Simon & Schuster): Author wrote a previous book on FDR's first 100 days amidst tough times, so it must have seemed like a good idea to see how Obama fared under comparably difficult circumstances. There are too many differences to make the analogy work -- FDR came to Washington determined to try all sorts of things and both parties were in such a state of shock that he met with little opposition, while Obama came seeking only to fix what used to work and ran into a buzzsaw of partisan rancor and Tea Party nihilism.

Jonathan Alter: The Center Holds: Obama and His Enemies (2013, Simon & Schuster): Thought this might be one of those "centrist" tomes that balances loathing for the left against a few nitpicks with the right, but turns out this is just a campaign book, a recap of the 2012 election, where Obama's centrism worked because the right went crazy. Alter's previous books were on FDR's 100 days and on the 100 days he hoped Obama would have in 2009, so figure he's been disabused of some illusions.

Eric Alterman: Kabuki Democracy: The System vs. Barack Obama (paperback, 2011, Nation Books): Liberal columnist, tries to present a case that Obama's post-election turn to the right is the fault of a system that is deeply and intractably conservative. That may be true, to a point, but it isn't very reassuring: seems to me like an indictment both of the system and the man unwilling to risk his political future on convincing the American people to do the right things.

Eric Alterman/Kevin Mattson: The Cause: The Fight for American Liberalism From Franklin Roosevelt to Barack Obama (2012, Viking): One of the few political writers who remains an unapologetic, unreconstructed, proud liberal -- cf. his 2009 book, Why We're Liberals: A Handbook for Restoring America's Most Important Ideals. One problem is that so many of his exemplars, not least the current president but also his first, have a checkered history, sometimes a mix of illiberal beliefs, sometimes just a willingness to chuck principle for political opportunism.

David L. Altheide, Terorism and the Politics of Fear (AltaMira Press, paperback).

Daniel Altman: Neoconomy: George Bush's Revolutionary Gamble With America's Future (2004; paperback, 2005, Public Affairs): Focuses on Bush's tax cuts and efforts to trim programs like social security.

Daniel Altman: Outrageous Fortunes: The Twelve Surprising Trends That Will Reshape the Global Economy (2011, Henry Holt): I wouldn't bother mentioning this futuristic speculation except that Altman previously wrote Neoconomy: George Bush's Revolutionary Gamble With America's Future (2004), which proved to be pretty scarry.

John Amato/David Neiwert: Over the Cliff: How Obama's Election Drove the American Right Insane (paperback, 2010, Polipoint Press): I'm not sure what else you can call it but insane. They cannot grasp that eight years or conservatives in the White House and sixteen in command of Congress created one disaster after another; they can't imagine ever losing; they especially can't imagine losing to Obama. Amato runs the blog Crooks & Liars, and Neiwert wrote a useful book on the fringe right called The Eliminationists, so both are well positioned to write such an obvious book.

Theresa Amato: Grand Illusion: The Myth of Voter Choice in a Two-Party Tyranny (2009, New Press)

Marc Ambinder/DB Grady: Deep State: Inside the Government Secrecy Industry (2013, Wiley): Several obvious questions here: how much of what Edward Snowden is now being hounded for leaking was known by the "inside" authors here? And how much of what they knew has been obsoleted by Snowden's revelations? I don't doubt that anyone who cared to look could have found various pieces of what the NSA has been up to, and this may help to understand it all. But most likely we're still far from understanding it all, so this and similar books are far from definitive. (I notice that Amazon wants to bundle this with Mark Mazzetti: The CIA, a Secret Army, and a War at the Ends of the Earth and Jeremy Scahill: Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield -- two other key pieces to the puzzle.)

Carl F Ameringer: The Health Care Revolution: From Medical Monopoly to Market Competition (2008, University of California Press)

Richard Ames: Going Postal: Rage, Murder, and Rebellion: From Reagan's Workplaces to Clinton's Columbine and Beyond (paperback, 2005, Soft Skull Press): A history of random massacres in the American workplace, symptomatic of something more than the occasional loose hinge. A bit dated, especially at the post-2009 pace, which doesn't make it any less relevant.

Alice H Amsden: Escape From Empire: The Developing World's Journey Through Heaven and Hell (2007, MIT Press): Focus here is on how the US changed from a relatively benevolent source of development aid ("heaven") to a considerably more malign one ("hell"). I'm curious about how that maps to the political and economic changes within the US. (Curious but not likely to be very surprised.)

Tyler G Anbinder: Nativism and Slavery: The Northern Know Nothings and the Politics of the 1850s (paperback, 1994, University of California Press).

Tyler Anbinder: City of Dreams: The 400-Year Epic History of Immigrant New York (2016, Houghton-Mifflin).

Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism (Verso, paperback).

Carol Anderson: White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide (2016, Bloomsbury USA): Flips the tables on complaints of "black rage" in response to recent police shootings of unarmed blacks to point out the long history of intemperate rage and resistance of whites at every advance of civil rights since the Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery.

Fred Anderson/Andrew Cayton: The Dominion of War: Liberty and Empire in North America, 1500-2000 (2005, Viking Books).

Iain Anderson, This Is Our Music: Free Jazz, the Sixties, and American Culture (2006-11, University of Pennsylvania Press).

John Anderson: Follow the Money: How George W Bush and the Texas Republicans Hog-Tied America (2007, Scribner): Michael Lind's Made in Texas: George W Bush and the Southern Takeover of American Politics is probably the most convincing Bush book I've read thus far, and this seems to be along those lines. Bush and his Texas political cronies managed to take over the Republican national machine, suddenly pushing the country far right. The more behind the money behind the better.

Perry Anderson: The New Old World (2009, Verso): New Left Review editor and historian, surveys Europe after the Cold War, a time when Europe is widely presumed to have come into its own, but still habitually follows US foreign policy, no matter how benighted (which under Bush, in particular, was pretty far gone).

Scott Anderson: Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East (2013, Doubleday): Every decade or two someone returns to T.E. Lawrence for further confirmation of the insights they've finally tuned into after further mayhem in the Middle East, yet they always miss the basic point: what makes Lawrence an effective critic of British (and more recently American) intervention is that he was helplessly at the center of the problem: he was convinced he could make it work. This also focuses on Aaron Aaronson, Curt Prüfer, and William Yale.

Terry H Anderson: Bush's Wars (2011, Oxford University Press): An attempt at a big view synthesis of Bush's seven-year war path, plus a bit more on Obama's prosecution of same, but at 312 pp he'll also have to boil a lot down. Billed as a "balanced history," that also means he'll have to tidy up the manifest failures of policies that could hardly have been more deranged.

Edmund L Andrews: Busted: Life Inside the Great Mortgage Meltdown (2009, WW Norton): New York Times economics writer, but mainly qualified for wiping his savings out by buying into a mortgage he couldn't afford. Could be a cautionary tale about the fickle press, but doesn't seem to be that smart, even in retrospect.

Thomas G Andrews: Killing for Coal: America's Deadliest Labor War (paperback, 2010, Harvard University Press)

Marcia Angell: The Truth About the Drug Companies: How They Deceive Us and What to Do About It (paperback, 2005, Random House).

Natalie Angier, The Canon: A Whirligig Tour of the Beautiful Basics of Science (Houghton Mifflin): A general book on science and what it means to think about. I bought a copy of this recently as a gift for a niece who asked me for recommended readings on science. I was impressed, delighted even, by the few pages I read in the store.

Julia Angwin: Dragnet Nation: A Quest for Privacy, Security, and Freedom in a World of Relentless Surveillance (2014, Times Books): A journalist surveys the surveillance nation -- not just the NSA but your phone company and Google too -- senses that the response to surveillance will be self-censorship to the point of losing freedom, and tries to figure out ways to cope, even to carve out some measure of privacy.

Mark Anielski: The Economics of Happiness: Building Genuine Wealth (paperback, 2007, New Society): Asks why people aren't happier given the amount of economic growth that has occurred since the 1950s. Economists are good at promoting growth because they have some idea how to measure it. If they could only measure happiness, they might be able to promote it as well. This is an idea that's been floating around for a while, even showing up on the political right in Arthur C Brooks: Gross National Happiness: Why Happiness Matters for America -- and How We Can Get More of It. I'm not sure that happiness, even if you can somehow quantify it, is the right measure, but we need something more than money, because there is more to life than just money.

Greg Anrig: The Conservatives Have No Clothes: Why Right-Wing Ideas Keep Failing (2007, Wiley): Not sure if this passes my criteria -- I have a copy on my desk, and meant to get to it next until a couple of other books got in the way -- but it deserves a mention anyway. The right spent all that time market testing ideas to use as tools to seize power and came up with a bunch of things that sound good but just flat out don't work. This is a catalog.

Tamim Ansary: Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World Through Islamic Eyes (2009, Public Affairs): Previously wrote West of Kabul, East of New York: An Afghan-American Story. Looks like a fairly straightforward history of Islam, occasionally glancing out at the other world, which becomes more problematic when the other world encroaches.

Kwame Anthony Appiah: Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers (paperback, 2007, WW Norton).

Kwame Anthony Appiah: The Honor code: How Moral Revolutions Happen (2010, WW Norton): Princeton philosophy professor, originally from Ghana, sketches out four cases where widely held moral views shifted over time, tied to changing codes of honor: dueling, Chinese foot binding, Atlantic slave trade, and honor killing in contemporary Pakistan. Previously wrote Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers (paperback, 2007, WW Norton).

Joyce Appleby: The Relentless Revolution: A History of Capitalism (2010, WW Norton): General history, touting the culture of capitalism as well as the economics.

Joyce Appleby: The Relentless Revolution: A History of Capitalism (2010; paperback, 2011, WW Norton): Big general history of capitalism, going back to early industrialization and up to the 2007-08 financial crisis, attributed to deregulation.

Christian G Appy: Patriots: The Vietnam War Remembered From All Sides (paperback, 2004, Penguin Books).

Christian G Appy: American Reckoning: The Vietnam War and Our National Identity (2015, Viking): In the 1950s we were brought up to believe that America was a force for good in the world. The Vietnam War destroyed that self-conception -- at least it did for me and for many of my generation. Appy's brief history reminds us of how dirty the war got -- he starts with a story of GIs playing "gook hockey" (using Jeeps to run down Vietnamese children) -- and reminds us how even LJB but especially Nixon and Kissinger extended the war beyond any hope of success, just to show the world their resolve, to demonstrate how much punishment we could inflict even in defeat. The book goes on to look at how the postwar memory has been sanitized, not least the propagation of a myth that the war was lost not by our brave soldiers but by the cowardly antiwar movement -- America's own Dolchstosslegende (as with Germany's, a license to resume further wars). Worse than defeat, America seems to have learned nothing from Vietnam. With this book, at least, you might learn something. Appy previously wrote Patriots: The Vietnam War Remembered From All Sides (2004), an oral history.

Robert B Archibald/David H Feldman: Why Does College Cost So Much? (2010, Oxford University Press): Interesting question, but this sounds like a piece of economic rationalization in service of the status quo. I have several rough theories, but not enough facts to judge them against.

Architecture for Humanity (Kate Stohr/Cameron Sinclair, eds.): Design Like You Give a Damn: Architectural Responses to Humanitarian Crises (2006, Metropolitan Books).

Gustavo Arellano: ¡Ask a Mexican! (paperback, 2008, Scribner): Orange County Weekly columnist, fields questions, sprays them to all fields. No idea how useful or informative or, for that matter, funny, this is, but what do I know?

Dan Ariely: Predictably Irrational: The Hiden Forces That Shape Our Decisions (2008, Harper Collins): Book shows up in economics sections, where its critique of rational actors can do the most damage. Don't know how predictable they are, or what to make of it.

Dick Armey/Matt Kibbe: Give Us Liberty: A Tea Party Manifesto (2010, William Morrow): The FreedomWorks astroturfers come out of the shadows to stake their claim on the tea party movement. They certainly feel entitled, although there are other pretenders to the throne, like Joseph Farah: The Tea Party Manifesto, and Charley Gullett: Official Tea Party Handbook: A Tactical Playbook for Tea Party Patriots.

Elizabeth A Armstrong/Laura T Hamilton: Paying for the Party: How College Maintains Inequality (2013, Harvard University Press): Focuses on women, tracking their various paths through higher education, where they find that "the dominant campus culture indulges the upper-middle class and limits the prospect of the upwardly mobile."

Karen Armstrong: A History of God: The 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam (paperback, 1994, Ballantine).

Karen Armstrong: Holy War: The Crusades and Their Impact on Today's World (2001; paperback, 2001, Anchor Books).

Karen Armstrong: The Battle for God: A History of Fundamentalism (paperback, 2001, Ballantine).

Karen Armstrong: A Short History of Myth (2005, Canongate Books).

Karen Armstrong, The Great Transformation: The Beginning of Our Religious Traditions (2007-04, Knopf, paperback).

Karen Armstrong: The Bible: A Biography (2007, Grove/Atlantic): About the only writer I trust when it comes to sorting out the historical roots of religions. I have a rough idea of how The Bible was put together over hundreds of years, especially the New Testament, but this should be the essential reference to settle, or at least frame, it all.

Karen Armstrong: The Bible: A Biography (2007, Grove/Atlantic; paperback, 2008, Grove): Short discourse on how the book came to be.

Karen Armstrong: The Case for God (2009, Knopf): Probably the best recent writer on the history and historical abuse of religion, she's long hinted that she sees religion as a deep-felt human need. Most likely that's her case, and the history will, once again, be impeccable.

Karen Armstrong: Fields of Blood: Religion and the History of Violence (2014, Knopf): One of the better writers on the history of religion, a Christian but not limited thereby. Her thesis in The Great Transformation: The Beginning of Our Religious Traditions (2007) was that the religions that emerged in the first millennium BCE (as well as Greek rationalism) were developed primarily to limit and control violence, so it isn't surprising that she argues that wars today are not driven primarily by religion. I see the point, and recognize that religion provides a framework that supports many pacifists, but I doubt that would be my conclusion.

Stanley Aronowitz: Taking It Big: C Wright Mills and the Making of Political Intellectuals (2012, Columbia University Press): Mills was the most influential sociologist of his generation, at least on left-oriented students of my generation, so Aronowitz is well positioned to look both at what Mills did and what we made of him.

Stanley Aronowitz: The Death and Life of American Labor: Toward a New Worker's Movement (2014, Verso Books): Unions have taken a beating, especially in the private sector, over the last 30-40 years, dropping from representing more than 30% of American workers to less than 10%. The "death" part is an old story, so what about the "life" part? Or the "new" bit? I read Thomas Geoghegan's Only One Thing Can Save Us: Why America Needs a New Kind of Labor Movement (2014, New Press), which has some specific ideas on things that can be done to breathe new life into the labor movement, but I don't see what Aronowitz has up his sleeve. I do recall his early book, False Promises: The Shaping of American Working Class Consciousness (1974), and know that he's been working this issue for most of his life, both as scholar and activist.

James R Arnold: The Moro War: How America Battled a Muslim Insurgency in the Philippine Jungle, 1902-1913 (2011, Bloomsbury Press): After the Spanish-American War (1898), after the long bloody fight to put down the Filipino independence movement (1898-1902), a group of Muslims fought on against the American colonizers. This is their story. Also available: Robert A Fulton: Moroland: The History of Uncle Sam and the Moros 1899-1920 (paperback, 2007, Tumalo Creek Press).

Anthony Arnove, Iraq: The Logic of Withdrawal (2007-01, Henry Holt, paperback).

Stanley Aronowitz: The Jobless Future (second edition, paperback, 2010, University of Minnesota Press): Originally published in 1994, now "fully updated and with a new introduction": we all know that technology destroys more jobs than it creates, but rather than using it to eliminate workers from the economy we should take a look at the social conditions under which such relief from work would be a blessing.

Giovanni Arrighi: Adam Smith in Beijing: Lineages of the Twenty-First Century (paperback, 2009, Verso): Substantial (432 pp) book on China's tryst with capitalism, from a late Italian Gramscian who takes the long view -- another recently reprinted book is called The Long Twentieth Century: Money, Power and the Origins of Our Times.

Erin Arvedlund: Too Good to Be True: The Rise and Fall of Bernie Madoff (2009, Portfolio): Author reportedly wrote the first critical article on Madoff.

Kate Ascher: The Works: Anatomy of a City (paperback, 2007, Penguin): how things work in a modern city.

Michael Ashby/Hugh Shercliff/David Cebon: Materials: Engineering, Science, Processing and Design (2007, Butterworth-Heinemann): Textbook on materials science. I used to buy things like this just for occasional reference. This is a subject that still fascinated me, and looks like a good one.

William Ashworth: Ogallala Blue: Water and Life on the High Plains (paperback, 2007, Countryman).

Reza Aslan: No Got but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam (2005, Random House).

Reza Aslan: How to Win a Cosmic War: God, Globalization, and the End of the War on Terror (2009, Random House): Author previously wrote No God but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam, one of the best general books on the history of Islam. Not sure how that plays out here where Jihadism is one aspect both of Islam and politics, and the US anti-terror warriors have trouble understanding either.

Reza Aslan: Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth (2013, Random House): Wrote one of the more accessible histories of Islam, No God but God: The Origins and Evolution of Islam, and a book critical of the Jihadist impulse, Beyond Fundamentalism: Confronting Religious Extremism in the Age of Globalization. Here he attempts a historical inquiry into the life of Jesus. Long ago I read Marcello Craveri's The Life of Jesus, a similar attempt to flesh out a historical character about whom little is known and much is imagined. Aslan must know this as well as anyone, but judging from the cover, I have to wonder whether the association of Jesus with the Jewish zealot movement isn't imposing something from the modern mind's must justified fear of violent fundamentalism.

Julian Assange, ed: The WikiLeaks Files: The World According to US Empire (2015, Verso): A big chunk of data from leaked US diplomatic documents in 2010-11, edited, indexed, with notes on context -- I've seen this described as an "executive summary" to an Internet-searchable cache of 2.3 million documents. People went to jail, or were otherwise harassed, to make this information public. Other people should go to jail for what it shows.

Sharon Astyk: Depletion and Abundance: Life on the New Home Front (paperback, 2008, New Society).

Anthony B Atkinson: Inequality: What Can Be Done? (2015, Harvard University Press): Economist, published his first paper on the subject back in 1970 when the problem seemed less dire, not that there was nothing to study then. Most likely an important book on the subject, not least for a lifetime's thought into how to overcome it.

David C Atkinson: The Burden of White Supremacy: Containing Asian Migration in the British Empire and the United States (paperback, 2017, University of North Carolina Press): From 1896 to 1924.

Abdel Bari Atwan: The Secret History of al Qaeda (2006, University of California Press)

Gilad Atzmon: The Wandering Who? A Study of Jewish Identity Politics (paperback, 2011, O Books): Israeli-born, UK-based saxophonist writes a polemic about Jewish identity and the reflexive identification of so many Jews with Israel.

Gilad Atzmon: Being in Time: A Post-Political Manifesto (paperback, 2017, Interlink)

Robert D Auerbach: Deception and Abuse at the Fed: Henry B Gonzalez Battles Alan Greenspan's Bank (2008, University of Texas Press): Gonzalez is a D-TX congressman who chaired the House Financial Services Committee, one of the few politicians who ever tried to exert any oversight on the Fed.

Ken Auletta: Googled: The End of the World As We Know It (2009, Penguin): Author has written extensively about software and telecom industries, including critically about Microsoft, but he seems to have found something even more alarming in Google. I doubt that, but I do believe that the price we pay for advertising-sponsored services is much higher and far more perverse than we can imagine. I think Google tries to look at this pact benignly, asking how much useful service we can provide based on its advertising revenue stream, but I don't think it is so benign. Still, none of this exculpates Microsoft.

John Authers: The Fearful Rise of Markets: Global Bubbles, Synchronized Meltdowns, and What Must Be Done to Prevent Them in the Future (2010, FT Press): Focus on global linkages which allow bubbles to have effects propagated throughout the financial system.

Ryan Avent: The Wealth of Humans: Work, Power, and Status in the Twenty-First Century (2016, St Martin's Press)

Samuel Avery: The Pipeline and the Paradigm: Keystone XL, Tar Sands, and the Battle to Defuse the Carbon Bomb (paperback, 2013, Ruka Press): On Alberta's tar sands and why they represent such a threat to irrevesibly amplify global warming. Also available: Andrew Nikiforuk: Tar Sands: Dirty Oil and the Future of a Continent (rev ed, paperback, 2010, Greystone Books); William Marsden: Stupid to the Last Drop: How Alberta Is Bringing Environmental Armageddon to Canada (and Doesn't Seem to Care (2007; paperback, 2008, Vintage). If you want to explore the other side, there's Alastair Sweeny: Black Bonanza: Canada's Oil Sands and the Race to Secure North America's Energy Future (2010, Wiley), and Ezra Levant: Ethical Oil: The Case for Canada's Oil Sands (2007, paperback, 2011, McClelland & Stewart) -- the latter is an anti-Arab rant, and the former plays on that prejudice while declaring everything else squeaky clean.

Shlomo Avineri: Herzl's Vision: Theodor Herzl and the Foundation of the Jewish State (2014, Blue Bridge): Herzl wasn't the first Zionist, but he headed the World Zionist Organization until his early death (1904) and wrote two books (The Jewish State and The Old New Land, the latter a novel) articulating his vision for what became Israel in 1948. He was notable during his life for appealing to imperial powers to adopt the Zionists as a colonization project, and he painted a much more starry-eyed picture than what actually transpired. But then don't all imperialists start out starry-eyed?

Bernard Avishai: The Hebrew Republic: How Secular Democracy and Global Enterprise Will Bring Israel to Peace at Last (2008, Houghton Mifflin): I recently picked up Avishai's 1985 The Tragedy of Zionism: Revolution and Democracy in the Land of Israel (reissued in 2002 with a new subtitle, How Its Revolutionary Past Haunts Israeli Democracy) because it seemed to have a sense of how Ben-Gurion's ostensibly pragmatic tactics locked Israel into an untenable prison of myths. Looks like he has a critical analysis of Israel's internal divisions and how they prolong the conflict, and a fanciful solution that thinks Israel can correct itself and become a normal nation.

John Avlon: Wingnuts: How the Lunatic Fringe is Hijacking America (paperback, 2010, Beast Books): Cover shows Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, and Keith Olbermann in the best plague-on-both-your-houses style. Still, for all the author's deliberate centrism -- his previous book was called Independent Nation: How Centism Can Change American Politics -- an Amazon reviewer slams the book as "leftist trash; he's just another socialist who hates the constitution, distorts the truth, and fawns over progressive elitists." After all, you're only right if you're right.

Uri Avnery: 1948: A Soldier's Tale: The Bloody Road to Jerusalem (revised, paperback, 2009, One World): First English translation of two books by Avnery published 1949-50. He is now known as one of Israel's most courageous and consistent peaceniks, but back in the day fought in the far-right Irgun. That the war was blood is no doubt something he remembers better than most.

Uri Avnery: Israel's Vicious Circle: Ten Years of Writings on Israel and Palestine (2008, Pluto Press): I've no doubt read most of this already. He never misses a beat or falls for a scam.

Alan Axelrod: The Real History of World War II: A New Look at the Past (2008, Sterling): Despite the title, this looks like a high school textbook, a nicely organized and illustated compendium of what everyone knows, with little or no additional insights. Author also wrote The Real History of the American Revolution: A New Look at the Past, just a year ago.

Robert Axelrod, The Evolution of Cooperation (Perseus): Revised paperback edition of an older book. Not sure exactly what this is -- game theory, maybe. Author has another book, The Complexity of Cooperation. Important subject, the bedrock of civilization.

Stephen H Axilrod: Inside the Fed: Monetary Policy and Its Management, Martin Through Greenspan to Benanke (2009, MIT Press): Until Bernanke most of what the Fed did was diddle with the money supply, taking the punch bowl away when parties started to get going (unless you're Greenspan and the party is Republican, of course), and this briefly (213 pp) surveys that side, from a long time insider's perspective.

Phoebe Ayers/Charles Matthews/Ben Yates: How Wikipedia Works: And How You Can Be a Part of It (paperback, 2008, No Starch Press): Big (600 page) book on Wikipedia. We've been needing some kind of book to provide an intro to the mechanics and conventions of contributing. I've put a couple of little things in, but have generally been inhibited. I bought John Broughton: Wikipedia: The Missing Manual, but haven't read much yet. (Also Mark S Choate: Professional Wikis, which is more about how to set up your own MediaWiki-based site, which may be the hardcore way to do it.)

George BN Ayittey: Africa Unchained: The Blueprint for Africa's Future (paperback, 2006, Palgrave Macmillan): Relatively optimistic approach to Africa's future, positing a fresh restart from the chaos and depredations of the past. Author, an economist from Ghana, previously wrote Africa in Chaos: A Comparative History.

Ariella Azoulay/Adi Ophir: The One-State Condition: Occupation and Democracy in Israel/Palestine (paperback, 2012, Stanford University Press): Abridged from a much larger book in Hebrew, this is a theory-heavy structural analysis of Israel's occupation -- how various legal and military regimes have been evolved to repress revolt and manage the Palestinian population both within the Green Zone and in the occupied territories. They make no bones that the key is violence, sometimes naked (their term is "eruptive"), more often implicit (what they call "withheld"). Moreover, this violence is so much a part of Israeli rule that the only way to make peace is to replace the Israeli regime.

Ariella Azoulay: From Palestine to Israel: A Photographic Record of Destruction and State Formation, 1947-1950 (paperback, 2011, Pluto Press): On 200 photographs from the war when Israel not only achieved independence but reduced the Arab population of the nation from 70% to 15%. She also wrote The Civil Contract of Photography (2012, Zone Books) and Civil Imagination: A Political Ontology of Photography (2012, Verso).

Andrew Bacevich: American Empire: The Realities and Consequences of US Diplomacy (paperback, 2004, Harvard University Press): Author of The New American Militarism: How Americans Are Seduced by War, a conservative who has been one of the most effective critics of US militariam. This book singles out the post-Cold War period. Note that Bacevich has a new book coming out in August: The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism.

Andrew Bacevich: The New American Militarism: How Americans Are Seduced by War (2005, Oxford University Press).

Andrew J Bacevich, ed: The Long War: A New History of US National Security Policy Since World War II (2007, Columbia University Press): Academics only: 608 pages, list price $77.50. Twelve essays, only a couple of people I've heard of, none other than Bacevich I particularly respect.

Andrew J Bacevich: The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism (2008, Metropolitan Books): Surprise bestseller. Looks short, and may idolize Jimmy Carter more than is really decent, but not a bad idea as a corrective. I think the key to the sales burst has been the way Bacevich has avoided any partisan association with the Democrats, who he correctly recognizes are a little too trigger happy. (Come election time we'll have to balance that off against McCain, who's easily the most trigger-happy presidential candidate since James Polk, maybe ever.)

Andrew Bacevich: Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War (2010, Metropolitan Books): America's bestselling anti-militarism author, possibly because he set his roots down in the military, academia, and the conservative press before he turned against the perpetual war machine, but also because he's open to ideas from all over the map. Bush set such a low bar that Obama thinks he can play the same game and come out on top, a conceit that Bacevich is singularly skilled at debunking.

Andrew J Bacevich, ed: The Short American Century: A Postmortem (2012, Harvard University Press): Collection with eight other contributors, including Walter LaFeber -- one of the first to document this century of hubris and folly.

Andrew J Bacevich: Breach of Trust: How Americans Failed Their Soldiers and Their Country (2013, Metropolitan Books): Continues the author's critique of American militarism -- cf. The New American Militarism: How Americans Are Seduced by War (2005), The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism (2008), Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War (2010) -- all useful books. Still, I think his argument here, that Washington has found it too easy to use (and abuse) the all-volunteer Army can be countered by restoring the draft, is misplaced. He surely recalls that having "citizen-soldiers" in Vietnam did little to prevent the politicians and brass from abusing them. Nor did the Army's later scheme to make itself unable to fight wars without calling up the reserves deter the Bushes. I don't doubt that the Afghanistan and Iraq wars have done immeasurable damage to the troops, but you're never going to end American militarism by fetishizing the troops -- they ultimately have too much stake in perpetuating the system to buck it, even if many wind up its victims.

Andrew J Bacevich: America's War for the Greater Middle East: A Military History (2016, Random House): Vietnam veteran, conservative critic of America's imperial overreach, especially since his important The New American Militarism: How Americans Are Seduced by War appeared in 2005 in the wake of Bush's ill-fated invasion of Iraq. That book helped explain why American politicians lost their fear of getting trapped in foreign quagmires. Here he moves from the toxic effects militarism has had on American civil society to the endless chain of disasters US entanglement in the Middle East has caused going back to the 1980s. Very likely another important book.

Andrew J Bacevich: America's War for the Greater Middle East: A Military History (2016; paperback, 2017, Random House): A self-styled conservative, but a useful critic of militarism in post-Vietnam America (see 2005's The New American Militarism: How Americans Are Seduced by War). As the Cold War wound down, the military pivoted to focus on the Middle East, most dramatically with the 1990-91 Gulf War, which turned into a 12-year containment project aimed at Iraq, and boosted by 9/11 backlash into a massive war in Afghanistan and Iraq, and more clandestine operations from Libya to Yemen and Somalia to Pakistan.

René Backmann: A Wall in Palestine (paperback, 2010, Picador): More like the wall in Palestine, cutting through the West Bank, less for security than to impose a new partition on the landscape, and not much about that either given the Israelis show every intent to keep both sides.

David Bacon: Illegal People: How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants (2008; paperback, 2009, Beacon Press): Journalist, former labor organizer, on both carrot and stick: what draws (or forces) workers to emigrate into situations where they lack rights and are certain to be exploited.

James Bacque: Crimes and Mercies: The Fate of German Civilians Under Allied Occupation, 1944-1950 (revised edition, paperback, 2007, Talonbooks): Canadian historian, looks into the underside of post-WWII occupation in Europe -- Giles MacDonogh's After the Reich: The Brutal History of the Allied Occupation is a newer and longer book on same subject. One reason these books are of current interest is that they suggest that all occupations are flawed -- I've seen reports of Young Republicans boning up on the US occupation of Germany and Japan during their flight to Baghdad. History could have served them better (not that they cared).

Alain Badiou: The Communist Hypothesis (2010, Verso): A manifesto for a new way following the self-destructions of soviet communism and neo-liberalism. Probably not the best PR strategy to package this as yet another communism, but it makes sense to me to project some sort of "third way" out of the current dead end ideologies. Badiou has a stack of books, most recently The Meaning of Sarkozy.

Robert B Baer: The Perfect Kill: 21 Laws for Assassins (2014, Blue Rider Press): Ex-CIA agent, wrote about his career in See No Evil: The True Story of a Ground Soldier in the CIA's War on Terrorism (2002); also Sleeping With the Devil: How Washington Sold Our Soul for Saudi Crude (2003), and The Devil We Know: Dealing With the New Iranian Superpower (2008). Not clear how critical and/or complicit he his, but this manual for assassins may try to have it both ways -- as if there are two sides to the story.

Joe Bageant: Deer Hunting With Jesus: Dispatches From America's Class War (2007, Crown).

Joe Bageant: Rainbow Pie: A Redneck Memoir (paperback, 2011, Scribe): Previously wrote Deer Hunting With Jesus: Dispatches From America's Class War (2007, Crown), the cursory tales of a class-conscious redneck. Might seem presumptuous to write a memoir, but he got cancer and died already, so quit bitching.

Jim Baggott: The First War of Physics: The Secret History of the Atom Bomb 1939-1949 (2010, Pegasus): The secrets presumably come from recently declassified documents, especially from Russia. Otherwise it would seem that this story has been told many times over, perhaps best by Richard Rhodes' trilogy: The Making of the Atomic Bomb, Dark Sun: The Making of the Hydrogen Bomb, and Arsenals of Folly: The Making of the Nuclear Arms Race.

Charles V Bagli: Other People's Money: Inside the Housing Crisis and the Demise of the Greatest Real Estate Deal Ever Made (2013, Dutton): Focuses on BlackRock as one of the more spectacular busts of the banking collapse.

Jay Bahadur: The Pirates of Somalia: Inside Their Hidden World (2011, Pantheon): Journalist, went to Somalia and worked his way into the pirate havens, met people, talked shop, managed to get out and write a book about it. Probably knows more about the subject than any of us ever will, although I've seen at least one more book that makes a similar claim: Peter Eichstaedt: Pirate State: Inside Somalia's Terrorism at Sea (2010, Lawrence Hill Books); and there are others that approach the subject from a safer distance, like Martin N Murphy: Small Boats, Weak States, Dirty Money: Piracy and Maritime Terrorism in the Modern World (paperback, 2010, Columbia University Press).

Matt Bai: The Argument: Billionaires, Bloggers, and the Battle to Remake Democratic Politics (2007, Penguin Press): Could be that this is just a pissy attack on web-oriented Democratic Party activists, in which case it's not an argument I much care to get into -- I'm more concerned with what's wrong in the real world than I am about nitpicking people trying to change it. [Paperback July 29]

Bernard Bailyn: The Barbarous Years: The Peopling of British North America: The Conflict of Civilizations, 1600-1675 (2012, Knopf): Should as much be the story of the de-peopling of North America, as the native population died off while surrendering land to European (and African) newcomers. Especially in the early years, the population balance was treacherous.

Sheila Bair: Bull by the Horns: Fighting to Save Main Street From Wall Street and Wall Street From Itself (2012, Free Press): A Kansas Republican, appointed by Bush to head the FDIC in 2006, Bair distinguished herself as damn near the only government official who attempted to do something about the financial collapse before the bottom fell out.

Joel Bakan: The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power (paperback, 2005, Free Press): Not specifically about banks, but the author could write a sequel that is. For starters, the custom of treating fines for illegal activities to cost-benefit analysis is sociopathic.

Dean Baker: The United States Since 1980 (2007, Cambridge University Press): Short survey of the economic fruits of the right-turn following Reagan's election. Baker has been a pretty sharp observer, especially of the housing bubble. He also wrote a short essay, The Conservative Nanny State: How the Wealthy Use the Government to Stay Rich and Get Richer. He also edited Getting Prices Right: The Debate Over the Accuracy of the Consumer Price Index, the set of statistical changes introduced in the 1990s that serve to understate inflation and thereby to underfund cost-of-living increases.

Dean Baker: Plunder and Blunder: The Rise and Fall of the Bubble Economy (paperback, 2009, Polipoint Press): Short (170 pp) essay on the financial debacle, from one of the few critics who clearly saw it coming.

Dean Baker: False Profits: Recovering from the Bubble Economy (paperback, 2010, Polipoint Press): Cover photos of Bernanke, Greenspan, and Paulson, although I doubt that it ends there. Baker was one of the first to understand the bubble and what its collapse would mean. This looks to be a little more developed than his slim Plunder and Blunder: The Rise and Fall of the Bubble Economy.

Dean Baker: Taking Economics Seriously (2010, Boston Review Books): A prolific author of short books, one more (136 pp), a basic primer, probably suffices for Econ 101, but he focuses on especially relevant ideas. In particular, he pushes for marginal cost pricing, which would take a lot of hot air out of medical costs.

Dean Baker: The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive (paperback, 2011, Center for Economic and Policy Reserach): Short (168 pp.), defines "loser liberalism" as policies that "want to tax the winners to help the losers," and argues that progressives would be better off working "to structure markets so that they don't redistribute income upward." Seems like the right idea to me.

Dean Baker: Rigged: How Globalization and the Rules of the Modern Economy Were Structured to Make the Rich Richer (paperback, 2016, Center for Economic and Policy Research): How various rules and policies increase inequality, and how different rules could reduce the concentration of wealth. Book available free online as a PDF or ebook.

Nicholson Baker: Human Smoke: The Beginnings of World War II, the End of Civilization (2008, Simon & Schuster): Long (576 pages) series of short chronological vignettes -- news items, I guess, but only if we had a much smarter media than we do now or then. Few subjects have been distorted by self-serving myth as the origins of WWII. This looks to be an antidote to most of them, and if it creates a case for pacifism, so much the better. Possibly the most intriguing book I found this trip.

Nicholson Baker: Human Smoke: The Beginnings of World War II, the End of Civilization (2008; paperback, 2009, Simon & Schuster): Short vignettes, framed like newspaper clippings, spread out in chronological order up to the end of 1941, by which time the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor and the US had entered into the most horrific war of all time. Traces the growth of barbarism, and the inability of pacifists to stop it -- a key point being that no one else tried. An extraordinary book.

Nicholson Baker: The Way the World Works: Essays (2012, Simon & Schuster): Fifteen years of short pieces by the mostly novelist, including a couple I would certainly want to read ("The Charms of Wikipedia," and "Why I Am a Pacifist," the first of three in the section on War). I haven't read his fiction, but Human Smoke: The Beginnings of World War II, the End of Civilization is a great book.

Peter Baker/Susan Glasser: Kremlin Rising: Vladimir Putin's Russia and the End of Revolution (2005; updated edition, paperback, 2007, Potomac Books).

Peter Baker: Days of Fire: Bush and Cheney in the White House (2013, Doubleday): Big (816 pp) instant history of the two Bush-Cheney terms, based on sympathetic insider interviews by a long-time White House correspondent. One angle seems to be questioning who called the shots when -- for much of this time Billmon commonly referred to the Cheney Administration, while only occasionally mentioning "Shrub." My impression is that after Cheney's chief of staff Libby was convicted the tables turned and we went from the Cheney menace to the Bush muddle, not that anything got better.

Raymond W Baker/Shereen T Ismael/Tareq Y Ismael, eds: Cultural Cleansing in Iraq: Why Museums Were Looted, Libraries Burned and Academics Murdered (2010, Pluto Press): The images of looting in Baghdad upon the arrival of US forces are indelible, but less known is the purge of intellectuals, with over 400 killed, many more driven from their homes and often from Iraq.

Russ Baker: Family of Secrets: The Bush Dynasty, the Powerful Forces That Put It in the White House, and What Their Influence Means for America (2008, Bloomsbury Press): Not what you'd call timely: who, after all, wants to think, much less read 592 pages, about the Bushes anymore. Not sure what all is in here, but one big thread is that GHW Bush had worked for the CIA before he became director under Nixon, and that somehow links him to the JFK assassination.

Tom Baker: The Medical Malpractice Myth (2005; paperback, 2007, University of Chicago Press)

William Baker/Addison Wiggin: Endless Money: The Moral Hazards of Socialism (2009, Wiley): Exposes "the dark motives and drivers of today's socialist alliance, a combination of the über rich and the rights of the entitled lower-middle class." Sounds like if we had only kept to the gold standard we wouldn't have had all that growth which turned into bubbles and burst into recessions.

Jon Bakija/Lane Kenworthy/Peter Lindert/Jeff Madrick: How Big Should Our Government Be? (paperback, 2016, University of California Press): Looks like each author gets separate chapters around the question. The only one I'm familiar with is Madrick, who wrote The Case for Big Government (2008), so you know where he's going. Right-wingers have argued for shrinking federal government back to an arbitrarily small percent of GDP, a level not seen since Calvin Coolidge, although few of them are on record in favor of shrinking the federal government's most cancerous tumor, the Department of Defense, proportionately. Even so, they've shown no allowance for the ways the world has changed since the 1920s, such as the much greater complexity of the marketplace, the need for a much more skilled and knowledgeable workforce, the need for modern transportation and communication networks, the impacts of larger population and production on the environment, and many other things -- even if (like me) you think the growth of the "defense" and "security" sectors (i.e., war and repression) is largely bogus. I would go further and argue that public takeover of dysfunctional markets like health care would be a good idea, as well as some way to subsidize creative development of products that can be freely mass-produced (like software and many forms of art). I don't see how you can map any of these needs to a fixed size, so size itself isn't a very good measure.

Gretchen Bakke: The Grid: The Fraying Wires Between Americans and Our Energy Future (2016, Bloomsbury USA)

Peter Baldwin: The Narcissism of Minor Differences: How America and Europe Are Alike (2009, Oxford University Press): A contrarian view, arguing that the differences between Europe and the US are much ado about not very much. In particular, he finds health care outcomes pretty much equivalent, which suggests he's not factoring in cost or inequality, or losing something like that. Of course, there are similarities, such as the general level of technology, science, and culture -- which makes the differences all the more interesting.

Kevin Bales: Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy (2nd edition, paperback, 2004, University of California Press): Claims that chattel slavery, debt bondage, and contract slavery persist, affecting at least 27 million people. This is the case. Bales also wrote Ending Slavery: How We Free Today's Slaves (2007), and has a new, short book, co-written with Rebecca Cornell, coming out in paperback later this month: Slavery Today.

Philip Ball: Critical Mass: How One Thing Leads to Another (paperback, 2006, Farrar Straus and Giroux): Lots of basics on physical laws with interesting tangents into the social sciences.

Ken Ballen: Terrorists in Love: The Real Lives of Islamic Radicals (2011, Free Press): Can't fault one for wanting to get a broader, deeper look at the real people castigated as terrorists, even a federal prosecutor. Foreword by Peter L. Bergen.

Dan Balz/Haynes Johnson: The Battle for America 2008: The Story of an Extraordinary Election (2009, Viking): Looks like this 2008's The Making of the President. Given that it was just about the only political story of 2008 that was adequately (indeed, excessively) covered in real time, I doubt that they have much to add.

Bill Bamber/Andrew Spencer: Bear Trap: The Fall of Bear Stearns and the Panic of 2008 (2008, Brick Tower): First book out on the subject, well before the crisis had played out, so they tend to view Bear Stearns as the exception rather than the rule -- a martyr for Wall Street's sins.

Abhijit V Banerjee/Esther Duflo: Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty (2011, Public Affairs): What's radical is that it looks at how poor people live, rather than trying to deduce that from economic theory.

Chitrita Banerji: Eating India: An Odyssey Into the Food and Culture of the Land of Spices (2007, Bloomsbury): Travel, history, culture, all introduced through food, which is pretty much the way I learned whatever I know about India.

Russell Banks: Dreaming Up America (2008, Seven Stories Press): Historical novelist -- author of The Sweet Hereafter, Continental Drift, Cloudsplitter, most recently The Reserve -- writes a short essay on the self-conception of America over the years.

Edward E Baptist: The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism (2014, Basic Books): Argues against the notion that slavery was pre-capitalist or even anti-capitalist by pointing out the how especially in the cotton industry technical innovations (hence capital) were developed to make slavery more productive and profitable. But showing that slavery was compatible with capitalism doesn't lighten its burden -- if anything, the opposite. Some of this was anticipated by Walter Johnson: River of Dark Dreams: Slavery and Empire in the Cotton Kingdom (2013, Belknap Press). Also related: Sven Beckert: Empire of Cotton: A Global Industry (2014, Knopf).

Mehrsa Baradaran: How the Other Half Banks: Exclusion, Exploitation, and the Threat to Democracy (2015, Harvard University Press): "The United States has two separate banking systems today -- one serving the well-to-do and another exploiting everyone else." Actually, I doubt the "well-to-do" are served all that well either, but the "payday lenders" and "check cashing services" that people frozen out of the legit banking system deserve a harsher word than "exploiting." Baradaran advocates a "postal banking" system that would provide minimal cost banking services to everyone.

Nir Baram: A Land Without Borders: My Journey Around East Jerusalem and the West Bank (paperback, 2017, Text)

Benjamin R Barber, Consumed: How Markets Corrupt Children, Infantilize Adults, and Swallow Citizens Whole (paperback, 2008, WW Norton).

Benjamin R Barber: If Mayors Ruled the World: Dysfunctional Nations, Rising Cities (paperback, 2014, Yale University Press).

Charles Barber: Comfortably Numb : How Psychiatry Is Medicating a Nation (2008, Knopf): Author worked for 10 years in NYC shelters for the homeless mentally ill, so he may have some axes to grind: we spend less and less on mental health therapy, but more and more on drugs: the US accounts for 66% of the world market for antidepressants.

Dan Barber: The Third Plate: Field Notes on the Future of Food (2013, Penguin Press)

Robert J Barbera: The Cost of Capitalism: Understanding Market Mayhem and Stabilizing our Economic Future (2009, McGraw-Hill): Seems like a fairly establishment guy to go around badmouthing capitalism like that. Hyman Minsky follower, learning lessons from one bubble/panic to the next. Evidently a good deal more readable than Minsky's own recently reprinted Stabilizing an Unstable Economy.

Mitchell Bard: The Arab Lobby: The Invisible Alliance That Undermines America's Interests in the Middle East (2010, Harper): Looks like Bard counted the pages in Walt and Mearsheimer's The Israel Lobby and kept writing until he topped them. Even if you agree that the point of Arab political influence in America is "weakening our alliance with a democratic Israel" you have to conclude that it hasn't been very effective and therefore isn't very significant. Perhaps it has been more effective at keeping the US from criticizing human rights issues in places like Saudi Arabia, but then we don't seem to care much about Israeli human rights violations either.

Louise Bardach: Without Fidel: A Death Foretold in Miami, Havana, and Washington (2009, Simon & Schuster): Claims to have inside dope on Castro's medical condition, but is mostly interested in speculating on what happens to Cuba once he passes. I imagine she finds a lot of nonsense. Don't know whether she can (or wants to) sort it all out.

Jason Socrates Bardi: The Calculus Wars: Newton, Leibniz, and the Greatest Mathematical Clash of All Time (2007, Basic Books): It is well known that Newton and Leibniz independently discovered calculus. This goes into the history and the dispute over primacy, for whatever that's worth.

Ugo Bardi: Extracted: How the Quest for Mineral Wealth Is Plundering the Planet (paperback, 2014, Chelsea Green)

Thomas Barfield: Afghanistan: A Cultural and Political History (2010, Princeton University Press): Anthropologist and "old Afghanistan hand" (isn't that a CIA term?) goes way back, emphasizes geography, "the bewildering diversity of tribal and ethnic groups," how it became "a graveyard of empires" for the British and Soviets, "and what the United States must do to avoid a similar fate." Get out?

Omar Barghouti: Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions: The Global Struggle for Palestinian Rights (paperback, 2011, Haymarket Books): Advocating for a global BDS campaign to put pressure on Israel to come to terms with the fact that Palestinians deserve human and civil rights like everyone else, something that Israel's occupation and settlements have denied. Modelled on the BDS efforts that helped to isolate and reform South Africa's Apartheid regime.

Kim Barker: The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan (2011, Knopf): Five years reporting, starting in 2003 "when the war there was lazy and insignificant"; reported to be funny (at least P.J. O'Rourke thinks so), which is one way of coming to grips with stupid and indifferent -- terms I'm more inclined to find applicable.

Maude Barlow: Blue Covenant: The Global Water Crisis and the Coming Battle for the Right to Water (2008, New Press): Canadian antiglobalization activist, about dwindling fresh water supplies and the politics surrounding them.

Donald L Barlett/James B Steele: Critical Condition: How Health Care in America Became Big Business -- and Bad Medicine (2004, Doubleday).

Donald L Barlett/James B Steele: The Betrayal of the American Dream (2012, PublicAffairs): Journalists, wrote their first book on this subject back in 1992 (America: What Went Wrong?), then followed it up in 1996 (America: Who Stole the Dream?), and nothing's happened since then to take their subject away. They tend to lead with an onslaught of facts, so expect that. I used to be wary of Middle Class/American Dream arguments, partly because the implicit narrative behind them is one of aspiring to be ever richer. However, the new story line is one of struggling to avoid poverty, nipping at your heels, meaner than ever.

Donald L Barlett/James B Steele: The Betrayal of the American Dream (2012; paperback, 2013, Public Affairs):

Frank Barnaby: How to Build a Nuclear Bomb: And Other Weapons of Mass Destruction (paperback, 2004, Nation Books).

Harper Barnes: Never Been a Time: The 1917 Race Riot That Sparked the Civil Rights Movement (2008, Walker Books): East St. Louis, IL.

Cynthia Barnett: Mirage: Florida and the Vanishing Water of the Eastern US (2007, University of Michigan Press).

Dagmar Barnouw: The War in the Empty Air: Victims, Perpetrators, and Postwar Germans (2005, Indiana University Press): A study of German remembrance and opinion of WWII -- mostly a story of repressed memory and distancing. Don't know how well it addresses a couple of things I wonder about: 1) post-WWII Germany (and Japan) provide a sort of "best case" outcome for defeat and occupation in a modern war, so I wonder just how good that "best case" really is; 2) to the extent Germans (and Japanese) have adopted the American view of responsibility in the war (that they have is why they are best cases) has this allowed the US to take further advantage of them in ways that will ultimately be seen as unfair and self-damaging.

James Barr: Setting the Desert on Fire: T.E. Lawrence and Britain's Secret War in Arabia, 1916-1918 (2008, WW Norton): Although Britain had established effective control over Egypt and the Sudan earlier, their intervention in the Middle East starts here under the pretense of fomenting Arab nationalist revolt against the Ottomans, a schizophrenic mix of imperialism and liberation that they never understood much less mastered.

Roseanne Barr: Roseannearchy: Dispatches From the Nut Farm (2011, Simon & Schuster): A glance at the cover suggests she's muscling into Glenn Beck territory, which might be a good idea, but the self-deprecating "nut farm" suggests she's too self-conscious for that. Probably too smart, too.

Allen Barra: Yogi Berra: Eternal Yankee (2009, WW Norton): Biography, sorts out the myth and reality of the great NY Yankee catcher. One of my favorite players from my early childhood, I can still vividly recall his swing and his home run trot (in black and white, no less), and remember him from later on, managing, broadcasting, pitching ads, smiling knowingly when Joe Garagiola or Phil Rizzuto would make up a story about him. Still ticking, Berra has his own new book out: You Can Observe a Lot by Watching: What I've Learned About Teamwork From the Yankees and From Life.

Daniel J Barrett: MediaWiki (Wikipedia and Beyond) (paperback, 2008, O'Reilly): Large book on the free software package that underlies Wikipedia. I've been meaning to use MediaWiki for a couple of projects, so this is of special interest to me. On the other hand, I've been accumulating books on Wikipedia without yet getting to the point of using them. Won't have a real opinion on them until I do.

Dave Barry: Dave Barry's History of the Millennium (So Far) (2007, Putnam): Very funny guy, at least once upon a time. Whether that time includes the present, let alone the recent past, remains to be seen. But his biggest problem is likely the material: much of it is too weird to caricature, and too tragic to reduce to doo doo jokes. Jon Stewart seems to be a better fit for the times. Barry was fine back in the Reagan era when you weren't really sure you had to take it all seriously.

Larry M Bartells: Unequal Democracy: The Political Economy of the New Gilded Age (2008; paperback, 2010, Princeton University Press).

Bruce Bartlett: Wrong on Race: The Democratic Party's Buried Past (2008, Palgrave Macmillan): A brief on why blacks should never trust the Democratic Party, built around a long list of racist misdeeds by prominent Democrats (mostly but not exclusively Southerners). Much of this history is worth recounting -- Woodrow Wilson's extension of segregation is a case in point -- although Bartlett never knows when to let up (e.g., the KKK member FDR appointed to the Supreme Court was Hugo Black, one of the staunchest supporters of civil rights ever). Then there's the Republican Party's past, some of which isn't buried at all. Bartlett got in trouble a couple of years back over his attempt to attack Bush from the right: Impostor: How George W Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy. Maybe this is his penance?

Bruce Bartlett: The New American Economy: The Failure of Reaganomics and a Way Forward (2009, Palgrave Macmillan): Still a self-styled conservative, but whereas his 2006 book still clung to Reagan's legacy (title: Impostor: How George W Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy) and his 2008 book was dishonest (title: Wrong on Race: The Democratic Party's Buried Past) he finally has some doubts about Saint Ronald. Now he's pitching Keynes and the Welfare State to his conservative brethren, but it's probably too high and hard for them to touch.

Bruce Bartlett: The Benefit and the Burden: Tax Reform, Why We Need it and What It Will Take (2012, Simon & Schuster): Conservative ideologue, has somehow nudged himself into a position of relative sanity through a series of books that tried to argue that conservatives were actually nice guys, not racists, and concerned with everyone's economic well-being -- despite much evidence that real conservatives are anything but. This book is probably useful in sorting out who pays what taxes and how the US systems compares to others, and isn't knee-jerk anti-tax, but he has long had a supply-side bias.

Michael Bar-Zohar/Nissim Mishal: Mossad: The Greatest Missions of the Israeli Secret Service (2012, Ecco): One of a rash of recent books on the world's best-publicized spy force, boasting of their great works, not just abductions and assassinations (although there have been plenty of those). Others include: Gordon Thomas: Gideon's Spies: The Secret History of the Mossad (784 pp.; , sixth ed., paperback, 2012, St. Martin's Griffin); Dan Raviv/Yossi Melman: Spies Against Armageddon: Inside Israel's Secret Wars (paperback, 2012, Levant Books); Ephraim Lapid/Amos Gilboa, eds.: Israel's Silent Defender: An Inside Look at Sixty Years of Israeli Intelligence (2012, Gefen). For a somewhat more balanced view, see Daniel Byman: A High Price: The Triumphs & Failures of Israeli Counterterrorism (2011, Oxford University Press).

Jacques Barzun: From Dawn to Decadence: 500 Years of Western Cultural Life: 1500 to the Present (paperback, 2001, Harper Perennial): Big book, one I keep thinking I should pick up and read, not least because it appeared in Billmon's last reading list.

Gary J Bass: The Blood Telegram: Nixon, Kissinger, and a Forgotten Genocide (2013, Knopf): About the 1971 revolt and war that split Bangladesh off from Pakistan, and how Nixon and Kissinger were so wrapped up in their Cold War machinations they didn't notice (nor did they care) that millions of people were perishing. Bass has a rotten history as one of those liberal hawks who invariably wants the US to jump into wars everywhere there's a chance to save lives, and this is a case that suits him to a T. (As I recall, Noam Chomsky cited India's intervention as one of the very few cases where a war actually did some good.) And it never hurts to be reminded that Nixon and Kissinger were war criminals of the highest order. Still, beware the hidden agenda.

Rick Bass: Why I Came West: A Memoir (2008, Houghton Mifflin): I read one of his first books, a novel called Oil Notes that read more like a memoir. He has a long list of short books since then. Always meant to read more.

Bradley Bateman/Toshiaki Hirai/Maria Cristina Marcuzzo, eds: The Return to Keynes (2010, Belknap Press): Nothing like a crisis to nudge economists back to studying reality, even to bringing back tools that allow you to do something about it.

Robert H Bates: When Things Fell Apart: State Failure in Late-Century Africa (paperback, 2008, Cambridge University Press): Failed states consume economies in chaos, corruption, and predation, but what causes states to fail? One suggestion here is that globalization, especially backed by IMF policies, undermined efforts to build stable, adequately financed state organizations.

Ravi Batra, The New Golden Age: The Coming Revolution Against Political Corruption and Economic Chaos (2007-01, Palgrave Macmillan).

Zygmunt Bauman: Does the Richness of the Few Benefit Us All? (paperback, 2013, Polity): Short (100 pp) essay by a philosophy prof, evidently picks apart various arguments ("finding them one by one to be false, deceitful and misleading") to arrive at "no." I'm not inclined to disagree, especially on the so-called "trickle down" theories (unless that trickling is aided by redistributive tax policies). I don't know whether Bauman considers the argument that the extravagances and idiosyncrasies of the rich may on occasion create something of lasting cultural value -- e.g., the Taj Mahal -- that would never have been created in a more egalitarian society. On the other hand, such arts only attain popular value when they have been opened to the public. (The policy which would promote this would be a confiscatory estate tax, which would encourage the rich to build monuments to their memory while also ensuring public access in due course. It would also limit that aristocracy problem.)

William J Baumol/Robert E Litan/Carl J Schramm: Good Capitalism, Bad Capitalism: And the Economics of Growth and Prosperity (2007, Yale University Press): Admits that capitalism exists both for good and bad, but doesn't seem to have realized that it may be both at the same time. Part of that may be due to seeing growth as good always.

William J Baumol/Robert E Litan/Carl J Schramm: Good Capitalism, Bad Capitalism, and the Economics of Growth and Prosperity (2007, Yale University Press): This just in: "capitalism comes in different flavors, and some of those flavors taste very much better than others."

William J Baumol, et al: The Cost Disease: Why Computers Get Cheaper and Health Care Doesn't (2012, Yale University Press): An important subject, although it's not clear that Baumol has got the answer right: health care is a dysfunctional market with a lot of hidden (and frankly cancerous) monopolies. Other factors may add to this, including some Baumol identifies (labor costs, lack of productivity improvements).

Moustafa Bayoumi, ed: Midnight on the Mavi Marmara: The Attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla and How It Changed the Course of the Israel/Palestine Conflict (paperback, 2010, Haymarket): Too soon, I'd say, to say much about deflecting the course of the conflict, but Israel's display of gratuitous violence certainly had the effect of driving their once-carefully cultivated alliance with Turkey off the deep end.

Jason Beaird: The Principles of Beautiful Web Design (paperback, 2007, SitePoint): Short, pricey primer, looks like it might be inspirational but somehow none of those web design books have ever nudged me into becoming a better web designer. Part of a series, including Jonathan Snook: The Art & Science of CSS and Cameron Adams: The Art & Science of JavaScript.

Mary Beard: SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome (2015, Liveright): A history described both as sweeping and concise (608 pp) of Rome and its Empire from foundation up to 212 CE when Caracalla extended Roman citizenship to all non-slaves throughout the empire -- as good a date as any to avoid having to deal with the Empire's decline and fall.

Alan Beattie: False Economy: A Surprising Economic History of the World (2009, Riverhead): Financial Times world trade editor skips his way through world history, picking up all sorts of more or less relevant connections, analogies, or innuendos. Sounds like it's oriented to entertain the general reader, with the fertile cross-polination of ideas sparking occasional insight.

Jack Beatty, Age of Betrayal: The Triumph of Money in America, 1865-1900 (2007, Knopf; paperback, 2008, Vintage). Important history of the coming of the Gilded Age and its resultant subversion of American democracy.

Jack Beatty: The Lost History of 1914: Reconsidering the Year the Great War Began (2012, Walker): Looks like an interesting reexamination of the not-so-inevitable origins of WWI -- an evident contrast to Christopher Clark's The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914. Beatty previously wrote Age of Betrayal: The Triumph on Money in America, 1865-1900 (2007), an important book on how money subverted democracy in the Gilded Age.

Dan Beauchamp: Health Care Reform and the Battle for the Body Politic (paperback, 1996, Temple University Press)

Glenn Beck: Arguing with Idiots: How to Stop Small Minds and Big Government (2009, Threshold Editions): I thumbed through this incoherent comic book last night, finding it virtually impossible to read. Back cover is covered with critical attacks on Beck, mostly pegging him as a vile moron. It says something about his niche marketing that he figures they're good for sales. Looks like his readers are the idiots, and the point of argument is to work up fury. Haven't looked at his other new bestseller, Glenn Beck's Common Sense: The Case Against an Out-of-Control Government, Inspired by Thomas Paine, let alone such earlier efforts as America's March to Socialism: Why We're One Step Closer to Giant Missile Parades.

Gary S Becker/Richard A Posner: Uncommon Sense: Economic Insights, from Marriage to Terrorism (2009, University of Chicago Press): Mostly uncommon because it's mostly wrong. Leading ideologues of the rational expectations cult reason their way through all sorts of ordinary quandries. I read one section on CEO pay and found that it wasn't even wrong because it never got to a conclusion that could be disproved.

Sheldon D Beebe/Mary H Kaldor: The Ultimate Weapon Is No Weapon: Human Security and the New Rules of War and Peace (2010, Public Affairs)

Richard Beeman: Plain, Honest Men: The Making of the American Constitution (paperback, 2010, Random House): I never thought of them as being all that plain, but I suppose you can make that case. I still have a couple of Gordon S. Wood books to read on the subject, so they would take priority (especially The Radicalism of the American Revolution).

Antony Beevor: The Battle for Spain: The Spanish Civil War 1936-1938 (paperback, 2006, Penguin Books): The latest big book on a subject I wish I knew more about. Americans who fought for Republican Spain were subsequently diagnosed and disparaged as "premature anti-fascists" -- a rather bizarre ailment given what the fascists went on to do, all the more so given the way Neville Chamberlain is castigated for his appeasement of Hitler over the Czechoslovakian Sudetenland. The first great appeasement was over Spain, as the British, French, et al., failed to recognize what those "premature anti-fascists" knew damn well. Beevor has several war books, including previous ones on Stalingrad: The Fateful Siege 1942-1943 and The Fall of Berlin 1945.

Antony Beevor: The Second World War: The Definitive History (2012, Little Brown): Big book (880 pp.), but the subject has been so exhaustively explored that this promises to be a primer, a reduction to bare essentials, which probably means one battle after another. Beevor himself has written whole (and pretty large) books on Stalingrad, D-Day, and The Fall of Berlin 1945, as well as his other "definitive" The Battle for Spain: The Spanish Civil War 1936-1939.

Yossi Beilin: The Path to Geneva: The Quest for a Permanent Solution, 1996-2003 (2004, RDV Books).

Peter Beinart: The Icarus Syndrome: A History of American Hubris (2010, Harper): Another sermon on why bad things happen to good countries, this one featuring Woodrow Wilson, Lyndon Johnson, and George W. Bush -- three presidents who led us into regretted wars with high-minded rhetoric. In some ways that cuts Bush too much slack, reflected by Beinart's enthusiasm for the Iraq War -- a mistake, Beinart admits, but one good enough to fuel his first book, The Good Fight: Why Liberals -- and Only Liberals -- Can Win the War on Terror. (He was on to something there with the implicit realization that conservatives like Bush couldn't do the right things, but failed to recognize that the only way you "win" a war is by keeping it from happening.)

Peter Beinart: The Icarus Syndrome: A History of American Hubris (2010; paperback, 2011, Harper Perennial): One of the more apologetic of the Iraq War liberal hawks, has plenty of ground to critique the lofty arrogance of America's foreign policy establishment; still, it seems to me that the faults are far more intrinsic, that even modest warmongers are bound to fail.

Peter Beinart: The Crisis of Zionism (2012, Times Books): Liberal hawk, in fact made a big stink about the point, insisting that only liberals can "win the war on terror" -- a thesis that held up fairly well during the Bush reign but hasn't fared so well under Obama. Also a big-time Israel-lover, eager to defend Zionism even though its record is even more tattered than that of the liberal hawks, but again with a proviso -- something about how the occupation is destroying the soul of Zionism. Even goes so far as to argue for boycotting products from Israel's West Bank settlements, which has made him public enemy number one to the other big-time Israel lovers: the ones who really dig the Chosen People's dominance over the natives -- makes them feel that Old Testament virility.

Larry Beinhart: Fog Facts: Searching for Truth in the Land of Spin (2005; paperback, 2006, Nation Books).

Michael Belfiore: The Department of Mad Scientists: How DARPA Is Remaking Our World, from the Internet to Artificial Limbs (2009, Smithsonian): DARPA is the Pentagon's R&D arm, which often came up with useful inventions -- at least until Reagan redirected its attention to the Star Wars nonsense. Since then their reputation for reclusiveness has increased, probably for shame. Author also wrote Rocketeers: How a Visionary Band of Business Leaders, Engineers, and Pilots is Boldly Privatizing Space, which sounds pretty gushy.

David A Bell: The First Total War: Napoleon's Europe and the Birth of Warfare as We Know It (2007, Houghton Mifflin).

Chris Bellamy: Absolute War: Soviet Russia in the Second World War (2007, Knopf): Big book on the side of the war that usually gets underrecognized here. Not sure how good it is.

SSG David Bellavia: House to House: An Epic Memoir of War (2007, Free Press): Reportedly a detailed, relentless, guilt-free assault on Fallujah, the author a "real American hero" with 5 confirmed kills and not the least bit of respect or sympathy for the other side. I suspect I'd find this book horrifying. But at least it has the ring of truth, unlike Michael Yon: Moment of Truth in Iraq: How a New "Greatest Generation" of American Soldiers Is Turning Defeat and Disaster Into Victory and Hope.

Michael A Bellesiles: 1877: America's Year of Living Violently (2010, New Press): Not the only one, but featuring enough lynchings, homicides, attacks on Indians and striking workers to fill up 400 pages. The nation was mired in a depression, with Reconstruction ending in a deal that gave the presidency to a Republican (Hayes) who got far fewer votes than his Democratic opponent (Tilden). Author previously wrote Arming America: The Origins of a National Gun Culture (2000; paperback, 2001, Vintage), a book still hated by gun nuts for puncturing cherished myths about frontier America.

Walden Bello: Dilemmas of Domination: The Unmaking of the American Empire (paperback, 2006, Holt): Picks apart the increasing thrashing of the war on terror -- more specifically the wars on Iraq and Afghanistan -- combined with the economic thrust of US global policy. Previously wrote: De-Globalization: Ideas for a New World Economy.

Walden Bello: The Food Wars (paperback, Verso, 2009): A third world view of US agribusiness and its designs on what the world eats, how it is grown, and who profits.

Walden Bello: Capitalism's Last Stand? Deglobalization in the Age of Austerity (paperback, 2013, Zed Books): Leftist author recycles various themes on how capitalism is falling apart. Deglobalization? Age of Austerity? An excerpt I read argues that Obama should have paid heed to Paul Krugman, which is true as far as it goes, but is that all the further a Marxist wants to go?

Jeremy Ben-Ami: A New Voice for Israel: Fighting for the Survival of the Jewish Nation (2011, Palgrave Macmillan): Founder of J Street, a "pro-Israel, pro-peace" lobby meant to challenge right-wing AIPAC. The problem with J Street isn't so much their slavish love for Israel (although that can get to be pretty annoying) as their self-delusion that Israel is in danger of destruction if peace isn't negotiated, whereas Israel has clearly proven that they can fight forever. Indeed, since their identity is so wrapped up in the conflict, one can just as well argue that the only way Israel can continue to be Israel is to keep the fight going: that peace would start some inexorable decay of the Jewish State.

Shlomo Ben-Ami: Scars of War, Wounds of Peace: The Israeli-Arab Tragedy (2006; paperback, 2007, Oxford University Press).

Walter Benjamin: The Arcades Project (paperback, 2002, Belknap Press): A Marxist literary critic of great depth and sweep, this somehow assembles his unfinished, perhaps unfinishable, great project. Back when I was devoted to critical theory I was aware of this, but not as something that actually exists -- an analogy might be the Beach Boys' Smile. Haven't read Benjamin or any other Frankfurt School eminence in 30 years, but regard him as an old, dear friend.

Yochai Benkler: The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom (2006, Yale University Press).

Yochai Benkler: The Penguin and the Leviathan: How Cooperation Triumphs Over Self-Interest (2011, Crown Business): Title comes from the free software ethos of Linux (with its happy penguin logo) and Hobbes' politico-philosophical landmark where the unfettered pursuit of self-interest turns into a war of all against all. It shouldn't be hard to show that cooperation is more productive -- indeed, the main thing that companies do is to build a sheltered space where workers can build together, even in a world where competition between companies can be cutthroat. Adam Smith, for instance, imagined an "invisible hand" but what he really demonstrated was the productive advantages of a division of labor. Author previously wrote The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom (2006, Yale University Press).

Owen Bennett Jones: Pakistan: Eye of the Storm (2002; paperback, 2003, Yale University Press; 3rd ed, paperback, 2009, Yale University Press)

Phyllis Bennis: Understanding the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict: A Primer (paperback, 2009, Olive Branch Press): I saw this as a pamphlet several years ago, but at 208 pp. most likely this has been updated. Bennis has a bunch of primers like this, including Ending the Iraq War, Understanding the US-Iran Crisis, and most recently Ending the US War in Afghanistan (with David Wildman). She's very good at getting to the point.

Phyllis Bennis: Understanding ISIS and the New Global War on Terror: A Primer (paperback, 2015, Olive Branch Press): One more in a series of short primers (Understanding the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict, Ending the Iraq War, Understanding the US-Iran Crisis, Ending the US War in Afghanistan), provides the basics, the history, a firm understanding of international law, and a common sense critique of American imperial hubris. Probably quite useful, but one thing I wonder about is how the idea of ISIS elicits such a knee-jerk reaction from the American psyche: the Syrian Civil War was widely regarded as such a complete mess that US intervention would be foolish, yet as soon as you uttered the words "Islamic State" the US plunged back into war, both in Syria and Iraq, and ISIS has turned into the magic word to justify US bombing in Libya and Yemen. This reaction has proved so instantaneous and unthinking I'm not sure that even Bennis can negate it.

Mats Berdal: Building Peace after War: A Critical Assessment of International Peacebuilding from Cambodia to Afghanistan (paperback, 2009, Taylor & Francis): Short (186 pp) primer, drawing on multiple cases including Congo. Most likely this is one of those subjects where successes are all alike but failures each break apart in their own ways.

Alex Berezow/Hank Campbell: Science Left Behind: Feel-Good Fallacies and the Rise of the Anti-Scientific Left (2014, Public Affairs): It should be clear by now that there is no single omnipresent Left in America, especially given how easily writers can construct strawman examples to kick about. This book picks on ones that the authors at least associate with the left, although from the list I see many (if not all) of the issues focus more on what corporations do with science and what the potential risks may be than on the science itself. Still, I do know people who might be considered left-leaning who understand very little of science and sympathisize with all sorts of nonscientific nonsense, but that's no less true of ignorant right-leaning people. What is different about the right is the number of people who seriously reject not just the policy application but the scientific principles behind climate change and evolution.

Peter L Bergen: The Longest War: Inside the Enduring Conflict Between America and Al-Qaeda (2011, Free Press): Bergen's big claim to fame was personally interviewing Osama Bin Laden, which is probably why he keeps his focus on the prime suspect, even though the US military often gets sidetracked wiping out wedding parties. Also refusing to let dead dogs lie is Michael Scheuer, the former analyst of the CIA's Al-Qaeda unit, who must feel as intimately connected to Bin Laden as Bergen does, because he's written yet another book on the subject, this one titled Osama Bin Laden (2011, Oxford University Press).

Peter L Bergen: Manhunt: The Ten-Year Search for Bin Laden: From 9/11 to Abbottabad (2012, Crown): Author interviewed Bin Laden back when he was nobody, and managed to ply that association into a lengthy career -- Holy War, Inc.: Inside the Secret World of Osama Bin Laden (2001); The Osama bin Laden I Know (2006), The Longest War: The Enduring Conflict Between America and al-Qaeda (2011) -- so this book was pretty much inevitable. Also inevitable was the deluge, some specific to Bin Laden, some more general: Mark Bowden: The Finish: The Killing of Osama Bin Laden; Mark Owen: No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden; Aki Peritz/Eric Rosenbach: Find, Fix, Finish: Inside the Counterterrorism Campaigns That Killed Bin Laden and Devastated Al Qaeda; Chuck Pfarrer: SEAL Target Geronomo: The Inside Story of the Mission to Kill Osama Bin Laden; Eric Schmitt/Thom Shanker: Counterstrike: The Untold Story of America's Secret Campaign Against Al Qaeda.

Peter L Bergen: United States of Jihad: Investigating America's Homegrown Terrorists (2016, Crown): Interviewed Osama bin Laden beck before he became infamous, turning that into a career as a terrorism expert (i.e., Islamic terrorism -- he doesn't seem to recognize any other kind. His books range from Holy War, Inc to The Osama bin Laden I Know: An Oral History of al Qaeda's Leader to Manhunt: The Ten-Year Search for Bin Laden from 9/11 to Abbottabad.) He notes that some 300 Americans "have been indicted or convicted of terrorism charges" since 9/11, so he thought he'd look into their backgrounds and how they became such fearsome terrorists. Don't know whether he also looks into tactics used by law enforcement to identify these terrorists, since getting indicted by the US government is a pretty low bar.

John Berger: Hold Everything Dear: Dispatches on Survival and Resistance (2007, Pantheon).

John Berger: Portraits: John Berger on Artists (2015, Verso Books): Art critic and novelist, died earlier this year at 90, his early books Art and Revolution (1969), The Moment of Cubism (1969), Ways of Seeing (1972), and About Looking (1980) had a huge effect of me personally. This is a collection of 74 pieces on more/less famous artists, starting with the Chauvet Cave Painters but quickly jumping to Bosch (6) and Michelangelo (11), and ending with ten names born post-1950 (most, sad to say, unknown to me). The sort of book you're bound to learn a lot from. Tom Overton edited this, and also: Landscapes: John Berger on Art (2016, Verso Books). Also recent: John Berger: Confabulations (paperback, 2016, Penguin Books); Lapwing & Fox: Conversations Between John Berger and John Christine (2016, Objectif).

Peter Berger/Anton Zijderveld: In Praise of Doubt: How to Have Convictions Without Becoming a Fanatic (2009, Harper One): Sociologists, authors respectively of The Social Construction of Reality and The Abstract Society, seek moderate, measured grounds on which to base contingent beliefs. I'd like to think I do this already, but I'm not so sure about everyone else.

Adam J Berinsky: In Time of War: Understanding American Public Opinion from World War II to Iraq (paperback, 2009, University of Chicago Press): Tries to make sense out of public opinion poll data going back to the US entry into WWII. Claims a lot of continuity between prewar and war fever attitudes, but I don't quite see how that works.

Scott Berkun: The Year Without Pants: WordPress.com and the Future of Work (2013, Jossey-Bass)

Ari Berman: Herding Donkeys: The Fight to Rebuild the Democratic Party and Reshape American Politics (2010, Farrar Straus and Giroux): Just in time to neither influence nor analyze the current election cycle -- perhaps just a historical reminder that handing the gains of 2006-08 over from Dean to Obama managed to squander both focus and fervor, opening the door to an intransigent, unrepentant Republican effort.

Ari Berman: Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America (2015, Farrar Straus and Giroux): A history of the civil rights movement, especially the struggle to pass the Voting Rights Act. The book comes shortly after said Act was gutted by the Roberts Court. Congress should have responded by extending the Act's protections to all states, especially since the Republicans discovered they do better when voter turnout is low and started passing restrictive "voter ID" laws all over the country.

Morris Berman, Dark Ages America: The Final Phase of Empire (WW Norton).

Morris Berman: Why America Failed: The Roots of Imperial Decline (2011, Wiley): Not sure that's a bad thing, just as I'm not sure the Roman Empire was a good thing. I did read Berman's previous Dark Ages America: The Final Phase of Empire (but not his The Twilight of American Culture) so I get the idea of cultural rot, and there is certainly a lot of that around.

Paul Berman: The Flight of the Intellectuals (2010, Melville House): A leftist in his own mind, still fighting the good fight against Nazism, which he bravely sees lurking in every Islamic nook and cranny. Focuses especially on Tariq Ramadan, often angling through his grandfather, Hassan al-Banna, finding everyone who thinks otherwise traitorous. Previously wrote Terror and Liberalism in a feverish frenzy following 9/11, one of the ur-texts of the Global War on Terror.

Ben S Bernanke: Essays on the Great Depression (paperback, 2004, Princeton University Press): Predates Bernanke's appointment as head of the Federal Reserve. Suggests he actually knows something relevant to what's going on now -- not sure Lawrence Summers can make that claim.

Bruce Bernard: Century: One Hundred Years of Human Progress, Regression, Suffering and Hope (2001; mini edition, 2002, Phaidon Press).

Anna Bernasek: The Economics of Integrity: From Dairy Farmers to Toyota, How Wealth Is Built on Trust and What That Means for Our Future (2010, Harper Studio): It's hard to overstate how important trust is for any sort of functioning economy. Not sure how much of this concerns itself with finance reform, but clearly there is a need for restoring integrity and trust there.

Jared Bernstein: Crunch: Why Do I Feel So Squeezed? (And Other Unsolved Economic Mysteries) (2008, Berrett-Koehler): Short book by an economist who doesn't toe the party line about the gospel of economics. I ordered a copy, and will get to it before long.

Jeremy Bernstein: Nuclear Weapons: What You Need to Know (2007, Cambridge University Press).

Jeremy Bernstein: Plutonium: A History of the World's Most Dangerous Element (2007, Joseph Henry Press): One of the best physics writers working on the synthetic element that makes nuclear weapons possible. Also wrote Nuclear Weapons: What You Need to Know, which I've read, and Hitler's Uranium Club: The Secret Recordings at Farm Hall, which despite its marginal interest -- it collects transcripts of German nuclear scientists sequestered by the Allies after WWII -- I'm sure is fascinating.

Jeremy Bernstein: Physicists on Wall Street and Other Essays on Science and Society (2008, Springer): Scattered essays, the title having something to do with physicists creating financial models for profit or mischief; also something on South Africa's nuclear program. One of the best writers on physicists and their science around.

Peter L Bernstein: Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk (paperback, 1998, Wiley): Big economic history of risk management; also available as part of a box set with Capital Ideas and The Power of Gold.

Peter W Bernstein/Annalyn Swan: All the Money in the World: How the Forbes 400 Make -- and Spend -- Their Fortunes (2007, Knopf): Seems to be a spinoff from Forbes, the magazine that cares about such things, with a lot of charts breaking the list down in various ways.

Wendell Berry: Sex, Economy, Freedom & Community ().

Wendell Berry: The Way of Ignorance: And Other Essays (2005, Shoemaker & Hoard): The latest (I believe) of many short essay collections, some profound, some just cranky and contrary. His essay about the first Gulf War (see Sex, Economy, Freedom & Community: Eight Essays) did as much as anything to convince me of the rightness of pacifism. There's also a recent biography by Jason Peters: Wendell Berry: Life and Work.

Wendell Berry: Bringing It to the Table: On Farming and Food (2009, Counterpoint): A collection of old essays from over 30 years, with a new introduction by Michael Pollan. Probably leans more toward farming, which is Berry's passion.

Wendell Berry: Imagination in Place (2010, Counterpoint): A new collection of essays, mostly short, many on acquaintances and friends, literary subjects and history.

Wendell Berry: What Matters? Economics for a Renewed Commonwealth (paperback, 2010, Counterpoint): Collection of essays, mostly from old books but possibly some new stuff. Farmer, writer, community-minded, so old-fashioned he cuts through a lot of new-fangledness we readily take for granted, more often than not making profound points.

Wendell Berry: Our Only World: Ten Essays (2015, Counterpoint): Kentucky tobacco farmer, poet, essayist, recently passed into his 80s, can be cranky about new technology but has great sensitivity to communal life and the natural world. Recent essay collections have tended to collect older works, so I'm not sure if the essays in this "new collection" are really new. I am sure that the old ones are very much worth your time.

Donald M Berwick: Escape Fire: Designs for the Future of Health Care (2004, Wiley)

Michael Bérubé: The Left at War (2009, New York University Press): Something on the US Left's response to Bush's War on Terror, possibly inching back to Clinton's Balkan wars; details "a left at war with itself," presumably between liberal hawks who have no sense of what war actually does, and those of us who do. Focuses on "Manichean" Noam Chomsky, "juxtaposing him with Stuart Hall" (whoever that is). Bérubé seems to be one of those self-appointed thought police who identify with the left just to muddle it up.

Richard Bessel: Germany 1945: From War to Peace (2009, Harper; paperback, 2010, Harper Perennial)

Barbara Bick: Walking the Precipice: Witness to the Rise of the Taliban in Afghanistan (paperback, 2008, Feminist Press at CUNY): Peace/women's rights activist, moved to Afghanistan in 1990 as civil war superseded the US-backed mujahideen war against the Soviet-backed regime, again in 2001 to the anti-Taliban Panjshir Valley before 9/11, again in 2004.

Derek Bickerton: Bastard Tongues: A Trailblazing Linguist Finds Clues to Our Common Humanity in the World's Lowliest Languages (paperback, 2009, Hill and Wang): A book about creoles and pidgins, part memoir of a lifetime's study.

RE Biedermann: Health Care Cure! (paperback, 2002, Wheatmark): As far as I can tell, his cure is positive thinking.

Nick Bilton: I Live in the Future & Here's How It Works: Why Your World, Work, and Brain Are Being Creatively Disrupted (2010, Crown Business): Upbeat uptake on the world going to hell with technological change.

Amy J Binder/Kate Wood: Becoming Right: How Campuses Shape Young Conservatives (2012, Princeton University Press): Studies young conservatives and how they interact with universities, which for all their reputed liberalism don't seem to be very effective at brainwashing would-be right-wingers.

Kai Bird: Crossing Mandelbaum Gate: Coming of Age Between the Arabs and Israelis, 1956-1978 (2010, Scribner): Son of an American foreign service officer stationed in Jerusalem, a divided city to start, with the Jordanian (or Palestinian) half occupied from 1967. He also lived in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Lebanon. Bird has written several interesting biographical books, notably American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J Robert Oppenheimer.

Kai Bird: The Good Spy: The Life and Death of Robert Ames (2014, Crown): Ames was a CIA operative in Beirut, killed in the 1983 bombing of the US embassy there. He evidently had uncommonly good contacts with Arab political figures as well as the ear of Americans up to president Ronald Reagan, which leaves Bird thinking that had Ames lived longer he might have nudged US policy in the Middle East a bit out of its horrible rut. Bird's memoir Crossing Mandelbaum Gate: Coming of Age Between the Arabs and Israelis shows his own distinctive and idiosyncratic sense of the region.

Bill Bishop: The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of Like-Minded America Is Tearing Us Apart (2008, Houghton Mifflin): Bishop uses the phrase "way-of-life segregation" -- makes me think of those housing developments clustered around golf courses that have their own internal draw and external exclusion. Not sure if he's only concerned with this sort of microdivision, since sorting occurs at all levels on just about every axis. I don't see it as entirely bad -- the concentration of like-minded people can be intensely creative; e.g., Black Mountain, or the old Jewish Lower East Side -- but it often makes it harder to recognize and respect diversity. Robert Reich had a whole riff on how upscale suburbs are seceding from the rest of the country -- one obvious political impact is that it makes it real easy to see poverty as someone else's problem.

Matthew Bishop/Michael Green: The Road from Ruin: How to Revive Capitalism and Put America Back on Top (2010, Crown Business): Of course, you first have to explain the road to ruin before moving on. Not sure where they're going, but seems to be a realistic analysis of how we got here.

Tom Bissell: Chasing the Sea: Lost Among the Ghosts of Empire in Central Asia (paperback, 2004, Vintage Books).

Tom Bissell, The Father of All Things: A Marine, His Son, and the Legacy of Vietnam (Pantheon): Travel journalist goes to Vietnam with his father, who fought there in 1965-66. I read his book on Uzbekistan -- beautifully written, and thoughtful enough that he no doubt has something to say about what Vietnam did to America and vice versa, some of which is bound to be uncomfortable.

Tom Bissell: Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter (2010, Pantheon): I've read two historically significant travel books by him (Chasing the Sea and The Father of All Things) so tend to take him seriously, much more so than his subject this time, which I tend to find abhorent.

Richard Bitner: Confessions of a Subprime Lender: An Insider's Tale of Greed, Fraud, and Ignorance (paperback, 2008, Wiley): I suppose there's a need for books by scum about how they screwed ordinary people out of their savings and homes and fed a profiteering ring that ultimately wrecked the whole economy.

Mark Bittman: How to Cook Everything: Simple Recipes for Great Food (1998, John Wiley).

Mark Bittman: The Best Recipes in the World: More Than 1,000 International Dishes to Cook at Home (2005, Broadway Books).

Josh Bivens: Failure by Design: The Story Behind America's Broken Economy (2011, Cornell University Press): I doubt that America's economy was designed in any meaningful sense, but comparing it to a design -- which is to say determining whether it serves any purpose, and what -- should be good for some insight into its dysfunction.

Edwin Black: War Against the Weak: Eugenics and America's Campaign to Create a Master Race (2008, Dialog Press): A history of the eugeneics movement in the US, starting in the early 20th century, successful enough to forcibly sterilize some 60,000 Americans, and ultimately tarnished by association with an analogous movement in Nazi Germany.

Edwin Black: Banking on Baghdad: Inside Iraq's 7,000 Year History of War, Profit, and Conflict (2004; updated ed, 2008, Dialog Press): Mostly recent, of course -- just 42 pp for the first 6,500 years -- as the imperial and corporate plots thicken. Black has mostly written on topics more/less related to Nazi Germany, including his detailing of deals between the Nazis and the Zionists which permitted a number of German Jews to escape to Palestine in the early 1930s: The Transfer Agreement: The Dramatic Story of the Pact Between the Third Reich and Jewish Palestine. He also has a forthcoming book called The Farhud: The Arab-Nazi Alliance in the Holocaust, which tries to link the Nazis to the 1941 anti-British riots in Baghdad via the Mufti of Jerusalem.

Edwin Black: Internal Combustion: How Corporations and Governments Addicted the World to Oil and Derailed the Alternatives (2008, Dialog Press): More muckraking on the political influence of auto and oil corporations, some of which is well known and justified, although they really didn't have to twist arms very hard to sell oil power. Also wrote: The Plan: How to Rescue Society the Day After the Oil Stops -- or the Day Before.

Edwin Black: Nazi Nexus: America's Corporate Connection to Hitler's Holocaust (paperback, 2009, Dialog Press): Previously wrote the more detailed IBM and the Holocaust: The Strategic Alliance Between Nazi Germany and America's Most Powerful Corporation. This is a short (192 pp) summary.

Ian Black/Benny Morris: Israel's Secret Wars: A History of Israel's Intelligence Services ().

William K Black: The Best Way to Rob a Bank Is to Own One: How Corporate Executives and Politicians Looted the S&L Industry (paperback, 2005, University of Texas Press): A couple years old and looking back on several scandals ago, but the title is as true as ever, and the lessons evidently still haven't been learned.

Robin Blackburn: Age Shock: How Finance Is Failing Us (2007, Verso): A sequel to his 2004 book, Banking on Death: Or Investing in Life: The History and Future of Pensions.

Ned Blackhawk, Violence Over the Land: Indians and Empires in the Early American West (2006-11, Harvard University Press).

Douglas A Blackmon: Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II (2008, Doubleday): Not just a general critique of the failure of reconstruction and the imposition of Jim Crow segregation, as if that wasn't enough. This book recounts how black convicts sentenced to "hard labor" were lent or sold to commercial interests, about as close to slavery as you can get. This practice continued "well into the twentieth century"

Olivier Blanchard/Raghuram G Rajan/Kenneth S Rogoff/Laurence H Summers, eds: Progress and Confusion: The State of Macroeconomic Policy (2016, MIT Press)

Tim Blanning: The Pursuit of Glory: The Five Revolutions That Made Modern Europe: 1648-1815 (2007; paperback, 2008, Penguin): Big book (736 pages), part of the "Penguin History of Europe" series, which evidently slices up history into time periods allotted to each author, covering a little bit of everything -- not just the five revolutions of the subtitle, a list that I haven't seen enumerated in any review (1648 marked the Treaty of Westphalia, ending the 30 Years War; 1815 ended the Napoleonic wars).

Harvey Blatt: America's Environmental Report Card: Are We Making the Grade? ().

Eric Blehm: The Only Thing Worth Dying For: How Eleven Green Berets Forged a New Afghanistan (2010, Harper): Heroic war literature with all those touchingly valorous little details. Hard to tell what actually happened from the hype, but it looks like this team dropped into Afghanistan in late 2001 to help organize Karzai's anti-Taliban Pashtun rebellion, which didn't exactly work out even then let alone for the long haul. More Afghan war memoirs/stories since last I collected a list: Jon Lee Anderson: The Lion's Grave: Dispatches From Afghanistan; Colin Berry: The Deniable Agent: Undercover in Afghanistan; Christie Blatchford: Fifteen Days: Stories of Bravery, Friendship, Life and Death from Inside the New Canadian Army; Matthew Currier Burden: The Blog of War: Front-Line Dispatches from Soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan; John T Carney: No Room for Error: The Covert Operations of America's Special Tactics Units From Iran to Afghanistan; Dayna Curry/Heather Mercer: Prisoners of Hope: The Story of Our Captivity and Freedom in Afghanistan; Ed Darack: Victory Point: Operations Red Wings and Whalers - The Marine Corps ' Battle for Freedom in Afghanistan; Lt Gen Michael DeLong: A General Speaks Out: The Truth About the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq; Mike Friscolanti: Friendly Fire: The Untold Story of the US Bombing That Killed Four Canadian Soldiers in Afghanistan; Chuck Larson: Heroes Among Us: Firsthand Accounts of Combat from America's Most Decorated Warriors in Iraq and Afghanistan; Marcus Luttrell/Patrick Robinson: Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10; Malcolm MacPherson: Roberts Ridge : A Story of Courage and Sacrifice on Takur Ghar Mountain, Afghanistan; Sean Maloney: Enduring the Freedom: A Rogue Historian in Afghanistan, and Confronting the Chaos: A Rogue Military Historian Returns to Afghanistan; Sean Naylor: Not a Good Day to Die: The Untold Story of Operation Anaconda; Johnny Rico: Blood Makes the Grass Grow Green: A Year in the Desert with Team America; Peter Telep: Direct Action: Special Forces in Afghanistan; Chris Wattie: Contact Charlie: The Canadian Army, the Taliban and the Battle That Saved Afghanistan; Stephen D Wrage, ed: Immaculate Warfare: Participants Reflect on the Air Campaigns Over Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq; Thomas W Young: The Speed of Heat: An Airlift Wing at War in Iraq and Afghanistan; also: Masood Farivar: Confessions of a Mullah Warrior; Emmanuel Guibert/Frederic Lemercier/Didier Lefevre: The Photographer: Into War-Torn Afghanistan with Doctors Without Borders; Patrick Macrory: Retreat from Kabul: The Catastrophic British Defeat in Afghanistan 1842; Matthew J Morgan: A Democracy Is Born: An Insider's Account of the Battle Against Terrorism in Afghanistan; Jules Stewart: Crimson Snow: Britain's First Disaster in Afghanistan (i.e., 1841); Christine Sullivan: Saving Cinnamon: The Amazing True Story of a Missing Military Puppy and the Desperate Mission to Bring Her Home; Mary Tillman: Boots on the Ground by Dusk: My Tribute to Pat Tillman.

Alan S Blinder: After the Music Stopped: The Financial Crisis, the Response, and the Work Ahead (2013, Penguin Press): Clinton economist, spent some time (1994-96) as vice chair of the Fed, reviews the 2008 meltdown and the various steps the Fed and Treasury took to save the big banks. He defends those unprecedented steps, but also finds need for further reform.

Philipp Blom: The Vertigo Years: Europe 1900-1914 (2008, Basic Books): Tries to recapture the experience of the times without the burden of subsequent history -- the Great War, the spectre of Communism, the rise of Fascism, an even greater war. I recall John Berger doing the same in "The Moment of Cubism" -- a more succinct and graphic summary. Cubism was just one of a dizzying range of inventions of the age, with technology just one dynamic vector; the psychological dislocations were at least as significant.

Howard Bloom: The Genius of the Beast: A Radical Re-Vision of Capitalism (2009, Prometheus Books): Big (607 pp), sprawling jumble of everything connected to everything else, but mostly to capitalism past, present, and future. Spent some time working in PR before wandering into quasi-science books; previously wrote The Lucifer Principle: A Scientific Expedition Into the Forces of History and Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind From the Big Band to the 21st Century. Could be interesting, could be nuts, or both.

Joshua Bloom/Waldo E Martin Jr: Black Against Empire: The History and Politics of the Black Panther Party (2013, University of California Press): Black guys with guns serving free breakfast, now what could be scarier? -- at least if you can imagine being J. Edgar Hoover. Big book (560 pp), seems to cover all the angles.

William Blum: America's Deadliest Export: Democracy: The Truth About US Foreign Policy and Everything Else (paperback, 2013, Zed Books): Longtime critic of US foreign policy. Previous books include: The CIA: A Forgotten History (1986); Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower (2000); West-Bloc Dissident: A Cold War Memoir (2002); Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II (2000; revised 2003); Freeing the World to Death: Essays on the American Empire (2004).

David Blumenthal/James Morone: The Heart of Power: Health and Politics in the Oval Office (2009, University of California Press): New history of the politics of health care policy.

Max Blumenthal: Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement That Shattered the Party (2009, Nation Books): Attempts to show that the movers and shakers of the Republican right wing are scum at a personal level, as well as ignorant and vile politically. Came up with enough examples to write 416 pages. Given how the post-Bush right has broken down, he may be right.

Max Blumenthal: Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement That Shattered the Party (2009; paperback, 2010, Nation Books): Focuses on right-wing religious leaders and their sugar daddy patrons, while scarcely letting a sex scandal get away. There is far more wrong with the GOP than the slime covered here, but the book gives you a good whiff.

Max Blumenthal: Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel (2013, Nation Books): The hidden, and rather embarrassing, story revealed by living a couple years in Israel, of talking to right-wingers in Knesset and in the streets, to peace activists, and to strange folk who invariably wind up "shooting and weeping" like David Grossman. I'm not sure he covers all the bases, but he shows, for instance, how the schools are used to train Jewish Israelis for military service, and how that reinforces right-wing political culture. The result is a grossly distorted society.

Max Blumenthal: The 51 Day War: Ruin and Resistance in Gaza (2015, Nation Books): The title reminds you that while Israel only took six days to defeat the armies of Egypt, Syria, and Jordan, seizing large slices from each's territory, they spent six-and-a-half times as long poking, probing, and pounding the tiny, defenseless Gaza Strip -- with no tangible gains, a repeat of three previous military operations that prooved equally fruitless. Blumenthal's recent Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel (2013, Nation Books) revealed a profound racism (loathing) growing in Israel's dominant right-wing, so I hope this book goes beyond accounting the casualties and recording testimony of the survivors to get at the viciousness that powers these recurrent eruptions of Israeli wrath. Blumenthal's book is the first out on this latest round, but the following aren't what you'd call dated: Gideon Levy: The Punishment of Gaza (paperback, 2010, Verso); Norman Finkelstein: This Time We Went Too Far: Truth and Consequences of the Gaza Invasion (paperback, 2010, OR Books); Noam Chomsky & Ilan Pappé: Gaza in Crisis: Reflections on Israel's War Against the Palestinians (paperback, 2010, Haymarket Books); or for that matter, Amira Haas: Drinking the Sea at Gaza: Days and Nights in a Land Under Siege (paperback, 2000, Picador).

Sidney Blumenthal, How Bush Rules: Chronicles of a Radical Regime (Princeton University Press).

Sidney Blumenthal: The Strange Death of Republican America: Chronicles of a Collapsing Party (2008, Union Square Press): Essay collection, carrying on from his previous How Bush Rules: Chronicles of a Radical Regime. Author best known for defending Clinton from all corners, including when he had it coming. I rarely read him at Salon, so don't see much value in permanently binding him in hardcover. I am, however, more intrigued by the new reprint of his 1985 book: The Rise of the Counter-Establishment: The Conservative Ascent to Political Power. Only an establishment liberal like Blumenthal could see the neofascists half-way through the Reagan reign as a political counterculture.

Paul Blustein: The Chastening: Inside the Crisis That Rocked the Global Financial System and Humbled the IMF (paperback, 2003, Public Affairs): For 50+ years the IMF had been the stern parent of the third world, doling out money to keep first world banks afloat while tying its loans to forcing pro-capitalist "Washington consensus" policies on nations in dire need of development. Then came the 1997-99 East Asia crisis, where recovery and development was inversely related to IMF "help." Within a decade, no one would want IMF money on the old terms, and the IMF would be scrambling to change its usual prescriptions.

Paul Blustein: And the Money Kept Roling In (and Out): Wall Street, the IMF, and the Bankrupting of Argentina (paperback, 2006, Public Affairs): Another turning point for the IMF was its disastrous handling of Argentina's collapse, one of many important data points on the trail to the current recession.

Paul Blustein: Misadventures of the Most Favored Nations: Clashing Egos, Inflated Ambitions, and the Great Shambles of the World Trade System (2009, Public Affairs): Mostly on the failed Doha Round of trade talks -- the one that might actually help the third world but was postponed and ultimately shelved.

Mark Blyth: Austerity: The History of a Dangerous Idea (2013, Oxford University Press): Dangerously bad, and dangerously popular, both right-of-center where wrecking the economy is viewed as a political virtue, and among centrists like Obama who don't know what's good for themselves. John Quiggin added a chapter to his Zombie Economics to try to beat it down. More here.

Mark Blyth: Austerity: The History of a Dangerous Idea (2013; paperback, 2015, Oxford University Press)

Philip Bobbitt: Terror and Consent: The Wars for the Twenty-First Century (2008, Knopf): Almost skipped this after seeing blurb praise from Tony Blair, and I still have my reservations: why, really, do we need wars in, let alone for, the 21st century? Big book (688 pages), claims to have the solution for terrorism. Bobbitt previously wrote the even bigger (960 pages) The Shield of Achilles: War, Peace, and the Course of History, frequently described (and not just by Blair) as "breathtaking" and "magisterial" -- sounds like hyperintellectual war porn to me. [May 1]

Eric Boehlert, Lapdogs: How the Press Rolled Over for Bush (Free Press).

John C Bogle: Enough: True Measures of Money, Business, and Life (2008, Wiley): Big shot financial tycoon, made a fortune pursuing more; now that it's collapsing, maybe the time to take a philsophical turn and contemplate how much is enough. Seems like a good idea even for folks who don't have enough (as opposed to those who merely think they don't). Bogle has previously written books like The Little Book of Common Sense Investing: The Only Way to Guarantee Your Fair Share of Stock Market Returns.

Daniel P Bolger: Why We Lost: A General's Inside Account of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars (2014, Eamon Dolan/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt): Three-star general, had commands both in Iraq and Afghanistan. Concludes: "at the root of our failure, we never really understood our enemy." True, but "we" also didn't understand much of anything else, least of all how ill fit the US military was for occupying foreign countries. It's refreshing that Bolger admits that the operations were failures, but he doesn't seem to understand that the relentless focus on killing/capturing "enemies" created its own failures, as did the very alien-ness of the US military.

Giles Bolton: Africa Doesn't Matter: How the West Has Failed the Poorest Continent and What We Can Do About It (paperback, 2008, Arcade): Another book on the failure of aid to develop Africa. Don't know that he has any special insights, but he no doubt has stories.

Sara Bongiomi: A Year Without "Made in China": One Family's True Life Adventure in the Global Economy (2007, Wiley): The story of the author's attempt to spend a whole year without buying anything made in China -- the difficulties testifying to just how much in our daily lives is imported from China.

Richard Bookstaber: A Demon of Our Own Design: Markets, Hedge Funds, and the Perils of Financial Innovation (2007, Wiley): Evidently the author was a pioneer in some of the novelties he now warns of. They basically seek to disguise risk, thereby inflating apparent value now and amplifying risk later. Should have been clear enough, but who believes they'll wind up holding the bag? -- especially in a world where profits are private but liabilities are easily sloughed off on the public.

Richard Bookstaber: A Demon of Our Own Design: Markets, Hedge Funds, and the Perils of Financial Innovation (2007; paperback, 2008, Wiley): Too early to catch the whole blow-up, but the author was a pioneer in some of the innovations he now warns of, which gives the book a sense both of expertise and prophecy.

Max Boot: The Savage Wars of Peace: Small Wars and the Rise of American Power (2002; paperback, 2003, Basic Books).

Max Boot: War Made New: Technology, Warfare, and the Course of History, 1500 to Today (2006, Gotham): Boot's The Savage Wars of Peace: Small Wars and the Rise of American Power offered useful history wrapped up in a profoundly dangerous bag of theorizing, in essence arguing that small wars always work out fine for America, regardless of how ill-conceived or half-assed. The book was written to argue against the Powell Doctrine, appearing before the Afghanistan and Iraq wars that were intended as small wars before they got out of hand. The new book looks to technology to solve the problems of the old book. Anything to keep the war romance going.

Max Boot: Invisible Armies: An Epic History of Guerrilla Warfare From Ancient Times to the Present (2013, Liveright): Notorious war lover, back to his favorite subject. But while The Savage Wars of Peace: Small Wars and the Rise of American Power (2002) was written to advance an argument -- that the US shouldn't think twice about getting into small wars because they always work out just fine -- it's not clear what the point is here (indeed, Boot's traditional fans tend to be on the COIN side (but not always, and results there haven't been so cheery).

Fergus M Bordewich: The First Congress: How James Madison, George Washington, and a Group of Extraordinary Men Invented the Government (2016, Simon & Schuster)

George J Borjas: Heaven's Door: Immigration Policy and the American Economy (paperback, 2001, Princeton University Press).

George J Borjas: Immigration Economics (2014, Harvard University Press).

George J Borjas: We Wanted Workers: Unraveling the Immigration Narrative (2016, WW Norton).

Walter R Borneman: MacArthur at War: World War II in the Pacific (2016, Little Brown)

Kristina Borjesson, ed: Feet to the Fire: The Media After 9/11: The Journalists Speak Out (2005, Prometheus): Interviews with 21 journalists on the pressures to support the Bush terror wars. Not sure who all is interviewed, but some war critics are included -- Paul Krugman, Juan Cole, Chris Hedges -- as well as bigwigs like Ted Koppel. Borjesson previously edited Into the Buzzsaw: Leading Journalists Expose the Myth of a Free Press.

Artyom Borovik: The Hidden War: A Russian Journalist's Account of the Soviet War in Afghanistan (paperback, 2001, Grove Press)

Anthony Bourdain: A Cook's Tour: Global Adventures in Extreme Cuisines ().

Anthony Bourdain: Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook (2010, Ecco): Wrote a couple of novels, then a breakthrough book on the gritty side of working in restaurants, Kitchen Confidential, which made him famous, got him a TV show, turned him into a globetrotting celebrity -- cf. A Cook's Tour: Global Adventures in Extreme Cuisines. Another book about all that. I've read the two I named, and would probably relish this.

Joel K Bourne Jr: The End of Plenty: The Race to Feed a Crowded World (2015, WW Norton): The Green Revolution in the 1960s seemed to background Robert Malthus' population theories, but they're coming back as population grows, land remains constant, technology fails to bridge the gap, and other threats (like global warming) are increasing.

Heather Boushey/J Bradford DeLong/Marshall Steinbaum, eds: After Piketty: The Agenda for Economics and Inequality (2017, Harvard University Press): Large (688 pp) collection of essays on Thomas Piketty's pathbreaking book Capital in the Twenty-First Century and the myriad problems associated with increasing inequality.

Richard X Bove: Guardians of Prosperity: Why America Needs Big Banks (2013, Portfolio)

Charles Bowden: Murder City: Ciudad Juarez and the Global Economy's New Killing Fields (2010; paperback, 2011, Nation Books): A portrait of dystopia just across the border from El Paso. Not sure what the point or take is, but most likely the War on Drugs is implicated. Publisher seems to be fascinated by violence in the wake of globalization: other recent titles are Ian Thomson: The Dead Yard: A Story of Modern Jamaica and Molly Molloy/Charles Bowden, eds: El Sicario: The Autobiography of a Mexican Assassin.

Mark Bowden, Guests of the Ayatollah: The First Battle in America's War With Militant Islam (Grove/Atlantic). As opposed to Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia, and for that matter Iran in 1953, where the Islamists were doing our bidding.

Mark Bowden: Hue 1968: A Turning Point in the American War in Vietnam (2017, Atlantic Monthly Press)

Mark Bowen: Censoring Science: Inside the Political Attack on Dr James Hansen and the Truth of Global Warming (2007, Dutton): Author previously wrote Thin Ice: Unlocking the Secrets of Climate in the World's Highest Mountains back when it was enough just to get the story out.

Tom Bower: Oil: Money, Politics, and Power in the 21st Century (2010, Grand Central Publishing): Ups and downs of a massive, critical, dangerous industry, focusing on post-1980, which positions this as a sequel to Daniel Yergin's The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money & Power (1991, Simon & Schuster; paperback, 2006, Free Press).

Samuel Bowles/Herbert Gitlin: A Cooperative Species: Human Reciprocity and Its Evolution (2011; paperback, 2013, Princeton University Press): Bowles is one of the best-known leftist economists, editor (with Gintis and Melissa Osborne Groves) of Unequal Chances: Family Background and Economic Success (paperback, 2008, Princeton University Press), and author of The New Economics of Inequality and Redistribution (paperback, 2012, Princeton University Press), as well as more general texts. Gintis has written a great deal on things like game theory and education. What they're trying to do here is situate the human capacity for cooperation within evolutionary theory, a tricky task as anyone who's bumped heads with sociobiology should be able to attest. Comes with a daunting amount of math, too.

Samuel Bowles: The Moral Economy: Why Good Incentives Are No Substitute for Good Citizens (2016, Yale University Press): Lectures -- I imagine this poised against the Thaler/Sunstein notion of nudges which assumes that wise managers can concoct incentives that lead seemingly free economic actors to do good deeds, although he could be countering the older laissez-faire conceit that markets miraculously do good on their own. It was, after all, no coincidence that the new vogue for Friedman, etc., in the 1980s was accompanied by rejection of public interest and a coarsening of civil concern.

Gary Braasch: Earth under Fire: How Global Warming Is Changing the World (2007; updated edition, paperback, 2009, University of California Press): Photojournalist, previously wrote Photographing the Patterns of Nature.

Bill Bradley: The New American Story (2007, Random House).

James Bradley: The Imperial Cruise: A Secret History of Empire and War (2009, Little Brown): Author wrote Flags of Our Fathers, about his own father's experience in the war over Iwo Jima. Despite the broad subtitle, this appears to be a book about some specific mischief President Theodore Roosevelt and then-Secretary of War William Taft undertook in 1905 to fix US interests in the east Pacific by dividing up Asia.

James Bradley: The China Mirage: The Hidden History of American Disaster in Asia (2015, Little Brown): Americans have been fascinated by China from first encounters, and as Bradley shows contributed to the opium wars, used the "open door policy" to carve out fortunes, developed a fateful alliance with the Kuomintang that continued into exile on Taiwan, fought nasty wars against the "red menace," and invested lavishly when China opened up to foreign capital. All that while, one might argue that those Americans understood nothing, not so much because the Chinese world was impenetrable as because Americans were so blunt and dull. Bradley has written a number of books about the US in East Asia, notably The Imperial Cruise: A Secret History of Empire and War (2009, Little Brown). This seems to be where he tries to sum it all up. [PS: I originally wrote "Thomas," as in Evan Thomas, instead of "Bradley."]

Mark Philip Bradley/Marilyn B Young, eds: Making Sense of the Vietnam Wars: Local, National, and Transnational Perspectives (paperback, 2008, Oxford University Press): Eleven essays on various aspects of the war, including some from Vietnamese perspectives.

Rodric Braithwaite: Afghantsy: The Russians in Afghanistan 1979-89 (2011, Oxford University Press): Not the first book on the Russian war in Afghanistan, but the more the US occupation resembles the Soviet one, the more relevant they become. The early accounts assumed the US would do so much better, but here we are with "the most nuanced, sympathetic, and comprehensive account yet of the Soviet experience in Afghanistan" (says Rory Stewart).

Taylor Branch, At Canaan's Edge: America in the King Years, 1965-68 (Simon & Schuster, paperback). I have, but have not read, the two previous volumes, a luxury I hope to get to sooner or later.

Taylor Branch: The Clinton Tapes: Wrestling History with the President (2009, Simon & Schuster): The great historian of the civil rights movement sat down with Clinton 79 times to keep a contemporary record of Clinton's sense of his own history. This book is evidently not the verbatim tapes but Branch's comments from each session. Not quite primary sources, but not far removed either.

Stewart Brand: Whole Earth Discipline: An Ecopragmatist Manifesto (2009, Viking): Forty years after The Whole Earth Catalog, a new collection of ideas and tools for coping with climate change and so forth. Brand has written occasional books as well as updates to his catalog. The most interesting looks to be How Buildings Learn: What Happens After They're Built.

HW Brands: The Money Men: Capitalism, Democracy, and the Hundred Years' War over the American Dollar (paperback, 2007, WW Norton): Historian, has written books on Benjamin Franklin, Andrew Jackson, Theodore Roosevelt, the somewhat more intriguing The Reckless Decade: America in the 1890s (the decade of the worst depression in US history up to the 1929 crash), a book on Texas, one on the Cold War. This one has five faces on the cover: Alexander Hamilton, Nicholas Biddle, Jay Cooke, Jay Gould, and JP Morgan.

HW Brands: Traitor to His Class: The Privileged Life and Radical Presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt (2008; paperback, 2009, Anchor): Actually, missed this one earlier, but bought it and read it, so I figure I should note it. Big book (912 pp), but I also recently read Ann Hagedorn's big book on 1919 (Savage Peace) and Adam Cohen's book on FDR's first 100 days (Nothing to Fear), and can attest that Brands covered the overlap with remarkably accurate succinctness. Filled in a lot of background I lacked, both on FDR's early interests in politics and on his dedication to plunging the US into WWII. I gather that Jean Edward Smith's FDR covers the same ground and detail equally well.

HW Brands: American Dreams: The United States Since 1945 (2010, Penguin): Big subject, succinct at 432 pp. Author has written biographies on Ben Franklin, Andrew Jackson, and both Roosevelts -- I read the latter, A Traitor to His Class: The Privileged Life and Radical Presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and found he did a good job of managing his space, neatly tying up two parts that I had recently read detailed books on. Read a few pages of this book, on Nixon and Watergate, where he quickly got to the point and got the main points -- not that I wouldn't have preferred more venom.

HW Brands: American Dreams: The United States Since 1945 (2010, Penguin Books): Historian, has put together a solid lineup of big ticket biographies -- Benjamin Franklin, Andrew Jackson, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt -- and even more topical tomes, especially on business and foreign policy. I might be dubious but I've read his FDR and admired his balance and poise, and where I knew the subject well enough his ability to compress and still cover the key points. Of course, I wouldn't expect to learn much here on events I lived through, but I'm curious anyway.

HW Brands: American Colossus: The Triumph of Capitalism 1865-1900 (2010, Doubleday): Historian, writes a lot of big books about politics and business -- I've read two recently, his biography of FDR (Traitor to His Class: The Privileged Life and Radical Presidency of Franklin Delany Roosevelt) and his postwar survey (American Dreams: The United States Since 1945) and find him to be a fair high-level chronicler. I expect this to be fair and comprehensive as well, but not to have quite as much edge as Jack Beatty: Age of Betrayal: The Triumph of Money in America, 1865-1900, which covers the same years and doesn't scrimp on the downside.

HW Brands: Reagan: The Life (2015, Doubleday): A bid for a comprehensive single-volume biography (816 pp) of the mediocre actor, corporate shill, and demagogic (albeit absent-minded) politician who spent eight years as one of America's most corrupt presidents. Brands is a capable historian who's knocked off biographies on Ben Franklin, Andrew Jackson, and both Roosevelts -- I read his A Traitor to His Class: The Privileged Life and Radical Presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt (2008) and recommend it, especially if you don't know much about the man or the era -- as well as some broad-brush books like American Dreams: The United States Since 1945 (2010). On the other hand, I already know too much about Reagan, and I'm not likely to enjoy (or benefit from) any author who is not as repulsed by the man and his movement as I already am. I did, after all, live through this travesty. (And I've read Sean Wilentz: The Age of Reagan: A History 1974-2008 [2008], so it's not like I haven't tried.)

Allan M Brandt: The Cigarette Century: The Rise, Fall, and Deadly Persistence of the Product That Defined America (2007, Basic Books): Definitive, or at least long enough (640 pages) to be, with major sections on advertising and public health politics.

Jurgen Brauer/Hubert van Tuyll: Castles, Battles, and Bombs: How Economics Explains Military History (2008, University of Chicago Press): Strikes me as a cheap argument, but the juxtaposition of economic and military logic, all those rational actors in pursuit of madness, is likely to offer some peculiar edification. But note that the economics of war has been drenched in even more red ink than blood for a long time now.

Mark Braverman: Fatal Embrace: Christians, Jews, and the Search for Peace in the Holy Land (paperback, 2010, Synergy Books): American Jew, seems to be sincerely committed to peaceful resolution of the Israel/Palestine conflict, but sees the main problem being the inability of American Jews and Christians to have a meaningful dialogue that gets past myriad preconceptions -- like the long history of anti-semitism up to and including the Holocaust -- and approaches the real issues. Heartfelt, so they say.

Otis Brawley/Paul Goldberg: How We Do Harm: A Doctor Breaks Ranks About Being Sick in America (2012, St Martin's Press): An oncologist, practices in a hospital in Atlanta that is the last resort for patients without means, which is largely why he goes in for evidence-based medicine and doesn't go in for kickbacks. Turns out that some of the most lucrative cancer treatments in America do little good and/or much harm, and he's got cases.

Breaking the Silence, ed.: Our Harsh Logic: Israeli Soldiers' Testimonies From the Occupied Territories, 2000-2010 (2012, Metropolitan Books): Oral history, interviews with Israeli soldiers, witnesses to occupation from the top down.

Breaking the Silence: Our Harsh Logic: Israeli Soldiers' Testimonies from the Occupied Territories, 2000-2010 (2012, Metropolitan Books; paperback, 2013, Picador):

Gary Brecher: War Nerd (paperback, 2008, Soft Skull Press): Reportedly a data entry clerk in Fresno, CA, writing a column for the Moscow-based The Exile, Matt Taibbi's home for much of the 1990s. Scattered columns. Loves everything about the history of war. Doesn't think the US is very good at it.

T H Breen: The Marketplace of Revolution: How Consumer Politics Shaped American Independence (paperback, 2004, Oxford University Press).

Andrew Breitbart: Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World! (2011, Grand Central): Title all caps on cover, with "RIGHT" and "NATION" in blood red while everything else but "BREITBART" is white-on-black, including the scumbag's photo.

Richard Breitman/Allan J Lichtman: FDR and the Jews (2013, Belknap Press): Digs deep into this limited topic, attempting to "banish forever the notion that Franklin Roosevelt was a blinkered anti-Semite who made little effort to stop the Holocaust" -- not that there isn't some truth in those accusations too.

Rutger Bregman: Utopia for Realists: The Case for a Universal Basic Income, Open Borders, and a 15-Hour Workweek (paperback, 2016, The Correspondent)

Ian Bremmer: The End of the Free Market: Who Wins the War Between States and Corporations? (2010, Portfolio): This turns on the rise of "state capitalist" systems, ranging from state-controlled sovereign funds to the China juggernaut. Does seem to be the case that the states are gaining ground, but not clear what the problem with that is. That states are political? If that results in states directing their economies to service their people better, why is that such a bad thing? There are problems with either extreme, which is why most countries and regions move toward mixed systems. Personally, I would worry more about the corporations.

Piers Brendon: The Decline and Fall of the British Empire, 1781-1997 (2008, Knopf): Big book (816 pp), natch. Nice to see that he dates the decline from the American Revolution: nice to think that we started off by doing something right. Most Brits note that the empire achieved its greatest growth later, but the hideous effect the British had on their subject peoples makes it all look like decline in one sense of another.

James Brennan: Against Democracy (2016, Princeton University Press): Philosopher, argues that democracy is inefficient and often misguided, mostly because it pretends that people who don't know shit are entitled to make decisions about how everything is run. Brennan argues for a "epistocracy" -- rule by a small number of people who have qualified by taking rigorous tests (developed no doubt by the epistocracy). Sure, maybe those properly qualified could settle their differences by voting, but the process could just as well be narrowed to ever smaller (more qualified) elites until it achiever the ultimate efficiency of dictatorship. Lots of problems with this: one is that rulers quickly develop interests that run counter to public interests, like self-perpetuation. For all its flaws and corruptions, democracy at least gives lip service to the notion that government serves all (or at least most) of the people, and provides remedies when leaders get out of hand. Winston Churchill famously said that democracy was the worst possible form of government, except for the rest. I suspect what he really appreciated about democracy was that it allowed the voters to periodically take leave of him without having to sever his head. Brennan is reportedly writing books Against Politics and cowriting one called Global Justice as Global Freedom: Why Global Libertarianism Is the Humane Solution to World Poverty. Presumably the latter will come up with a definition of libertarianism that doesn't suspiciously resemble feudalism.

Robert Brenner: Property and Progress: The Historical Origins and Social Foundations of Self-Sustaining Growth (2009, Verso): Essay collection, evidently some quite old, working out the historical transition from feudalism to capitalism. Also wrote: The Boom and the Bubble: The US in the World Economy and The Economics of Global Turbulence, both on more recent topics.

Jimmy Breslin: Branch Rickey (2011, Penguin): Short profile (160 pp), probably focuses on Rickey's tenure with the Dodgers given that Breslin is very much a home-towner. That would leave so much uncovered one almost hopes the book is more about Breslin himself -- one could do worse.

Susan A Brewer: Why America Fights: Patriotism and War Propaganda from the Philippines to Iraq (2009; paperback, 2011, Oxford University Press): From McKinley to Bush (and Bush), how wars have been sold to the American people. I suspect that one thing you'll find is that the propaganda lines are all much the same -- more racist early on, but there's still plenty of that. Another is that the reasons change once you're in, and do so in predictable ways (with minor variations on whether you're winning or getting quagmired). See also: Alan Axelrod: Selling the Great War: The Making of American Propaganda (2009, Palgrave Macmillan); also Stewart Halsey Ross: Propaganda for War: How the United States Was Conditioned to Fight the Great War of 1914-1918 (paperback, 2009, Progressive Press).

Howard Brick, Transcending Capitalism: Visions of a New Society in Modern American Thought (2006-12, Cornell University Press).

Howard Brick/Christopher Phelps: Radicals in America: The US Left Since the Second World War (paperback, 2015, Cambridge University Press): Part of a series of history books, so the subject and scope were assigned (and thankfully not by David Horowitz). What follows is organized chronologically, moving from old left to new left to the broad smorgasbord of quasi-left protest and advocacy efforts that followed -- last two chapters are "Over the Rainbow" and "What Democracy Looks Like."

Robert K. Brigham, Is Iraq Another Vietnam? (Public Affairs). Seems doubtful this comparison by a McNamara collaborator will pan out.

Steven Brill: America's Bitter Pill: Money, Politics, Backroom Deals, and the Fight to Fix Our Broken Healthcare System (2015, Random House): First significant book on the political struggle to pass the Affordable Care Act (ACA, aka Obamacare). As you know, Obama tried to come up with a solution that would be non-controversial -- at least in the sense that all the interested business groups could buy in, with the hope that the Republicans would recognize the bill as kindred to their own proposals. None of that worked: the result was a system that no one loved or much cared for, a set of expensive compromises that solved some problems and created many more. The book is reportedly good on explaining the underlying problems as well as the backroom deals, but less critical about the act's shortcomings.

Steven Brill: America's Bitter Pill: Money, Politics, Backroom Deals, and the Fight to Fix Our Broken Healthcare System (2015; paperback, 2015, Random House)

Douglas Brinkley, The Great Deluge: Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans, and the Mississippi Coast (Harper Collins).

Douglas Brinkley: The Quiet World: Saving Alaska's Wilderness Kingdom 1879-1960 (2011, Harper): The dates start with John Muir's first visit to Alaska, a little more than a decade after Seward's Folly, and end with statehood. Brinkley is a journalist with a long and scattered bibliography, most recently The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America, so he's on something of a wilderness roll.

Douglas Brinkley/Luke A Nichter: The Nixon Tapes: 1971-1972 (2014, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt): Verbatim transcripts (784 pp of them), the precise history Nixon wanted you to hear, and some he didn't. Good to have this in book form, but I can't imagine wanting to read it. For some reason we have an avalanche of Nixon books, in addition to Rick Perlstein's The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan (2014, Simon & Schuster): Patrick J Buchanan: The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose from Defeat to Create the New Majority (2014, Crown Forum); John W Dean: The Nixon Defense: What He Knew and When He Knew It (2014, Viking); Elizabeth Drew: Washington Journal: Reporting Watergate and Richard Nixon's Downfall (paperback, 2015, Overlook Press); Don Fulsom: Treason: Nixon and the 1968 Election (2015, Pelican); Irwin F Gellman: The President and the Apprentice: Eisenhower and Nixon, 1951-1961 (2015, Yale University Press); Ken Hughes: Chasing Shadows: The Nixon Tapes, the Chennault Affair, and the Origins of Watergate (2014, University of Virginia Press); Jeffrey P Kimball/William Burr: Nixon's Nuclear Specter: The Secret Alert of 1969, Madman Diplomacy, and the Vietnam War (2015, University Press of Kansas); Ray Locker: Nixon's Gamble: How a President's Own Secret Government Destroyed His Administration (2015, Lyons Press); Michael Nelson: Resilient America: Electing Nixon in 1968, Channeling Dissent, and Dividing Government (2014, University Press of Kansas); James Robenalt: January 1973: Watergate, Roe v. Wade, Vietnam, and the Month That Changed America Forever (2015, Chicago Review Press); Douglas E Schoen: The Nixon Effect: How His Presidency Has Changed American Politics (2015, Encounter Books); Geoff Shepard: The Real Watergate Scandal: Collusion, Conspiracy, and the Plot That Brought Nixon Down (2015, Regnery); Roger Stone: Nixon's Secrets: The Rise, Fall and Untold Truth About the President, Watergate, and the Pardon (2014, Skyhorse); Evan Thomas: Being Nixon: A Man Divided (2015, Random House); Tim Weiner: One Man Against the World: The Tragedy of Richard Nixon (2015, Henry Holt). Gellman's book is the second part of a multi-volume effort. Treason, by the way, refers to Nixon's back-channel efforts to undermine LBJ's peace talks, elsewhere known as the Chennault Affair. Fulsom previously wrote Nixon's Darkest Secrets: The Inside Story of America's Most Troubled President (paperback, 2013, St. Martin's Griffin). Weiner has written good books about the CIA and FBI, so I suspect his is the most useful of the new books. I read Gary Wills: Nixon Agonistes: The Crisis of the Self-Made Man back when it originally came out (1970) and that's as deep as I ever want to get into that man's mind.

Douglas Brinkley: Rightful Heritage: Franklin D Roosevelt and the Land of America (2016, Harper): Brinkley has written several books about America's national parks and wilderness areas, including an obvious predecessor to this one, The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America (2009). TR was better known as an outdoorsman, but FDR greatly expanded the national park system, and his public works projects made those parks accessible to millions of Americans.

Paula Broadwell/Vernon Loeb: All In: The Education of General David Petraeus (2012, Penguin): Like Michael Hastings, Broadwell was an embedded journalist attached to the general running Afghanistan, although she has been much better behaved, or maybe Petraeus is just better at snookering the press. Petraeus is about the only person who came up through the Bush wars and managed to look like a winner -- an iconic image I'm sure he's at pains to burnish here.

David Brock/Paul Waldman: Free Ride: John McCain and the Media (paperback, 2008, Anchor): Following Matt Welch's McCain: The Myth of a Maverick, a quickie, with more on the way.

David Brock/Ari Rabin-Havt/Media Matters for America: The Fox Effect: How Roger Ailes Turned a Network Into a Propaganda Machine (paperback, 2012, Anchor): Probably the single most important factor in America since Obama was elected has been the existence of a full-time, full-press propaganda force dedicated to tearing him down. No other president has had to face such a persistent and unscrupulous foe -- well, Clinton, maybe, but that was during Fox's infancy, where these methods were first hatched but far from perfected. Evidently much of this comes from Brock's website, which exercises the proper level of due dilligence, so you and I don't have to.

John Brockman, ed: What Should We Worried About?: Real Scenarios That Keep Scientists Up at Night (paperback, 2014, Harper Perennial): One thing that should be clear by now is that people aren't very good at assessing risks, especially ones that are large and/or distant, but also ones that are near and/or familiar. This book promises the clarity of science, but many of the pieces are a bit fuzzy ("Tim O'Reilly forsees a coming Dark Age; Douglas Rushkoff fears humanity is losing its soul" -- those are pieces that actually intrigue me more than meteoric catastrophes or financial black holes). Brockman, by the way, has a whole cottage industry editing books along these lines. Recent ones include (all Harper Perennial paperbacks): What Have You Changed Your Mind About?: Today's Leading Minds Rethink Everything (1/2009); This Will Change Everything: Ideas That Will Shape the Future (12/2009); Is the Internet Changing the Way You Think?: The Net's Impact on Our Minds and Future (1/2011); This Will Make You Smarter: New Scientific Concepts to Improve Your Thinking (2/2012); This Explains Everything: Deep, Beautiful, and Elegant Theories of How the World Works (1/2013); Thinking: The New Science of Decision-Making, Problem-Solving, and Prediction (10/2013).

George Brockway: Economics Can Be Bad for Your Health ().

Howard Brody, Hooked: How Medicine's Dependence on the Pharmaceutical Industry Undermines Professional Ethics (Rowman & Littlefield).

Tom Brokaw: Boom!: Voices of the Sixties Personal Reflections on the '60s and Today (2007, Random House): Broadcaster, author of The Greatest Generation tries to do it again. Not sure what "it" is, perhaps just to haphazardly reduce a slice of time to a set of clichés. Given how badly the decade has been abused in the popular media lately, it's unlikely that this will make things much worse. At best people will start to be disabused of the notion that the quest for justice by children of an affluent society was nothing but naked self-indulgence, drug-induced fantasy, and hypocrisy. It still seems to me like a nobel attempt to achieve the ideals we were brought up to think the country was always about. The backlash of sheer hatred took us aback, especially how it was exploited by political hacks who have done little since them except grind us into the ground. Compared to their legacy, any sense of normal human aspirations in the 1960s would be a blessing.

David Bromwich: Moral Imagination: Essays (2014, Princeton University Press): A dozen essays, three in Part Two on Abraham Lincoln. The ones I'd be most interested in reading: "The Meaning of Patriotism in 1789" and "Comments on Perpetual War" with its sections on Cheney, Snowden, and "What 9/11 Makes Us Forget." I read an essay of his on American Exceptionalism that doesn't seem to be here, unless it's the better-titled "The American Psychosis" (or "The Self-Deceptions of Empire").

Rachel Bronson: Thicker Than Oil: America's Uneasy Partnership With Saudi Arabia (2007, Oxford University Press): Reportedly one of the more balanced histories of Saudi Arabia and its relationship with the US -- she contrasts it with Rober Baer's Sleeping With the Devil: How Washington Sold Our Soul for Saudi Crude and Craig Unger's House of Bush, House of Saud: The Secret Relationship Between the World's Two Most Powerful Dynasties. The Saudis make for easy targets with their medieval theology, vast oil wealth, and nuanced pro-America/anti-Israel foreign policy.

Arthur C Brooks, Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism (Perseus). Argues that conservatives are more compassionate because they give more to charity.

Arthur C Brooks: Gross National Happiness: Why Happiness Matters for America -- and How We Can Get More of It (2008, Basic Books): One of the few right-wingers who still seems to be trying to come up with new ideas, although it's certainly possible that this reduces to some syllogism like having money makes people happy and only the rich have money so the way to make the whole nation happier is to give the rich more money.

Arthur C Brooks: The Battle: How the Fight Between Free Enterprise and Big Government Will Shape America's Future (2010, Basic Books): He means the romanticized idea of free enterprise and the draconian idea of big government, not real business and government which actually more often than not are in cahoots. Foreword by Newt Gingrich, which makes this more of a campaign manifesto.

David Brooks: The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement (2011, Random House): What is it about New York Times columnists that drives them to such extreme heights of idiocy?

David Brooks: The Road to Character (2015, Random House): Always one to jump out in front of a fad, this is a timely guide for those who want to blame social, economic, and political failures on those who have lost out, on their intrinsic character -- a lack of the sort of virtues that are assumed to lead to success. Those virtues, of course, are the usual conservative homilies. As a self-help book this might have some value, but Brooks is nothing if not a political hack, so when, say, he praises civil rights leaders A. Philip Randolph and Bayard Rustin for their "reticence and the logic of self-discipline" he really means to dismiss all the others who don't show enough deferrence to the conservative order.

Michael Brooks: 13 Things That Don't Make Sense: The Most Baffling Scientific Mysteries of Our Time (paperback, 2009, Vintage Books)

Rosa Brooks: How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything: Tales From the Pentagon (2016, Simon & Schuster): Law professor, New America Foundation fellow, married a Green Beret, was a "senior advisor at the U.S. State Department" and "a counselor to the US defense undersecretary for policy from 2009 to 2011," but also daughter of Barbara Ehrenreich, one of America's finest lefty journalists: I'm not sure how all that adds up (blurb suggests: "by turns a memoir, a work of journalism, a scholarly exploration into history, anthropology and law, and a rallying cry"), or whether. An excerpt I read pushes a Walmart analogy way beyond ridiculousness, especially in assuming that the military, like Walmart, produces tangible and desirable (albeit shoddy and ethically dubious) goods. The military has, for instance, become the only big government institution beloved by conservatives out to discredit all other big government. Part of this is that, as Brooks points out, it crowds out saner alternatives, yet that's not just successful lobbying from organized interest groups -- an important group of Pentagon boosters simply don't want sane.

John Broven: Record Makers and Breakers: Voices of the Independent Rock 'n' Roll Pioneers (2010, University of Illinois Press): Big book (640 pp), based on 100 interviews with industry makers and shakers. Author is a consultant to Ace Records in the UK, high up on the list of reissue labels I wish would send me records.

Cynthia Stokes Brown, Big History: From the Big Bang to the Present (New Press): Still human-oriented, but in in big chunks favoring pre-history, focusing on things like agriculture and cities.

Lawrence D Brown/Lawrence R Jacobs: The Private Abuse of the Public Interest: Market Myths and Policy Muddles (paperback, 2008, University of Chicago Press): Short book questioning conservative efforts to expand markets, showing that policy makers need "to recognize that properly functioning markets presuppose the government's ability to create, sustain, and repair them over time."

Lester R Brown: The Great Transition: Shifting From Fossil Fuels to Solar and Wind Energy (paperback, 2015, WW Norton)

Wendy Brown: Undoing the Demos: Neoliberalism's Stealth Revolution (2015, Zone Books Ner Futures): I read Philip Mirowski's Never Let a Serious Crisis Go to Waste in search of an explanation of why the 2008 crash didn't lead to any serious rethinking of what is wrong with conventional economic thought (aka neoliberalism), but that long book didn't get much deeper than pointing out the mental rut no one dared escape. This looks to explain that logic and its grip.

Charles Brownell: Subprime Meltdown: From US Liquidity Crisis to Global Recession (paperback, 2008, Create Space): Short (116 pp) summary, starting at the house market end, which seems is the author's bailiwick.

Shannon Brownlee: Overtreated: Why Too Much Medicine Is Making Us Sicker and Poorer (2007, Bloomsbury): One of those books one mistrusts politically even though there is little doubt that its fundamental premise is true -- the big problem is that its opposite is also true, that despite all the oversell much of America is undertreated. You can spin these arguments any way you like politically, but if the author is honest we'll see overtreatment as one of many bad effects of a system that is fundamentally corrupted by business.

Harold H Bruff: Bad Advice: Bush's Lawyers in the War on Terror (2009, University Press of Kansas): That's putting it, uh, thoughtfully. John Yoo's book title, War By Other Means: An Insider's Account of the War on Terror, suggests that he wasn't even trying to be a lawyer. David Addington was always a guy who wrapped the law around his politics. Bush had no training in law: the only point he grasped was that as long as you could get away with it the law didn't apply. He hired lawyers to defend that insight. But then he also thought the only point of democracy was winning.

Robert F Bruner/Sean D Carr: The Panic of 1907: Lessons Learned from the Market's Perfect Storm (2008; paperback, 2009, Wiley): One of those depressions from back in the good old days when the federal government was powerless as well as uninterested in doing anything about it. Fortunately, the bankers could appeal to a higher authority: J Pierpont Morgan.

Robert Bryce: Gusher of Lies: The Dangerous Delusions of "Energy Independence" (2008, Public Affairs): The good news is this book does a hatchet job on the platitudes politicians spew about energy independence, mostly by showing how nothing they propose actually does the job. The bad news is that leaves us back with fossil fuels, and he may not have much of a sense of how limited that is. Previous books: Pipe Dreams: Greed, Ego, and the Death of Enron and Cronies: Oil, the Bushes, and the Rise of Texas, America's Superstate.

Robert Bryce: Power Hungry: The Myths of "Green" Energy and the Real Fuels of the Future (paperback, 2011, Public Affairs)

Bill Bryson: Shakespeare: The World as Stage (paperback, 2007, Eminent Lives): One of my favorite writers -- humorist, traveler, archeologist of the English language -- knocks off a short book on a subject obviously up his alley. I've read almost everything he's written, but lately fallen behind, barely conscious that his memoir, The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid is now out in paperback.

Bill Bryson: At Home: A Short History of Private Life (2010, Doubleday): Back in England, living in a big old house which he tours room by room, tackling a world's worth of history and lore along the way. At 512 pp., I reckon short histories are relative.

Bill Bryson, ed: Seeing Further: The Story of Science, Discovery, and the Genius of the Royal Society (2010, William Morrow): A collection of new essays retelling the 350 year history of the Royal Society of London, from its founding in 1660 by some chap named Isaac Newton.

Bill Bryson: One Summer: America, 1927 (2013, Doubleday): Pick a year, any year. Bryson picked the one when Lindbergh flew solo across the Atlantic, the Mississippi flooded, and Babe Ruth hit 60 home runs, among other things (e.g., "the four most powerful central bankers on earth met in secret session on a Long Island estate and made a fateful decision that virtually guaranteed a future crash and depression"). Good chance Bryson could turn any year into something vastly entertaining and deeply informative.

Bill Bryson: The Road to Little Dribbling: Adventures of an American in Britain (2016, Doubleday): An American who writes humorous books about the English language and travels (thus far to English-speaking countries) and occasionally stretches for something like A Short History of Nearly Everything (2003). Born in Iowa, he's spent most of his adult life in Great Britain, writing Notes From a Small Island (1996) before moving back to the US, and now this second travelogue to Britain after returning. Probably charming and amusing, smart too.

Zbigniew Brzezinski/Brent Scowcroft: America and the World: Conversations on the Future of American Foreign Policy (2008, Basic Books): Dialogue between two prominent brand names of foreign policy ideology, moderated by David Ignatius. How sad that it took George W Bush to make these guys look sane -- excepting Ignatius, of course.

Mark Buchanan: Ubiquity: Why Catastrophes Happen (paperback, 2002, Three Rivers Press).

Patrick J Buchanan: Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War: How Britain Lost Its Empire and the West Lost the World (2008, Crown): Looks more like how Buchanan lost his mind. The loss of the British empire was pretty much in the cards regardless of the world wars that nudged Britain along. But the wars themselves were part of the mindset that built the empire in the first place. Germany's will to war came from the same desire for empire, pumped up marginally by revenge fantasies. To say the world wars could have been avoided is to say that Britain and Germany should have been allies instead of rivals. Right-wingers have often noted the availability of a worthy common enemy in Stalin, but in order to get that far you have to reconcile yourself to Hitler and all he stood for. I doubt that even Buchanan really wants to go that far, so why is he entertaining the prospect?

Todd G Buchholz: The Price of Prosperity: Why Rich Nations Fail and How to Renew Them (2016, Harper)

Frank Büchmann-Møller: Someone to Watch Over Me: The Life and Music of Ben Webster (2006, University of Michigan Press): Career-spanning biography, one of the all-time tenor sax greats, started in Kansas City and wound up in Copenhagen.

Christopher Buckley: Losing Mum and Pup (2009, Twelve): The author's famous parents died 11 months apart, triggering this memoir. As mine died three months and three days apart, I can relate, although our sets of parents had nothing at all in common. The Buckleys were born filthy rich, and spent their whole lives in fervent ideological celebration of their good fortune. The son somehow found a sense of humor in this, which sometimes helps him overcome his upbringing.

Gail Lumet Buckley: The Black Calhouns: From Civil War to Civil Rights With One African American Family (2016, Atlantic Monthly Press): A family history going back six generations, starting with Moses Calhoun, a "house slave" who became a successful businessman in post-Civil War Atlanta, following two branches of the family -- one that stayed in the South, the other migrating to Brooklyn. The author is the daughter of Lena Horne, and previously wrote The Hornes: An American Family, and American Patriots: The Story of Blacks in the Military From the Revolution to Desert Storm.

Beth Buczynski: Sharing Is Good: How to Save Money, Time and Resources Through Collaborative Consumption (paperback, 2013, New Society Publishers): One thing I've come to realize is that damn near none of the things I own is in use at any given time, nor does the percentage grow much over days, week, months. I assume that's at least part of what's going on here. (I have a cousin who lives in a retirement community where the houses are tiny but nearly everything imaginable is available in shared buildings -- when I visit, it always strikes me as something of a communist paradise.) So this seems like a reasonable idea for a lower cost, higher value, sustainable future, not that I doubt the devil is in the details. Other books along these lines: Rachel Botsman: What's Mine Is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption (2010, Harper Business; paperback, 2011, Collins); Lisa Gansky: The Mesh: Why the Future of Business Is Sharing (paperback, 2012, Portfolio); Chelsea Rustrum/Gabriel Slempinski/Alexandra Liss: It's a Shareable Life: A Practical Guide on Sharing (paperback, 2014, Shareable Life); Jay Walljasper: All That We Share: How to Save the Economy, the Environment, the Internet, Democracy, Our Communities and Everything Else That Belongs to All of Us (paperback, 2010, New Press); Malcolm Harris/Neal Gorenflo, eds: Share or Die: Voices of the Get Lost Generation in the Age of Crisis (paperback, 2012, New Society Publishers).

Grace Budrys: Our Unsystematic Health Care System (2nd edition, 2005, Rowman & Littlefield)

Vincent Bugliosi: The Prosecution of George W Bush for Murder (2008, Vanguard Press): I'd be happy to nab Bush on this or any other charge, anything to drive him from power, but I'd think the clearer case would be for fraud, as Elizabeth de la Vega has shown.

Paul Buhle, ed: The Beats: A Graphic History (2009, Hill and Wang): Text by Harvey Pekar and others; art by Ed Piskor and others. Not sure who all the others are. Short, celebratory, maybe a little critical when it comes to sexism. Stuff I used to care a lot about, not just when I read Ginsberg and Ferlinghetti but also when I followed Buhle's comics jones in Radical America.

Paul Buhle/David Berger: Bohemians: A Graphic History (paperback, 2014, Verso): Buhle was editor of Radical America way back when. A historian, he had an interest in comics long before graphic novels became commonplace. This explores the counterculture before the word was coined. Buhle also collaborated on: w/Nicole Schulman: Wobblies! A Graphic History of the Industrial Workers of the World (paperback, 2005, Verso); w/Sharon Rudahl: Dangerous Woman: The Graphic Biography of Emma Goldman (paperback, 2007, New Press); w/Howard Zinn/Mike Konopacki: A People's History of American Empire (paperback, 2008, Metropolitan Books); w/Denis Kitchen: The Art of Harvey Kurtzman: The Mad Genius of Comics (2009, Abrams); w/Harvey Pekar: Students for a Democratic Society: A Graphic History (paperback, 2009, Hill & Wang); w/Harvey Pekar: The Beats: A Graphic History (2009; paperback, 2010, Hill & Wang); and he's written two "For Beginners" books -- which, by the way, is a good place to start on anything they cover: FDR and the New Deal for Beginners (paperback, 2010, For Beginners); Lincoln for Beginners (paperback, 2015, For Beginners).

Tom Buk-Swienty: The Other Half: The Life of Jacob Riis and the World of Immigrant America (2008, WW Norton)

Elisabeth Bumiller: Condoleezza Rice: An American Life: A Biography (2007, Random House): Winner of the 2004 Wimblehack sweepstakes for the most inane and obsequious reporting on the 2004 presidential campaign moves on to a subject worthy of her talents. I like the line about how Rice "has until now remained a mystery behind an elegant, cool veneer" -- shows you what a pro like Bumiller can do, whereas I'd just settle for describing Rice as a deceitful, shallow-brained psychopath.

Will Bunch: Tear Down This Myth: How the Reagan Legacy Has Distorted Our Politics and Haunts Our Future (2009, Free Press): Has there ever been any US president more deliberately mythologized for political purposes? A shill who fronted the most corrupt administration in American history, turning the federal government into an incubator for the far-right fanatics who have since done even more damage to the republic. A necessary book, but unlikely that Bunch goes anywhere near far enough.

Will Bunch: The Backlash: Right-Wing Radicals, High-Def Hucksters, and Paranoid Politics in the Age of Obama (2010, Harper): Glenn Beck, the tea baggers, the birthers, hard to keep up with all the nonsense. Bunch wrote a pretty good book on Reagan, Tear Down This Myth: How the Reagan Legacy Has Distorted Our Politics and Haunts Our Future, but his subject here may be too unconstrained to capture in a book just now -- although Beck, in particular, is provoking some backlash: Alexander Zaitchik: Common Nonsense: Glenn Beck and the Triumph of Ingorance (2010, Wiley); Dana Milbank: Tears of a Clown: Glenn Beck and the Tea Bagging of America (2010, Doubleday).

Alan Burdick: Out of Eden: An Odyssey of Ecological Invasion (paperback, 2006, Farrar Straus Giroux).

Avraham Burg: The Holocaust Is Over, We Must Rise From Its Ashes (2008, Palgrave Macmillan). The former speaker of Israel's Knesset takes a hard look at what Zionism has done to Israel today.

Gary M Burge: Jesus and the Land: The New Testament Challenge to "Holy Land" Theology (paperback, 2010, Baker Academic): Previously wrote Whose Land? Whose Promise? What Christians Are Not Being Told about Israel and the Palestinians (paperback, 2004, Pilgrim Press). I find the very concept of a "holy land," "holy places," even a "holy mountain" appalling, but people do get wound up in such diversions, and if you do this may help disabuse you of such nonsense. The conflict itself is real.

Angus Burgin: The Great Persuasion: Reinventing Free Markets Since the Depression (2012, Harvard University Press): On economic theory, so markets are not so much reinvented -- they had never been banned -- as reideologized by various economists, from FA Hayek to Milton Friedman, especially through the Mont Pélerin Society.

Tom Burgis: The Looting Machine: Warlords, Oligarchs, Corporations, Smugglers, and the Theft of Africa's Wealth (2015, Public Affairs): While Africa has about 30% of the world's reserves of hydrocarbons and minerals, and 14% of the world's population, its economies have remained stagnant (e.g., only 1% of the world's manufacturing). The looting began under European colonialism, but continues today, enabled by the corruption of elites. Related: Celeste Hicks: Africa's New Oil: Power, Pipelines and Future Fortunes (paperback, 2015, Zed Books); Luke Paley: The New Kings of Crude: China, India, and the Global Struggle for Oil in Sudan and South Sudan (paperback, 2015, Hurst).

Kathleen Burk: Old World, New World: Great Britain and America from the Beginning (2008, Atlantic Monthly Press): Big book (848 pages), tries to straddle the Atlantic from 1497 on.

Jason Burke: The 9/11 Wars (2011, Allen Lane; paperback, 2011, Penguin Global): British journalist, based in New Delhi, reports on various conflicts of the last decade, but mostly in and around Afghanistan. Previously wrote Al-Qaeda: The True Story of Radical Islam (paperback, 2004, IB Tauris).

Michael Burleigh: Blood and Rage: A Cultural History of Terrorism (2009, Harper Collins): A broad ranging smorgasbord of evil terrorists starting with 19th century anarchists, culminating in Al-Qaeda, most European or more/less directly tied to Europe. Lots of detail, but doesn't seem to have any overarching logic -- other than that terrorism is bad, of course.

Michael Burleigh: Moral Combat: Good and Evil in World War II (2011, Harper Collins)

Michael Burleigh: Small Wars, Faraway Places: Global Insurrection and the Making of the Modern World, 1945-1965 (2013, Viking): Given the years covered, most of those faraway wars were revolts against European (and American) imperialism, many of which got caught up in the Cold War as the United States forsake liberalism in favor of any tinpot despot who could be counted as anticommunist. That adds up to a pretty big book (668 pp) with "18 distinct story lines of terrorism, counter-terrorism, intrigue, nationalism, and Cold War rivalry." Good chance he spreads himself thin, as well as missing the upshot -- which is that the Cold War was primarily responsible for undermining democracy and undoing the middle class in America.

Jennifer Burns: Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right (2009, Oxford University Press): Right-wing libertarian hero, one of the more unorthodox and unruly figures in American conservatism, all but worshipped for her two big novels, the main point of which seems to be that you can never be too greedy. I developed an intense dislike for her based on exposure to acolyte Nathaniel Branden, which may or may not be fully deserved.

Lawton R Burns: The Health Care Value Chain: Producers, Purchasers, and Providers (2002, Jossey-Bass)

Lawton Robert Burns, ed: The Business of Healthcare Innovation (paperback, 2005, Cambridge University Press)

Bryan Burrough: The Big Rich: The Rise and Fall of the Greatest Texas Oil Fortunes (2009, Penguin): Big history of Texas oil men starting with Spindletop in 1901, continuing through their ultra-right-wing dynastic politics. Author recently wrote Public Enemies: The True Story of America's Greatest Crime Wave, which seems relevant, but is even better known as co-author of Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco, one of the big business scandals of the 1980s.

Bryan Burrough: Days of Rage: America's Radical Underground, the FBI, and the Forgotten Age of Revolutionary Violence (2015, Penguin): Investigates various fringe radical groups in the 1970s -- the Weathermen, the Symbionese Liberation Army, FALN, the Black Liberation Army -- who resorted to violence to advance their frustrated political ideals, and the federal agents who hunted them down (who themselves "broke many laws in its attempts to bring the revolutionaries to justice"). Also on the FBI's suppression of left radicals: Aaron J Leonard/Conor A Gallagher: Heavy Radicals: The FBI's Secret War on America's Maoists: The Revolutionary Union/Revolutionary Communist Party 1968-1980 (paperback, 2015, Zero Books).

John Burt: Lincoln's Tragic Pragmatism: Lincoln, Douglas, and Moral Conflict (2012, Belknap Press): Big book (832 pp.) to just cover the Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858, compared favorably to Harry Jaffa's Crisis of the House Divided (1959), long regarded as the standard work on the subject.

Ian Buruma: Taming the Gods: Religion and Democracy on Three Continents (2010, Princeton University Press): Short (142 pp) treatise on the use and misuse of religion in politics. Buruma's previous book was Murder in Amsterdam: Liberal Europe, Islam, and the Limits of Tolerance, as well as several books on China and Japan, Wages of Guilt: Memories of War in Germany & Japan, and Occidentalism: The West in the Eyes of Its Enemies (with Avighai Margalit).

Ian Buruma: Year Zero: A History of 1945 (2013, Penguin Press): Every year things change a little, but an astonishing number of big things changed in 1945: the world war ended with Japan and Germany unconditionally defeated, the holocaust and the atom bomb were revealed, European colonial control over Europe and Asia had been undermined (but it would take some years to fully fracture), the map of Eastern Europe was quickly redrawn, various revolutions erupted, economies were in ruins (except for the US, which was never stronger), millions of people had been displaced, the "cold war" was quickly brewing (although at the same time the UN was forming). Much to write about, including the simultaneity of all that change.

The Bush Institute: The 4% Solution: Unleashing the Economic Growth America Needs (2012, Crown Business): After eight years as president with virtually no net growth once they blew away the housing bubble, Bush's advisers think they've finally figured out how to grow the economy. GW wrote the forward. The book proper claims five Nobel economists, starting with Robert Lucas -- probably the most completely discredited man in the profession -- and ending with Myron Scholes, the genius behind Long Term Capital Management (long since defunct).

Judith Butler: Frames of War: When Is Life Grievable? (2009; paperback, 2010, Verso): Something on what we do (and do not) experience as grievous in war, specifically the US War in Iraq where we meticulously count our own dead while casually sloughing off wild-ass guesstimates of those we kill, directly or otherwise.

Paul Butler: Let's Get Free: A Hip-Hop Theory of Justice (2009, New Press).

Daniel Byman: A High Price: The Triumphs & Failures of Israeli Counterterrorism (2011, Oxford University Press): Right after 9/11, I recall both John Major and Shimon Peres pointing out that they could teach us some pointers on handling terrorism. At the time I thought the only thing they actually knew much about was spurring terror attacks along. I take it that this book is a brief intended to support Peres' assertion, although he would have been more circumspect about those failures.

David Byrne: How Music Works (2012, McSweeney's): Talking Heads frontman, Luaka Bop honcho, applies his experience to a big topic, although I can imagine lots of different tangents for "works" to take off in. Most likely: how music works for me. Still, a topic of some interest.

Philip Cafaro: How Many Is Too Many? The Progressive Argument for Reducing Immigration into the United States (2015, University of Chicago Press).

Naomi Cahn/June Carbone: Red Families v. Blue Families: Legal Polarization and the Creation of Culture (2010; paperback, Oxford University Press, 2011): A look at how American families have been polarized by the red-blue culture divide.

Susan Cain: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking (2012, Crown): Reassurance, support, defense, therapy for the one-third of all people classified as introverts, touting their little-appreciated advantages. Written by an introvert with a Harvard Law degree. She compares her book to Betty Friedan's, which is a bit of a stretch, but as someone who's explicitly been denied more than one job because he wasn't considered outgoing enough, I appreciate the effort.

Kitty Calavita: Inside the State: The Bracero Program, Immigration, and the INS (1992; paperback, 2010, Quid Pro).

David Callahan, The Moral Center: How We Can Reclaim Our Country From Diehard Extremists, Rogue Corporations, Hollywood Hacks, and Pretend Patriots (Harcourt). Author of The Cheating Culture, he probably has some points, despite an annoying preference for railing against the left. "Callahan argues that the problems for most Americans are not abortion and gay marriage but rather issues that neither party is addressing -- the selfishness that is careening out of control, the effect of our violent and consumerist culture on children, and our lack of a greater purpose."

David Callahan: Fortunes of Change: The Rise of the Liberal Rich and the Remaking of America (2010, Wiley): Argues that new money is more liberal than old money, which even if it's true adds up to a very small point. Rather, what I see happening is that to the extent that these nouveau riches lean Democratic -- and they make sure they never lean far enough to fall over -- they flatter the Democrats into the vain hope that the path to success is to appease the rich. How much change you get out of that is hard to project, mostly because it's so intangible. The rich liberals of FDR's day worked to moderate capitalism to stave off revolution, a fear that today's rich liberals don't have -- unless you count the resurgence of fascism, and there's certainly some threat there.

Alex Callinicos: Bonfire of Illusions: The Twin Crises of the Liberal World (paperback, 2010, Polity): The collapse of global capitalism, sure, but the Russian incursion into Georgia?

Charles W Calomiris/Stephen H Haber: Fragile by Design: The Political Origins of Banking Crises and Scarce Credit (2014; paperback, 2015, Princeton University Press)

Thomas J Campanella: The Concrete Dragon: China's Urban Revolution and What it Means for the World (2008, Princeton University Press): Urban planning professor looks at China's building boom over the last 20-30 years, creating a substantially new and often precarious urban landscape.

Horace Campbell: Global NATO and the Catastrophic Failure in Libya (paperback, 2013, Monthly Review Press): It's pretty clear in hindsight that the NATO intervention in Libya in 2011 took a bad situation -- a civil war as Muammar Gaddafi used military force to try to suppress a popular revolt -- and turned it into chaos and who knows what? You'd think this would be cause for reflection, but the intervention came and went too fast to get onto book schedules, and since then little has been published other than the right wing's Benghazi! propaganda, so I thought I'd search out what's available. This book, very critical of NATO, was the first I found. Some others: Alison Pargeter: Libya: The Rise and Fall of Qaddafi (2012, Yale University Press); Vijay Prashad: Arab Spring, Libyan Winter (paperback, 2012, AK Press); Ethan Chorin: Exit the Colonel: The Hidden History of the Libyan Revolution (2012, Public Affairs); Maximilian Forte: Slouching Towards Sirte: NATO's War on Libya and Africa (paperback, 2012, Baraka Books); Francis A Boyle: Destroying Libya and World Order: The Three-Decade US Campaign to Terminate the Qaddafi Revolution (paperback, 2013, Clarity Press); Christopher S Chivvis: Toppling Qaddafi: Libya and the Limits of Liberal Intervention (paperback, 2013, Cambridge University Press); Hugh Roberts: The Fall of Muammar Gaddafi: NATO's War in Libya (2016, Verso).

W Joseph Campbell: Getting It Wrong: Ten of the Greatest Misreported Stories in American Journalism (paperback, 2010, University of California Press): One way to explore how journalism likes to indulge in its own mythmaking, from William Randolph Hearst and the Spanish-American War to Jessica Lynch.

Vincent I Cannato: American Passage: The History of Ellis Island (paperback, 2010, Harper Perennial).

Lou Cannon/Carl M Cannon: Reagan's Disciple: George W Bush's Troubled Quest for a Presidential Legacy (2008, Perseus): Unfair, I'd say. Both authors have their reasons to belittle Bush (cf. cover for graphic illustration). Lou has built his career as Reagan's consummate biographer. Carl already co-wrote another book giving Bush's credits away: Boy Genius: Karl Rove, the Architect of George W Bush's Remarkable Political Triumphs. Personally, I don't see Reagan as much of a guru, nor Bush as modest enough to be anyone's disciple. Bush had help but mostly he managed to screw up on his own, for reasons as intrinsic as his sick character. As for Reagan, people have been covering up his messes for nearly 30 years now. This book is another way of denying them.

Michael F Cannon/Michael D Tanner: Healthy Competition: What's Holding Back Health Care and How to Free It (paperback, 2005, Cato Institute): Nothing wrong here consumer choice in a free market can't fix.

Bryan Douglas Caplan, The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies (2007-04, Princeton University Press).

Caitlin Carenen: The Fervent Embrace: Liberal Protestants, Evangelicals, and Israel (2012, New York University Press): The US has lots of reasons for being exceptionally sympathetic to Israel, ranging from the founding bond of both being white settler nations to the symbiosis of our overbloated arms industries, but one of the most important is how Israel has played in protestant thought -- both early on with liberal guilt over the Holocaust and later with evangelicals pining for the apocalypse.

David Carey/John E Morris: King of Capital: The Remarkable Rise, Fall, and Rise Again of Steve Schwarzman and Blackstone (2010; paperback, 2012, Crown Business): Puff book on the largest private equity company and its billionaire leader, and presumably a few words about his partner, Pete Peterson -- you know, the guy who wants to take your Social Security away. The authors buy into the great moral fallacy of our time: the belief that making obscene amounts of money is laudable no matter how you do it.

Roane Carey/Jonathan Shanin, eds: The Other Israel: Voices of Refusal and Dissent ().

Roane Carey, ed: The New Intifada: Resisting Israel's Apartheid ().

Daniel Carlat: Unhinged: The Trouble With Psychiatry -- A Doctor's Revelations About a Profession in Crisis (2010, Free Press)

Timothy P Carney: The Big Ripoff: How Big Business and Big Government Steal Your Money (2006, Wiley): Described as a "small government conservative," at least he sees business as no better than government. Imagine he has some examples.

Timothy P Carney: Obananomics: How Barack Obama Is Bankrupting You and Enriching His Wall Street Friends, Corporate Lobbyists, and Union Bosses (2009, Regnery): Yglesias writes: "I'm continually gobsmacked by the number of business executives in the United States who haven't read Tim Carney's book and don't realize that Obama is just a patsy for the big business agenda. Maybe the White House should buy a free copy of Obamanomics for every corporate headquarters in the country." Jonah Goldberg says, this "is conservative muckraking at its best." Foreword by Ron Paul.

Caleb Carr: The Lessons of Terror: A History of Warfare Against Civilians: Why It Has Always Failed and Why It Will Fail Again (2002, Random House): Historical novelist comes up with a quick historical framework to 9/11, framed in the context of war against civilians going as far back as Rome, something the US is not unfamiliar with.

Matthew Carr: The Infernal Machine: A History of Terrorism: From the Assassination of Tsar Alexander II to Al-Qaeda (paperback, 2008, New Press): A global, comparative history, going back at least to 19th century anarchists, with at least some concern for what states do before and after terrorists attack.

Matthew Carr: Blood and Faith: The Purging of Muslim Spain (2009, New Press): In 1492 the Christian Reconquista defeated the last Muslim enclave in Spain. It also marked the beginning of the Inquisition, which killed or expelled all of the Muslims and Jews from Spain. This focuses on the Muslim side of the story, a horrific episode of what we now call ethnic cleansing.

Nicholas Carr: The Big Switch: Rewiring the World, From Edison to Google (2008, WW Norton): Another big thinking book about the internet. Not clear whether it's good thinking, although the historical sketch might be useful.

Nicholas Carr: The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains (2010, WW Norton): Well, something is making us stupid(er), so why not blame the Internet? The thesis is that constant stimulation shortens attention span leading to shallow thinking, but that seems equally or even more true of other media, e.g. radio and television. I'd say that the worst thing about web pages is how so many attempt to emulate television. I suppose you can blame the net for making stupid people louder, but that's, well, if not democracy at least levelling, which is a price we (more/less gladly) pay for access.

James Carroll: Crusade: Chronicles of an Unjust War (2004, Metropolitan).

James Carroll: House of War: The Pentagon and the Disastrous Rise of American Power (2006, Houghton Mifflin).

James Carroll: Jerusalem, Jerusalem: How the Ancient City Ignites Our Modern World (2011, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt): Sometime journalist, sometime historian, always Catholic, takes a dim view of war and prejudice which leads to some soul searching. Not sure what exactly this covers or why it matters, except inasmuch as the histories of western religion and war have been interweaved, and still are.

Tom Carson: Gilligan's Wake ().

Dan T Carter: The Politics of Rage: George Wallace, the Origins of the New Conservatism, and the Transformation of American Politics (paperback, 2000, Louisiana State University Press): In reading several broad histories of the rise of the new right, one thing I've been struck by was how the current tone and temper of the movement -- what Jim Geraghty calls "voting to kill" -- only arrived with Wallace. Carter also wrote: From George Wallace to Newt Gingrich: Race in the Conservative Counterrevolution, 1963-1994.

James Carroll: Practicing Catholic (2009, Houghton Mifflin): Son of an Air Force General, ordained as a Catholic priest, long-time Boston Globe columnist, has written major books on the Pentagon (House of War: The Pentagon and the Disastrous Rise of American Power) and Catholic anti-semitism (Constantine's Sword: The Church and the Jews) -- deeply ingrained stains that he was evidently able to overcome without losing his religion.

Graydon Carter: What We've Lost: How the Bush Administration Has Curtailed Our Freedoms, Mortgaged Our Economy, Ravaged Our Environment, and Damaged Our Standing in the World (2004, Farrar Straus and Giroux): Vanity Fair editor. Seems like a fair and balanced summary.

Jimmy Carter: Palestine Peace Not Apartheid (2006, Simon & Schuster).

Jimmy Carter: We Can Have Peace in the Holy Land: A Plan That Will Work (2009, Simon & Schuster): Most likely another sane and sensible book on the conflict, giving Israel way too much credit while Carter has become the favorite whipping boy of the Dershowitz mob.

Stephen L Carter: The Violence of Peace: America's Wars in the Age of Obama (2011, Beast Books): Parses what is new (and what is same old same old) in Obama's pontificating over war and direction thereof. Evidently aludes much to Michael Walzer, our most notorious justifier of just war theorizing, a theorist that gives Obama plenty of rope to hang himself. I don't trust Carter on this, but Obama hasn't earned any trust either.

James Carville/Stan Greenberg: It's the Middle Class, Stupid! (2012, Blue Rider Press): Note: comma omitted on front cover, suggesting several alternative parsings. Professional political hacks, i.e., people who somehow get paid for getting it all wrong. I've never liked Obama's middle class fetishism, but that's probably his idea of defensible ground, along with all the other God and patriotic gore he peddles. If Carville has any redeeming merit, it's that he's often crass, and once in a blue moon right.

James Carville: We're Still Right, They're Still Wrong: The Democrats' Case for 2016 (2016, Blue Rider Press)

Christian Caryl: Strange Rebels: 1979 and the Birth of the 21st Century (2013, Basic Books): One of those attempts to turn history around in a key year, one that featured the Iranian Revolution and its attendant oil shock, a Russian coup in Afghanistan that tempted the US to start the Jihadist war against the West, the key reforms that led by capitalist growth in China, the elevation of a Polish cold warrior as pope, and the disastrous rise of Margaret Thatcher -- Ronald Reagan was still a year away.

Michael J Casey: The Unfair Trade: How Our Broken Global Financial System Destroys the Middle Class (2012, Crown Business): Australian reporter, takes an international view of the crisis. Not sure how well the "middle class" angle ties in here, although the drive of the financial elites to skim an ever greater slice of the profit and the race to the bottomn of the labor market are certain to take their toll on anyone in between.

Rosanne Cash: Composed: A Memoir (2010, Viking): Singer-songwriter, noteworthy in her own right, even better known for being Johnny Cash's daughter.

David C Cassidy: Beyond Uncertainty: Heisenberg, Quantum Physics, and the Bomb (2009, Bellevue Literary Press): A follow up to Cassidy's 1992 Uncertainty: The Life and Science of Werner Heisenberg with more info, especially on Heisenberg's controversial role in Nazi Germany's atom bomb project.

John Cassidy: How Markets Fail: The Logic of Economic Calamities (2009, Farrar Straus and Giroux): Another book on the financial collapse of 2008, focusing mostly on the shortcomings of conventional economic theory -- all that stuff about robust, rational, reliable, all-seeing and benificent markets. What he calls Utopian Economics.

Robert M Cassidy, Counterinsurgency and the Global War on Terror: Military Culture and Irregular War (Greenwood).

Christopher Catherwood/Joe DiVanna: The Merchants of Fear: Why They Want Us to Be Afraid (2008, Lyons Press): Hint: Isn't that Bush and Cheney on the cover? The authors find a long history of fearmongering for political gains. Catherwood previously wrote: Churchill's Folly: How Winston Churchill Created Modern Iraq; A Brief History of the Middle East: From Abraham to Arafat; A God Divided: Understanding the Differences Betwen Islam, Christianity, and Judaism.

Peter Catapano/Simon Critchley: The Stone Reader: Modern Philosophy in 133 Arguments (2015, Liveright): A broad overview of what academic philosophers are thinking about these days, a big book (816 pp) of essays originally published as "The Stone" by the New York Times. Wide range of pieces, many touching on politics (or at least ethics, not unrelated), only a few going back to the canon (one title I like: "Of Hume and Bondage"). As a former philosophy major I'm intrigued, but maybe not enough. I will say that virtually none of the author names are familiar to me.

Dick Cavett: Talk Show: Confrontations, Pointed Commentary, and Off-Screen Secrets (2010, Times Books): Late night talk show host. I did watch his show in the late-1960s/early-1970s, and recall fondly his intelligent engagement with his guests, and special attachment to Groucho Marx. His rise was largely based on his ability to cultivate relationships with celebrities like Marx, and he had a knack for making them look good while not making himself look foolish. Book evidently comes from an online column he writes, one of those ways people have to extend their 15 minutes of fame into a minor career.

Christopher Cerf/Victor Navasky: Mission Accomplished! Or How We Won the War in Iraq: The Experts Speak (paperback, 2008, Simon & Schuster). Salon called this "an upper-middle-brow bathroom book," a couple hundred pages of direct quotes from the people who got us into this war -- Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Powell, and Rice are all on the cover -- and those who cheered them on -- looks like Ann Coulter and Bill O'Reilly too. The authors previously wrote the more generic: The Experts Speak: The Definitive Compendium of Authoritative Misinformation.

Victor Cha: The Impossible State: North Korea, Past and Future (2012, Harper Collins): Former Bush admin NSC Korea hand -- you know, the folks who concocted "the axis of evil" meme -- tries to explain North Korea, something I'm not sure anyone can do. A couple years ago, when Barbara Demick wrote Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea (2009) there weren't many books, but that's started to change. Relatively new: Andrei Lankov: The Real North Korea: Life and Politics in the Failed Stalinist Utopia (2013, Oxford University Press); BR Myers: The Cleanest Race: How North Koreans See Themselves and Why It Matters (2010; paperback, 2011, Melville House); Bruce E Bechtol Jr: The Last Days of Kim Jong-Il: The North Korean Threat in a Changing Era (2013, Potomac Books). Still, I doubt if any on these shed much light on the latest round of threats and condemnations.

Michael Chabon/Ayelet Waldman, eds: Kingdom of Olives and Ash: Writers Confront the Occupation (paperback, 2017, Harper Perennial): Connecting with Breaking the Silence, a number of well known writers (mostly novelists) took a tour of Israel and its Occupied Territories, and chronicled what they found as they bear "witness to the human cost of the occupation."

Justin Akers Chacon: No One Is Illegal: Fighting Racism and State Violence on the US-Mexico Border (paperback, 2006, Haymarket Books).

Zev Chafets, A Match Made in Heaven: American Jews, Christian Zionists, and One Man's Exploration of the Weird and Wonderful Judeo-Evangelical Alliance (2007, Harper Collins): Enough fish out of water here this might actually be interesting, but the phenomenon is revolting, and celebrating it perverse.

Zev Chafets, A Match Made in Heaven: American Jews, Christian Zionists, and One Man's Exploration of the Weird and Wonderful Judeo-Evangelical Alliance (Harper Collins): Menachem Begin's former press secretary. Strikes me as a pure horror story, but it may help that Chafets at least finds it weird. Another book on the same subject is Timothy P Weber, On the Road to Armageddon: How Evangelicals Became Israel's Best Friend (Baker Academic).

Jonathan Chait: The Big Con: The True Story of How Washington Got Hoodwinked and Hijacked by Crackpot Economics (2007, Houghton Mifflin): The story of "supply side economics," a/k/a "voodoo economics," a theory I thought was long dead. It was originally cooked up to justify tax cuts on the rich, but nowadays the Republicans don't even need theories to do that -- it's burned into their DNA, isn't it?

Lisa Chamberlain: Slackonomics: Generation X in the Age of Creative Destruction (2008, Da Capo Press): Portrait of Gen X (those born in the mid-1960s through '70s) as pioneering entrepreneurs; one review tags this "gushing, anecdotal" -- not very useful attributes.

G Paul Chambers: Head Shot: The Science Behind the JFK Assassination (2010, Prometheus): Another review of the evidence, this time bolstered by the author's physics credentials. Doesn't indulge in conspiracy speculation, but does reject the official story that all shots came from a single gun.

Giles Chance: China and the Credit Crisis: The Emergence of a New World Order (paperback, 2010, Wiley): Some allusions here about China's role in precipitating the credit crisis, whatever that means. From what I know, China mostly put its surplus into US treasury bonds. They did take a hit as the credit crisis crippled world trade, and they responded with a huge stimulus program that put them on a faster recovery track than anyone else did. Obviously, how the whole thing sloshed through countries like China (and India) should be of interest. How to blame them is less clear.

Rajiv Chandrasekaran, Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq's Green Zone (2006; paperback, 2007, Vintage Books).

Rajiv Chandrasekaran: Little America: The War Within the War for Afghanistan (2012, Knopf): Mild-mannered journalist, laid back then wrote a damning chronicle of US incompetence in Iraq, Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq's Green Zone, moves on to Afghanistan. There, he focuses on Helmand, home of America's prewar "Little America" hydro-project, watching wave after wave of American power unable to do anything constructive.

Ha-Joon Chang: Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism (2007, Bloomsbury Press): Another promising book I have lined up in my queue. One of the big problems in the world today is development, and there is little reason to think the self-interested superpowers are helping anyone else to improve their standards of living.

Ha-Joon Chang: 23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism (2011, Bloomsbury Press): Development economist, not a big fan of the neoliberal Washington Consensus prescription, which he's described as Kicking Away the Ladder: Development Strategy in Historical Perspective and Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism -- I've read the latter and think it's a pretty fair summary.

Ha-Joon Chang: Economics: The User's Guide (2014, Bloomsbury Press): A basic economics primer from a Korean economist who's been known to cast a critical eye on capitalism and its myths of development strategy; cf. his Kicking Away the Ladder: Development Strategy in Historical Perspective (2002), Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism (2007) and 23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism (2011).

Peter Chapman: Bananas!: How the United Fruit Company Shaped the World (2008, Canongate): The force behind the CIA in Guatemala, and so much more. Does feel like old news, but that's history for you.

Joel Chasnoff: The 188th Crybaby Brigade: A Skinny Jewish Kid From Chicago Fights Hezbollah -- A Memoir (2010, Free Press): A 24-year-old American, Ivy League grad, failed stand up comic, joins the IDF, a tank brigade full of 18-year-old draftees, just in time to invade Lebanon. Maybe he'll go back to stand up now that he's got some fresh material. Probably won't go back to Lebanon again.

Pratap Chatterjee: Halliburton's Army: How a Well-Connected Texas Oil Company Revolutionized the Way America Makes War (2009, Nation Books): Not sure how this changed war, but it did do much to bring back the spoils system, where politically connected firms reaped cushy jobs based on little more than their proximity.

Melody Ermachild Chavis: Meena, Heroine of Afghanistan: The Martyr Who Founded RAWA, the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (paperback, 2004, St Martin's Press)

Sarah Chayes, The Punishment of Virtue: Inside Afghanistan After the Taliban (2006; paperback, 2007, Penguin Books).

Sarah Chayes: Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security (2015, WW Norton): Previously wrote The Punishment of Virtue: Inside Afghanistan After the Taliban (2006), which indicted pretty much everyone for failing to secure a better future for the Afghan people after the US pushed the Taliban out in 2001. She supported that war, and wound up advising the US military, which puts her in an odd position: she identifies corruption as a major security problem for the US in Afghanistan and elsewhere, but misses the fact that the US has never been able to stand up non-corrupt governments anywhere, because American foreign policy is driven by the profit motive in the first place -- you didn't really buy into that altruistic humanitarian horseshit? But corruption delegitimizes government and leads to opposition, and often violence.

Zaki Chehab, Inside Hamas: The Untold Story of the Militant Islamic Movement (Nation Books): Probably an honest account, although a David Ignatius comment on the back cover makes one wonder ("it's obvious that Chehab has had access to some of the PLO's most sensitive files"). Chehab also wrote Inside the Resistance: Reporting From Iraq's Danger Zone. Both are impossibly difficult subjects, shrouded in secrecy and propaganda, and ultimately far less significant than the public policies of occupation that those groups are fighting against. There's also a boomlet of books on Hezbollah, including some I could have listed here but didn't bother.

Erwin Chemerinsky: The Case Against the Supreme Court (2014, Viking)

Dick Cheney: In My Life: A Personal and Political Memoir (2011, Threshold Editions): Saw a pile of this in the bookstore recently. The person I was with pointed out it belonged in the true crime section.

Ron Chernow: The House of Morgan: An American Banking Dynasty and the Rise of Modern Finance (1990; paperback, 2010, Grove Press): Ancient history, dusted off for another round. Author has a long history of writing about the moneyed, including Alexander Hamilton and John D. Rockefeller.

Ira Chernus: Monsters to Destroy: The Neoconservative War on Terror and Sin (paperback, 2006, Paradigm).

Jeff Chester, Digital Destiny: New Media and the Future of Democracy (2007-01, New Press).

Mike Chinoy: Meltdown: The Inside Story of the North Korean Nuclear Crisis (2008, St Martin's Press): Author is an ex-CNN reporter, which doesn't really make this an "inside" account -- but then you really wouldn't want to read a book on this by the likes of John Bolton.

CJ Chivers: The Gun (2010; paperback, 2011, Simon & Schuster): on the AK-47.

Derek Chollet/James Goldgeier: America Between the Wars: From 11/9 to 9/11 (2008, Public Affairs): Washington think-tankers on the decade-plus from the collapse of the Berlin Wall to the fall of the World Trade Center -- something they describe as "a holiday from history," as if war really is the only thing that gives us (think-tankers) meaning.

Derek Chollet: The Long Game: How Obama Defied Washington and Redefined America's Role in the World (2016, Public Affairs)

Aviva Chomsky, "The Take Our Jobs!" and 20 Other Myths About Immigration (Beacon Press): You can probably guess the rest; most likely, you can also come up with a list of counter-myths.

Aviva Chomsky: Undocumented: How Immigration Became Illegal (paperback, 2014, Beacon Press).

Noam Chomsky: Middle East Illusions ().

Noam Chomsky: Hegemony or Survival: America's Quest for Global Dominance (2003, Metropolitan; paperback, 2004, Owl Books).

Noam Chomsky/Gilbert Achcar: Perilous Power: The Middle East and US Foreign Policy (2006, Paradigm).

Noam Chomsky, Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy (paperback, 2007, Henry Holt).

Noam Chomsky: What We Say Goes: Conversations on US Power in a Changing World (paperback, 2007, Metropolitan Books).

Noam Chomsky: Hopes and Prospects (paperback, 2010, Haymarket Books): Scattered essays and lectures, one part on Latin America, the other (larger) on North America, the latter including excursions to Iraq and Israel-Palestine and much on Obama's first year, where the promise of change devolved into "meet the new boss, same as the old boss." (Not that Chomsky quotes the Who, but that's likely the gist of his argument.)

Noam Chomsky/Ilan Pappé: Gaza in Crisis: Reflections on Israel's War Against the Palestinians (paperback, 2010, Haymarket): Draws together various pieces by the two authors since Israel's 2008 siege on Gaza -- their opening salvo in their campaign to neuter any audacious hopes Barack Obama might have had about bringing peace to the region. Pappé's The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine is the first book to consult from Israel's 1948-49 expulsions on, and Chomsky's Middle East Illusions is one of his most acute (and also best written) books.

Noam Chomsky: 9-11: Was There an Alternative? (2001; revised paperback, 2011, Seven Stories Press): Right then, right now. Wish he could write better, but decades of being right and ignored have taken a toll on his patience.

Noam Chomsky: Occupy [Occupied Media Pamphlet Series] (paperback, 2012, Zucotti Park Press): Short (128 pp.) pamphlet, meant to advise the Occupy movement. Looks like there will be a series of these things, with additional titles by Stuart Leonard (Taking Brooklyn Bridge), Mumia Abu-Jamal (Message to the Movement), and Marina Sitrin/Dario Azzellini (Occupying Language).

Noam Chomsky: Power Systems: Conversations on Global Democratic Uprisings and the New Challenges to US Empire (paperback, 2013, Metropolitan Books): Continues a long series of interviews with David Barsamian, a context which draws out his wisdom without cluttering up the page.

Noam Chomsky/Andre Vltchek: On Western Terrorism: From Hiroshima to Drone Warfare (paperback, 2013, Pluto Press): Chomsky has a tendency to batter you with long list of facts, and one of his favorite lists is the violent, anti-democratic acts of the US and its allies around the world. Unpleasant as the beating is, if you aren't aware of those facts you're likely to fall for the usual sanctimonious explanations that conspire to keep the list growing.

Noam Chomsky: Who Rules the World? (2016, Metropolitan Books): Another essay collection, so not wholly devoted to the title question -- probably just as well, as there's no good answer. Still likely to include his usual rigorous accounting of US misbehavior in the world (one chapter is "The US Is a Leading Terrorist State"). Other recent Chomsky titles I haven't noted before: How the World Works (paperback, 2011, Soft Skull Press); On Anarchism (paperback, 2013, New Press); Masters of Mankind: Essays and Lectures, 1969-2013 (paperback, 2014, Haymarket Books); What d Kind of Creatures Are We? (2015, Columbia University Press); On Palestine (with Ilan Pappé, paperback, 2015, Haymarket Books); Because We Say So (paperback, 2015, City Lights); also several reprints of older books (mostly from Haymarket Books), and the DVD Requiem for the American Dream.

Noam Chomsky: Who Rules the World? (2016; paperback, 2017, Metropolitan Books): Essay collection.

Noam Chomsky: Requiem for the American Dream: 10 Principles of Concentration of Wealth & Power (paperback, 2017, Seven Stories Press): Derived from a documentary film made mostly of interviews with Chomsky. Principles (from chapter titles): 1. reduce democracy; 2. shape ideology; 3. redesign the economy; 4. shift the burden; 5. attack solidarity; 6. run the regulators; 7. engineer elections; 8. keep the rabble in line; 9. manufacture consent; 10. marginalize the population. That needs some fleshing out, but this is probably a fairly succinct primer on an important issue.

Noam Chomsky: Optimism Over Despair: On Capitalism, Empire, and Social Change (paperback, 2017, Haymarket Books): interviews by CJ Polychroniou.

Clayton M Christensen/Jerome H Grossman/Jason Hwang: The Innovator's Prescription: A Disruptive Solution for Health Care (2008, McGraw-Hill): Christensen's a business researcher/writer who came up with some solid research and revealing thinking in his first book, The Innovator's Dilemma: The Revolutionary Book that Will Change the Way You Do Business, and then parlayed that into a small fortune flacking for big companies. His book raised a lot of discussion when I was at SCO -- I saw it as very critical of the way they ran the company, but they had no trouble hiring him to deliver the opposite message. The other two are MDs who plug some details into his shtick. Probably a few interesting ideas in here somewhere.

Robert Christgau: Going Into the City: Portrait of a Critic as a Young Man (2015, Dey Street Books): Memoir from childhood growing up in Queens through college at Dartmouth and several newspaper jobs through his stretch as music editor at the Village Voice, ending in the early 1980s. Disclosure: he's a friend, and I make a couple brief appearances in the book, plus one in the acknowledgments. More prominent in the book is his wife, Carola Dibbell, who it should be noted has a new novel out, The Only Ones (paperback, 2015, Two Dollar Radio).

Kathleen Christison: Perceptions of Palestine: Their Influence on US Middle East Policy (paperback, 2001, University of California Press).

Kathleen Christison/Bill Christison: Palestine in Pieces: Graphic Perspectives on the Israeli Occupation (paperback, 2009, Pluto Press): Short book with 50 photographs depicting life in the Occupied Territories.

Amy Chua: World on Fire: How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability (paperback, 2004, Anchor).

Amy Chua: Day of Empire: How Hyperpowers Rise to Global Dominance -- and Why They Fall (2007, Doubleday): One more comparative macro history. Her concepts -- tolerance is key to rising empires, which fall when they lose it -- may be worth exploring, but I keep thinking the whole notion of hyperpower is so outdated these days this winds up being a curio study, and it may not be the best one. I read her World on Fire: How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability, which was marked by her broad learning and marred by her overgeneralizations.

Larry R Churchill: Self-Interest and Universal Health Care: Why Well-Insured Americans Should Support Coverage for Everyone (1998, Harvard University Press)

Ward Churchill: A Little Matter of Genocide: Holocaust and Denial in the Americas, 1492 to the Present ().

Joseph Cirincione, Bomb Scare: The History and Future of Nuclear Weapons (2007, Columbia University Press).

Rodney Clapp: Johnny Cash and the Great American Contradiction: Christianity and the Battle for the Soul of a Nation (paperback, 2008, Westminster): Short book from a writer who specializes in religion -- an interesting past title is: A Peculiar People: The Church as Culture in a Post-Christian Society.

Christopher Clark: The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914 (2013, Harper): Refers to the domino-like march to war following the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. A more astute analysis would recognize that all the powers of Europe had been continuously engaged in war against Asia and Africa for most of the previous century, and that most had meddled in two wars in the Balkans within the last decade. Moreover, most of the imperial wars had been successful, so both sides expected only further success in bringing the war home, against their real rivals. They may have sleepwalked, but mostly they dreamed . . . foolishly. Also new and more narrowly focused, Sean McMeekin: July 1914: Countdown to War (2013, Basic Books); also new, Charles Emmerson: 1913: In Search of the World Before the Great War (2013, Public Affairs).

Eric Clark, The Real Toy Story: Inside the Ruthless Battle for America's Youngest Consumers (Free Press): The toy racket; the muckraking possibilities are endless.

Gregory Clark: A Farewell to Alms: A Brief Economic History of the World (2007, Princeton University Press): 440 pages isn't my idea of brief, but it is a big subject. Seen mixed reviews, which may mean he bit off too much, or didn't chew enough.

Victoria Clark: Allies for Armageddon: The Rise of Christian Zionism (2007, Yale University Press): The rabid support of apocalyptic Christians for Israel has long struck me as the dirty understory of Zionism -- for one thing, the core concept is profoundly antisemitic. Author is English, so presumably she won't neglect David Lloyd George, but most recent examples are American.

Duncan Clarke: A New World: The History of Immigration Into the United States (2000, Thunder Bay Press).

Peter Clarke: The Last Thousand Days of the British Empire: Churchill, Roosevelt, and the Birth of Pax Americana (2008, Bloomsbury Press): That would be a little over three years, presumably backdated not from the British withdrawal from Aden or Kenya but from India in 1947 -- Palestine was slightly later in 1948 (I guess the British saw how well their partition of India turned out). Even so that doesn't leave a lot of overlap with Roosevelt. One question I'm unclear about is to what extent the US chose to supplant the British empire (as happened most clearly in the Persian Gulf) as opposed to merely dismantling it. This may have some answers, although I'm just as inclined to go back to Gabriel Kolko's The Politics of War and The Limits of Power, books from the early 1970s still worth consulting. [May 13]

Peter Clarke: Keynes: The Rise, Fall, and Return of the 20th Century's Most Influential Economist (2009, Bloomsbury Press).

Richard A Clarke: Your Government Failed You: Breaking the Cycle of National Security Disasters (2008, Harper Collins): Reportedly "goes far beyond terrorism, to examine the inexcusable chain of recurring US government disasters" -- the examples range from Vietnam to Katrina. Question is how far.

Thurston Clarke: JFK's Last Hundred Days: The Transformation of a Man and the Emergence of a Great President (2013, Penguin Press): Much speculation about what Kennedy would have done had he lived and been reëlected, especially given how poorly Lyndon Johnson fared with Vietnam. McGeorge Bundy later observed that LBJ's basic Cold War attitude was to make sure he wasn't perceived as weak, JFK's approach was to make sure he was right. The author argues that JFK's openness made him a different man at the end of his life than he was when he ran for president.

Paul Clemens: Punching Out: One Year in a Closing Auto Plant (2011, Doubleday): The Budd Stamping Plant, to be specific, although it's much like lots of other mothballed factories dotting a land where people used to make things. I'm reminded that the last book I read about working in a car plant was Ben Hamper: Rivethead: Tales From the Assembly Line, which came out in 1991. Clemens previously wrote Made in Detroit (2005, Doubleday; paperback, 2006, Anchor).

Jeffrey D Clements: Corporations Are Not People: Why They Have More Rights Than You Do and What You Can Do About It (paperback, 2012, Bennett-Koehler): An issue on the front burner thanks to the Supreme Court decision to allow corporations to buy elections with unlimited money, based on yet another dubious idea that constitutional protection of free speech gives individuals the right to buy elections. Related: Thom Hartmann: Unequal Protection: How Corporations Became "People" -- and How You Can Fight Back (paperback, 2nd ed, 2010, Bennett-Koehler).

Climate Central: Global Weirdness: Severe Storms, Deadly Heat Waves, Relentless Drought, Rising Seas, and the Weather of the Future (2012, Pantheon): Written by Emily Elert and Michael D Lemonick but credited to their "nonprofit, nonpartisan science and journalism organization"; with just-the-facts-style reporting, not that they ignore the applicable science.

Bill Clinton: Back to Work: Why We Need Smart Government for a Strong Economy (2011, Knopf): To the limited extent to which presidents can claim responsibility for the economy's ups and downs, Clinton is the only living president who has anything positive he can point to. That doesn't make him a genius, or even allow him to escape the most inane clichés -- e.g., "We've got to get America back in the future business" could have been lifted from Thomas Friedman (and probably was).

John Weir Close: A Giant Cow-Tipping by Savages: The Boom, Bust, and Boom Culture of M&A (2013, St Martin's Press)

Charles Clover, The End of the Line: How Overfishing Is Changing the World and What We Eat (2006, New Press; paperback, 2008, University of California Press).

Charles Clover: Black Wind, White Snow: The Rise of Russia's New Nationalism (2016, Yale University Press)

Adam Clymer: Drawing the Line at the Big Ditch: The Panama Canal Treaties and the Rise of the Right (2008, University Press of Kansas): In his 1980 campaign, Ronald Reagan made a big stink about Jimmy Carter having signed away the Panama Canal -- a pretty successful campaign ploy, but Reagan never did anything to undo the treaty, nor did his VP Bush when the latter was president and invaded Panama and overthrew the government.

Peter Morton Coan: Toward a Better Life: America's New Immigrants in Their Own Words From Ellis Island to the Present (2011, Prometheus).

David Coates: Answering Back: Liberal Responses to Conservative Arguments (paperback, 2009, Continuum): Political scientist, wrote a similar book, A Liberal Tool Kit: Progressive Responses to Conservative Arguments (2007, Praeger), which this looks to be an update to. His laundry list includes: trickle-down economics, welfare, social security, health care, immigration control, religion, the war in Iraq, and economic prosperity.

Ta-Nehisi Coates: Between the World and Me (2015, Spiegel & Grau): Short (176 pp) book, a memoir as a letter to a teenage son, life lessons and all that, an Afro-American essayist being compared to James Baldwin but from a different (but not that different) era. Previously wrote The Beautiful Struggle: A Memoir (2009).

Michael Cobb, God Hates Fags: The Rhetorics of Religious Violence (New York University Press).

Helena Cobban: Re-Engage! American and the World After Bush: An Informed Citizen's Guide (paperback, 2008, Paradigm): Journalist, especially expert on Middle East in general, Lebanese Shiites in particular; one of my favorite bloggers, not least because her pacifism is so firm. Recently wrote Amnesty after Atrocity?: Healing Nations after Genocide and War Crimes.

Gregory Cochran/Henry Harpending: The 10,000 Year Explosion: How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution (2009, Basic Books): Argues for genetic evolution within the last 10,000 years, contrary to the more common expectation of genetic stability in large populations.

Alexander Cockburn: A Colossal Wreck: A Road Trip Through Political Scandal, Corruption and American Culture (2013; paperback, 2014, Verso): A journal of sorts, from 1995 to his death in 2012, offers a sharp (and often shrill) rewind of history, but reading samples here one finds much broader range than his fondness for slagging the Clintons.

Andrew Cockburn, Rumsfeld: His Rise, Fall, and Catastrophic Legacy (Macmillan).

Andrew Cockburn: Kill Chain: The Rise of the High-Tech Assassins (2015, Henry Holt): This is the Cockburn brother who previously wrote Rumsfeld: His Rise, Fall, and Catastrophic Legacy, as opposed to Patrick (writes mostly about Iraq) and Alexander (until his death one of the new left's most prolific essayists). This is about the US drone program, which makes it possible for the US to surgically assassinate its enemies with unprecedented precision. Of course, the reality is a bit messier than the theory, but the logic of the process is more dangerous. Drone killing is remote, unilateral, shrouded in secrecy. Once a nation decides it can kill its way to victory, that mentality becomes locked in and is impossible to change: after all, victory is only a few notches down your kill list, and you never have to do anything compromising, like negotiating with the real people you've decided are your enemies. Other recent drone books: William M Arkin: Unmanned: Drones, Data, and the Illusion of Perfect Warfare (2015, Little Brown); Peter L Bergen/Daniel Rothenberg, eds: Drone Wars: Transforming Conflict, Law, and Policy (paperback, 2014, Cambridge University Press); Marjorie Cohn, ed: Drones and Targeted Killing: Legal, Moral, and Geopolitical Issues (paperback, 2014, Olive Branch Press); Lloyd C Gardner: Killing Machine: The American Presidency in the Age of Drone Warfare (2013, New Press); Richard Whittle: Predator: The Secret Origins of the Drone Revolution (2014, Henry Holt); Chris Woods: Sudden Justice: America's Secret Drone Wars (2015, Oxford University Press).

Patrick Cockburn: The Occupation: War and Resistance in Iraq (2006, Verso).

Patrick Cockburn: Muqtada: Muqtada al-Sadr, the Shia Revival, and the Struggle for Iraq (2008, Scribner): One of the best correspondents covering Iraq -- cf. his The Occupation: War and Resistance in Iraq. [April 8]

Patrick Cockburn: The Rise of Islamic State: ISIS and the New Sunni Revolution (paperback, 2015, Verso): Probably a revised reprint of last year's The Jihadis Return: ISIS and the New Sunni Uprising (paperback, 2014, O/R Books). Cockburn has been one of the most reliable reporters on Iraq, so is probably the first book one should look if you want to learn more about ISIS than the standard news media propaganda. He was close to the first out with a book, but there is lots of competition now, many written to drum up support for US entry in the war. Competing books include (all 2015 except as noted, paperback = pb): Carter Andress: Victory Undone: The Defeat of al-Qaeda in Iraq and Its Resurrection as ISIS (2014, Regnery); Charles H Dyer/Mark Tobey: The ISIS Crisis: What You Really Need to Know (pb, Moody); Benjamin Hall: Inside ISIS: The Brutal Rise of a Terrorist Army (Center Street); Loretta Napoleoni: The Islamist Phoenix: The Islamic State (ISIS) and the Redrawing of the Middle East (pb, 2014, Seven Stories Press); Jay Sekulow: Rise of ISIS: A Threat We Can't Ignore (pb, 2014, Howard Books); Andrew Sharp: The Rise of ISIS: The West's New Crusade (pb, 2014, Create Space); Jessica Stern/JM Berger: Isis: The State of Terror (Ecco). Of these, only Stern's book is particularly substantial -- she was on Bill Clinton's NSC and wrote the book Terror in the Name of God: Why Religious Militants Kill (2004), so she's built her career on the War on Terror, while co-author Berger wrote Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam (2011). Napoleoni is the only leftist in the bunch. She writes about global capitalism as well as about terrorism, and has close to a dozen books: one intriguing title is Maonomics: Why Chinese Communists Make Better Capitalists Than We Do (2012).

Charles Cockell: Impossible Extinction: Natural Catastrophes and the Supremacy of the Microbial World (2003, Cambridge University Press): Short, expensive, no doubt interesting book on how despite the worst the cosmos, let alone man, can throw at earth bacteria just keep on keeping on.

Angelo M Codevilla: The Ruling Class: How They Corrupted America and What We Can Do About It (paperback, 2010, Beaufort): This seems to be an important conceptual leap in reassigning blame for lots of things wrong with America away from the patron saints of the far right. Still, you'd think that if the "ruling class" -- all those smug elitist liberals -- was powerful enough to have caused so much damage they'd have bothered to control the right-wing media and think tanks that are their undoing. Rush Limbaugh wrote the intro, as always chipping in to fight the power. Still, you'd think the real ruling class would be a bit chagrined to have been swept aside like this.

Bob Coen/Eric Nadler: Dead Silence: Fear and Terror on the Anthrax Trail (2009, Counterpoint)

John F Cogan/R Glenn Hubbard/Daniel P Kessler: Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise: Five Steps To A Better Health Care System (2005, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research): Calls for patient empowerment (i.e., CDHC).

William D Cohan: House of Cards: A Tale of Hubris and Wretched Excess on Wall Street (2009, Doubleday): Focuses on ten days around the collapse of Bear Stearns, the beginning of the 2008 financial meltdown. Book has been described as novelistic, which I don't find very reassuring. Bigger issues like why and what it all means get lost in immediate details, but not nearly enough bankers flung themselves out of windows to make those details do.

William D Cohan: House of Cards: A Tale of Hubris and Wretched Excess on Wall Street (2009, Doubleday; paperback, 2010, Anchor): Focuses on ten days around the collapse of Bear Stearns, the beginning of the 2008 financial meltdown. Book has been described as novelistic, which I don't find very reassuring or entertaining -- maybe if more bankers flung themselves out of windows? Big issues like why and what it all means get lost in immediate details.

William D Cohan: Money and Power: How Goldman Sachs Came to Rule the World (2011; paperback, 2012, Anchor): Finance writer, wrote House of Cards: A Tale of Hubris and Wretched Excess on Wall Street (2009, Doubleday) when the abyss opened his eyes. Big book on why Goldman Sachs was not just too big but too ruthless (and too well connected) to fail.

Adam Cohen: Nothing to Fear: FDR's Inner Circle and the Hundred Days That Created Modern America (2009, Penguin Press): Focuses on intense arguments between five key confidants -- Lewis Douglas, Harry Hopkins, Raymond Moley, Frances Perkins, and Henry Wallace -- within the 100 days framework that FDR established as canonical. This sudden interest in all things Roosevelt is a clear sign of the times.

Adam Cohen: Nothing to Fear: FDR's Inner Circle and the Hundred Days That Created Modern America (2009; paperback, 2010, Penguin): Useful survey of FDR's famous first 100 days, how he worked out the kinks between his conservative inclinations and his liberal impulses.

Avner Cohen: The Worst-Kept Secret: Israel's Bargain with the Bomb (2010, Columbia University Press): Previously wrote Israel and the Bomb in 1998, one of a number of books on Israel's nuclear program, evidently one of the more authoritative ones. I would expect this one to focus more on politics of deniability or ambiguity, whatever they call it, which mostly seems to be a concession to the US desire to insist on non-proliferation everywhere except Israel.

Daniel Cohen: Globalization and Its Enemies (2006; paperback, 2007, MIT Press).

Daniel Cohen: Three Lectures on Post-Industrial Society (2008, MIT Press): Short (108 pages). Cohen wrote one of the better globalization books I've read (Globalization and Its Enemies), plus another short big picture synopsis, Our Modern Times: The Nature of Capitalism in the Information Age. Sharp, balanced, able to get to the point.

David S Cohen/Krysten Connon: Living in the Crosshairs: The Untold Stories of Anti-Abortion Terrorism (2015, Oxford University Press): The anti-abortion movement is unusual (although not unprecedented) in the violence its supporters have directed against its supposed enemies -- chiefly doctors and health care professionals. By violence I don't just mean the occasional murder or threat, but the whole range of harrassment directed against providers and clients.

Harvey G Cohen: Duke Ellington's America (2010, University of Chicago Press): Big biography of Ellington (720 pp), 1899-1974, with sideward glances at the country that change around him.

Hillel Cohen: Army of Shadows: Palestinian Collaboration with Zionism, 1917-1948 (2008, University of California Press): An important, little known story about how the Zionists used collaborators to seize control of Israel. Collaboration has always been critical to any successful colonial dominance, but one major effect here is how it hollowed out any prospect for a middle ground between the immigré Jews and native Palestinians.

Hillel Cohen: Good Arabs: The Israeli Security Agencies and the Israeli Arabs, 1948-1967 (2010, University of California Press): Important book on Israel's recruitment and use of collaborators. Cohen previously covered the earlier period in Army of Shadows: Palestinian Collaboration with Zionism, 1917-1948. Subsequent volumes are likely to get ever stickier, especially after 1967 when Israel occupied Gaza and the West Bank, and after 1988 when Intifada broke out. Still, the principles were established early, and the effects within Palestinian society have been devastating. (I've read reviews of the original Hebrew edition.)

Hillel Cohen: Year Zero of the Arab-Israeli Conflict 1929 (paperback, 2015, Brandeis): Israeli author, has written two important books on Arab collaborators before and after Israel's founding -- Army of Shadows: Palestinian Collaboration and Zionism, 1917-1948 (2008), and Good Arabs: The Israeli Security Agencies and the Israeli Arabs, 1948-1967 (2010, both University of California Press) -- reviews the pivotal 1929 Arab riots, which led to expansion of the Haganah forces, and in 1936-39 the much larger and deadlier Arab revolt. As for "year zero," historians can pick and choose; e.g., Amy Dockser Marcus opted for 1913 in Jerusalem 1913: The Origins of the Arab-Israeli Conflict (2007, Penguin).

Jay S Cohen: Over Dose: The Case Against the Drug Companies: Prescription Drugs, Side Effects, and Your Health (2001, Tarcher)

Lizabeth Cohen: A Consumers' Republic: The Politics of Mass Consumption in Postwar America (paperback, 2003, Vintage): That post-WWII America turned into a shopper's paradise is pretty much a given -- this goes into details like advertising, shopping malls, suburban sprawl, but perhaps more significantly relates them to growing inequality rooted earlier than most studies report. Previously wrote: Making a New Deal: Industrial Workers in Chicago, 1919-1939.

Nancy L Cohen: Delirium: How the Sexual Counterrevolution Is Polarizing America (2012, Counterpoint): Counterrevolution? The main thing that the political successes of the anti-abortion crowd shows is that the nation is becoming less democratic, less respectful of personal views, and less tolerant -- more eager to take advantage of temporary accidents (like the mass insanity of the 2010 elections) to impose an anti-popular straitjacket of law.

Rich Cohen: Israel Is Real: An Obsessive Quest to Understand the Jewish Nation and Its History (2009, Farrar Straus and Giroux): Sweeping history of Judaism's obsession with Jerusalems (temples, Israels) both metaphorical and physical. I'm more than half way through, often amazed, sometimes thinking about a similarly shaped book I had imagined writing someday (like after I learned a lot more detail than I had before reading this). It confirms some of my views, challenges others, makes me nervous. My guess is that Palestinians will find it completely meshugganah.

Robert Cohen: Freedom's Orator: Mario Savio and the Radical Legacy of the 1960s (2009, Oxford University Press): Savio was the leader of the Free Speech Movement in Berkeley in the early 1960s, an interesting and iconic new left figure who largely faded from the spotlight from the mid-1960s.

Stephen F Cohen: Soviet Fates and Lost Alternatives: From Stalinism to the New Cold War (2009, Columbia University Press): The main interest here is probably the path by which the US and post-Soviet Russia returned to a quasi-Cold War standoff. Not sure how much of that there is, since Cohen is a Soviet studies guy, and likes to show off his expertise back to prime Stalinism.

Stephen P Cohen: Beyond America's Grasp: A Century of Failed Diplomacy in the Middle East (2009, Farrar Straus and Giroux): Plenty to write about, but unless one tackles Israel, petrodollars, and military hubris there's not much to say about it. Cohen is a think tank "expert" on the region, which means he's on someone's payroll.

Stephen S Cohen/J Bradford DeLong: The End of Influence: What Happens When Other Countries Have the Money (2010, Basic Books): Well, China, for instance, as opposed to the US, which used to be the world's banker but isn't even its own these days. Short book (176 pp.), simple point.

Stephen S Cohen/J Bradford DeLong: Concrete Economics: The Hamilton Approach to Economic Growth and Policy (2016, Harvard Business Review Press): An argument that history is key to understanding how the American economy grew, and a compact history of government intervention in the American economy going all the way back to Alexander Hamilton.

Jonathan Cohn: Sick: The Untold Story of America's Health Care Crisis -- and the People Who Pay the Price (2007; paperback, 2008, Harper Perennial): Out in paperback now. This strikes me as the breaker in the glut of health care books -- the one to give someone non-wonkish who needs convincing. Meant myself to pick it up when it came out in paperback, but right now I figure I don't need convincing.

Gerald Colby/Charlotte Dennett: Thy Will Be Done: The Conquest of the Amazon: Nelson Rockefeller and Evangelism in the Age of Oil (1995, Harper Collins).

David Cole/Jules Lobel, Less Safe, Less Free: Why America Is Losing the War on Terror (New Press): Two law professors, so I suspect this leans toward less free, which is the less interesting part of the equation, not necessarily the less important.

David Cole, ed: The Torture Memos: Rationalizing the Unthinkable (paperback, 2009, New Press): Given the intellects involved, I wouldn't call what they did unthinkable; shameful, of course, and unconscionable, criminal even. Seems like a lot of these memos have made the rounds already.

David Cole: Engines of Liberty: The Power of Citizen Activists to Make Constitutional Law (2016, Basic Books): Points out a number of cases where Supreme Court rulings merely formalized changes in public opinion brought about by political activism -- sample cases include marriage equality and the individual right to bear arms, but it isn't hard to think of more cases, including the 1930s reversal on New Deal programs.

Juan Cole: Napoleon's Egypt: Invading the Middle East (2007, Palgrave Macmillan).

Juan Cole: Engaging the Muslim World (2009, Palgrave Macmillan): Cole's long been the first person you check for news on Iraq and analysis thereof, so anything he has to say is likely to be of interest.

Juan Cole: Engaging the Muslim World (2009; paperback, 2010, Palgrave Macmillan): A brief tour through the Middle East, by the foremost blogger on Iraq and Iran. Revised and updated from the hardcover version I read last year.

Juan Cole: The New Arabs: How the Millennial Generation Is Changing the Middle East (2014, Simon & Schuster): A view of the Arab Spring, at least before it went sour, when it first seemed like an opening for secular progressives. Cole is an expert on Iraq's Shiites, and has written one of the most informative blogs on the Middle East for more than a decade.

Brian Coleman: Check the Technique: Liner Notes for Hip-Hop Junkies (paperback, 2007, Villard): Expanded version of the author's Rakim Told Me: Wax Facts Straight from the Original Artists -- The '80s with short essays that provide necessary background info on critical hip-hop albums. Probably the essential music book of the year. I only put off buying it because I was hoping to get a freebie. Hasn't happened, and I haven't had time.

Robert Coles: Lives We Carry With Us: Profiles of Moral Courage (2010, New Press)

Steve Coll: Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, From the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001 (2004, Penguin Books).

Steve Coll: The Bin Ladens: An Arabian Family in the American Century (2008, Penguin Press): Coll's Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001 is the main book on the CIA misadventure in Afghanistan. This is another big one (688 pages).

Steve Coll: Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power (2012, Penguin Press): A corporate biography from the Exxon Valdez disaster to the Deepwater Horizon disaster, with plenty of bumps along the road.

Paul Collier, The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries Are Failing and What Can Be Done About It (2007, Oxford University Press): Development economics, gets compared favorably to Jeffrey Sachs and William Easterly, both of whose books sit unread on my shelf; e.g., by Niall Ferguson, whose paeans to imperialism cost him all credibility.

Paul Collier: The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries Are Failing and What Can Be Done About It (2007, Oxford University Press): This is regarded as one of the better books around on world poverty and development, which may just mean that it sticks to tried and failed formulas. (Nicholas Kristof calls it "the best book on international affairs so far this year" -- which doesn't resolve the question one way or the other.)

Paul Collier: The Plundered Planet: Why We Must -- and How We Can -- Manage Nature for Global Prosperity (2010; paperback, 2011, Oxford University Press)

Paul Collier: Exodus: How Migration Is Changing Our World (2013; paperback, 2015, Oxford University Press): A more general book on what we narrow-mindedly call immigration, Collier is the author of several books on things that generate migration, including: The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries Are Failing and What Can Be Done About It (paperback, 2007, Oxford University Press); Wars, Guns, and Votes: Democracy in Dangerous Places (2009, Harper; paperback, 2010, Harper Perennial); and The Plundered Planet: Why We Must -- and How We Can -- Manage Nature for Global Prosperity (2010; paperback, 2011, Oxford University Press). Book's original subtitle (in UK): Immigration and Multiculturalism in the 21st Century.

Lizzie Collingham: Curry: A Tale of Cooks and Conquerors (paperback, 2007, Oxford University Press): A history of Indian cuisine in India and the world, with various comings and goings, compromises and coups. Less exploitative, more complex than an economic history.

Lizzie Collingham: The Taste of War: World War II and the Battle for Food (2012, Penguin): Covers the whole world during the war, focusing on how the armies and civilians were fed, or in many cases not -- the Bengal famine one famous case, far away from any front but linked nonetheless.

Chuck Collins: 99 to 1: How Wealth Inequality Is Wrecking the World and What We Can Do About It (paperback, 2012, Bennett-Koehler): Short (144 pp) book by the director of IPS's Program on Inequality and the Common Good, and he has other activist credentials. The fact of growing inequality should be beyond any doubt at this point. The bigger problem is explaining why it is such a problem, in large part because instead of there being one large reason, there are so many small ones.

Gail Collins: As Texas Goes . . . : How the Lone Star State Hijacked the American Agenda (2012, Liveright): Political reporter, raised in Ohio, groomed in Connecticut, tramps around Texas in search of what stinks, which turns out to be pretty much everything, except perhaps the people's sense of humor. Previously wrote When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present (2009, Little Brown); before that America's Women: 400 Years of Dolls, Drudges, Helpmates, and Heroines (2003, William Morrow), and Scorpion Tongues: Gossip, Celegbrity, and American Politics (1998, William Morrow), and most recently a biography of William Henry Harrison (in a Times Books series -- looks like she drew the short straw).

Len Colodny/Tom Schachtman: The Forty Years War: The Rise and Fall of the Neocons, from Nixon to Obama (2009, Harper Collins): Faces on the cover: Kissinger, Cheney, Nixon, Bush, Perle (I think), Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Obama. Only some of those are neocons, although Kissinger's usual exemption doesn't seem all that stury. Unfortunate that Obama hasn't been able to shake this association, especially given how completely the prime neocon movers had been disgraced under Bush. Foreword by Roger Morris, who knows his way around this topic.

Jennet Conant: The Irregulars: Roald Dahl and the British Spy Ring in Wartime Washington (2008, Simon & Schuster): Third book by Conant as she digs around WWII for interesting stories. I'm not much for spy stories, but the other two books looked like they might be interesting: Tuxedo Park : A Wall Street Tycoon and the Secret Palace of Science That Changed the Course of World War II and 109 East Palace: Robert Oppenheimer and the Secret City of Los Alamos.

Jennet Conant: A Covert Affair: Julia Child and Paul Child in the OSS (2011, Simon & Schuster): Fourth in a series of WWII-era studies into security-issue people, starting with J. Robert Oppenheimer. The Childs became famous much later for reasons having little to do with the OSS, and they actually seem to be minor here -- most of the book delves into Jane Foster, but that would make for a less intriguing book title.

Edward Conard: Unintended Consequences: Why Everything You've Been Told About the Economy Is Wrong (2012, Portfolio): Romney's buddy at Bain Capital, takes pseudo-contrarian stands mostly to argue that he (and Romney) should be making even more money, that inequality is a great thing, and that if you don't believe him you're just a sore loser, an envious shithead.

Joe Conason, It Can Happen Here: Authoritarian Peril in the Age of Bush (2007-02, St. Martin's Press).

Jeff Connaughton: The Payoff: Why Wall Street Always Wins (2012, Prospecta): Ever wonder why banks are too big to fail? Why they're too influential even to be reorganized under bankruptcy law when they're tottering? What about why Jamie Dimon still has his job? One big part is their lobby, which is the author's main target here. Another is the incest which has allowed them to capture the Treasury Dept., the SEC, other regulatory agencies, and most importantly the Fed. Of course they win. They personify the greed Washington aspires to.

Matthew Connelly: Fatal Misconception: The Struggle to Control World Population (2008, Belknap Press): History of the "underside" of the population control movement, especially the tendency to frame such programs in racial terms. Before the US right discovered the political utility of the "right to life" issue, it tended to be the right who promoted population control and the left who resisted them. I'm not sure where this book lands.

Ted Conover: Coyotes: A Journey Through the Secret World of America's Illegal Aliens (paperback, 1988, Random House).

Ted Conover: The Routes of Man: How Roads Are Changing the World and the Way We Live Today (2010, Knopf): A book on scattered travels around the world, focusing on roads and what they mean to people. Peru; Lagos; the West Bank, with apartheid roads for Jewish settlers and checkpoints for Palestinians. Conover previously wrote Coyotes: A Journey Across Borders With America's Illegal Migrants and Rolling Nowhere: Riding the Rails With America's Hoboes.

Jonathan Cook: Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East (paperback, 2008, Pluto Press): English journalist, writes quite a bit about Israel -- as I recall, he's based in Nazareth, a mostly Palestinian town within Israel proper. Cook also has a 2006 book, Blood and Religion: The Unmasking of the Jewish and Democratic State.

Jonathan Cook: Disappearing Palestine: Israel's Experiments in Human Despair (paperback, 2008, Zed): The longer the occupation continues, the bleaker the critical books are becoming.

Richard Cook/Brian Morton: The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings (8th edition, paperback, 2006, Penguin Press).

Richard Cook/Brian Morton: The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings: Ninth Edition (paperback, 2008, Penguin): New editions have been coming out every two years. This one caught me by surprise, probably because I haven't finished listing the changes in the Eighth Edition. This has long been the essential guide to recorded jazz; even for experts it remains invaluable for covering Europe better than any other guide, and for keeping a balance that spans trad jazz and the avant-garde. I found more good records in it than any other guide I have. Still, I've had more and more nits to pick with the last couple of editions. Not sure if that marks a change, or it just means that I'm becoming less suggestable as I listen to more and more stuff before reading the reviews. Also, note that each edition loses about as much as it gains. I keep all eight on a fat shelf, and will have to find room for one more.

Steven A Cook: The Struggle for Egypt: From Nasser to Tahrir Square (2011, Oxford University Press): Survey of Egypt's history post-Nasser, made all the more timely by the revolt against Mubarak's sclerotic rule. Was looking for a book like this back when the revolution was unfolding, but such books always show up late. Cook previously wrote: Ruling but Not Governing: The Military and Political Development in Egypt, Algeria, and Turkey (paperback, 2007, Johns Hopkins Press).

John Cooley: Unholy Wars: Afghanistan, America and International Terrorism (3rd ed, paperback, 2002, Pluto Press)

Gregoire Coombs: The Rise and Fall of the HMO Movement: An American Health Care Revolution (2005, University of Wisconsin Press)

Andrew Scott Cooper: The Oil Kings: How the US, Iran, and Saudi Arabia Changed the Balance of Power in the Middle East (2011, Simon & Schuster): Focuses on the 1970s, when two "oil shocks" hit the stagflationed US economy -- the OPEC embargo of 1973 and the Iranian revolution of 1979. Using newly declassified documents, tracks how the US tried to cope with these events: not very well, no surprise there.

Christopher Cooper, Disaster: Hurricane Katrina and the Failure of Homeland Security (Henry Holt).

George Cooper: The Origin of Financial Crises: Central Banks, Credit Bubbles, and the Efficient Market Fallacy (paperback, 2008, Vintage): Seems to lay much of the blame on central bankers. He is certainly right that the present crisis was made much worse (if not necessarily caused) by the expansion of credit the Fed used to prop up the post-9/11 economy in its desperate attempt to prop up Bush's election prospects -- not that he puts it that way.

David Corn: The Lies of George W Bush: Mastering the Politics of Deception ().

David Corn: Showdown: The Inside Story of How Obama Fought Back Against Boehner, Cantor, and the Tea Party (2012, William Morrow): Starts with the 2010 elections and tries to turn that sow's ear into a silk purse (repealing Don't Ask/Don't Tell, passing New START, caving in on the Bush tax cuts, killing Bin Laden, etc.). A piece of political history, no doubt, but inspirational?

Peter Corning: The Fair Society: The Science of Human Nature and the Pursuit of Social Justice (2011, University of Chicago Press): Tries to build a human nature case for equality, equity, and reciprocity as the basic building blocks of society. I'm always leery of biosociology, but the political case for the same strikes me as if not quite self-evident about the only one that can be reasoned. Another book along these lines is Samuel Bowles/Herbert Gintis: A Cooperative Species: Human Reciprocity and Its Evolution (2011, Princeton University Press).

Jerome R Corsi: Obama Nation: Leftist Politics and the Cult of Personality (2008, Threshold Editions): Author of Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry cashes in on another election. Came out same day as David Freddoso's The Case Against Barack Obama: The Rise and Unexamined Agenda of the Media's Favorite Candidate, with the same discounts and promo push. At this point Corsi is leading in sales, #7 on Amazon vs. #15 for Freddoso. Both books show extreme 5-star/1-star splits.

Trevor Corson, The Zen of Fish: The Story of Sushi, From Samurai to Supermarket (Harper Collins): Food business, culture industry, etc.

Matthew J Costello: Secret Identity Crisis: Comic Books and the Unmasking of Cold War America (paperback, 2009, Continuum): Of superhero comics and cold war metaphors, not least the relationship between radioactivity and mutation, which somehow emerges as a public good. The model changed somewhat in the 1960s, but then didn't it all change?

Brian Coughley: War, Coups and Terror: Pakistan's Army in Years of Turmoil (2009, Skyhorse): A British "expert" on all aspects of the Pakistan military, having spent a good deal of his life in Imperial armies.

Ann Coulter: Demonic: How the Liberal Mob Is Endangering America (2011, Crown Forum): She's slowed down, but it's hard to make this stuff up: "Citing the father of mob psychology, Gustave Le Bon, Coulter catalogs the Left's mob behaviors: the creation of messiahs, the fear of scientific innovation, the mythmaking, the preference for images over words, the lack of morals, and the casual embrace of contradictory ideas." "Similarly, as Coulter demonstrates, liberal mobs, from student radicals to white-trash racists to anti-war and pro-ObamaCare fanatics today, have consistently used violence to implement their idea of the 'general will.'"

Council on Foreign Relations/Foreign Affairs, ed: The New Arab Revolt: What Happened, What It Means, and What Comes Next (paperback, 2011, Council on Foreign Relations/Foreign Affairs): Collects sixty "seminal pieces" including op-eds, interviews, and congressional testimony from our leading officially sanctioned area experts -- you know, geniuses like Fouad Ajami, Bernard Lewis, Richard Haass, Martin Indyk, Elliott Abrams, Aluf Benn, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Gideon Rose, Max Boot, Michael O'Hanlon (fave title: "Winning Ugly in Libya: What the United States Should Learn From Its War in Kosovo"), and some documents featuring people who's primary association of "seminal" is with a certain red dress.

David T Courtwright: No Right Turn: Conservative Politics in a Liberal America (2010, Harvard University Press): Argues that there has been no conservative triumph with Reagan and Bush, that they (like Nixon) repeatedly compromised conservative values to get ahead. I'm not sure that labelling the mess they did leave as liberal does us much good. They certainly did something.

Tyler Cowen: Discover Your Inner Economist: Use Incentives to Fall in Love, Survive Your Next Meeting, and Motivate Your Dentist (paperback, 2008, Plume): I looked Cowen up after seeing Paul Krugman dis him. Easy to see why. His previous books include In Praise of Commercial Culture and Creative Destruction: How Globalization Is Changing the World's Cultures. Even the subtitle of this reductio ad absurdum economicum gives me the shivers: I don't want my dentist motivated; I want him to act like a conscientious professional, not a cash register.

Tyler Cowen: Create Your Own Economy: The Path to Prosperity in a Disordered World (2009, Dutton): Economist/blogger turns out a jumbled book of future think related somehow to autism -- Temple Grandin seems to understand what he's up to, but I don't. But then I've never been much impressed by his economics blog.

Tyler Cowen: Average Is Over: Powering America Beyond the Age of the Great Stagnation (2013, Dutton): New York Times pundit, on the conservative side, does at least approach real problems while denying that they can be fixed (often by reassuring us that the right people are working on it). E.g., his brief on the economic decline of the middle class was The Great Stagnation: How America Ate All the Low-Hanging Fruit of Modern History, Got Sick, and Will (Eventually) Feel Better. This book is about how inequality is good because, well, it generates more millionaires.

Tyler Cowen: The Complacent Class: The Self-Defeating Quest for the American Dream (2017, St Martin's Press): How much more proof do you need that "the dream is dead" than that this right-wing hack should come along, lecturing how stupid you were to have ever fallen for the idea in the first place? It may help to point out here that what American Dream always meant was the notion that prosperity should be widely shared -- within the grasp of practically everyone (aka the Middle Class, which is to say the condition of sufficient equality where virtually no one is so poor they cannot share in the nation's increasing prosperity). On the other hand, Cowen's resignation to the oligarchy has less to do with insight and vision than with who signs his checks. Books like this must make the rich feel inevitable and invincible.

Jefferson Cowie: Stayin' Alive: The 1970s and the Last Days of the Working Class (2010, New Press): Labor history, with a soundtrack, cultural touchstones like Archie Bunker, probing the question of why the working class gave up their union legacy for goons like Nixon and Reagan. The 1970s are increasingly being viewed as the decade when America lost its way.

Jefferson Cowie: The Great Exception: The New Deal and the Limits of American Politics (2016, Princeton University Press): As I understand it, Cowie is arguing that it's impossible to construct a leftward shift like the New Deal in current or future America because the actual New Deal appeared in circumstances that cannot be reproduced today. Cowie's argument is that the 1930s were a unique, "a temporary cessation of enduring tensions involving race, immigration, culture, class, and individualism" that occurred in the 1930s. Immigration was curtailed significantly in 1923, while race iniquities were locked in the deep freeze of segregation -- a non-issue only in the sense that the New Deal could largely ignore it (often by not challenging racial discrimination). Arguably, this meant a more homogeneous society, one where people could care more for others because the others weren't that different. Then WWII came along and bound together everyone -- an effect today's wars don't have because they involve so few people. I think it's more likely that the class consciousness that had been brewing since the robber baron era threatened to boil over during the Depression, but faded in the postwar affluence, especially when Cold War ideology took hold and made capitalism seem more like freedom than wage slavery. And as manufacturing gave way to service jobs, it became harder to regain that class consciousness, even as economic situations worsened. In today's environment it's easy to blame the lack of class consciousness on racial and ethnic and cultural divisions, but those differences have always existed. While major obstacles to a new New Deal persist, I think we're growing closer to seeing through the petty differences and distractions of the past.

Sherar Cowper-Coles: Cables From Kabul: The Inside Story of the West's Afghanistan Campaign (2011, Harper Collins): By the former British ambassador to Afghanistan, which makes him complicit in a war he had no real control over, which puts him in a fine position to blame everyone else -- assuming, of course, he realizes there was anything to blame anyone for.

Diane Coyle: The Soulful Science: What Economists Really Do and Why It Matters (2007; paperback, 2008, Princeton University Press): A new attempt to dress up the dismal science. Not sure what the point is or why it matters, but often these meta-books turn out to be more interesting than the primary research. Author has written a bunch of books, such as Paradoxes of Prosperity: Why the New Capitalism Benefits All. Hadn't noticed that it did.

Diane Coyle: The Economics of Enough: How to Run the Economy as if the Future Matters (2011, Princeton University Press): Challenges: Happiness, Nature, Posterity, Fairness, Trust; Obstacles: Measurement, Values, Institutions; The Manifesto of Enough. Looks like a fairly serious attempt to reframe economics within the constraints of sustainability, occasioned by the evident looming of crises ranging from resource exhaustion to climate change.

Christopher Coyne: After War: The Political Economy of Exporting Democracy (paperback, 2007, Stanford Economics and Finance): Seems like a heavy read, but probes deeply into why the US is unable to rebuild any of those countries we're so good at destroying. Examples go back to Germany and Japan, which aren't translatable into places like Afghanistan, Bosnia, and Somalia.

Jerry A Coyne: Why Evolution Is True (2009, Viking): Or, more or less implicitly, why creationism is crap. Sounds like a thorough brief for the defense -- a useful book, enlightening in its details even if you already accept the general notion. Amazon has a good letter from "Esk," raised as a conservative creationist, who writes how he "was entralled with the elegant simplicity and beauty and shear explanatory power of the ideas I was learning." [paperback, 2010, Penguin]

Gary Cox, Think Again: A Response to Fundamentalism's Claim on Christianity (University Congregational Press): Normally, I wouldn't give a second thought to an attempt to save Christianity from the Christians, but the late Cox was a local minister involved in the peace movement here, and I appreciate the slack his emphasis on non-judgmentalism cut me. Incidentally, another Wichitan, Gerald Paske, has a book called Why the Fundamentalist Right Is So Fundamentally Wrong (Marquette). Paske taught the first philosophy class I took at Wichita State.

Campbell Craig/Sergey S Radchenko: The Atomic Bomb and the Origins of the Cold War (2008, Yale University Press): The real roots are slightly deeper, but the atomic bomb was one of the initial sticking points in US-Soviet relations. Covered from both sides, as it needs to be.

Campbell Craig/Fredrik Logevall: America's Cold War: The Politics of Insecurity (2009, Belknap Press): Argues that American war planners were unable to shake an insecurity complex which led them to distorted and perverse cold war policies. No doubt that there is something to this, but it's also true that at ever stage the US had dominating firepower and was able to aggressively project and assert that power far around the world. American insecurity was more psychological than anything else, perhaps rooted in fears about the viability of capitalism.

Campbell Craig/Fredrik Logevall: America's Cold War: The Politics of Insecurity (2009, Harvard University Press): One thing that's always striking about the Cold War is the sense of insecurity that motivated its US protagonists, not just because atomic weapons had raised the stakes so much as because they so often sensed that they were on the wrong wide of history. We know now that the Soviet Union was never a military threat, that it had next to no interest in third world revolutionary movements, and that it was economically and politically hollow. We've also seen US cold warriors psychotically struggle on past the collapse of the Soviet Union with disastrous results. This is something that needs to be rethought, and this sounds like a reasonable start.

Clayton E Cramer, Armed America: The Remarkable Story of How and Why Guns Became as American as Apple Pie (2007-02, Nelson Current).

Katherine J Cramer: The Politics of Resentment: Rural Consciousness in Wisconsin and the Rise of Scott Walker (paperback, 2016, University of Chicago Press): After 2016, when Wisconsin voted down Russ Feingold's Senate run and went with Trump for president, after three statewide wins for weaselly governor Walker, you have to admit that Republicans have had remarkable success at capturing Wisconsin -- the subject here.

Richard Ben Cramer: How Israel Lost: The Four Questions (2004, Simon & Schuster).

Jonathan Crary: 24/7: Late Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep (2013, Verso): Short book (144 pp) on how capitalism's need to sell you things has chewed up the clock. I suspect this might dovetail nicely with James Gleick's Faster, had Gleick thought his book through better instead of just letting it bum rush him.

Gwyneth Cravens: Power to Save the World: The Truth About Nuclear Energy (2007, Knopf). Good rule of thumb is never trust a book that purports to tell you the truth. I am impressed that Richard Rhodes likes the book, but the author's numerous tours of nuclear power plants give off the whiff of Stockholm syndrome. It bothers me, for instance, when I read specious claims like: "A person living within 50 miles of a nuclear plant receives less radiation from it in a year than you get from eating one banana." Maybe true if the plant is functioning properly with no leaks and no waste moving toward your backyard, but factor in Chernobyl. Author starts with a Marie Curie quote: "Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood." I doubt that Cravens adds that Curie died of cancer no doubt due to her experiments. (Her husband died much earlier, unequivocally due to radiation poisoning.)

John Crawford, The Last True Story I'll Ever Tell: An Accidental Soldier's Account of the War in Iraq (Penguin, paperback). I read a bit of this, but didn't find it very illuminating. No surprise that the military sucked, Iraq sucked, the war sucked. This was one of the first of what now are dozens of soldier accounts.

Matthew B Crawford: Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry Into the Value of Work (2009, Penguin Press): Author owns a motorcycle repair shop, which gives him practical problems to solve. One of the more suggestive explanations for why we seem to keep getting dumber and dumberer is that fewer and fewer people actually work with basic mechanics -- we're more into what Robert Reich touted as symbol manipulation, and it doesn't take much manipulation of symbols to come up with something profoundly stupid.

Susan P Crawford: Captive Audience: The Telecom Industry and Monopoly Power in the New Gilded Age (2012, Yale University Press): Argues that the 2011 merger of Comcast and NBC Universal "create the biggest monopoly since the breakup of Standard Oil a century ago." During much of that time AT&T monopolized the telephone industry, but at least it was recognized as such and tightly regulated -- so much so that it begged for breakup. The new monopoly combines content as well as networking, which is what makes it not just too expensive but far more dangerous.

Matthew Crenson, Presidential Power: Unchecked and Unbalanced (2007-04, WW Norton).

Joseph Crespino: Strom Thurmond's America (2012, Hill & Wang): The Dixiecrat's presidential candidate lived a full 100 years, and did something unspeakably vile in nearly every one of them. He was the first southern Democrat to switch parties, starting a trend that brought the GOP the likes of Jesse Helms, Trent Lott, Richard Shelby, and Phil Gramm.

Robert D Crews/Amin Tarzi, eds: The Taliban and the Crisis of Afghanistan (2008; paperback, 2009, Harvard University Press): Eight essays on various aspects of the Taliban, totalling 448 pp.

George Crile: Charlie Wilson's War: The Extraordinary Story of the Largest Covert Operation in History (paperback, 2004, Grove Press).

Patricia Crisafulli: The House of Dimon: How JPMorgan's Jamie Dimon Rose to the Top of the Financial World (2009, Wiley): Possibly even more obsequious than Duff McDonald's Dimon bio. Wall Street Journal calls this a "fiduciary love letter." Wonder if Dimon's quite the stud Midge Decter found Donald Rumsfeld to be.

David Crist: The Twilight War: The Secret History of America's Thirty-Year Conflict with Iran (2012, Penguin Press): Latest news charges Iran with launching denial-of-service cyberattacks against New York banks. Wonder where they got that idea? Google "stuxnet": a computer virus the US developed and Israel used against Iran. Cyberattacks are effectively acts of war, even though they have yet to escalate to guns and rockets. There is much to complain about the Iranian government, but the 30-year conflict Crist writes about was born of ineptness at how badly the US reacted to the ouster of a Shah originally installed by the CIA but who had mutated into an embarrassment -- a wound that the US has continued to ineptly pick at, mostly hubris but aggravated once Israel decided to make Iran their public enemy number one. Today we seem closer than ever to war -- arguably with the cyberattacks, assassinations of Iranian scientists, support for the MEK terrorists, and above all sanctions meant to cripple Iran's economy, the US is already committed to war by one means or another.

Donald T. Critchlow: The Conservative Ascendancy: How the GOP Right Made Political History (2007, Harvard University Press): General history of US right from early post-WWII. Checked this out from library and started reading it, so you'll hear more.

Molly Caldwell Crosby: The American Plague: The Untold Story of Yellow Fever, the Epidemic That Shaped Our History (2006; paperback, 2007, Berkley): The story of the yellow fever epidemic that swept through Memphis, TN in 1878, killing about half of the population. This was certainly not the only time yellow fever hit the US, but must have been particularly dramatic.

Stanley Crouch, Considering Genius: Writings on Jazz (2007-04, Perseus).

Jeffrey L Cruikshank/Arthur W Schultz: The Man Who Sold America: The Amazing (but True!) Story of Albert D Lasker and the Creation of the Advertising Century (2010, Harvard Business Press): Lasker was head of Lord & Thomas from 1903 on, owner of the Chicago Cubs before Wrigley; he claims to have been the guy who wedded advertising and politics back during Warren Harding's 1920 campaign. The authors may be impressed by all that, but one has to wonder how much good it all amounted to.

R. Crumb: The Book of Genesis Illustrated (2009, WW Norton): Reportedly favors a very literal translation, consistent with straightforward illustration, as much as may be possible with the source material, which has always struck me as, well, a little weird.

Dave Cullen: Columbine (2009, Twelve): Ten years after the event, tries to explain why it all happened. I've seen this compared to In Cold Blood, which may be what it takes to rehash this oft-rehashed tragedy.

Heidi Cullen: The Weather of the Future: Heat Waves, Extreme Storms, and Other Scenes From a Climate-Changed Planet (2010, Harper): Front cover shows, what? A raft of skyscrapers waist deep in rising sea level. The usual catalog of future horrors. More books on the subject keep coming (just to pick titles I haven't mentioned already, and this is far from complete): Kristin Dow/Thomas E Downing: The Atlas of Climate Change: Mapping the World's Greatest Challenge (paperback, 2007, University of California Press); Gwynne Dyer: Climate Wars: The Fight for Survival as the World Overheats (paperback, 2010, Oneworld); Clive Hamilton: Requiem for a Species: Why We Resist the Truth About Climate Change (2010, Earthscan); James Hansen: Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth About the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity (2009, Bloomsbury); Robert Henson: The Rough Guide to Climate Change: The Symptoms, the Science, the Solutions (2nd ed, paperback, 2008, Rough Guides); John Houghton: Global Warming: The Complete Briefing (4th ed, paperback, 2009, Cambridge University Press); James Lovelock: The Vanishing Face of Gaia: A Final Warning (2009; paperback, 2010, Basic Books); George Monbiot: Heat: How to Stop the Planet From Burning (2007; paperback, 2009, South End Press); Chris Mooney: Storm World: Hurricanes, Politics, and the Battle Over Global Warming (2007; paperback, 2008, Mariner Books); Eric Pooley: The Climate War: True Believers, Power Brokers, and the Fight to Save the Earth (2010, Hyperion); Joseph J Romm: Straight Up: America's Fiercest Climate Blogger Takes on the Status Quo Media, Politicians, and Clean Energy Solutions (paperback, 2010, Island Press); Peter D Ward: The Flooded Earth: Our Future in a World Without Ice Caps (2010, Basic Books). I came up with a big list of anti-global warming books too: Ralph B Alexander: Global Warming False Alarm: The Bad Science Behind the United Nations' Assertion That Man-Made CO2 Causes Global Warming (paperback, 2009, Canterbury); Christopher Booker: The Real Global Warming Disaster: Is the Obsession With 'Climate Change' Turning Out to Be the Most Costly Scientific Blunder in History? (2009; paperback, 2010, Continuum); Christian Gerondeau: Climate: The Great Delusion: A Study of the Climatic, Economic and Political Unrealities (paperback, 2010, Stacey); Steve Goreham: Climatism! Science, Common Sense, and the 21st Century's Hottest Topic (2010, New Lenox Books); Doug L Hoffman/Allen Simmons: The Resilient Earth: Science, Global Warming and the Future of Humanity (paperback, 2008, Book Surge); Christopher C Horner: Red Hot Lies: How Global Warming Alarmists Use Threats, Fraud, and Deception to Keep You Misinformed (2008, Regnery); Patrick J Michaels/Robert C Balling Jr: Climate of Extremes: Global Warming Science They Don't Want You to Know (2009; paperback, 2010, Cato Institute); AW Montford: The Hockey Stick Illusion: Climategate and the Corruption of Science (paperback, 2010, Stacey); Fred Pearce: The Climate Files: The Battle for the Truth About Global Warming (paperback, 2010, Random House UK); Roger Pielke Jr: The Climate Fix: What Scientists and Politicians Won't Tell You About Global Warming (2010, Basic Books); Ian Plimer: Heaven and Earth: Global Warming, the Missing Science (paperback, 2009, Taylor Trade); Lawrence Solomon: The Deniers: The World-Renowned Scientists Who Stood Up Against Global Warming Hysteria, Political Persecution, and Fraud (2008, Richard Vigilante Books); Roy W Spencer: The Great Global Warming Blunder: How Mother Nature Fooled the World's Top Climate Scientists (2010, Encounter Books); Brian Sussman: Climategate: A Veteran Meteorologist Exposes the Global Warming Scam (2010, WND Books); Peter Taylor: Chill: A Reassessment of Global Warming Theory, Does Climate change Mean the World Is Cooling, and If So What Should We Do About It? (paperback, 2009, Clairview).

Jim Cullen: The American Dream: A Short History of an Idea That Shaped a Nation (new edition, paperback, 2004, Oxford University Press): A brief history of the stereotypical ideal for all America (well, almost all America).

Barry Cunliffe: Europe Between the Oceans: 9000 BC-AD 1000 (2008, Yale University Press): Archaeology professor at Oxford; big, illustrated, authoritative looking book, probably much like his previous The Oxford Illustrated History of Prehistoric Europe.

Philip J Cunningham: Tiananmen Moon: Inside the Chinese Student Uprising of 1989 (2009, Rowman & Littlefield): Evidently the author was there, was friends with various protesters, and kept a day-by-day account of the events. Seems a little dated for that kind of detail, but maybe not.

Elizabeth Currid: The Warhol Economy: How Fashion, Art, and Music Drive New York City (2007, Princeton University Press): Something on the arts business in NYC. Not sure how good on either arts or business.

Drew Curtis: It's Not News, It's Fark: How Mass Media Tries to Pass Off Crap as News (2007, Gotham): Easy enough to make that critique, but the main function of the book seems to be to collect as much fark as possible, and its attraction is how readily it digests all this crap that you may not otherwise bother to pay any attention to.

David M Cutler: Your Money or Your Life: Strong Medicine for America's Health Care System (paperback, 2005, Oxford University Press): An economist on questions of choice in the health care system.

John D'Agata: About a Mountain (2010, WW Norton): About Yucca Mountain, Nevada, for many years the controversial planned burial site for all the nuclear waste the country can generate. (Obama finally ordered the project shelved and a new study to be done from scratch -- something Harry Reid can remind his angry voters of in the coming election.) A lot of threads come together here, like how can you run a nuclear power industry with no idea how you deal with the waste, or how do you sell a plan when nobody wants it anywhere near them, or what does the government do when everyone shoots holes in the only plan they bothered to come up with?

John D'Agata/Jim Fingal: The Lifespan of a Fact (paperback, 2012, WW Norton): Short argument over the difference between truth and facts, with D'Agata billed as the "author" and Fingal as the "fact checker." D'Agata previously wrote About a Mountain, on the Yucca Mountain nuclear dump, and evidently had some trouble with his facts (and fact-checkers).

David Daley: Ratf**ked: The True Story Behind the Secret Plan to Steal America's Democracy (2016, Liveright): Title evidently a technical term coined by a Nixon operative to boast about some of the "dirty tricks" used to tilt the 1972 presidential election his boss's way, but is generalized here to cover the story of how the recent deluge of GOP-leaning money has helped that party to gain political power way beyond what you'd expect in a representative democracy. Gerrymandering is one not-so-secret aspect of this. Lesser known is the REDMAP project -- especially how the Republicans targeted state legislatures -- that opened up so many opportunities to stack the deck.

David Daley: Ratf**ked: The True Story Behind the Secret Plan to Steal America's Democracy (2016; paperback, 2017, Liveright): More nuts-and-bolts on how the right-wing -- the financiers of the Koch Bros. dark money networks -- has plotted its takeover of American democracy, especially by targeting and capturing state legislatures.

Robert Dallek: The Lost Peace: Leadership in a Time of Horror and Hope, 1945-1953 (2010, Harper): A revised look at history from Roosevelt's death to Stalin's death, a period that in the first four years moved from the grand alliance that utterly defeated fascism to a class war that split the world, polarized further in the second four years. You can slice this up various ways, but Truman -- savvy about domestic politics; naive, unimaginative, and reactive in foreign affairs -- had a great deal to do with the polarization that has ever since pushed us into war, inequality, and injustice.

William Dalrymple, The Last Mughal: The Fall of a Dynasty: Delhi, 1857 (2007, Knopf; 2008, Vintage Books): Large history of England's takeover of India. I've read a bunch of essays/reviews by Dalrymple recently, and they've left a favorable impression, although the subject itself may have sufficed.

William Dalrymple: Return of a King: The Battle for Afghanistan, 1839-42 (2013, Knopf): Historian, has mostly written about India -- e.g., The Last Mughal: The Fall of a Dynasty: Delhi, 1857 (2007) -- here turns his attention to what is now called the First Anglo-Afghan War, when the British initially occupied Kabul with ease but wound up with their entire mission army destroyed -- only one soldier escaped. I suppose the Americans think they've done better, but they haven't got out yet.

Robert F Dalzell Jr: The Good Rich and What They Cost Us (2013, Yale University Press): The pictures on the cover depict George Washington, Oprah Winfrey, and two guys in the middle -- I gather one is John D. Rockefeller, who despite the enormous foundation that still bears his name was never much regarded as "good," for the public at least. Probes the contradiction between a public committed to democracy and one that seems to celebrate the rich.

Clifton Daniel, ed: 20th Century Day by Day ().

Norman Daniels: Just Health Care (1985, Cambridge University Press)

Roger Daniels: The Politics of Prejudice: The Anti-Japanese Movement in California and the Struggle for Japanese Exclusion (2nd edition, paperback, 1999, University of California Press).

Roger Daniels: Coming to America: A History of Immigration and Ethnicity in American Life (1990; 2nd edition, paperback, 2002, Harper Perennial).

Roger Daniels: Guarding the Golden Door: American Immigration Policy and Immigrants Since 1882 (2004; paperback, 2005, Hill & Wang).

Mark Danner, Torture and Truth: America, Abu Ghraib, and the War on Terror (paperback).

Mark Danner: Stripping Bare the Body: Politics, Violence, War (2009, Nation Books): A collection of essays (656 pp) covering a couple decades of war reporting, from El Salvador and Haiti to Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, and Iraq, where he paid special attention to Abu Ghraib.

Edwidge Danticat: Brother, I'm Dying (paperback, 2008, Vintage Books): Story of a Haitian immigrant.

Julian Darley: High Noon for Natural Gas: The New Energy Crisis (paperback, 2004, Chelsea Green): It seems likely that peak oil will be followed by problems in the supply of natural gas, although the picture of how that will play out is less clear. This is one of the few books that specifically addresses natural gas.

John Darwin: After Tamerlane: The Global History of Empire Since 1405 (2008, Bloomsbury Press): 592 pages, which qualifies as brief given his macro subject. I can see why he wants no truck with Tamerlane, who blew through the old world like an influenza epidemic leaving nothing but death and destruction in his wake. That leaves him with Europe vs. a few old empires in Asia that more/less resisted and a couple in the Americas that succumbed very fast (although I don't know that he covers them, maybe because he's more interested in the more resilient Asian empires).

Satyajit Das: The Age of Stagnation: Why Perpetual Growth Is Unattainable and the Global Economy Is in Peril (2016, Prometheus Books): Well, it does seem like the economies of the United States and Europe haven't bounced back from the 2008 financial meltdown like they did from previous recessions, and lately we've seen downturns in China and other "developing countries" that had fared so well in the previous decades. Das attributes all of this to the low interest "easy money" policies used to fight the recession and the overall growth of debt (especially public debt). I see this same stagnation, but I'm more inclined to attribute it to deliberate political policies protecting the issuers of all that debt while letting everyone else slide into an ever deeper mire. What makes this even more disagreeable is how neoliberals use debt as a cudgel to argue for austerity. An unspoken alternative would be to liquidate much of that debt, which would go a long ways toward reversing the increasing inequality trend (and all of its vile consequences).

Tom Daschle: Critical: What We Can Do About the Health-Care Crisis (2008, Thomas Dunne; paperback, 2009, St Martin's Griffin): Actually, cover credit is to Senator Tom Daschle, as if he still is one, and is followed by "with Scott S Greenberger and Jeanne M Lambrew," who presumably know something about the subject. Probably represents at least one stage in Obama's thinking (to the extent that he has done some), as the sort of compromise only a super-lobbyist could come up with.

Gregory Dattilo/David Racer: Your Health Matters: What You Need to Know About US Health Care (2006, Alethos): From an insurance exec.

Lisa E Davenport: Jazz Diplomacy: Promoting America in the Cold War Era (2009, University Press of Mississippi): Short book (208 pp) on an interesting story. Looks like Dave Brubeck on the cover. Jazz, of course, became very popular around the world, and jazz musicians became much more popular in Europe than they were in the US -- which still didn't do much for the reputation of the US government.

Richard Davenport-Hines: Universal Man: The Lives of John Maynard Keynes (2015, Basic Books): A new biography of the great liberal economist, a figure whose relevance has only grown since the 2008 "Great Recession" happened -- although it seems like most political leaders and central bankers have yet to acknowledge the point. Also relatively new (and brief: 136pp): Peter Temin/David Vines: Keynes: Useful Economics for the World Economy (2014, MIT Press).

Steven M Davidoff: Gods at War: Shotgun Takeovers, Government by Deal, and the Private Equity Implosion (2009, Wiley): Quite a bit here about how private equity groups, sovereign wealth funds, and investment banks takeover businesses, and includes some deals the government set up as part of its bank bailouts. Interesting stuff, almost all of which makes insiders ridiculously rich while putting a drag on the real economy.

Paul Davidson: The Keynes Solution: The Path to Global Economic Prosperity (2009, Palgrave Macmillan): A short book of economic policy prescription, based on the immemorial question, what would John Maynard Keynes say now?

Angela J Davis, ed: Policing the Black Man: Arrest, Prosecution, and Imprisonment (2017, Random House).

Angela Y Davis: Freedom Is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement (paperback, 2016, Haymarket Books)

David Brion Davis: Inhuman Bondage: The Rise and Fall of Slavery in the New World (2006, Oxford University Press): Returns to the subject of his 1966 breakthrough, The Problem of Slavery in Western Culture, which I more/less read not long after it came out in paperback. The short of it is that slavery was more/less invented to solve labor problems in exploiting the new world, and racism was more/less invented to justify slavery. This book likely goes more into abolition, which is another perspective on those issues. Davis has spent a lifetime on this subject, and he should be worth revisiting. [Paperback April 18]

David Brion Davis: The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Emancipation (2014, Knopf): The author's third The Problem of Slavery book, the trilogy spread out over 45 years -- hard to overstate how important the first volume was in changing our view of slavery and racism. This picks up the story around 1820, focusing on the UK and US with a side glance at Haiti.

Devra Davis: The Secret History of the War on Cancer (2007, Basic Books): Epidemiologist, focuses on environmental causes of cancer, which often as not got a pass in the so-called war. Also wrote When Smoke Ran Like Water: Tales of Environmental Deception and the Battle Against Pollution.

Gerald F Davis: Managed by the Markets: How Finance Re-Shaped America (2009, Oxford University Press): Contrasts periods of financial and managerial capitalism, where the latter builds things and the former steals you blind. One reviewer wrote: "as compact and clear a description of how we screwed up a fine economy as you will find."

Lanny Davis, Scandal: How "Gotcha" Politics Is Destroying America (Palgrave Macmillan): From a Clinton Admin insider, who most likely has his own ax to grind.

Mike Davis: The Monster at Our Door: The Global Threat of the Avian Flu (2005; paperback, 2006, Holt)

Mike Davis: Planet of Slums (2006, Verso).

Mike Davis, Buda's Wagon: A Brief History of the Car Bomb (Verso): "The poor man's air force"; I read some of this at TomDispatch, probably enough.

Mike Davis: In Praise of Barbarians: Essays Against Empire (paperback, 2007, Haymarket Books).

Mike Davis/Daniel Bertrand Monk, eds: Evil Paradises: Dreamworlds of Neoliberalism (paperback, 2008, New Press): Various essays, "a global guidebook to phantasmagoric but real places" -- don't have a list, but Abu Dhabi is certainly on it, as well as smaller, more discreet enclaves for the superrich.

Rochelle Davis: Palestinian Village Histories: Geographies of the Displaced (paperback, 2010, Stanford University Press): Some 400 of those villages were snatched by Israel in the 1948 war, their occupants driven into exile, in most cases the vacant villages erased, so this book at least starts to return them to history.

Karen Dawiska: Putin's Kleptocracy: Who Owns Russia? (2014; paperback, 2015, Simon & Schuster)

Richard Dawkins: The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution (2009; paperback, 2010, Free Press): Back to his roots, writing about something he knows about. I might wonder how cluttered with anti-creationist preaching would be now that he's gotten a taste for evangelical atheism, but the evidence is so compelling and so wondrous it should sell itself. On the other hand, many other books do the trick, like Jerry A Coyne: Why Evolution Is True (2009, Viking; paperback, 2010, Penguin), or the collected works of the late, much lamented Stephen Jay Gould.

Michael Day: Being Berlusconi: The Rise and Fall From Cosa Nostra to Bunga Bunga (2015, St Martin's Press): Biography of the Italian media mogul who parlayed wealth and power into three terms as prime minister of Italy, which helped him gain even more wealth and power, give or take occasionally getting "bogged down by his hubris, egotism, sexual obsessions, as well as his flagrant disregard for the law." All the timelier given how Donald Trump threatens to repeat the feat. By the way, Berlusconi is currently estimated to be worth about three times what Trump is ($12-to-$4 billion), but that's after Berlusconi has been prime minister, and before Trump becomes president.

Howard Dean: Howard Dean's Prescription for Real Healthcare Reform: How We Can Achieve Affordable Medical Care for Every American and Make Our Jobs Safer (paperback, 2009, Chelsea Green): Given all the "team of rivals" talk in assembling the Obama administration, it's rather strange that Obama made no effort to put Dean on the team. This is obviously a quickie lobbed into the debate on an Obama-backed plan that seems to miss the point. Pushes "Medicare for all," which if done right would evolve in to single payer.

John W Dean: Conservatives Without Conscience (2006; paperback, 2007, Penguin Books).

John W Dean: Broken Government: How Republican Rule Destroyed the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial Branches (2007, Viking Adult): Should mention this because I did bother to read his Conservatives Without Conscience -- but not the earlier Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W Bush. He's got a bug up his ass and, well, good for him. Dean also has another book coming April 15: Pure Goldwater, co-written with Barry Jr. Oh well.

Angus Deaton: The Great Escape: Health, Wealth, and the Origins of Inequality (2013, Princeton University Press): The "escape" seems to have been from the hardships that plagued life only a few centuries ago in "the developed world," more recently and sometimes still elsewhere. Deaton lists out such progress but also finds many setbacks -- I suspect that the persistance of inequality has much to do with these.

Christopher de Bellaigue: The Struggle for Iran (2007, New York Review Books).

Christopher De Bellaigue: Rebel Land: Unraveling the Riddle of History in a Turkish Town (2010, Penguin Press): A Kurdish town in Turkey, Varto, formerly shared by a sizable percentage of Armenians -- a three-way struggle for control of the story line of the past (and present). Complicated.

Christopher de Bellaigue: Patriot of Persia: Muhammad Mossadegh and a Tragic Anglo-American Coup (2012, Harper): Background on the man who may have been the best hope ever for a democratic, peaceful Iran, except that he objected to Britain's fraudulent control of Iranian oil -- a 19th-century grant of the long-defunct Qajjar dynasty -- so the British pressured the US to orchestrate a coup in 1953.

Christopher de Bellaigue: The Islamic Enlightenment: The Struggle Between Faith and Reason, 1798 to Modern Times (2017, Liveright): The start date was when Napoleon invaded Egypt, an event more often remembered as the first salvo of European dominance of the Middle East). This deals with the spread of (and reaction to) cultural and intellectual ideas -- what others have called modernism -- from Europe to the intellectual centers of Islam (Cairo, Istanbul, and Tehran).

Harm de Blij, Why Geography Matters: Three Challenges Facing America: Climate Change, the Rise of China, and Global Terrorism (2007-01, Oxford University Press, paperback).

Guy Debord: Comments on the Society of the Spectacle (1987; third edition, paperback, 2011, Verso): Debord's original essay was written in 1967. When I first read it (in Radical America, 1970) it illuminated all sorts of things, but the basic idea is simple enough it requires little elaboration. The essay is short, as are the comments (94 pp.); still, I've never figured out what you do with the concept -- more likely than not it just leaves you awestruck.

Alain de Botton: The News: A User's Manual (2014, Pantheon): British philosopher/social critic, originally from Switzerland -- has also written novels and appeared on television -- asks the question: what is our constant preoccupation with news doing to our minds? He picks apart various common story lines -- disasters, celebrity gossip, political scandals -- and tries to put their impacts into the context of everyday life. Previous books include: How Proust Can Change Your Life (1997); The Architecture of Happiness (2006); Relgion for Atheists: A Non-Believer's Guide to the Uses of Religion (2012); How to Think More About Sex (2012).

Kenneth S Deffeyes: Hubbert's Peak: The Impending World Oil Shortage (2001, Princeton University Press).

Kenneth S Deffeyes: Hubbert's Peak: The Impending World Oil Shortage (2001; new edition, paperback, 2008, Princeton University Press): Ex-Shell Oil geologist, teaches at Princeton, was John McPhee's guide for his first marvelous geology book, Basin and Range, introduced the concept of "peak oil" in the first edition of this book, and followed it up with the more general Beyond Oil: The View From Hubbert's Peak in 2005. Deffeyes predicted a peak in 2004-2008, so presumably the new edition refines that prediction. A couple of global recessions since the first edition appeared suppressed demand, as did a couple of historic price run-ups. Hubbert's US peak was much more clearcut because slacking US production could painlessly (or so it seemed) be replaced from foreign sources. The same isn't true of world production, so we should expect the sort of chaos at the peak that we are in fact seeing.

Kenneth S Deffeyes: Beyond Oil: The View From Hubbert's Peak (2005; paperback, 2006, Hill and Wang).

Kenneth S Deffeyes: When Oil Peaked (2010, Hill & Wang): Geologist, first came to my attention searching for gold in John McPhee's Basin and Range, but has since become more notable as the serious geologist behind the peak oil controversy. Wrote Hubbert's Peak: The Impending World Oil Shortage in 2001, followed that up with Beyond Oil: The View From Hubbert's Peak in 2005. With the economic churn of the last decade, it hasn't been clear just when oil production peaked, or whether it might peak again in the future, but Deffeyes argues for 2005. Book does seem kind of thin.

John De Graaf/David K Batker: What's the Economy For, Anyway?: Why It's Time to Stop Chasing Growth and Start Pursuing Happiness (2011; paperback, 2012, Bloomsbury Press): Good question, one also explored by Robert Skidelsky/Edward Skidelsky: How Much Is Enough? Money and the Good Life (2012); Juliet B Schor: Plenitude: The New Economics of True Wealth (2010); and Joseph E Stiglitz, et al., Mismeasuring Our Lives: Why GDP Doesn't Ad Up (2010). [link]

Richard DeGrandpre: The Cult of Pharmacology: How America Became the World's Most Troubled Drug Culture (2006, Duke University Press)

Elizabeth de la Vega: United States V George W Bush et al. (paperback, 2006, Seven Stories Press).

Bruce Bueno de Mesquita/Alastair Smith: The Dictator's Handbook: Why Bad Behavior Is Almost Always Good Politics (2011, PublicAffairs): A really modern Prince, the dictators in question evidently not just the usual suspects but including a few Americans who have made a good living acting badly -- Amazon has a long comment on Robert Rizzo, a city manager in CA. Also makes clear that even the most flamboyant dictator depends on a fragile network of support, something useful to keep in mind as regimes like Egypt, Libya, and Syria break up.

Barbara Demick: Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea (2009; paperback, 2010, Spiegel & Grau): Based on interviews with six defectors, which doesn't seem to be an especially good sampling technique, but North Korea is a strange place, hard for outsiders to grasp.

John Demos: The Heathen School: A Story of Hope and Betrayal in the Age of the Early Republic (2014, Knopf): A study in racism, really, as Demos examines a school set up by New England evangelists for "heathens" from around the globe -- Henry Obookiah, from Hawaii, was a famous student here -- and how the Connecticut community reacted to that school.

Charles Derber/Yale R Magrass: Bully Nation: How the American Establishment Creates a Bullying Society (2016, University Press of Kansas): Not just schoolyard bullying, but we live in a society that increasingly lets the rich and powerful bully the poor and weak, that prizes wealth and power, treats their lack as a personal disgrace. These are all consequences of inequality, but they also correlate with the US stance as the world's superpower, the one nation that is free to tower over and bully all others. This is one book that seems to get all that: "The larger the inequalities of power in society, or among nations, or even across species, the more likely it is that both institutional and personal bullying can become commonplace."

John Derbyshire: We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism (2009, Crown Forum): Author has previously tended to write about math, although he also wrote a novel about Calvin Coolidge. Attitude here is refreshing in a world which has been, in Barbara Ehrenreich's term, bright-sided. I wouldn't have any trouble taking the same theme and running it from the left. Still, I'd be missing out on some inadvertent humor. For instance, Amazon's "frequently bought together" pairs this with Sarah Palin, Going Rogue: An American Life. Customers also bought Harry Stein, I Can't Believe I'm Sitting Next to a Republican: A Survival Guide for Conservatives Marooned Among the Angry, Smug, and Terminally Self-Righteous, and for that matter, Ehrenreich, Bright-sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America.

William Deresiewicz: Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life (2014; paperback, 2015, Free Press): Yale professor, sees America's top universities "turning young people into tunnel-visioned careerists, adept at padding their resumes and filling their bank accounts but unprepared to confront life's most important questions." How old-fashioned not to think that careerism isn't the point of college? After all, exactly that education has long been held up as the answer to inequality -- if not for everyone, at least for the select few who give the system a gloss of meritocracy. Jane Jacobs, in Dark Ages Ahead, argued one of the key signs was "credentialism" -- an aspect of this same problem. Of course, that's a more general problem. This book seems to focus on elite universities, hence on future elites. That they're dumbing down is interesting, but only part of the problem.

Alan Derickson: Health Security for All: Dreams of Universal Health Care in America (2005, Johns Hopkins University Press)

Emanuel Derman: Models. Behaving. Badly.: Why Confusing Illusion with Reality Can Lead to Disaster, on Wall Street and in Life (2011, Free Press): A Goldman Sachs quant looks back on the art of model building, discovering some limits to models, and rethinking their usefulness. Mostly finance with some asides on science and philosophy -- Derman started out as a physicist. Would be interesting to look at other areas where modelling puts people out on a limb. Previously wrote My Life as a Quant: Reflections on Physics and Finance (2004; paperback, 2007, Wiley).

Alan Dershowitz: The Case Against Israel's Enemies: Exposing Jimmy Carter and Others Who Stand in the Way of Peace (paperback, 2009, John Wiley & Sons): Second sequel to The Case for Israel, which may be the most deceitful book I've ever read. He followed that up with The Case for Peace, which was a pile of rationalizations for anything but. That Dershowitz, and Israel at least in his mind, has not the slightest desire for peace should be clear from who he targets as Israel's greatest enemy: Jimmy Carter.

Michael C Desch: Power and Military Effectiveness: The Fallacy of Democratic Triumphalism (2008, Johns Hopkins University Press): Dissects the argument, going back to 1815, that Democratic states are inherently more likely to prevail in wars.

Meghnad Desai: Marx's Revenge: The Resurgence of Capitalism and the Death of Statist Socialism (2002; paperback, 2004, Verso): Returns to Marx after the collapse of the Soviet Union to find a thinker who saw capitalism as a necessary stage to socialism, not something one can simply oppose but must move through and beyond -- actually, a position broadly understood before Lenin tried to fudge an exception. As far as I understand it, I think Desai is right. However, it's not clear to me what the value might be of trying to salvage Marx from the Marxists. More recently wrote: Rethinking Islam: The Ideology of the New Terror.

Meghnad Desai: Rethinking Islamism: The Ideology of the New Terror (paperback, 2006, IB Tauris)

Meghnad Desai: Hubris: Why Economists Failed to Predict the Crisis and How to Avoid the Next One (2015, Yale University Press): Several variations on this book have appeared, and no doubt more will. Although economists are often asked for predictions, their models are more likely to seek an equilibrium that disallows crisis -- and in turn gives them little reason to research past crises. Still, one way to approach this would be to identify exceptions that did predict the crisis, then ask why no one paid much attention to them. One reviewer notes that lack of any mention of Hyman Minsky "leaves a gaping hole in an otherwise admirable book." I'll add that while failure to predict the crisis was a problem, a bigger one was inability to recognize what it all meant once it happened. Krugman, for instance, didn't predict the crash, but he knew exactly what was going on when it happened.

Matthew Desmond: Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City (2016, Crown): Stories of tenants and landlords in poor parts of Milwaukee c. 2008-09: the struggle to meet the rent for bad housing in hard times, "a cycle of hurt that all parties -- landlord, tenant, city -- inflict on one another." Seems to be one of the more important books on American poverty in recent years.

Carlo D'Este: Warlord: A Life of Winston Churchill at War, 1874-1945 (2008, Harper): A lot of wars here, a lot to chew on, not obviously overblown even at 864 pages, but it does cut Churchill short, before he could get the Cold War off to its proper start, or goad the US into salvaging BP's bacon by staging a coup against the government of Iran in 1953 -- the start of a conflict that smolders even today. Indeed, it's hard to think of a war from the 1890s up to the decade after Churchill's death that he didn't have a substantial hand in, with the "troubles" in Ireland, the three Indo-Pakistani wars, and Israel's endless warmaking prominent among his legacies. I doubt that D'Este is anywhere near critical enough, or maybe even critical at all -- he previously wrote a book called Patton: A Genius for War. But no figure in the 20th century more deserves to be taken down a few notches, shown for the monster that he truly was.

Daniel H Deudney, Bounding Power: Republican Security Theory From the Polis to the Global Village (2006-12, Princeton University Press).

Marq de Villiers: The End: Natural Disasters, Manmade Catastrophes, and the Future of Human Survival (2008, Thomas Dunne): Global warming, of course, but also volcanoes, meteors, massive tsunamis, noxious gases, plagues and pandemics, mass extinctions: stuff that happens all the time.

Frans de Waal: The Age of Empathy: Nature's Lessons for a Kinder Society (2009, Crown; paperback, 2010, Three Rivers Press): Primatologist, argues that humans aren't selfish creatures, at least not biologically; also that traits we view as humane aren't exclusive to humans. Previously wrote Our Inner Ape: A Leading Primatologist Explains Why We Are Who We Are (2005).

Frans de Waal: Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? (2016, WW Norton): Interesting question, most likely one the biologist/primatologist has much fun poking holes in. More or less related: Jennifer Ackerman: The Genius of Birds (2016, Penguin); Jonathan Balcombe: What a Fish Knows: The Inner Lives of Our Underwater Cousins (2016, Farrar Straus and Giroux); Charles Foster: Being a Beast: Adventures Across the Species Divide (2016, Metropolitan Books); Sy Montgomery: The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration Into the Wonder of Consciousness (paperback, 2016, Avila); Virginia Morell: Animal Wise: How We Know Animals Think and Feel (paperback, 2014, Broadway Books); Carl Salina: Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel (paperback, 2015, Picador).

Alfred-Maurice De Zayas: A Terrible Revenge: The Ethnic Cleansing of the East European Germans (second edition, paperback, 2006, Palgrave Macmillan): This is an interesting story, and I think it has some relevance for establishing the historical context of the 1948 ethnic cleansing of Palestine -- Arabs often ask why they and not the Germans should suffer for the Holocaust, so part of the answer is that some Germans did. On the other hand, I'm not convinced that the forced removal of Germans from east Europe was such a terrible revenge -- many were newly planted as part of the Nazi war effort, and the others were used as rationales for Nazi expansionism.

Jared Diamond: Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies (1997, WW Norton).

Jared Diamond: Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed (2004, Viking).

Jared Diamond: The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn From Traditional Societies? (2012; paperback, 2013, Penguin): His two previous books -- Guns, Germ and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies (1997), and Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed (2004) -- were high concept comparative mega-histories, sweeping and thought-provoking. Here he returns to his anthropology roots, writing about primitive societies, no doubt including a lot of New Guinea, since that's his specialty. Still, big questions abide: the transition to agriculture 11,000 years ago was not without its down sides, and those problems percolate up to the present.

John Diamond: The CIA and the Culture of Failure: US Intelligence from the End of the Cold War to the Invasion of Iraq (2008, Stanford Security Studies): Another book on the CIA's uncanny ability to screw up everything it touches. I've recently read Tim Weiner's Legacy of Ashes: A History of the CIA, which dishes the dirt from the beginning. This starts with the collapse of the Soviet Union, and covers the rudderless years in more detail.

Larry Diamond: The Spirit of Democracy: The Struggle to Build Free Societies Throughout the World (2008, Times Books): Sort of a globetrotting grade card on democracy metrics everywhere. Diamond wrote an Iraq insider book, Squandered Victory: The American Occupation and the Bungled Effort to Bring Democracy to Iraq, so you might say he's learned his subject the hard way. If, indeed, he's learned it.

Diary of a Very Bad Year: Confessions of an Anonymous Hedge Fund Manager (paperback, 2010, Harper Perennial): Interviews with an anonymous hedge fund manager from September 2007 to late summer 2009: gives you a chance to view the panic from the inside, and also to lay out the perspective of a hedge fund trader, someone always on guard to exploit any given situation.

Morris Dickstein: Dancing in the Dark: A Cultural History of the Great Depression (2009, WW Norton): Big survey (624 pp), but a big subject, especially with all the music and literature. Helped that the New Deal made a point of supporting artists, and that they managed to do it while getting and giving relatively little flack.

Joan Didion: Political Fictions (paperback, 2002, Vintage Books).

Joan Didion: Fixed Ideas: America Since 9.11 (paperback, 2003, New York Review Books).

Joan Didion: The Year of Magical Thinking (paperback, 2007, Vintage Books): Two deaths in the family, survived by one of the premier essayists of our times. One of those books to read just for the magic of it all. Also note that the rest of her nonfiction has been collected as We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live: Collected Nonfiction, part of "Everyman's Library."

Joan Didion: South and West: From a Notebook (2017, Knopf)

John Patrick Diggins: Why Niebuhr Now? (2011, University of Chicago Press): American cold war-era theologian, died in 1971, has returned lately as a touchstone for both pro- and anti-war politicians and polemicists -- Andrew J. Bacevich keyed one of his recent books off Niebuhr and wrote an intro to a reprint of Niebuhr's The Irony of American History, while Diggins also starts with laudatory quotes from McCain and Obama.

Anthony DiMaggio: The Rise of the Tea Party: Political Discontent and Corporate Media in the Age of Obama (paperback, 2011, Monthly Review Press): Seems right here to focus on the media. Previously wrote Mass Media, Mass Propaganda: Examining American News in the "War on Terror", and co-wrote, with Paul Street, Crashing the Tea Party: Mass Media and the Campaign to Remake American Politics (paperback, 2011, Paradigm).

Dan DiMicco: American Made: Why Making Things Will Return Us to Greatness (2015, St. Martin's Press): Former CEO of Nucor, "the largest and most profitable U.S. steel company" although as far as I an tell they mostly melt down and recycle in non-unionized plants far from America's old Rust Belt. Recently DiMicco was named to Trump's economic advisory board, with the strategic word "Greatness" hinting this book might be a blueprint for Trump's agenda. Still, I doubt there's anything new here: there's still a good deal of manufacturing in America, and such companies can be profitable if you can keep the vulture capitalists who dominate Trump's board from bleeding them dry. The bigger problem is how to get more of the profits of business back into the paychecks of workers, and there DiMicco is more problem than solution.

Philip M Dine: State of the Unions: How Labor Can Strengthen the Middle Class, Improve Our Economy, and Regain Political Influence (2007, McGraw-Hill): The state of the unions is poor, which has in turn hurt the middle class, the economy, and political prospects for doing anything about it. Dine may make that case, but I'm skeptical that restrengthening unions is the way back. More likely, if unions benefit at all it will be as beneficiaries of a political left that remembers them fondly.

EJ Dionne, Jr: Souled Out: Reclaiming Faith and Politics After the Religious Right (2008, Princeton University Press): Part of the backlash against the equation of religion with the far right -- a matter of much concern to Christians with a sense of social and political justice, and utter irrelevance to the rest of us. Dionne has written some promising books in the past -- Why Americans Hate Politics; They Only Look Dead: Why Progressives Will Dominate the Next Political Era; Stand Up Fight Back: Republican Toughs, Democratic Wimps, and the Politics of Revenge.

EJ Dionne Jr: Our Divided Political Heart: The Battle for the American Idea in an Age of Discontent (2012, Bloomsbury): Liberal-leaning political journalist, gives more credit to conservatives than they deserve, but that doesn't necessarily lead to the sort of confused centrism that is the norm of the socalled liberal media. Seems likely that Dionne will make the point that sometimes people back conservatives for good reasons -- although most clearly what they get are ignorant brutes set on destroying what's left of civilization.

EJ Dionne Jr: Why the Right Went Wrong: Conservatism From Goldwater to the Tea Party and Beyond (2016, Simon & Schuster): Journalist, leans liberal, has covered politics for a long time and written books like Why Americans Hate Politics (1991), They Only Look Dead: Why Progressives will Dominate the Next Political Era (1996), Stand Up, Fight Back: Republican Toughs, Democratic Wimps, and the Politics of Revenge (2004), Souled Out: Reclaiming Faith and Politics After the Religious Right (2008), and Our Divided Heart: The Battle for the American Idea in an Age of Discontent (2012). Much wishful thinking there, oft frustrated by the increasingly fervent (do I mean desperate?) right-wing, which he finally tries to face up to here.

Jenny Diski: The Sixties: Big Ideas, Small Books (paperback, 2009, Picador): Something of a memoir from London in the 1960s, which keeps her slightly removed from parochial US concerns like civil rights and Vietnam -- allowing her to focus on the important things, like sex and drugs. Seems to conclude that the "big ideas" of the '60s led to the bad ideas of the '80s. Easy to argue that, but harder to prove culpability.

Michael Dobbs: One Minute to Midnight: Kennedy, Khrushchev, and Castro on the Brink of Nuclear War (2008, Knopf): Looks like a major history on the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. I just read Tony Judt's short book review on the subject, and found it gripping. Not that I'm up for 448 pages on the subject.

Michael Dobbs: Six Months in 1945: FDR, Stalin, Churchill, and Truman, From World War to Cold War (2012, Knopf): The death of Franklin Roosevelt and the succession of Harry Truman was probably the key event in turning the US-Soviet alliance sour, even if most Cold War histories push the dates out a bit, all the easier to blame the Soviets. Trying to cram this transformation into the last six months of WWII -- from Yalta to Hiroshima, which as Gar Alperowitz argued was a diplomatic gesture aimed as much as Moscow as at Tokyo -- forces the issue, but I'm not sure it doesn't fit.

Darren Dochuk: From Bible Belt to Sunbelt: Plain-Folk Religion, Grassroots Politics, and the Rise of Evangelical Conservatism (2010, WW Norton): Looks like Billy Graham on the cover; focus seems to be on Southern California, which swept up a lot of Bible Belt refugees. Seems like a substantial history, as much of the right as of the evangelicals (won Allan Nevins prize).

Lisa Dodson: The Moral Underground: How Ordinary Americans Subvert an Unfair Economy (2009, New Press): Stories of "economic civil disobedience," where workers and even managers bend or break rules to make the economic system a bit more humane. Previously wrote Don't Call Us Out of Name: The Untold Lives of Women and Girls in Poor America.

Brian Doherty: Radicals for Capitalism: A Freewheeling History of the Modern American Libertarian Movement (2007, Public Affairs): A mixed bag, most likely way too long (768 pages). I've long admired Murray Rothbard, but don't think his utopianism really works. Most of the rest of the cast of libertarian heroes have pretty tawdry careers, with Milton Friedman the worst because he was by far the most effective. [Paperback May 26]

G William Domhoff: The Myth of Liberal Ascendancy: Corporate Dominance From the Great Depression to the Great Recession (paperback, 2013, Paradigm): Sociologist, wrote one of the classic books on the distribution of wealth in America, Who Rules America? The Triumph of the Corporate Rich (1967, latest revision 2013). He shows how even during periods when liberals were able to reduce inequality (roughly 1933-69) business remained under the firm control of an upper class that never compromise their own power and were always poised to launch the conservative counterrevolution of the 1980s (once they lost their fear of revolution). Domhoff also wrote Class and Power in the New Deal: Corporate Moderates, Southern Democrats, and the Liberal-Labor Coalition (paperback, 2011, Stanford University Press).

Adam F Dorin: Jihad and American Medicine: Thinking Like a Terrorist to Anticipate Attacks Via Our Health System (2007, Greenwood): Lots of bad things that could happen; no reason to link them to Jihad.

Gilles Dorronsoro: Revolution Unending: Afghanistan, 1979 to the Present (2005, Columbia University Press): Seems likely to be one of the clearer-headed accounts of the Afghan long war. Author wrote a sensible strategy study for Carnegie called "Focus and Exit."

Ross Douthat/Reihan Salam: Grand New Party: How Republicans Can Win the Working Class and Save the American Dream (2008, Doubleday): A little cognitive dissonance here. It's not really opposition to "the Democrats' cultural liberalism" that motivates the Republican Party. It's greed. So while they get a kick out of splitting the working class over cultural issues, the principle they're really serious about is picking workers' pockets. Arguing that Republicans should promote workers' economic interests goes so hard against the grain as to be laughable. Of course, if workers want to believe it, they'd be happy to hum a few bars. Just don't expect it to pay off. (In fairness, Kevin Phillips started down this line two decades ago. He never got it to work.)

Ross Douthat: Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics (2012, Free Press): Conservative New York Times columnist, tries to appear reasonable and rarely succeeds, wants to bring back that old time religion, or something like that. We would at long last do us a favor if he helps break the binds between religion and partisanship, but the old time religion never was much good at respecting others.

Douglas Dowd: Inequality and the Global Economic Crisis (paperback, 2009, Pluto Press): Another book on the consequences of inequality, making some of the connections to financial collapse that the new James Galbraith book (Inequality and Instability: A Study of the World Economy Just Before the Great Crisis) makes. I could append this there, as I do sometimes, but everything written on this topic is important.

Maureen Dowd: The Year of Voting Dangeously: The Derangement of American Politics (2016, Twelve)

John W Dower: War Without Mercy: Race and Power in the Pacific War (1986; paperback, 1987, Pantheon Books).

John W Dower: Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II (paperback, 2000, WW Norton).

John W Dower: Cultures of War: Pearl Harbor, Hiroshima, 9-11, Iraq (2010, WW Norton): A specialist on Japan during and after WWII -- his two books, War Without Mercy: Race and Power in the Pacific and Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II offer extraordinary insights into the war and its aftermath -- extends his analysis past 9/11 and into Iraq. You may recall that before Bush invaded Iraq Dower wrote a prescient piece on how wrong the models of the US occupations of Germany and Japan were for the present day.

John Dower: Ways of Forgetting, Ways of Remembering: Japan in the Modern World (2012, New Press): Wrote two important books on Japan (War Without Mercy and Embracing Defeat, then took his eye off his niche when the Bush people tried to claim Japan as a model for how well they'd do rebuilding Iraq, but here he returns to his chosen field. Looks like this carries the first two books forward in history as both countries made mental and cultural adjustments that allowed them to work together (even if not on equal terms).

John W Dower: The Violent American Century: War and Terror Since World War II (paperback, 2017, Haymarket Books): Perhaps our most important historian of Japanese-American relations both during and after WWII, Dower took an interest in Bush's Iraq War schemes when warmongers cited the US occupation of Japan and Germany as successful models for what the Bush administration could do in Iraq. He pointed out many ways in which Iraq was different, but also stressed how the US had changed in ways that made us less fit. I expect a big part of this book to expand on those insights (although possibly not as much as his 2010 book, Cultures of War: Pearl Harbor, Hiroshima, 9-11, Iraq.)

Kirstin Downey: The Woman Behind the New Deal: The Life of Frances Perkins, FDR'S Secretary of Labor and His Moral Conscience (2009, Nan A Talese): Perkins was identified as one of the five key New Dealers in Adam Cohen's Nothing to Fear, and possibly the one furthest to the left. Focusing on her is a good place to start re-examining the New Deal.

Morgan Downey: Oil 101 (2009, Wooden Table Press): Runs 452 pages, the first 30 "A brief history of oil," then on to crude oil assays, components, chemistry, exploration, production, refining, standards, finished products, etc., plus 100+ pages on markets and prices. Looks like it hits Einstein's dictum of being as simple as possible, but no simpler than it has to be. Doesn't seem to have any agenda. Reportedly essential.

Don H Doyle: The Cause of All Nations: An International History of the American Civil War (2014, Basic Books): A survey of how the war was viewed abroad, finding that monarchists hoped to see the Union (and democracy) fail, while radicals (like Karl Marx and Giuseppe Garibaldi) "called on the North to fight for liberty and equality." Both sides sent diplomats abroad to argue their cases. I don't see much about economic interests here. The best known is England, which leaned toward the Confederacy as a backward source of raw materials (mostly cotton), possibly fearing the Union as a potential competitor in manufacturing -- no doubt some English continued to oppose slavery, but that doesn't seem to have overridden economic interests. On the other hand, the Union tended to play down the issue of slavery in justifying the war effort, at least domestically. I wonder whether their case abroad differed.

David Dranove: Code Red: An Economist Explains How to Revive the Healthcare System Without Destroying It (2008, Princeton University Press)

Robert Draper: Dead Certain: The Presidency of George W. Bush (2007, Free Press): One more political biography; seems likely to have some insights, not that we need them any more. [Paperback March 25]

Robert Draper: Do Not Ask What Good We Do: Inside the US House of Representatives (2012, Free Press): Previously wrote Dead Certain: The Presidency of George W. Bush (2007), one of the better books on that sorry subject. This goes deep inside the 112th House, which the Republicans took over following the 2010 elections. At this point I'd say wait for the paperback, out in May hopefully with some extras, also with a new title: When the Tea Party Came to Town: Inside the US House of Representatives' Most Combative, Dysfunctional, and Infuriating Term in Modern History (paperback, 2013, Simon & Schuster) -- not that the 113th won't give it a run for the money.

Tamara Draut: Strapped: Why America's 20- and 30-Somethings Can't Get Ahead (2006, Doubleday).

Tamara Draut: Sleeping Giant: How the New Working Class Will Transform America (2016, Doubleday): Cover features the banner "FIGHT FOR $15 AND A UNION." The new working class isn't the old blue collar one, but "more female and racially diverse" employed in bottom end service jobs that don't pay enough to live on much less secure the old notion of middle class equality. A decade ago Draut wrote Strapped: Why America's 20- and 30-Something Can't Get Ahead, and they've only fallen further behind, which is why they're (finally) fighting back.

Philip Dray: There Is Power in a Union: The Epic Story of Labor in America (2010, Doubleday): Goes back to the early 19th century textile mills, plenty to write about, hefty at 784 pp but still necessarily brief -- e.g., shorter than EP Thompson's landmark The Making of the English Working Class. Probably useful, both to help labor find its bearings and to recognize where and when the wheels fell off.

Rod Dreher: Crunchy Cons: The New Conservative Counterculture and Its Return to Roots (2006; paperback, 2006, Three Rivers Press).

Peter Dreier: The 100 Greatest Americans of the 20th Century: A Social Justice Hall of Fame (paperback, 2012, Nation Books): Thumbnail biographies, 4-6 pages each (adding up to 512 pp.), political people you should know at least something about, even though one can nitpick the roster coming and going. Only two are younger than me (Michael Moore and Tony Kushner). Three of the last ten are musicians, and two are athletes, so the spectacle seems to have won out, especially over the writers who have provided so much insight and kept the flame going (Chomsky and Ehrenreich are about it since C. Wright Mills).

Barbara T Dreyfuss: Hedge Hogs: The Cowboy Traders Behind Wall Street's Largest Hedge Fund Disaster (2013, Random House): Another hedge fund disaster: Amaranth Advisors LLC, worth $9 billion one day, collapsed a few weeks later -- mostly the work of one trader's high-risk bets on natural gas prices. Hope there is some useful historical context. Amaranth collapse in 2006, before the crash; Galleon Group in 2009, after.

Robert Dreyfuss: Devil's Game: How the United States Helped Unleash Fundamentalist Islam (paperback, 2006, Holt).

Tyler Drumheller, On the Brink: An Insider's Account of How the White House Compromised American Intelligence (2006-11, Avalon).

Lee Drutman: The Business of America Is Lobbying: How Corporations Became Politicized and Politics Became More Corporate (2015, Oxford University Press): As late as the 1970s most corporations didn't have their own lobbying offices, whereas now many have 100 or more lobbyists on staff. This looks to be a pretty thorough analysis of what happened, why, and how all that lobbying distorts politics and policy.

Dinesh D'Souza: Obama's America: Unmaking the American Dream (2012, Regnery): Having previously discerned Obama's inner Mau-Mau (Newt Gingrich: "the most profound insight I have read in the last six years"), right-wing America's favorite adopted con man further discovers that Obama "wants a smaller America, a poorer America, an America unable to exert its will, an America happy to be one power among many, an America in decline so that other nations might rise -- all in the name of global fairness." Of course, as a matter of principle, the right's against anything that smacks of fairness, but four years into Obama's presidency, that's the best case they can make? I should probably do a full post on the latest round of Obama hate literature, but it's so uninspired and empty. Some examples: Deneen Borelli: Backlash: How Obama and the Left Are Driving Americans to the Government Plantation; Ann Coulter: Mugged: Racial Demagoguery From the Seventies to Obama; Bruce Herschensohn: Obama's Globe: A President's Abandonment of US Allies Around the World; Hugh Hewitt: The Brief Against Obama: The Rise, Fall & Epic Fail of the Hope & Change Presidency; Paul Kengor: The Communist: Frank Marshall Davis: The Untold Story of Barack Obama's Mentor; Aaron Klein: Fool Me Twice: Obama's Shocking Plans for the Next Four Years Exposed; Edward Klein: The Amateur: Barack Obama in the White House; Stanley Kurtz: Spreading the Wealth: How Obama Is Robbing the Suburbs to Pay for the Cities; David Limbaugh: The Great Destroyer: Barack Obama's War on the Republic; Richard Miniter: Leading From Behind: The Reluctant President and the Advisors Who Decide for Him; Kate Obenshain: Divider-in-Chief: The Fraud of Hope and Change; Katie Pavlich: Fast and Furious: Barack Obama's Bloodiest Scandal and the Shameless Cover-Up; Michael Savage: Trickle Down Tyranny: Crushing Obama's Dream of the Socialist States of America; Phyllis Schlafly: No Higher Power: Obama's War on Religious Freedom.

Andres Duany/Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk/Jeff Speck: Suburban Nation: The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream (2000; paperback, 2001, North Point Press): The authors are urban designers, evidently Jane Jacobs fans, upset at what they see in most American suburbs. Just running across a bunch of books on suburbia: James Howard Kunstler: The Geography of Nowhere: The Rise and Decline of America's Man-Made Landscape, and Home From Nowhere: Remaking Our Everyday World for the 21st Century; Dolores Hayden: Building Suburbia: Green Fields and Urban Growth, 1820-2000, and A Field Guide to Sprawl; Robert Bruegmann: Sprawl: A Compact History; Joel S Hirschhorn: Sprawl Kills: How Blandburbs Steal Your Time, Health and Money; Robert Burchell et al.: Sprawl Costs: Economic Impacts of Unchecked Development; Anthony Flint: This Land: The Battle Over Sprawl and the Future of America; Robert Fishman: Bourgeois Utopias: The Rise and Fall of Suburbia; Kenneth T Jackson: Crabgrass Frontier: The Suburbanization of the United States; Becky Nicolaides/Andrew Wiese, eds: The Sururb Reader; Joel Garreau: Edge City: Life on the New Frontier; Jane Holtz Kay: Asphalt Nation: How the Automobile Took Over America and How We Can Take It Back; Alex Marshall: How Cities Work: Suburbs, Sprawl, and the Roads Not Taken. And that doesn't begin to scratch the literature of suburban anomie.

Lou Dubose/Jake Bernstein: Vice: Dick Cheney and the Hijacking of the American Presidency (2006, Random House): Dubose co-wrote two Molly Ivins books on Bush, here adding a laundry list of dirt on the VP. There must be a dozen or more similar books. One thing I'm struck by is the recurrent use of "hijacking" in books about the Bush regime. It's a graphic verb, but what actually happened was more like a big con job, which works to no small extent because the conned were willing to go along. Now that they realize they've been had, they can take some comfort in metaphors that emphasize their victimhood. But the more interesting question is what made them so gullible in the first place. Other examples, not all from the left: Jonathan Chait: The Big Con: The True Story of How Washington Got Hoodwinked and Hijacked by Crackpot Economics; Philip Gold: Take Back the Right: How the Neocons and the Religious Right Have Hijacked the Conservative Movement; Ariana Huffington: Right Is Wrong: How the Lunatic Fringe Hijacked America, Shredded the Constitution, and Made Us All Less Safe; Peter Irons: War Powers: How the Imperial Presidency Hijacked the Constitution; Robert F Kennedy Jr: Crimes Against Nature: How George W Bush and His Corporate Pals Are Plundering the Country and Hijacking Our Democracy; Robert Scheer: The Pornography of Power: How Defense Hawks Hijacked 9/11 and Weakened America; Paul Sperry: Crude Politics: How Bush's Oil Cronies Hijacked the War on Terrorism; Richard Viguerie: Conservatives Betrayed: How George W Bush and Other Big Government Republicans Hijacked the Conservative Cause.

Mary L Dudziak: Cold War Civil Rights: Race and the Image of American Democracy (2000; paperback, 2012, Princeton University Press): Looks at the civil rights movement in light of America's cold war crusade. Communists had been first and foremost supporters of the civil rights movement in the US, and could make good propaganda use of US racism, ultimately becoming one reason the federal government intervened. Certainly not the only reason, but one.

Mary L Dudziak: War-Time: An Idea, Its History, Its Consequences (2012, Oxford University Press): Looks at how we've traditionally thought of times at war, and why such concepts have become so confused as the US has warlike conflicts without any sort of formal nation-wide mobilization.

Dianne Dumanoski: The End of the Long Summer: Why We Must Remake Our Civilization to Survive on a Volatile Earth (2009, Crown)

Gerard Dumenil/Dominique Levy: The Crisis of Neoliberalism (2011, Harvard University Press): The collapse as a crisis of ideology on top of deep-seated fissures. Rx includes: "limits on free trade and the free international movement of capital; policies aimed at improving education, research, and infrastructure; reindustrialization; and the taxation of higher incomes."

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz: An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States (paperback, 2015, Beacon Press)

Greg J Duncan/Richard I Murnane: Restoring Opportunity: The Crisis of Inequality and the Challenge for American Education (paperback, 2014, Harvard Education Press): It's long been felt that equal opportunity is more important than equal outcomes, and that the key to equal opportunity lies in improving the public schools system. However, as the economy becomes ever more inequal, the public schools have an ever harder time compensating on the opportunity front, and it isn't clear to me that they're even getting the chance. I don't know how the authors proposed to overcome this but it looks to me like they're trying to solve the symptom rather than the cause: only by reversing the overall economic picture can you start to get some traction from reforming the schools. Duncan/Murnane previously edited: Whither Opportunity? Rising Inequality, Schools, and Children's Life Chances (paperback, 2011, Russell Sage Foundation).

Geoffrey Dunn: The Lies of Sarah Palin: The Untold Story Behind Her Relentless Quest for Power (2011, St Martin's Press): Gambling on her relevance and trying to get out early, at least ahead of nosy neighbor Joe McGinniss's The Rogue: Searching for the Real Sarah Palin. Lies? Is she really coherent enough for that? Some less ambitious books might do just as well: Malia Litman: The Ignorance Virtues of Sarah Palin: A Humorous Refudiation of the Half-Term Ex-Governor; Leland Gregory: You Betcha! The Witless Wisdom of Sarah Palin; Jacob Weisberg: Palinisms: The Accidental Wit and Wisdom of Sarah Palin; and of course there are gripping memoirs, like Frank Bailey: Blind Allegiance to Sarah Palin: A Memoir of Our Tumultuous Years, not to mention Levi Johnston: Deer in the Headlights: My Life in Sarah Palin's Crosshairs.

JR Dunn: Death by Liberalism: The Fatal Outcome of Well-Meaning Liberal Policies (2011, Broadside): A "novelist and military encyclopedist," concocts something he calls "democide" or "mass negligent homicide" and tallies up some 260 million dead bodies, the victims of liberal schemes, including the banning of DDT.

Susan Dunn: Roosevelt's Purge: How FDR Fought to Change the Democratic Party (2010, Harvard University Press): Roosevelt had huge Democratic majorities in Congress, but many of those Democrats were old-fashioned conservatives -- some old-fashioned in the sense of pining for the days of slavery. This digs up the story of how FDR backed some liberal Democrats in primaries against his conservative Democratic opponents in 1938 -- "the purge" was how the opponents successfully presented the events.

Deborah Dwork/Robert Jan Van Pelt: Flight From the Reich: Refugee Jews, 1933-1946 (2009; paperback, 2012, WW Norton)

Ronald Dworkin, Is Democracy Possible Here? Principles for a New Political Debate (Princeton University Press).

Geoff Dyer: Otherwise Known as the Human Condition: Selected Essays and Reviews (paperback, 2011, Graywolf): A protege of John Berger's, as incisive a critic as I've ever read, and author of an idiosyncratic jazz book (But Beautiful: A Book About Jazz) I got quite a bit out of, with 432 pp of previously published essays. Sounds like a good idea, but I also bought his previous essay collection, Yoga for People Who Can't Be Bothered to Do It and never got past the first one.

Freeman Dyson, The Scientist as Rebel (New York Review Books): A collection of essays on science, especially book reviews on biographies of interesting scientists.

Michael Eric Dyson: Come Hell or High Water: Hurricane Katrina and the Color of Disaster (2006, Basic Civitas)

Michael Eric Dyson: Debating Race (2007, Perseus)

Michael Eric Dyson: April 4, 1968: Martin Luther King Jr's Death and How It Changed America (2008, Basic Civitas): One way it changed America was that it moved King from being an active critic of injustice in America to an icon of America's glorious past. Dyson helps bring that voice back, where it's as needed as ever. Dyson also wrote: I May Not Get There with You: The True Martin Luther King, Jr. Also relevant: Clarence B Jones: What Would Martin Say?

Michael Eric Dyson: Tears We Cannot Stop: A Serman to White America (2017, St Martin's Press)

Terry Eagleton: Why Marx Was Right (2011, Yale University Press): Longtime Marxist literary critic, from Ireland, kicks back agaisnt the assumption that Marx is irrelevant to the post-Soviet world. Strikes me as an academic argument, not that Marxists haven't had much of value in the critique of capitalism ever since Marx started sorting it out.

Terry Eagleton: Across the Pond: An Englishman's View of America (2013, WW Norton): One might think that the author's status as one of the world's foremost Marxist literary critics might have some bearing on how he views America, but most of the examples I see are stereotypically English views of generic Americans, easy to come by and more self-sure than is warranted. Other relatively recent Eagleton books (some reprints of older books, many university presses): How to Read Literature (2013, Yale); The Event of Literature (2012; paperback, 2013, Yale); Why Marx Was Right (paperback, 2012, Yale); On Evil (paperback, 2011, Yale); Reason, Faith, and Revolution: Reflections on the God Debate (paperback, 2010, Yale); The Meaning of Life: A Very Short Introduction (paperback, 2008, Oxford); Literary Theory: An Introduction (3rd edition, paperback, 2008, Minnesota); Trouble With Strangers: A Study of Ethics (paperback, 2008, Wiley-Blackwell); How to Read a Poem (paperback, 2006, Wiley-Blackwell); Criticism and Ideology: A Study in Marxist Literary Theory (paperback, 2006, Verso).

William Easterly: The Elusive Quest for Growth: Economists' Adventures and Misadventures in the Tropics (2001; paperback, 2002, MIT Press).

William Easterly, The White Man's Burden: Why the West's Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good (Penguin; paperback scheduled Feb. 27, 2007). I have, but haven't read, Easterly's well-regarded The Elusive Quest for Growth: Economists' Adventures and Misadventures in the Tropics (MIT, paperback).

William Easterly: The Tyranny of Experts: Economists, Dictators, and the Forgotten Rights of the Poor (2014, Basic Books): Author writes on development economics -- e.g., The White Man's Burden: Why the West's Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good -- so he could be taken as one of the experts he disparages. But he cuts against the grain, and has no shortage of examples of ideas that haven't worked. Also, his argument for "respect of the individual rights of people in developing countries" seems right, as is his point that "unchecked state power is the problem and not the solution" (here we're talking about the predatory effect of dictators, not the fevers of the tea party).

Mary Eberstadt, ed, Why I Turned Right: Leading Baby Boom Conservatives Chronicle Their Political Journeys (2007-02, Simon & Schuster).

Alice Echols: Hot Stuff: Disco and the Remaking of American Culture (2010; paperback, 2011, WW Norton)

Peter Edelman: So Rich, So Poor: Why's It's So Hard to End Poverty in America (2012, New Press): Could it be because once Nixon appointed Donald Rumsfeld to head up Equal Opportunity nobody cared and nobody tried? Edelman worked for Robert Kennedy in the 1960s, much later for Bill Clinton in the 1990s before resigning when Clinton signed the 1996 "welfare reform" bill -- Clinton's own term for it, as I recall, was "a sack of shit."

Thomas B Edsall: Building Red America: The New Conservative Coalition and the Drive for Permanent Power (2006, Basic Books).

Thomas Byrne Edsall: The Age of Austerity: How Scarcity Will Remake American Politics (2012, Doubleday): Author has written several useful books on the rise of the right, but he does have a tendency to be taken in by arguments he should be more skeptical of. There is a real scarcity problem creeping up in the future, and there's also a manufactured one, and we can use someone smarter than Edsall to sort them out. (Actually, I haven't yet read his suggestive early books, 1989's The New Politics of Inequality, and 1992's Chain Reaction: The Impact of Race, Rights, and Taxes on American Politics, but probably should.)

Thomas B Edsall: The Age of Austerity: How Scarcity Will Remake American Politics (2012, Doubleday; paperback, 2012, Anchor):

David B Edwards: Before Taliban: Genealogies of the Afghan Jihad (paperback, 2002, University of California Press): On Nur Muhammad Taraki, Samiullah Safi, and Qazi Amin Waqad. Author previously wrote Heroes of the Age: Moral Fault Lines on the Afghan Frontier.

Mickey Edwards: Reclaiming Conservatism: How a Great American Political Movement Got Lost -- and How It Can Find Its Way Back (2008, Oxford University Press): Former Republican congressman, one of a growing growing crowd of conservatives trying to salvage something from the debacle -- cf. Andrew Sullivan's The Conservative Soul: Fundamentalism, Freedom, and the Future of the Right; David Frum's Comeback: Conservatism That Can Win; Newt Gingrich: Real Change: From the World That Fails to the World That Works; many more. One exceptional thing about Edwards' book is the unanimous praise he gets from Amazon reviewers -- mostly true believers, no doubt, but including a favorable blurb from the relatively sane Sean Wilentz.

Timothy Egan: The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl (paperback, 2006, Mariner Books): In 1935 a single dust storm stretched from Amarillo TX into the Dakotas, one of the signature events of the Great Depression, a piece of ecological and economic disaster that rivals the worst of the Soviet Union. Egan has a number of books on the northwest, including a Seattle travel guide, The Good Rain: Across Time and Terrain in the Pacific Northwest, and Lasso the Wind: Away to the New West.

Timothy Egan: The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire That Saved America (2009, Houghton Mifflin): Follow-up to Egan's bestselling book on the Dust Bowl, The Worst Hard Time. Again he takes an event that was legendary locally and had some political repercussions that he makes the most of: a forest fire in 1910 that burned some 3 million acres, bringing Roosevelt and Gifford Pinchot into play.

Douglas R Egerton: The Wars of Reconstruction: The Brief, Violent History of America's Most Progressive Era (2014, Bloomsbury Press): A new history of the post-Civil War period, focusing on the striking advances of newly-emancipated black office holders and the systematic violence they were met with, and finally defeated by.

John Ehrenberg/J Patrice McSherry/José Ramón Sánchez/Caroleen Marji Sayej: The Iraq Papers (paperback, 2010, Oxford University Press): Of course, no non-scholar who lived through such recent history actually needs 656 pp of primary sources on the whole WMD scam. On the other hand, it's worth keeping track of who said what when, and holding them accountable.

Barbara Ehrenreich: Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America (paperback, 2002, Holt).

Barbara Ehrenreich, Dancing in the Streets: A History of Collective Joy (2007-01, Henry Holt).

Barbara Ehrenreich: This Land Is Their Land: Reports From a Divided Nation (2008, Metropolitan Books): Looks like a short collection of columns from the last few years. Brilliant, I'm sure; I can't think of a deeper or more fearless thinker on the left. Only big mistake she ever made was wasting The Worst Years of Our Lives on the 1980s, not realizing that even worse could still be in the cards.

Barbara Ehrenreich: Bright-sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America (2009, Metropolitan): I suppose you could call this "The Bright Side of the Dark Ages." One problem with positive thinking is when it functions as denial; another is how it personalizes problems. In some ways this seems trivial, but Ehrenreich is a profound critic of this sort of thing -- indeed, of most sorts of things.

Barbara Ehrenreich: Living With a Wild God: A Nonbeliever's Search for the Truth About Everything (2014, Grand Central): A memoir of sorts, about the search for truth or knowledge or understanding. One of the few people I'd read anything by.

Ben Ehrenreich: The Way to the Spring: Life and Death in Palestine (2016, Penguin Press): American journalist, son of Barbara Ehrenreich, has also written a pair of novels, details considerable time spent in Israel/Palestine observing the military occupation, and perhaps more importantly the people subject to that occupation.

Reese Ehrlich: Inside Syria: The Backstory of Their Civil War and What the World Can Expect (2014, Pegasus): It may be decades before anyone writes a definitive history of the many facets of Syria's civil war, if indeed it is over then. Meanwhile, we get small facets of the story from many scattered observers, and I doubt this one is any different (despite the forward by Noam Chomsky, who is nearly always right, unpleasant as that may be). Other recent books on Syria (aside from ISIS, which are probably more numerous): Leon Goldsmith: Cycle of Fear: Syria's Alawites in War and Peace (2015, Hurst); Nader Hashemi/Danny Postel, eds: The Syria Dilemma (2013, The MIT Press); Emile Hokayem: Syria's Uprising and the Fracturing of the Levant (paperback, 2013, Routledge); David W Lesch: Syria: The Fall of the House of Assad (rev ed, paperback, 2013, Yale University Press); Jonathan Littell: Syrian Notebooks: Inside the Homs Uprising (2015, Verso); John McHugo: Syria: A Recent History (paperback, 2015, Saqi); Christian Sahner: Among the Ruins: Syria Past and Present (2014, Oxford University Press); Bente Scheller: The Wisdom of Syria's Waiting Game: Foreign Policy Under the Assads (2014, Hurst); Stephen Starr: Revolt in Syria: Eye-Witness to the Uprising (rev ed, paperback, 2015, Hurst); Samar Yazbek: The Crossing: My Journey to the Shattered Heart of Syria (paperback, 2015, Rider); Diana Darke: My House in Damascus: An Inside View of the Syrian Revolution (paperback, 2015, Haus); Robert Fisk et al: Syria: Descent Into the Abyss (paperback, 2015, Independent Print); Robin Yassin-Kassab/Leila Ali-Shami: Burning Country: Syrians in Revolution and War (paperback, 2016, Pluto Press).

Bart D Ehrman: Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (And Why We Don't Know About Them) (2009, Harper One): Basic historical deconstruction of the New Testament -- the outline I've seen is mostly stuff I know about, but probably not at this detail. Evidently, Ehrman has been doing this for a while now. Previous books include: The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture: The Effect of Early Christological Controversies on the Text of the New Testament (1996); Lost Scriptures: Books that Did Not Make It Into the New Testament (2003); Lost Christianities: The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew (2003); Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why (2005); The Lost Gospel of Judas Iscariot: A New Look at Betrayer and Betrayed (2006).

Barry Eichengreen: Globalizing Capital: A History of the International Monetary System (second edition, paperback, 2008, Princeton University Press): Author previously wrote Golden Fetters: The Gold Standard and the Great Depression, 1918-1939, which may be as relevant now. This originally came out around 1996, which would put it ahead of the East Asian meltdown, reason enough for a revised edition. Has released some interesting work recently on the new depression, too.

Barry Eichengreen: Exorbitant Privilege: The Rise and Fall of the Dollar and the Future of the International Monetary System (2011, Oxford University Press): Probably an important book. Eichengreen has staked out the international monetary system as his specialty, and the dollar is still the big kahuna there, just not one whose virtues are especially appreciated these days. Flaunting its status as the world's reserve currency, the US has been able to run trade deficits and float debt to an extraordinary degree. That's certainly been an exorbitant privilege for someone, and I'd like to know who.

Barry Eichengreen: Hall of Mirrors: The Great Depression, the Great Recession, and the Uses -- and Misuses -- of History (2015, Oxford University Press): Similarities and differences between 1929 and 2008, how the memory of the former affected the response to the latter (and, I hope, how forgetting lessons from the former slowed down recovery from the latter). One thing I noticed at the time was that the initial output drop was almost exactly the same both times, but was soon limited by the much larger public sector in 2008 and much more responsive public policy (especially the frantic cycle of bank bailouts), but having averted a crash as bad as in 1929, the policy czars underestimated the damage, nor were they forced by public opinion to produce necessary reforms. Author has mostly written about currency issues; e.g., Golden Fetters: The Gold Standard and the Great Depression, 1918-1939 (1996), and Exorbitant Privilege: The Rise and Fall of the Dollar and the Future of the International Monetary System (2011).

Kurt Eichenwald: 500 Days: Secrets and Lies in the Terror Wars (2012, Touchstone): Focuses on 18 months, a little over 500 days, from 9/11/2001 to the invasion of Iraq, following Bush and company through their tortured logic leading to tortured prisoners, countering terror with "shock and awe" -- as someone must have said, "the mother of all terrors." Digs up some juicy quotes, my favorite so far Chirac's "Does anyone know what he was talking about?"

Kurt Eichenwald: 500 Days: Secrets and Lies in the Terror Wars (2012; paperback, 2013, Touchstone): Figures the 18 months from 9/11/2001 to the invasion of Iraq tell us all we need to know about the emergence and development Bush administration's strategic thinking about war and terror, with a clarity that is only muddled by the subsequent 5-10 (and counting) years of grappling with the many failures and complications of such muddled thinking.

Peter Eichstaedt: Consuming the Congo: War and Conflict Minerals in the World's Deadliest Place (2011, Lawrence Hill): Valuable minerals, corrupt politicians, expendable people, you can focus on the post-1994 war that killed five million, or go back all the way to King Leopold, or for that matter earlier when Kongo was one of Africa's most prodigious slave entrepots.

Gretchen Cassel Eick: Dissent in Wichita: The Civil Rights Movement in the Midwest, 1954-72 (2001; paperback, 2007, University of Illinois Press): Events I lived through -- not that I can claim to have paid sufficient attention at the time, but going back they ring true and the detail is recognizable. A good study of the civil rights movement in a medium-sized northern city that saw an influx of both white and black southerners, most to work in the WWII aircraft factories.

Juliet Eilperin, Fight Club Politics: How Partisanship Is Poisoning the House of Representatives (Rowman & Littlefield).

Peter Eisner, The Italian Letter: How the Bush Administration Used a Fake Letter to Build the Case for War in Iraq (2007-04, Rodale Press).

Gail A Eisnitz, Slaughterhouse: The Shocking Story of Greed, Neglect, and Inhumane Treatment Inside the US Meat Industry (2006-11, Prometheus Books, paperback).

Mohamed A El-Erian: The Only Game in Town: Central Banks, Instability, and Avoiding the Next Collapse (2016, Random House)

Niles Eldredge: Extinction and Evolution: What Fossils Reveal About the History of Life (2014, Firefly): Paleontologist, co-author (with Stephen Jay Gould) of the "punctuated equilibria" theory of evolution, which was suggested by the general lack of transitional finds in the fossil record. Illustrated, almost an art book. For a more technical book, see Eldredge's recent Eternal Ephemera: Adaptation and the Origin of Species From the Nineteenth Century Through Punctuated Equilibria and Beyond (2015, Columbia University Press). Over the years I've read a lot by Eldredge, but hadn't noticed: The Fossil Factory: A Kid's Guide to Digging Up Dinosaurs, Exploring Evolution, and Finding Fossils (with Douglas Eldredge, paperback, 2002, Roberts Reinhart); Why We Do It: Rethinking Sex and the Selfish Gene (paperback, 2005, WW Norton); Darwin: Discovering the Tree of Life (2005, WW Norton); and Concrete Jungle: New York City and Our Last Best Hope for a Sustainable Future (with Sidney Horenstein, 2014, University of California Press).

Laila El-Haddad: Gaza Mom: Palestine, Politics, Parenting, and Everything in Between (paperback, 2010, Just World Books): The first release on blogger Helena Cobban's book imprint picks up the story of a blogger in Gaza, covering everyday life under unusual duress, including the occasional Israeli terror bombing. Also on the same imprint: Chas Freeman: America's Misadventures in the Middle East, Joshua Foust: Afghanistan Journal: Selections From Registan.net, Reidar Visser: A Responsible End? The United States and the Iraqi Transition, 2005-2010

Laila El-Haddad/Maggie Schmitt: The Gaza Kitchen: A Palestinian Culinary Journey (paperback, 2013, Just World Books): El-Haddad previously wrote a down-to-earth memoir of living (and watching people die) in Gaza (Gaza Mom: Palestine, Politics, Parenting, and Everything in Between), so this sequel seems appropriate. Rest assured, the authors "traveled the length and breadth of the Gaza Strip to collect the recipes presented in this book" (that's 25 miles long and 3.7-7.5 miles wide, a bit larger than Manhattan).

Yuval Elizur/Lawrence Malkin: The War Within: Israel's Ultra-Orthodox (2013; paperback, 2014, Overlook): On the special roles and privileges of the ultra-orthodox in Israel, an often sore point for secular Jews in Israel, and I suspect one of the forces that relentlessly pushes Israel to the right, further estranging it from the rest of the world.

Carl Elliott: Better Than Well: American Medicine Meets the American Dream (paperback, 2004, WW Norton)

Carl Elliott: White Coat, Black Hat: Adventures on the Dark Side of Medicine (2010, Beacon Press): Asks the simple question: what happens when you mix medicine with the profit motive? One thing that happens is that you can never be sure who has who's interest at heart. One piece of this business is drugs -- Marcia Angell writes, "Elliott shows how the big drug companies have bribed and corrupted the medical establishment so that we no longer know which drugs are effective or why our doctors prescribe them." Previously wrote: Better Than Well: American Medicine Meets the American Dream (2003; paperback, 2004, WW Norton).

Larry Eliott/Dan Atkinson: The Gods that Failed: How Blind Faith in Markets Has Cost Us Our Future (2008; 2009, Nation Books): Two British economics editors go after the IMF, World Bank, and WTO, the running dogs of globalization. Not sure how deep this goes into the currently deepening depression -- one could make a case that one grows naturally out of the other. Paperback previously published by Bodley Head in UK.

Charles D Ellis: The Partnership: The Making of Goldman Sachs (2008; revised ed, paperback, 2009, Penguin): One of the key investment banks, which survived the meltdown partly because its traders had bet heavily against its own toxic CDOs, and partly because its ex-chairman, Hank Paulson, was running the Treasury at the crucial moment (e.g., when AIG, which held Goldman Sachs' CDSs, was going down). Paperback has an extra chapter, which hopefully explains all this.

Marc Ellis: Judaism Does Not Equal Israel: The Rebirth of the Jewish Prophetic (2009, New Press): A professor of Jewish Studies with a number of previous books -- Uholy Alliance: Religion and Atrocity in Our Time and Toward a Jewish Theology of Liberation: The Challenge of the 21st Century are two. It's not surprising that someone with a sense of justice grounded in Judaism should find problems with how Israel has acted.

Marc Ellis: Judaism Does Not Equal Israel: The Rebirth of the Jewish Prophetic (2009, New Press): Another in what's quickly growing into a bookshelf of books trying to put some distance between Judaism and Israel. Ellis sees this as a loss of Jewish sense of a "prophetic mission" to a narrative based on the intoxication of power, from the Holocaust and the Israeli military state.

Richard Ellis: Tuna: A Love Story (2008, Knopf): More prosaically, the story of tuna: oversized, overfished, sooner or later due to be destroyed, either directly or through farming. Ellis previously wrote: The Empty Ocean, which seems to be the basic book on overfishing, although also cf. Charles Clover: The End of the Line: How Overfishing Is Changing the World and What We Eat (new in paperback from University of California Press), and Paul Molyneaux: Swimming in Circles: Aquaculture and the End of Wild Oceans.

Ezekiel J Emanuel: Healthcare, Guaranteed: A Simple, Secure Solution for America (paperback, 2008, Public Affairs): Short book, focuses on the fix rather than the problem, pushing for a government regulated private insurance system that would provide enough transparency to make competition meaningful, with universal coverage funded through a VAT. That strikes me as something easy in theory, but hard in practice, mostly because it leaves private insurance motivations (greed) in need of constant regulation, whereas a fully public system only depends on people cooperating responsibly.

Bill Emmott: The Fate of the West: The Battle to Save the World's Most Successful Political Idea (2017, Economist Books): British, editor of The Economist, same basic shtick as Edward Luce: The Retreat of Western Liberalism. Blames Moscow, Beijing, but also Washington, and locates "the west" as much in Tokyo and Seoul as in Europe, the idea being the promise of neoliberalism (if not necessarily the reality): "It relies on the operation and staunch defense of several principles, first among them relative equality of income and opportunity as well as openness . . . An open society is thus one of porous borders rather than of walls, friendly to free trade agreements as opposed to protectionist tariffs, outward-looking rather than nationalist." Perhaps the idea wouldn't be fairing so poorly if the practice did a better job of delivering the promised broad-based wealth. The recent Brexit vote provides a detailed map of who wins and loses from open borders.

Stephen Emmott: Ten Billion (paperback, 2013, Vintage): The number is the projected near future population, raising the question of how such a population can be supported by available resources and technology -- basically an updated broadside along the lines of Paul Ehrlich's The Population Bomb. Ehrlich's book made short-term predictions of doom that didn't come true, so it's become much easier to deny the concern, but there can be no infinite trendlines, at least in a finite world: sooner or later something has to break. On the same subject: Danny Dorling: Population 10 Billion: The Coming Demographic Crisis and How to Survive It (paperback, 2013, Constable). On Ehrlich, see Paul Sabin: The Bet: Paul Ehrlich, Julian Simon, and Our Gamble Over Earth's Future (2013, Yale University Press).

Charles Enderlin: Shattered Dreams: The Failure of the Peace Process in the Middle East, 1995-2002 (2003, Other Press).

Charles Enderlin: The Lost Years: Radical Islam, Intifada, and Wars in the Middle East, 2001-2006 (2007, Other Press): Follows up on Enderlin's Shattered Dreams: The Failure of the Peace Process in the Middle East, 1995-2002, the first clear book on what went wrong at Camp David. Plenty more has gone wrong since.

Richard Engel: And Then All Hell Broke Loose: Two Decades in the Middle East (2016, Simon & Schuster): NBC's "chief foreign correspondent," a post which has put him in front of cameras in various Middle Eastern hot spots, including a brief period when he was abducted in Syria. I've never found his reporting especially astute but perhaps this is a better forum for reflection. Has two previous books: A Fist in the Hornet's Nest: On the Ground in Baghdad Before, During, and After the War (2004, which makes the word "after" stand out, as if he bought "Mission Accomplished" hook, line and sinker), and War Journal: My Five Years in Iraq (2008).

Tom Engelhardt: Mission Unaccomplished: TomDispatch Interviews With American Iconoclasts & Dissenters (paperback, 2006, Nation Books).

Tom Engelhardt: The End of Victory Culture: Cold War America and the Disillusioning of a Generation (1995; second edition, paperback, 2007, University of Massachusetts Press).

Tom Engelhardt, ed: The World According to TomDispatch: America in the New Age of Empire (paperback, 2008, Verso): 320 pages scraped from one of the best-written, best-edited web sources, consistently ahead of the learning curve on the numerous interlocking threads of the great war of our times (GWOT?).

Tom Engelhardt: The American Way of War: How the Empire Brought Itself to Ruin (paperback, 2010, Haymarket): Subtitle from book cover; other sources say: How Bush's Wars Became Obama's. Probably recycled from TomDispatch posts, where Engelhardt has tenaciously kept his finger on the pulse of America's warpath to oblivion.

Tom Engelhardt: The United States of Fear (paperback, 2011, Haymarket Books): Probably another collection of his TomDispatch posts, rather quick on the heels of The American Way of War: How the Empire Brought Itself to Ruin, although it is a theme he knows as well as anyone and should be able to greatly expand upon.

Tom Engelhardt: Shadow Government: Surveillance, Secret Wars, and a Global Security State in a Single-Superpower World (paperback, 2014, Haymarket Books): Probably just a collection of TomDispatch posts, worth tracking although a bit more effort into turning them into a current book would be nice. The focus on the so-called intelligence agencies is more relevant than ever as they seem to be driving US military intervention around the world -- the recent discovery and bombardment of the Khorasan group in Syria is a prime example. Then there is the broader issue of how those agencies manage to suck up so much money for doing mischief that has so little value to the American people. Secrecy is a big part of their recipe for success, so any exposure is welcome.

Tom Engelhardt: Shadow Government: Surveillance, Secret Wars, and a Global Security State in a Single-Superpower World (paperback, 2014, Haymarket Books): Another collections of columns from the author's TomDispatch website, on various aspects of the US security state and its shaky pretensions to empire.

Robert Engelman: More: Population, Nature, and What Women Want (2008, Island Press): More people, or more for each person? A book on population growth, and how women have throughout history have sought to manage their fertility to optimize their children's future. [Found this in library but didn't finish it.]

Mark Engler: How to Rule the World: The Coming Battle Over the Global Economy (paperback, 2008, Nation Books): Looks at the future of capitalism in a world where US leadership under Bush has been discredited. Read an excerpt in TomDispatch that didn't go very deep.

Cynthia Enloe/Joni Seager: The Real State of America Atlas: Mapping the Myths and Truths of the United States (paperback, 2011, Penguin Press): A short (128 pp) book of maps and charts slicing and dicing the US economy and society in various ways. For instance, one map shows military deaths in Iraq by state: Texas (414) is a close second to California (468), and Oklahoma (76) is more than 50% higher than Kansas (47) (per capita would be more revealing, although it would reduce the OK/KS ratio).

Jon Entine: Abraham's Children: Race, Identity, and the DNA of the Chosen People (2007, Grand Central Publishing): Research into the genetic angle of Jewish history, a subject more succinctly covered in David B Goldstein: Jacob's Legacy: A Genetic View of Jewish History (2008, Yale University Press). This may be one of the few areas where anyone's still talking about races, but then Entine, who draws a paycheck at American Enterprise Institute, previously wrote: Taboo: Why Black Athletes Dominate Sports and Why We're Afraid to Talk About It.

Randy Charles Epping: The 21st Century Economy: A Beginner's Guide (paperback, 2009, Vintage): Author of the very similar A Beginner's Guide to the World Economy, originally dating from 1992, with a 1995 revised edition and a 2001 reprint. Most likely this title is basically another revision. Elementary, of course.

Rosemarie M Esber: Under the Cover of War: The Zionist Expulsion of the Palestinians (paperback, 2009, Arabicus): Another in-depth (448 pp.) run through the Palestinian disaster of 1948-49, drawing on details from both sides. Ilan Pappe covers similar ground, more briefly, in The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine.

Rosemarie M Esber: Under the Cover of War: The Zionist Expulsion of the Palestinians (2008; paperback, 2009, Arabicus): Substantial (442 pp) history of the intimidation and expulsion of Palestinians during the 1947-49 war, which as the title puts it, provided cover for a major act of ethnic cleansing (what the Israelis, following the British, liked to call "transfer").

Martha D Escobar: Captivity Beyond Prisons: Criminization Experiences of Latina (Im)migrants (paperback, 2016, University of Texas Press).

John L Esposito/Dalia Mogahed: Who Speaks For Islam?: What a Billion Muslims Really Think (2008, Gallup Press): Results from a six-year study by Gallup's pollsters, some 50000 interviews, sampling the opinions of 1.3 billion muslims. Big surprise is that muslims are pretty much like everyone else. Who would have thought that?

Barry Estabrook: Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit (2011, Andrews McMeel): Lots of people -- my mother was one -- complain about industrialized tomatoes. Never bothered me that much, but I was never much of a tomato fan. Still, I am always intrigued by the industrial manipulation of agriculture, and this is certainly a case example.

Lyle Estill: Small is Possible: Life in a Local Economy (paperback, 2008, New Society).

Steve Ettlinger: Twinkie, Deconstructed: My Journey to Discover How the Ingredients Found in Processed Foods Are Grown, Mined (Yes, Mined), and Manipulated Into What America Eats (2007, Hudson Street Press; paperback, 2008, Plume): Not sure if he goes beyond the Twinkie ingredients list, but that may well suffice for 304 pages.

M Stanton Evans: Blacklisted by History: The Untold Story of Senator Joe McCarthy and His Fight Against America's Enemies (2007, Crown Forum): Not just an attempt to resurrect McCarthy's soiled reputation -- the goal is show how this conservative saint was martyred by the insidious liberal media. In the old canonical view, McCarthy was sacrificed as a case where a right-winger went too far, like David Duke or Oliver North. But sooner or later the right's think tanks will rehabilitate all of them. Didn't Goldwater say "extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice"?

Richard J Evans: The Third Reich at War (2009, Penguin Press): Third volume following The Coming of the Third Reich and The Third Reich in Power, presumably the end of a trilogy, unless he wants to do a The Third Reich in Myth and History, which would itself be interesting, but a change of pace. Long (944 pages), stuff that's been covered a lot -- and continues to be; cf. Mark Mazower's Hitler's Empire: How the Nazis Ruled Europe. Don't know how good they are. I bought the first on a whim, thinking it might be interesting to note parallels between the emergent Nazis and the Bush fascists, but never actually got to the book.

Richard J Evans: The Third Reich in History and Memory (2015, Oxford University Press): Author of a sweeping three-volume history of the Nazi movement -- The Coming of the Third Reich (2003), The Third Reich in Power, 1933-1939 (2005), and The Third Reich at War: How the Nazis Led Germany From Conquest to Disaster (2008) -- returns for a review of how Hitler and company have been remembered. Seems to be an essay collection rather than a systematic treatment, but so much has been written about the subject that one can cover a lot of ground just reviewing whatever books come your way.

Larry Everest: Oil, Power & Empire: Iraq and the US Global Agenda (2003, Common Courage Press): Writer for Revolutionary Worker rehearses the history of US/UK oil politics -- and, well, you only need one guess as to what Iraq was all about.

Stuart Ewen/Elizabeth Ewen: Typecasting: On the Arts and Sciences of Human Inequality (Revised Edition, paperback, 2007, Seven Stories Press): Popular history/culture critique, pointing out the obvious once you see it. Stuart Ewen has written a bunch of books in this vein: Captains of Consciousness: Advertising and the Social Roots of the Consumer Culture; All Consuming Images: The Politics of Style in Contemporary Culture; PR! A Social History of Spin; and others. Elizabeth Ewen previously wrote Picture Windows: How the Suburbs Happened, and jointly they wrote Channels of Desire: Mass Images and the Shaping of American Consciousness.

David Faber: And Then the Roof Caved In: How Wall Street's Greed and Stupidity Brought Capitalism to Its Knees (2009, Wiley): CNBC business analyst, keeps it short (208 pp) and vivid, but probably not very deep. [paperback, 2010, Wiley]

David Faber: Munich, 1938: Appeasement and World War II (2009, Simon & Schuster): The event in question is the most clichéd in the 20th century, so it would be good to get a fresh review of the situation. Not sure whether this book does that, but it does appear to be a substantial book on the subject -- at least it weighs out at 528 pp. Not sure that it helps that he's less a historian than a journalist.

Charles S Faddis: Beyond Repair: The Decline and Fall of the CIA (2009, Lyons Press): Another 20-year CIA vet with the usual load of FUBAR stories, the only surprise being that the book is remarkably slim (192 pp).

Brian Fagan: The Great Warming: Climate Change and the Rise and Fall of Civilizations (2008, Bloomsbury Press): A big subject, presumably related to global warming, but book is relatively modest (308 pages). I have to wonder how much evidence he really has, and how useful that evidence really is. While comparative methodologies can be enlightening, they can also be mere exercise. Fagan has several more books along these lines, like Floods, Famines, and Emperors: El Nino and the Fate of Civilizations, and The Long Summer: How Climate Changed Civilization.

Dan Fagin: Toms River: A Story of Science and Salvation (2013, Bantom Books)

Jack Fairweather: The Good War: Why We Couldn't Win the War or the Peace in Afghanistan (2014, Basic Books): I remain stumped about what was so good about the war. The fact that American public opinion was more unified in favor of attacking Afghanistan than Iraq didn't make a bit of difference. The war may have polled as high as the war against Nazi Germany, but there was no depth, no commitment, beyond the polling, and even less understanding. The book is probably stronger on why it all went so wrong.

Richard Falk/Irene Gendzier/Robert Jay Lifton: Crimes of War: Iraq (2006, Nation Books).

Richard Falk: Palestine: The Legitimacy of Hope (paperback, 2014, Just World Books): A collection of essays since 2008 when Falk was appointed United Nations Special Rapporteur on human rights issues in Occupied Palestine (his tenure there ended in 2014). Falk was a law professor who took an early interest in war crimes, especially regarding the Vietnam War -- cf. Crimes of War (1971, Random House), written and edited with Gabriel Kolko and Robert Lifton. He also has a newer essay collection out, Chaos and Counterrevolution: After the Arab Spring (paperback, 2015, Just World Books).

Richard Falk: Palestine's Horizon: Toward a Just Peace (paperback, 2017, Pluto Press)

James Fallows, Blind Into Baghdad: America's War in Iraq (Vintage, paperback). Collects his Atlantic Monthly reports. I'm suspicious whenever Andrew Sullivan and David Brooks applaud.

James Fallows: Postcards from Tomorrow Square: Reports from China (paperback, 2008, Vintage): A collection of pieces, mostly published in The Atlantic, on various aspects of life and business in China. Seems to be a fairly wide-ranging journalist, with a suggestive book called Breaking the News: How the Media Undermine American Democracy, a book on Iraq and a previous book loosely related here: Looking at the Sun: The Rise of the New East Asian Economic and Political System.

James Fallows: China Airborne: The Test of China's Future (2012, Pantheon; paperback, 2013, Vintage Books)

Susan Faludi: The Terror Dream: Fear and Fantasy in Post-9/11 America (2007, Metropolitan Books): An account of "America's nervous breakdown after 9/11": that much seems on target. Could be insightful, but I don't have a lot of tolerance for Kulturkritik these days, which seems inevitable here.

Lee Fang: The Machine: A Field Guide to the Resurgent Right (2013, New Press): The "vast right-wing conspiracy" (in Hillary Clinton's apt phrase) has been carefully built up since the 1970s, and swung into full gear in 2009 to disrupt and undermine newly elected president Obama and the Democrats' "fillibuster-proof" congressional majority, and they did a remarkable job of it. This book goes into how they did it, how they manufactured a viable critique and enough noise to pose as grass roots momentum.

Rory Fanning: Worth Fighting For: An Army Ranger's Journey Out of the Military and Across America (paperback, 2014, Haymarket Books): A former Army Ranger, a member of the same unit that killed Pat Tillman in Afghanistan, leaves the military and tries to find the America he once thought he was serving. Turns out his service was not in vain -- it was just suspended for a few years due to his wrong turn into the Army.

Rick Fantasia/Kim Voss: Hard Work: Remaking the American Labor Movement (paperback, 2004, University of California Press): On the labor movement and its prospects, more basically on the political economics of work, the factors pushing wages down, not least the virtual disappearance of workers from the American social imagination.

Douglas Farah/Stephen Braun: Merchant of Death: Money, Guns, Planes, and the Man Who Makes War Possible (paperback, 2008, Wiley): Exposé of Russian arms dealer Victor Bout. Certainly not the only one, and a piker compared to the US Government.

David Farber: The Rise and Fall of Modern American Conservatism: A Short History (2010, Princeton University Press): I'm a bit puzzled about the "fall" part, since Democrats like Obama seem to be thoroughly in conservatism's thrall, if anything more earnest in their dedication to making the unworkable work. Portraits from Robert Taft to George W Bush; offers "rare insight into how conservatives captured the American political imagination by claiming moral superiority, downplaying economic inequality, relishing bellicosity, and embracing nationalism."

Graham Farmelo: The Strangest Man: The Hidden Life of Paul Dirac, Mystic of the Atom (2009, Basic Books): One of the pioneering figures of quantum mechanics. I doubt that it's right to call him a "mystic," but I wouldn't bet against strange.

Graham Farmelo: Churchill's Bomb: How the United States Overtook Britain in the First Nuclear Arms Race (2013, Basic Books): One can argue that early in WWII Britain had the best shot at inventing the atomic bomb, and that Churchill for one reason or another ceded that lead to the US -- that seems to be the thrust here, and it would probably be interesting to find out what Churchill did and did not understand about the project, although in the end it's hard to see it mattering much. The British Empire could hardly stand on its own let alone pay for the mother country's disastrous wars, so it was no surprise that Britain emerged from the war reduced to America's loyal (and dependent) sidekick -- something else Churchill may or may not have understood, but ultimately couldn't do anything about.

John Farmer: The Ground Truth: The Untold Story of America Under Attack on 9/11 (2009, Penguin): A pretty detailed chronology of 9/11/2001, likely to be useful as reference if not much more. Author was involved in the official 9/11 report, so I'm not sure how much "untold" he has left to tell.

Roger EA Farmer: How the Economy Works: Confidence, Crashes and Self-Fulfilling Prophecies (2010, Oxford University Press): Short overview of economics in light of the meltdown. Strikes me as on the conservative side -- likes quantitative easing as a means to target asset price inflation but doesn't like stimulus spending to grow employment -- but isn't dumb or inflexible about it. [Apr. 7]

Anne Farrow/Joel Lang/Jenifer Frank: Complicity: How the North Promoted, Prolonged, and Profited From Slavery (paperback, 2006, Ballantine): Written by three Connecticut journalists, who shouldn't have had much trouble digging up the evidence, the sort of history that many would prefer to quietly forget. Some of this is well known; some, like gangs that kidnapped free blacks and sold them into slavery, isn't. I doubt there's enough here to quantify the title assertion -- e.g., certainly there are those who profited, but how much did this profit mean to the North as a whole?

Scot M Faulkner: Naked Emperors: The Failure of the Republican Revolution (2008, Rowman & Littlefield): Looks first at the 1994 "Contract for America" and the failure of the Gingrich Republicans to deliver on those promises, followed by the corrupt K Street racket.

Russell Faure-Brac: Transition to Peace: A Defense Engineer's Search for an Alternative to War (paperback, 2012, iUniverse): Short book (142 pp), but the basics seem obvious, requiring only a will to not do stupid and self-destructive things. Of course, coming out of a war culture, he probably has more stupidity to argue against.

Drew Gilpin Faust: This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War (2008, Knopf): An account of the US Civil War that focuses on the staggering destruction of the war.

Drew Gilpin Faust: This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War (2008, Knopf; paperback, 2009, Vintage): Civil war history, focusing on death.

Jeff Faux: The Servant Economy: Where America's Elite Is Sending the Middle Class (2012, Wiley): Previous book was The Global Class War: How America's Bipartisan Elite Lost Our Future -- and What It Will Take to Win It Back, so presumably this returns to American specifics. Lots of recent books on the destruction of the middle class, the ripe corrollary to the same old, same old of rich-getting-richer and poor-getting-poorer.

Sylvia Federici: Revolution at Point Zero: Housework, Reproduction, and Feminist Struggle (paperback, 2012, PM Press): Scattered essays dating back to 1975, on issues that were kicked around excitedly back then, less so now. Author was involved in Telos, which I also worked on way back in the day. She also wrote Caliban and the Witch: Women, the Body, and Primitive Accumulation (paperback, 2004, Autonomedia).

Gregory Feifer: The Great Gamble: The Soviet War in Afghanistan (2009, Harper Collins): Big surprise here is an American journalist writing an account of the Afghanistan war that is sympathetic to the Russians. That was taboo for many years, but the shoe's on the other foot now -- an indication of how far the US position has deteriorated. Still, what else can you do? Certainly not write a hagiography of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar as Afghanistan's George Washington.

Gregory Feifer: The Great Gamble: The Soviet War in Afghanistan (2009; paperback, 2010, Harper Perennial): Good basic history of the Russian occupation/war in Afghanistan. Among other things it shows that nothing much worked, but that they could hang on indefinitely if they could stand the stupidity of it all. Unlike us, they couldn't, so they left -- although it was Gorbachev who called that shot, not the military.

Bruce Fein: American Empire Before the Fall (paperback, 2010, CreateSpace): Foreword by Rep. Walter Jones, which puts this in Ron Paul territory, in a long but lately very marginal tradition of seeing a permanent army as the greatest threat to freedom.

Russ Feingold: While America Sleeps: A Wake-Up Call for the Post-9/11 Era (2012, Crown): There are several books the former senator could have written now that he has the time, including one on the sordid influence of money in elections -- a big part of why he was turned out. This one appears to focus on how the Senate responded to 9/11: how little they knew, how they were handled by Bush's warmongers, how little they cared about the consequences of their (in-)actions. I doubt that he goes as far as he should, but he was one of the few people who didn't get totally swept up in the hysteria, so at least he should stake out that much.

Douglas J Feith: War and Decision: Inside the Pentagon at the Dawn of the War on Terrorism (2008, Harper Collins): I figure all political memoirs are self-serving cons until proven otherwise, and this is certainly no exception. I'm just wondering whether Tommy Franks will get to write a blurb. [April 8]

Keith P Feldman: A Shadow Over Palestine: The Imperial Life of Race in America (2015, University of Minnesota Press): Takes the thesis that the US relationship to Israel belongs more to US domestic than foreign policy, and explores how US racial attitudes influence that policy. I imagine there's something to this, especially in the 1980s when Israel was one of South Africa's last close allies, but I imagine one can find less explicit evidence earlier -- especially as you don't have to go back very far to get past the taboo against explicit racism. Deeper down, both Israel and the US are colonial outposts of colonial outposts of Europe, and heirs of its crusader mythos -- Jews were long considered outsiders to all this, but one can argue that in colonizing Palestine they became "white," approximately even "Christian" (as the recently popular "Judeo-Christian" terminology shows).

Noah Feldman: The Fall and Rise of the Islamic State (2008, Princeton University Press): One of the more dangerously misguided liberals around, probably because he can't distinguish between moral imperatives for individuals and political programs for nation states. Supported Iraq war. After it went sour he tried to guilt-trip us with What We Owe Iraq: War and the Ethics of Nation Building. He followed up with After Jihad: America and the Struggle for Islamic Democracy and now this book, with a break in between to consider our own jihadis in Divided by God: America's Church-State Problem -- and What We Should Do About It. Not sure whether he's profoundly wrong, or just a fool.

Mark Feldstein: Poisoning the Press: Richard Nixon, Jack Anderson, and the Rise of Washington's Scandal Culture (2010, Farrar Straus and Giroux): Anderson is little remembered today, but he thought of himself as a muckraking journalist and Nixon was so full of it that Anderson soon found himself perched on top of Nixon's enemies list. That's the core story here. The implications may well be more interesting. Since then every Washington scandal was dubbed -gate until they were cheapened in to cliché, but they've also managed to make up in quantity what they lacked in quality -- the press has become dirtier in more trivial ways, but also the politicians have learned to play more effective defense.

Michael Fellman: In the Name of God and Country: Reconsidering Terrorism in American History (2010, Yale University Press): Argues that terrorism has been "a constant and driving force in American history." Casts a fairly wide net: John Brown, Sherman's march through Georgia (but not his efforts to exterminate bison to starve out the Indians?), Ku Klux Klan, Haymarket Square, the Philippines War. We all recall that "violence as as American as apple pie," but I'm doubtful that resurrecting our love/hate affair with terrorism is a good idea.

Alvin S Felzenberg: The Leaders We Deserved (and a Few We Didn't): Rethinking the Presidential Rating Game (2008, Basic Books): An exercise in such parlor games as "who's the worst president ever?" Breaks them down categorically rather than by just picking them off in order, which makes it more work to use, although possibly more useful to read.

Jonathan Fenby: Modern China: The Fall and Rise of a Great Power, 1850 to the Present (2008, Ecco): Big, general history of China since 1850, which doesn't seem like a particularly interesting starting date -- sometime after the humiliation of the Opium Wars, if memory serves. It does sort of fill a need, but with all the new books on China coming out -- the Olympics may have something to do with it, but it's ovedue anyway -- I expect it will take a while to sort out which books are really worthwhile. Just as an indication, there's also Rana Mitter: Modern China: A Very Short Introduction (paperback, 2008, Oxford University Press), which covers the same ground in 144 pages.

Stephen Fender: 50 Facts That Should Change The USA (paperback, 2008, The Disinformation Company): A sequel to Jessica Williams: 50 Facts That Should Change the World, reissued in 2007 in a 2.0 Edition. The emphasis is on facts that are non-obvious, counterintuitive even, but Americans are so ignorant -- one, or maybe several, of the facts -- that that isn't too hard.

Charles Ferguson: No End in Sight: Iraq's Descent Into Chaos (paperback, 2008, Public Affairs): The book behind a pretty good documentary about how Bush got us into Iraq and especially how his people screwed up the early occupation.

Charles H Ferguson: Predator Nation: Corporate Criminals, Political Corruption, and the Hijacking of America (2012, Crown Business): Director of the Oscar-winning film Inside Job -- in his acceptance speech Ferguson pointed out that three years into the depression no one has gone to jail for the financial manipulations that nearly bankrupt the country, so the point here seems to be to name names and lay out the case for the prosecution.

Niall Ferguson: The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World (2008, Penguin): A timely history of finance, not so obviously full of shit as his last three books: Empire: The Rise and Demise of the British World Order and the Lessons for Global Power, Colossus: The Rise and Fall of the American Empire, and The War of the World: Twentieth-Century Conflict and the Decline of the West. Of course, having written those three books extolling the glory days of empire and lamenting their passage, he's probably still full of shit.

Niall Ferguson/Charles S Maier/Erez Manela/Daniel J Sargent, eds: The Shock of the Global: The 1970s in Perspective (2010, Harvard University Press): I don't trust Ferguson at all, but the 1970s were a decade of profound economic turmoil at least in the US, and some of this may shed some light somewhere. But Judith E Stein: Pivotal Decade: How the United States Traded Factories for Finance in the Seventies strikes me as closer to the mark.

Niall Ferguson: Kissinger: 1923-1968: The Idealist (2015, Penguin Press): Hagiography, based on access to private papers, the first installment of a "magisterial two-volume biography," written by a pseudo-scholar with politics and morals flexible enough for the task. Anyone else would subtitle the second volume War Criminal, even if the time frame had to extend beyond 1976. But my guess is that Ferguson is thinking of The Realist, a suitable philosophical refuge for idealists once their hands get bloody. Myself, I'm more inclined to call this period The Bullshit Artist, then look for something even more scatological to follow.

Robert A Ferguson: Inferno: An Anatomy of American Punishment (2014, Harvard University Press): America's criminal justice system is broken, in large part because those who run it seem unable to grasp the notion that punishment should be limited, both for practical reasons (like declining effectiveness) and because it systematizes brutality.

Jesse Ferris: Nasser's Gamble: How Intervention in Yemen Caused the Six-Day War and the Decline of Egyptian Power (2012, Princeton University Press): Nasser referred to his five-year intervention in Yemen as "my Vietnam": no doubt it both weakened and unfocused Egypt's military, which only added to the confidence Israel's generals felt in launching their 1967 blitzkrieg. Still, while everyone acknowledges that it aided Israel's win, it is rare to see anyone argue that it caused Israel's aggression, not least because it calls into question Nasser's motives and priorities.

Timothy Ferris: The Science of Liberty: Democracy, Reason, and the Laws of Nature (2010, Harper): Science (mostly Astronomy) writer, takes a look back at the Enlightenment and the insight that reason rules the universe, with the founding fathers of US independence right in the middle of the story.

Jonathan Fetter-Vorm: Trinity: A Graphic History of the First Atomic Bomb (2012, Hill and Wang): Much shorter than Richard Rhodes' epochal The Making of the Atomic Bomb, but they say a picture is worth a thousand words. I've toyed with the idea of writing graphic histories on the Cold War and the Arab-Israeli Conflict -- critical assumption here is that I can get my nephew to illustrate -- mostly because I wish to sharply focus on key understandings rather than to just spew out a lot of narrative, and graphic histories seem to offer a unique opportunity to state and reinforce basic points.

Nathaniel Fick: One Bullet Away: The Making of a Marine Officer (paperback, 2006, Mariner).

Orlando Figes: The Crimean War: A History (2011, Metropolitan Books): A big history of a small war, remarkable for its indication of how the technology of war had developed during the 19th century when European armies rarely fought each other. One might have drawn the conclusion that World War would be a bad idea, but Europe's empires were in full swagger, unable to learn anything.

Dexter Filkins: The Forever War (2008, Knopf): By the New York Times' forever war correspondent, who never failed to swallow the government's propaganda whole. Now, he adds his own extensions and elaborations, a little self-fulfilling job security. Book has received extensive praise, including from a few critics of the war, so it may have some value in its details.

Ronald Findlay/Kevin H O'Rourke: Power and Plenty: Trade, War, and the World Economy in the Second Millennium (2007, Princeton University Press): 1000 years in 624 pages.

Howard Fineman: The Thirteen American Arguments: Enduring Debates That Define and Inspire Our Country (paperback, 2009, Random House): Who Is a Person? Who is an American? The Role of Faith; The Limits of Individualism; What Can We Know and Say? Who Judges the Law? Debt and Dollar; Local versus National Authority; Presidential Power; The Terms of Trade; War and Diplomacy; The Environment; A Fair, "More Perfect" Union. Mixed reviews on this, but sore losers abound.

Ann Finkbeiner: The Jasons: The Secret History of Science's Postwar Elite (2006, Viking; paperback, 2007, Penguin): A history of elite scientists consulting with the Defense Department, especially after the Sputnik craze in 1958.

Madelon Lubin Finkel: Truth, Lies, and Public Health: How We Are Affected When Science and Politics Collide (2007, Greenwood): AIDS, contraception, stem cell research, marijuana as medicine, breast implants, obesity, vaccination, etc.

Eric A Finkelstein/Laurie Zuckerman: The Fattening of America: How the Economy Makes Us Fat, If It Matters, and What to Do About It (2008, Wiley): Another obesity rant, with some economics thrown in to spoil your appetite.

Norman G Finkelstein: Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History (2005, University of California Press).

Norman G Finkelstein: Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict (2nd ed, paperback, 2003, WW Norton).

Norman G Finkelstein: The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering (paperback, 2003, Verso Books).

Norman G Finkelstein: 'This Time We Went Too Far': Truth & Consequences of the Gaza Invasion (2010, OR Books): On Israel's December 2008 siege of Gaza, a one-sided war occasioned by the desire of Israel's ruling coalition -- especially Tzipi Livni and Ehud Barak -- to impress Israel's voters with their toughness, and possibly to dig incoming US president Barack Obama a deeper hole from which any peace initiatives would be even more difficult. The destruction was senseless and extreme, leading to an international backlash including the Goldstone Report finding Israel guilty of war crimes. Expect Finkelstein to set the record straight with his usual merciless thoroughness.

Norman G Finkelstein: Knowing Too Much: Why the American Jewish Romance With Israel Is Coming to an End (2012, paperback, OR Books): Hard to guess how this will play out as political prophecy, but it certainly is the case that there has been a steady erosion of Jewish-American support for Israel as the David-Goliath table has turned, as Israel's has become more right-wing anti-democratic, as Israel's political leaders become ever more contemptuous of human rights and the desire for peace -- in short, as Americans learn more about what actually goes on under the aegis of The Jewish State. At the very least, Finkelstein can be counted on to help understand the history. Finkelstein also has another short (100 pp) book, What Gandhi Says: About Nonviolence, Resistance and Courage (paperback, 2012, OR Books).

Norman G Finkelstein: Method and Madness: The Hidden Story of Israel's Assaults on Gaza (paperback, 2014, OR Books): Chronicles three major assaults on Gaza since Israel dismantled its settlements in the blockaded territory: codes names Cast Lead (2008-09), Pillar of Defense (2012), and Protective Edge (2014). Finkelstein examines the logic behind these attacks, concluding they "have been designed to sabotage the possibility of a compromise peace with the Palestinians, even on terms that are favorable to [Israel]." Seems to be a collection of essays, less detailed than the book he wrote on Cast Lead: 'This Time We Went Too Far': Truth and Consequences of the Gaza Invasion.

Stan Finkelstein/Peter Temin: Reasonable Rx: Solving the Drug Price Crisis (2008, FT Press): Short book on drug pricing and economics. Important subject. Don't know whether they figured it out.

Barbara Finlay, George W Bush and the War on Women: Turning Back the Clock on Progress (2006-11, Zed Books).

Peter Finn/Petra Couvée: The Zhivago Affair: The Kremlin, the CIA, and the Battle Over a Forbidden Book (2014, Pantheon): The book was Boris Pasternak's famous novel, Doctor Zhivago, banned in the Soviet Union -- an opportunity the CIA seized upon by publishing it in Russian as a propaganda coup. The authors managed to get hold of CIA documents on the affair, most likely Russian sources as well.

Peter Firstbrook: The Obamas: The Untold Story of an African Family (2011, Crown): Probably an interesting book in its own right; possibly the first such book to trace back the roots of an African family -- I imagine it being somewhat like Ian Frazier's Family, except most likely not as well documented. On the other hand, Barack Obama has always been so far removed from those roots that it's unlikely to shed any light on anything having to do with him or his administration. (Not that Dinesh D'Souza can't hallucinate.)

Claude S Fischer/Michael Hout: Century of Difference: How America Changed in the Last One Hundred Years (2006, Russell Sage Foundation).

David Hackett Fischer: Champlain's Dream (2008, Simon & Schuster): The key figure in the French discovery of America, regrettably omitted from Tony Horwitz's A Voyage Long and Strange, although Horwitz wrote a review quoted on Amazon's page. Found the book a bit dull, which is too bad given that Champlain and France had a distinct approach to the Americas.

June Breton Fisher: When Money Was in Fashion: Henry Goldman, Goldman Sachs, and the Founding of Wall Street (2010, Palgrave Macmillan): Gilded age history; thank God we got over all that. [Apr. 27]

Charles Fishman: The Wal-Mart Effect: How the World's Most Powerful Company Really Works -- and How It's Transforming the American Economy (paperback, 2006, Penguin Books): Likely a balanced account, likely critical enough. Other critiques include: Greg Spotts, Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price; Al Nonnan, The Case Against Wal-Mart; John Dicker, The United States of Wal-Mart; Anthony Bianco, The Bully of Bentonville: How the High Cost of Wal-Mart's Everyday Low Prices Is Hurting America; Bill Quinn, How Walmart Is Destroying America (and the World): And What You Can Do About It.

Charles Fishman: The Big Thirst: The Secret Life and Turbulent Future of Water (2011, Free Press): Something on the future water crisis, more on the oddities of current use, and bits about Saturn and other esoteric sources. Previous book was The Wal-Mart Effect: How the World's Most Powerful Company Really Works -- and How It's Transforming the American Economy, which suggests a journalist's eye and a quest for big pictures.

Robert Fisk: Pity the Nation: The Abduction of Lebanon (1990; paperback, 2002, Nation Books).

Robert Fisk, The Great War for Civilization: The Conquest of the Middle East (2007-02, Knopf, paperback). Have had this since the hardcover came out. Big book.

Robert Fisk: The Age of the Warrior: Selected Essays (2008, Nation Books): Mostly short columns, 546 pages of them. Not sure how far they go back, but the first section includes one called "Be very afraid: Bush Productions is preparing to go into action." Fisk has covered what he called The Great War for Civilisation at least as far back as the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon, which he chronicled in Pity the Nation: The Abduction of Lebanon. The earlier book is absolutely essential. The later I bought but still haven't found time for. This covers the same ground in small bites, and carries forward -- toward the end is "Who killed Benazir?"

Raymond Fisman/Edward Miguel: Economic Gangsters: Corruption, Violence, and the Poverty of Nations (2008, Princeton University Press): Economists, examine corruption as a prime reason why developing countries don't develop.

Robert K Fitts: Banzai Babe Ruth: Baseball, Espionage, and Assassination During the 1934 Tour of Japan (2012, University of Nebraska Press): Previously co-edited Remembering Japanese Baseball: An Oral History of the Game and wrote Wally Yonamine: The Man Who Changed Japanese Baseball, reports on one of the most famous exhibition tours in history: a key event in Japan's adoption of America's pastime as its own favorite sport, but also cover for Moe Berg's espionage. Not sure who got assassinated.

David FitzGerald/David Cook-Martin: Culling the Masses: The Democratic Origins of Racist Immigration Policy in the Americas (2014, Harvard University Press).

Paul Fitzgerald/Elizabeth Gould: Invisible History: Afghanistan's Untold Story (paperback, 2009, City Lights): Journalists, not sure how deep they go into history, but there is plenty of recent travail to report in America's haphazard, half-assed occupation.

Laura Flanders: Bushwomen: Tales of a Cynical Species (2004, Verso).

Tim Flannery: The Weather Makers: How Man Is Changing the Climate and What It Means for Life on Earth (2006, Atlantic Monthly Press).

Tim Flannery: Now or Never: Why We Must Act Now to End Climate Change and Create a Sustainable Future (2009, Atlantic Monthly Press): Short (176 pp) book by a natural scientist, wrote a good book on North America called The Eternal Frontier: An Ecological History of North America and Its Peoples and, more recently, one on climate change, The Weather Makers: How Man Is Changing the Climate and What It Means for Life on Earth. This attempts a broadside, but isn't terribly convincing.

Tim Flannery: Atmosphere of Hope: Searching for Solutions to the Climate Crisis (2015, Atlantic Monthly Press): Australian paleontologist, I first ran into him with his broad sweep The Eternal Frontier: An Ecological History of North America and Its Peoples (2001) although he had previously written a similar book about his homeland: The Future Eaters: An Ecological History of the Australasian Lands and People (1994). His interests then moved to climate change, writing The Weather Makers: The History & Future Impact of Climate Change (2007) and Now or Never: Why We Must Act Now to End Climate Change and Create a Sustainable Future (2009), and this follows in that vein, trying to find some hope in geoengineering -- which even if it can compensate for too long denial, is hardly a solution to too much denialism.

Leonard M Fleck: Just Caring: Health Care Rationing and Democracy (2009, Oxford University Press): Takes rationing as a serious ethical issue, insisting that "no one has a moral right to impose rationing decisions on others if they are unwilling to impose those same rationing decisions on themselves in the same medical circumstances."

William A Fleckenstein: Greenspan's Bubbles: The Age of Ignorance at the Federal Reserve (2008, McGraw-Hill): Pretty harsh on Greenspan, but probably more accurate than Woodward's book -- what was it called, Maestro? Note that Peter Hartcher has a similar book, Bubble Man.

Robert L Fleegler: Ellis Island Nation: Immigration Policy and American Identity in the Twentieth Century ((paperback, 2015, Haney Foundation.

John V Fleming: The Anti-Communist Manifestos: Four Books That Shaped the Cold War (2009, WW Norton)

Peter Fleming: The Mythology of Work: How Capitalism Persists Despite Itself (paperback, 2015, Pluto Press): Argues that "neoliberal society uses the ritual of work (and the threat of its denial) to maintain the late capitalist class order," despite all sorts of technological and cultural changes that could reduce the class-definitional role of work toward the sidelines. In the US you might want to substitute "jobs" for "work," and I-don't-know for "neoliberal society" -- the corporate-political system? Also wrote Resisting Work: The Corporatization of Life and Its Discontents (paperback, 2015, Temple University Press).

Robin Fleming: Britain After Rome: The Fall and Rise 400 to 1070 (2011, Penguin): Volume 2 of a Penguin History of Britain series, filling the gap between David Mattingly: An Imperial Possession: Britain in the Roman Empire, 54BC-AD 409 and David Carpenter: The Struggle for Mastery 1066-1284, both already out in paperback.

Dan Fleshler: Transforming America's Israel Lobby: The Limits of Its Power and the Potential for Change (2009, Potomac Books): About J Street, the relatively peaceable alternative to hyperhawkish Isreal lobby AIPAC. Phillip Weiss gave the book a nice plaudit, so I checked Fleshler's website and found him trying to put distance between himself and "assimilationist" Weiss. That sort of attitude strikes me as too much trouble to bother with. It's OK that some people think they can be Zionists and for peace at the same time. The problem is when they break their vows for peace to prove they're still Zionists in good standing.

Ronald Florence, Lawrence and Aaronsohn: TE Lawrence, Aaron Aaronsohn, and the Seeds of the Arab-Israeli Conflict (Viking Adult): Aaronsohn was a Zionist who organized a British spy ring in Ottoman Palestine, providing a contrast to the Arabophilic Lawrence. But both are tied to British imperialism, which hasn't gotten anywhere near its due share of the blame.

Richard Florida: The Great Reset: How the Post-Crash Economy Will Change the Way We Live (2010; paperback, 2011, Harper Business)

Daniel J Flynn: A Conservative History of the American Left (2008, Crown Forum): The title aims to preach to the choir, assuring them that it's safe to go there, kind of like A Puritan's Guide to the Sexual Revolution. Amazon's product description starts off in subtitle fashion: From Communes to Clinton. Probably not as nutso as Jonah Goldberg: Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left or Dinesh D'Souza: The Enemy at Home: The Cultural Left and Its Responsibility for 9/11, but one can't be sure a priori: cf. Flynn's previous Why the Left Hates America: Exposing the Lies That Have Obscured Our Nation's Greatness.

James R Flynn: Where Have All the Liberals Gone? Race, Class, and Ideals in America (2008, Cambridge University Press)

Stephen Flynn, Edge of Disaster: Rebuilding a Resilient Nation (Random House). A professional disaster-monger, last time wrote America the Vulnerable: How Our Government Is Failing to Protect Us From Terrorism. This time argues that natural disasters may be even worse.

Ezra F Fogel: Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of China (2011, Harvard University Press): Big (928 pp) bio, covers a big chunk of Chinese history up to Deng's death in 1997, especially after 1978 when he became China's "paramount leader." Applauded for his economic reforms, condemned for suppressing the pro-democratic demonstrations at Tianamen Square in 1989. Vogel is a longtime region expert, and this is most likely a major book in what's still a sparsely documented history. (Not that there aren't a lot of superficial books on China's challenge to the West and who will dominate the 21st century and all that nonsense.

Duncan K Foley: Adam's Fallacy: A Guide to Economic Theology (paperback, 2008, Belknap Press): Adam as in Smith, the starting point for a critical survey of keystone economists Robert Heilbroner covered in The Worldly Philosophers. Foley also wrote Understanding Capital: Marx's Economic Theory.

Sherman Folland/Allen Goodman/Miron Stano: The Economics of Health and Health Care (6th Edition, 2009, Prentice-Hall): At $168, priced like its subject matter.

Eric Foner, Forever Free: The Story of Emancipation and Reconstruction (2006-11, Knopf, paperback).

Eric Foner: The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery (2010, WW Norton): The preeminent historian of the post-Civil War Reconstruction period backs up a bit to look at Lincoln.

Eric Foner: Gateway to Freedom: The Hidden History of the Underground Railroad (2015, WW Norton): America's foremost historian not so much of the Civil War per se -- that would be James McPherson -- as the penumbra surrounding it (aboltionism, reconstruction) adds another piece of the story, detailing how slaves escaped to freedom in the North, and how free blacks were often seized by "slave catchers" and forced into bondage. I read Foner's first book, Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men: The Ideology of the Republican Party Before the Civil War back when it was originally published (1970).

Steve Forbes/Elizabeth Ames: How Capitalism Will Save Us: Why Free People and Free Markets Are the Best Answer in Today's Economy (2009, Crown Business): Forbes started writing this before the crisis, but he's not about to let history affect his convictions. He knows free markets are the answer to whatever ails us. What I'm not sure of is who "us" is.

Martin Ford: Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future (2015, Basic Books): Written by "a Silicon Valley entrepreneur," argues that with recent and expected advances in automation and artificial intelligence the future will offer ever fewer "good jobs" (or for that matter jobs of any sort). The result will be unprecedented unemployment -- made worse, I'm sure, by the conservative mantra that forces people into ever poorer jobs. By the way, that's also pretty much the point of James K Galbraith: The End of Normal: The Great Crisis and the Future of Growth (2014, Simon & Schuster).

Martin Ford: Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future (2015; paperback, 2016, Basic Books)

Roger Ford: Eden to Armageddon: World War I in the Middle East (2010, Pegasus): Key events were the destruction of the Ottoman Empire, the birth of nationalist Turkey, the entry of the French and especially the English into the Arab parts of the Ottoman Empire, and the rise of the Saudis in the Arabian peninsula. David Fromkin covered this same ground in his prophetically titled A Peace to End All Peace: The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East.

James Forman Jr: Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America (2017, Farrar Straus and Giroux): How many black politicians got wrapped up in the post-1970 "war on crime" and its attendant mass incarceration. Forman worked six years as a public defender, a stark contrast to other jobs on his resume, like Supreme Court clerk and Yale Law School professor.

Ronald P Formisano: Plutocracy in America: How Increasing Inequality Destroys the Middle Class and Exploits the Poor (2015, Johns Hopkins University Press): Argues that rule by the rich (plutocracy) undermines both the poor and "the middle class" -- which I take to be a way of saying "democracy." Or as Louis Brandeis put it: "We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few; we can't have both." I think inequality is a very important topic not so much because it is unfair and unjust as because it introduces all sorts of twists and distortions into how we relate to each other. Author previously wrote The Tea Party: A Brief History and For the People: American Populist Movements From the Revolution to the 1850s.

Rana Foroohar: Makers and Takers: The Rise of Finance and the Fall of American Business (2016, Crown Business): If I recall correctly, the title comes from Mitt Romney's 2012 campaign speech where he derided the 47% of Americans who owe no federal income tax as "takers" -- as parasites living off the better off classes (i.e., those without effective tax dodge scams). Still, another reading is possible: some businesses still make things, but others (notably Romney's Bain Capital) just take profits out of the economy through various financial shenanigans. Everyone knows that the latter have grown enormously over recent decades. What this book does is explore the effect of all this financial "taking" on the older practice of making things, which as everyone also knows has declined severely in America. Pretty sure the two are linked. Hope this book helps explain why.

Meredith Fort/Mary Ann Mercer/Oscar Gish, eds: Sickness and Wealth: The Corporate Assault on Global Health (paperback, 2004, South End Press)

Richard Fortey: Dry Storeroom No. 1: The Secret Life of the Natural History Museum (2008, Knopf): A longtime denizen of the Natural History Museum; likely to be an interesting book.

John Bellamy Foster/Fred Magdoff: The Great Financial Crisis: Causes and Consequences (paperback, 2009, Monthly Review Press): Short (160 pp) Marxian analysis of how capitalism's tendencies toward stagnation led to the current crisis.

John Bellamy Foster/Bret Clark/Richard York: The Ecological Rift: Capitalism's War on the Environment (paperback, 2010, Monthly Review Press): Pretty hefty book (544 pp) just to blame it all on capitalism, but Foster's been working this line of inquiry for quite some time.

John Bellamy Foster/Robert W McChesney: The Endless Crisis: How Monopoly-Finance Capital Produces Stagnation and Upheaval From the USA to China (2012, Monthly Review Press): Foster is a Marxist economist who's been writing variations on this all his life. McChesney is a media critic who started out worried about the untoward influence of money -- e.g., Rich Media, Poor Democracy: Communication Politics in Dubious Times (1999; paperback, 2000) -- and wound up collaborating with the likes of Foster and Noam Chomsky -- Profit Over People: Neoliberalism & Global Order (paperback, 2011, Seven Stories Press).

Ron Fournier, Douglas B. Sosnik, Matthew J. Dodd, Applebee's America: How Successful Political, Business and Religious Leaders Connect With the New American Community (Simon & Schuster). A portrait of America obtained by interviewing patrons at Applebee's restaurants, written by Clinton and Bush hacks, endorsed by Hillary and McCain. I'm kind of fond of the riblets, myself, but they didn't interview me.

Justin Fox: The Myth of the Rational Market: A History of Risk, Reward, and Delusion on Wall Street (2009, Harper Business): Organized thematically, jumping around in time, which lets him sneak a big subject into 400 pages.

Justin Fox: The Myth of the Rational Market: A History of Risk, Reward, and Delusion on Wall Street (2009, Harper Business; paperback, 2011, Harper): Organized thematically, jumping around in time from one crash to another -- plenty to choose from there.

Justin Frank: Bush on the Couch: Inside the Mind of the President (2004; revised paperback, 2007, Harper): I'm very wary of anyone trying to reduce political decisionmaking to psychological factors, but the more the Bush regime's acts come to reflect the personality of the leader, the more clear it is that he has a few screws loose.

Robert Frank: Richistan: A Journey Through the American Wealth Boom and the Lives of the New Rich (2007; paperback, 2008, Three Rivers Press): Wall Street Journal columnist, not economist Robert H Frank. A tour through the world of the ultrarich, long on how they differ and short on what it means.

Robert H Frank: The Economic Naturalist: In Search of Explanations for Everyday Enigmas (paperback, 2008, Basic Books): Another scattered collection in the economics-as-oracle genre (cf. Freakonomics). Frank has several interesting credits: the recent Falling Behind: How Rising Inequality Harms the Middle Class; an older business book I read when it first came out, The Winner-Take-All Society: Why the Few at the Top Get So Much More Than the Rest of Us, co-written with Philip J Cook.

Robert H Frank: The Economic Naturalist's Field Guide: Common Sense Principles for Troubled Times (2009, Basic Books): Another entry in the "economics can explain everything in everyday life" Freakonomics-niche, following on the heels of the author's The Economic Naturalist: In Search of Explanations for Everyday Enigmas. Has more sense than most economists working this beat, which also implies less flair for perverse contrarianism. [paperback Apr. 27]

Robert H Frank: The Darwin Economy: Liberty, Competition, and the Common Good (2011, Princeton University Press): Promotes Darwin as an economic thinker, contrasting him to Adam Smith. Hopefully this doesn't fall into the trap of 19th century Social Darwinism -- much depends on what he does with reference go "the common good" in the title.

Robert H Frank: Success and Luck: Good Fortune and the Myth of Meritocracy (2016, Princeton University): Short book, argues that the rich tend to underestimate the role of luck in their success, or overestimate the role of merit -- flip sides of the same coin.

Thomas Frank: What's the Matter With Kansas? How Conservatives Won the Heart of America (2004, Metropolitan Books).

Thomas Frank: The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Rule (2008, Metropolitan): I snapped this up and will get to it sooner or later. It's very much up the line of what I've been thinking about, and doubtless has a lot of useful details -- especially on the corruption that has become so rampant under the Republicans. Also picked up James Galbraith's The Predator State, which strikes me as more likely to teach me something I don't already know.

Thomas Frank: The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Ruined Government, Enriched Themselves, and Beggared the Nation (2008; paperback, 2009, Holt): A pretty accurate summary of the Republicans' run of ruin in Washington. Paperback added something to the subtitle; not sure if the book has been updated.

Thomas Frank: Pity the Billionaire: The Hard-Times Swindle and the Unlikely Comeback of the Right (2012, Metropolitan Books):

Thomas Frank: Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People? (2016, Metropolitan Books): After three notable books on the rise of the right -- What's the Matter With Kansas? How Conservatives Won the Heart of America (2004), The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Rule (2008), and Pity the Billionaire: The Hard-Times Swindle and the Unlikely Comeback of the Right (2012) -- Frank takes a hard look at the Democrats who have aided and abetted the far right's stranglehold on politics. Given how the Republicans have gone from bad to worse without totally marginalizing themselves, this may seem to be an untimely subject to bring up, but politics is not just a game where you tote up points and celebrate the winner: it's how we as a democratic society try to cope with real problems, and that process has become perverted to a staggering degree. Frank is not the first writer on the left to notice that "liberal" leaders like Clinton and Obama often give up rather than fight for the people who elected them -- cf. Chris Hedges: The Death of the Liberal Class (2010), or for that matter the Bernie Sanders campaign.

Thomas Frank: Listen, Liberal: Or What Ever Happened to the Party of the People? (2016; paperback, 2017, Picador): Shows how the Democratic Party, especially since the arrival of Bill Clinton in 1992, has triangulated its way into the good graces of bicoastal urban elites more often than not at the expense of the party's old base -- people they could continue to take advantage of because the Republicans have left them nowhere else to go. This was damning and embarrassing when it came out last summer, and after white working class voters flocked to elect Trump over Hillary people started pointing to this book as prescient. Paperback includes an afterword where the author gets to "I told you so." Real question is whether the Democratic Party moving forward can learn from its mistakes. A good place to start is here.

Al Franken: Giant of the Senate (2017, Twelve)

Douglas Frantz/Catherine Collins: The Nuclear Jihadist: The True Story of the Man Who Sold the World's Most Dangerous Secrets . . . And How We Could Have Stopped Him (2007, Twelve).

Peter Frase: Four Futures: Life After Capitalism (paperback, 2016, Verso): Speculative post-capitalist futurology plotting out broad options based on two axes based on distribution of wealth in a world of plenty or scarcity. Frase calls these options communism, rentism, socialism, and exterminism. Written before last year's election, which suddenly tilted the odds toward the later.

Caroline Fraser: Rewilding the World: Dispatches From the Conservation Revolution (2009, Metropolitan): Reports on several large projects aimed at restoring natural habitat, including the DMZ between the Koreas where humans are dissuaded from entering by massive mining.

Evan DG Fraser/Andrew Rimas: Empires of Food: Feast, Famine, and the Rise and Fall of Civilizations (2010, Free Press): The old adage is that an army travels on its stomach, so an analogy might be that empires rise and fall on their ability to feed themselves. Touches on Mesopotamia, China, medieval Europe, Malthus and all that. The authors previously wrote Beef: The Untold Story of How Milk, Meat, and Muscle Shaped the World (2008, William Morrow), the credits listing Rimas first there.

Steve Fraser: Wall Street: America's Dream Palace (2008, Yale University Press): Background on the allure and romance of Wall Street, which goes a long way to letting them get away with it all. A short (208 pp) book following his much longer Every Man a Speculator: A History of Wall Street in American Life.

Steve Fraser, ed: Ruling America: A History of Wealth and Power in America (paperback, 2005, Harvard University Press).

Steve Fraser: Every Man a Speculator: A History of Wall Street in American Life (paperback, 2006, Harper Perennial): Big history of the role Wall Street has played in American culture and history. Fraser more recently wrote the much shorter Wall Street: America's Dream Palace, along much the same lines.

Steve Fraser: The Age of Acquiescence: The Life and Death of American Resistance to Organized Wealth and Power (2015, Little Brown): Throughout much of US history most Americans were quick to blame the rich for the inequities all around us, but in recent years that has changed -- giving the rich a free pass, which they have used to great political advantage.

Steve Fraser: The Limousine Liberal: How an Incendiary Image United the Right and Fractured America (2016, Basic Books): The term dates from the 1969 New York mayoralty election, about the same time the "hard hat" riots against antiwar protesters reinforced Nixon's idea that a conservative "silent majority" had been victimized by "liberal elites" -- a term that ultimately had more traction than "limousine liberal." Fraser recently wrote about how Americans lost their sense of class struggle in The Age of Acquiescence: The Life and Death of Organized Wealth and Power, to which this adds a significant case study.

Mark Frauenfelder: Made by Hand: Searching for Meaning in a Throwaway World (2010, Portfolio): Editor of Make, a quarterly DIY journal for geeks published by O'Reilly. Book tries to put such interests into the broader context of his own home life. One chapter, for instance, is about raising chickens, which among other things looks like a really good way to cut down on bugs and spiders in your yard.

Ian Frazier: On the Rez ().

Ian Frazier: Lamentations of the Father: Essays (2008, Farrar Straus and Giroux): Scattered short pieces, presumably humorous. Author has written some of the better nonfiction books of the past decade -- the three that I've read are Great Plains, Family, and On the Rez.

Ian Frazier: Travels in Siberia (2010, Farrar Straus and Giroux): One of those travel books where you're glad someone else is doing the traveling, especially someone who can dig up the background history and turn a decent phrase. Cover notes that Frazier also wrote Great Plains and On the Rez, both of which I've read and can recommend highly.

David Freddoso: The Case Against Barack Obama: The Unlikely Rise and Unexamined Agenda of the Media's Favorite Candidate (2008, Regnery): The right's first big hatchet job on Obama, rushed into print after the expiry date on dozens of Hillary Clinton books lapsed. Bound for the bestseller lists: Borders introduced it with a 40% discount; Amazon with 45%. Same treatment for Swift Boater Jerome R Corsi: Obama Nation: Leftist Politics and the Cult of Personality (2008, Threshold Editions).

Lawrence Freedman: A Choice of Enemies: America Confronts the Middle East (2008, Public Affairs): Big picture history of the US in the Middle East (640 pages), the sort of thing reviewers like to call "magisterial." Starts with Carter, so figure the muck up in Iran looms large.

Chrystia Freeland: Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else (2012, Penguin Press): Inequality viewed from the top, the breakaway rise of the top 0.1%, and hopefully something on what this does to the rest of us. Author previously wrote Sale of the Century: The Inside Story of the Second Russian Revolution (paperback, 2005, Abacus), on the making of the post-Soviet oligarchy.

Chrystia Freeland: Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else (2012; paperback, 2013, Penguin Press):

Charles Freeman: The Closing of the Western Mind: The Rise of Faith and the Fall of Reason (paperback, 2005, Vintage Books).

Chas W Freeman Jr.: America's Misadventures in the Middle East (paperback, 2010, Just World Books): Longtime US diplomat -- among his credits, he was Nixon's main interpreter for his 1972 trip to China -- was nominated by Obama for an advisory role on Middle East affairs and shot down by the Israel lobby -- wouldn't want a range of opinion on that subject anywhere near the president, now would we? One of the first releases on Helena Cobban's new venture, a spinoff from her excellent blog.

Chas W Freeman Jr: America's Continuing Misadventures in the Middle East (paperback, 2016, Just World Books): Former US diplomat, was denied a job in the Obama administration because he was considered unacceptably equivocal about Israel. Shortly after that, he wrote America's Misadventures in the Middle East (paperback, 2010, Just World Books). Presumably this is all new material, succinct even, as it only runs 256 pages.

Joshua B Freeman: American Empire: The Rise of a Global Power, the Democratic Revolution at Home 1945-2000 (2012, Viking): Parenthetically, "Penguin History of the United States," suggesting a part in a series, but the only other such book I've seen is Hugh Brogan's one-volume (up through the 1980s). Covers a big chunk of history in 512 pp. -- about the same size and subject as HW Brands' American Dreams: The United States Since 1945 (2010, Penguin Books).

Howard W French: A Continent for the Taking: The Tragedy and Hope of Africa (paperback, 2005, Vintage Books).

Howard W French: China's Second Continent: How a Million Migrants Are Building a New Empire in Africa (2014, Knopf): Not sure how important this is, but China (or Chinese businesses) have been looking to grab a larger slice of Africa's raw resources -- evidently this involves immigration as well as investment. This is reminiscent of western governments and companies, before and after "independence" but perhaps novel as well, given how inexpensively China can move their own people into place. French previously wrote A Continent for the Taking: The Tragedy and Hope of Africa (2004).

Patrick French: The World Is What It Is: The Authorized Biography of VS Naipaul (2008, Knopf): A major writer and intellectual figure, born in Trinidad but rooted in India.

William R Freudenburg/Robert Gramling/Shirley Laska/Kai Erikson: Catastrophe in the Making: The Engineering of Katrina and the Disasters of Tomorrow (2009, Island Press): You may have noticed that the damages caused by natural disasters has risen in lock step with development in disaster-prone locales. If not, you will sooner or later, because we place few obstacles against such development.

Bruno S Frey: Happiness: A Revolution in Economics (2008, MIT Press): Economist, has written a couple of books on psychological factors in motivation, sums his research up here. Happiness seems to be the pivotal concept for consolidating work on non-material motivations, regardless of the second thoughts the more philosophically or sociologically inclined are having on the subject.

Jeffrey A Frieden: Global Capitalism: Its Fall and Rise in the Twentieth Century (2006; paperback, 2007, WW Norton): Global history of capitalism in the 20th century, with its obvious fall in the 1930s and a fairly long stretch of expansion after WWII. Seems like it might be a useful overview.

Saul Friedlander: The Years of Extermination: Nazi Germany and the Jews, 1939-1945 (paperback, 2008, Harper Perennial): The latest massive survey of the Holocaust -- actually, the second volume of a set, following Nazi Germany and the Jews: Volume 1: The Years of Persecution 1933-1939.

Saul Friedländer: Nazi Germany and the Jews, 1933-1945 (abridged edition, paperback, 2009, Harper Perennial): Two previous books -- The Years of Persecution: 1933-1939 and The Years of Extermination: 1939-1945 -- slimmed down to 512 pages.

Brandon Friedman: The War I Always Wanted: The Illusion of Glory and the Reality of War (2007, Zenith Press): Lieutenant, 101st Airborne, in Afghanistan, having the time of his life. Spent some time in Iraq, too. Says: "Americans cannot comprehend what the Iraqi people have been through for the last five, 15 or 35 years." There are hundreds of war memoirs out by now -- I rarely give them a glance, and won't bother with a list.

Daniel Friedman: Morals and Markets: An Evolutionary Account of the Modern World (2008, Palgrave Macmillan): A survey of cases where markets disconnected from morals with various ill effects. Not directly related to the latest financial crisis, but earlier ones appear to similar effect, and of course there are numerous analogous examples.

Thomas Friedman: The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century (2005, Farrar Straus and Giroux).

Thomas L Friedman: Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution -- and How It Can Renew America (2008, Farrar Straus and Giroux): More garbled clichés from the New York Times' village idiot. Looks like they copped the cover art from Hieronymous Bosch, another faux pas. A skyline shot of Sao Paulo would be much more effective.

Thomas L Friedman/Michael Mandelbaum: That Used to Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back (2011, Farrar Straus and Giroux): Two of the stupidest people in America -- Friedman needs no introduction; Mandelbaum has written his share of nonsense too, like The Case for Goliath: How America Acts as the World's Government in the 21st Century and The Frugal Superpower: America's Global Leadership in a Cash-Strapped Era.

Thomas L Friedman: Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations (2016, Farrar Straus and Giroux): Anyone who can get away with as many clichés and as much cant as Friedman must truly feel blessed. However, the very facts and trends that makes him so optimistic signify little more than mental rot to me. For more, see Matt Taibbi's review.

Howard Friel: The Lomborg Deception: Setting the Record Straight About Global Warming (2010, Yale University Press): One thing that makes me doubt Bjorn Lomberg's Skeptical Environmentalist shtick is how readily our good friends at Koch Industries reprint his arguments, especially against global warming. This may seem specialized, but Lomborg himself is a cottage industry.

David Friend: Watching the World Change: The Stories Behind the Images of 9/11 (Farrar Straus & Giroux): Mostly a day-by-day photo analysis/record of 9/11 and its immediate aftermath. I think it may be important to return to that record to see just how we were led to war. I doubt that this book does the job, but it may be a useful start.

Simon Frith, ed: The Cambridge Companion to Pop and Rock (2007-02, Cambridge University Press).

Kelly Fritsch/Clare O'Connor/AK Thompson, eds: Keywords for Radicals: The Contested Vocabulary of Late-Capitalist Struggle (paperback, 2015, AK Press): Recalling Raymond Williams' Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society (1976), the activist-editors and forty-some contributors attempt to map contemporary movements by their jargon, terminology, language. Probably a worthy undertaking, interesting to me because I opened a file recently under the same rubric, but not to explore language so much as to offer a framework for hanging short topical essays on. Williams' book goes deeper into history and etymology -- he was, after all, primarily a literary critic. Best case this one does too. Worst case it tries to codify some form of "political correctness" -- to pick a term that postdates Williams' work.

David Fromkin: A Peace to End All Peace: The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East ().

David Fromkin: Europe's Last Summer: Who Started the Great War in 1914? (paperback, 2005, Vintage Books).

David Fromkin: The King and the Cowboy: Theodore Roosevelt and Edward the Seventh, Secret Partners (2008, Penguin Press): A portrait of the two principals, centered around the Algeciras Conference of 1906 which was convened to carve up Morocco. Fromkin is a fairly important historian of the period -- his A Peace to End All Peace: The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East is the best book I know of on where all the trouble in the Middle East came from. (Looks like it will be reissued shortly in a "20th Anniversary Edition.") Fromkin also has an intriguing book called Kosovo Crossing: The Reality of American Intervention in the Balkans, written shortly after Clinton's Kosovo adventure, but a subject that resonates with the Balkan wars and Wilsonian diplomacy of Fromkin's main period.

Francis Fukuyama: The Origins of Political Order: From Prehistoric Times to the French Revolution (2011, Farrar Straus and Giroux): Big picture history of everything, from a neocon whose brain is so large he transcends history he understands virtually nothing of. His subject, "political order," is one dear to his heart: how people with power screw others without. While it's easy to make fun of him, his 1995 book might have been onto something important: Trust: The Social Virtues and the Culture of Prosperity.

Michael Fullilove: Rendezvous With Destiny: How Franklin D Roosevelt and Five Extraordinary Men Took America Into the War and Into the World (2013, Penguin Press): The "five" were envoys sent by Roosevelt to Europe to lay the foundations for the future US alliances in WWII, and ultimately the transformation of the US from isolationism to internationalism and ultimately to our hallucination of sole superpowerdom -- something that may have been more true in 1946 than in 1990 (or 2001). There has been a sudden confluence of eve-of-WWII books, including: Susan Dunn: 1940: FDR, Wilkie, Lindbergh, Hitler -- The Election Amid the Storm (2013, Yale University Press); Lynne Olson: Those Angry Days: Roosevelt, Lindbergh, and America's Fight Over World War II, 1939-1941 (2013, Random House); David L Roll: The Hopkins Touch: Harry Hopkins and the Forging of the Alliance to Defeat Hitler (2013, Oxford University Press); Maury Klein: A Call to Arms: Mobilizing America for World War II (2013, Bloomsbury Press).

Don Fulsom: Nixon's Darkest Secrets: The Inside Story of America's Most Troubled President (2012, Thomas Dunne Books): Not quite the same thing as Nixon's Greatest Crimes -- most of which were hard to keep secret, and some were even bragged about -- but related in all sorts of dark and deviously backhanded ways.

Philip J Funigiello: Chronic Politics: Health Care Security from FDR to George W Bush (2005, University Press of Kansas)

Betty Fussell: Raising Steaks: The Life and Times of American Beef (2008, Houghton Mifflin): Previously wrote The Story of Corn, the memoir My Kitchen Wars, and some cookbooks, including the one I consult when I cook jambalaya. Book on how beef is raised and processed today, with a sidetrip for bison. Ends with a handful of recipes.

Neal Gabler: Life: The Movie: How Entertainment Conquered Reality (1998; paperback, 2000, Vintage Books).

William D Gairdner: The Great Divide: Why Liberals and Conservatives Will Never, Ever Agree (2015, Encounter Books): Author is Canadian, previously wrote books like The Trouble With Canada and The Trouble With Democracy, and the publisher is right-wing, so I don't expect he comes up with much of an answer. I'd say that polarization reflects increasing inequality, which by definition means we have less in common, and that leads to less respect for one another. In a polarized society, people are less likely to compromise on the self-interest of others (unless they are compelled, so the power to do that is increasingly sought). While some of these traits are even-sided, others are asymmetrical. In particular, the right is much more fond of using force to achieve its ends (war, violence, guns, jail). On the other hand, the left is more likely to recognize the humanity of the right than vice versa: the left's definition of "us" is broadly inclusive, the right's is exclusive. And the goals are fundamentally different: the right seeks to preserve the wealth and privilege of the few, whereas the left prefers to share the wealth among all people. Gairdner may muddy this up a bit by sticking to "conservative" and "liberal" labels.

James K Galbraith: Unbearable Cost: Bush, Greenspan and the Economics of Empire (paperback, 2006, Palgrave Macmillan): An essay collection, written as the damage piled up under Bush and Greenspan. One of his main focuses has been growing inequality. He also has a new book coming out in August, tackling one of the sacred cows of economists: The Predator State: How Conservatives Abandoned the Free Market and Why Liberals Should Too.

James K Galbraith: The Predator State: How Conservatives Abandoned the Free Market and Why Liberals Should Too (2008, Free Press): I'm not sure what it means, but the first assertion in the title may help to clear the air. What I suspect is: once they seize power (as they have done), conservatives see the state as a tool for advancing their (and to a lesser extent their sponsors') interests, regardless of whatever propaganda they spewed out on the way to the top. Of course, there are other ways of looking at what they've done, such as the promotion of crony capitalism monopolies, another way their practice runs counter to free markets. Galbraith is a sharp economist; this could be a very important book. (It's already on my shelf.)

James K Galbraith: The Predator State: How Conservatives Abandoned the Free Market and Why Liberals Should Too (2008; paperback, 2009, Free Press): Give corporations the keys to the state and they'll turn it into a system for preying on people, the exact opposite of what a democratic state should do. One of the better political books to appear in the last couple of years. I need to go back and pick up my quotes.

James K Galbraith: Inequality and Instability: A Study of the World Economy Just Before the Great Crisis (2012, Oxford University Press): His last book, The Predator State: How Conservatives Abandoned the Free Market and Why Liberals Should To (2008) is my pick for the best political book of the last decade. This look to go deeper into the inequality chasm growth that preceded what he calls the Great Financial Crisis, and tries to show how one caused the other. I think that's right, and will move this to the top of my must-read list.

James K Galbraith: The End of Normal: The Great Crisis and the Future of Growth (2014, Simon & Schuster): Important book, argues that the economic growth of much of the 20th century was inflated by a tendency to replace household work (not counted as GDP) with commercial outsourcing (counted as GDP), a trend that more recently has been if anything reversed. What this means is that economic growth will be harder to achieve in the future, so policies which depend on growth to work (like slowing down the increase of inequality) will be harder to achieve or fail completely. I should say this again: I thought Galbraith's The Predator State: How Conservatives Abandoned the Free Market and Why Liberals Should Too (2008) was the best political book of the last decade.

James K Galbraith: Inequality: What Everyone Needs to Know (paperback, 2016, Oxford University Press): Galbraith's Inequality and Instability: A Study of the World Economy Just Before the Great Crisis (2012, Oxford University Press), turned out to be a dry compendium of research, meant for specialists, but this primer should be clear and compelling. He did, after all, write two of the most important (and quite accessible) political-economic books of the last decade: The Predator State: How Conservatives Abandoned the Free Market and Why Liberals Should Too (2008), and The End of Normal: The Great Crisis and the Future of Growth (2014).

James K Galbraith: Welcome to the Poisoned Chalice: The Destruction of Greece and the Future of Europe (2016, Yale University Press): America's best economist offers a view of the Euro crisis, informed by having worked as an advisor to the Syriza government in Greece. No nation suffered (or continues to suffer) more than Greece for the inflexibility of the Euro system and its rigid control by German bankers.

Peter W Galbraith, The End of Iraq: How American Incompetence Created a War Without End (Simon & Schuster). He can be an astute observer, but his intimate involvement with the Kurds poisoned his perspective and contributed to the problems.

Peter W Galbraith: Unintended Consequences: How War in Iraq Strengthened America's Enemies (2008, Simon & Schuster): A shrewd observer of the Iraq war, except for the one blind eye he turns toward the Kurds -- a group he advises on the side, and roots for coming and going, leading him to push for the break-up of Iraq into more/less independent sectarian states. He also has a background as a diplomat, which may give him a sense of "America's enemies" that isn't obvious to most Americans. Nonetheless, when he's clear of his entanglements he can be quite sharp.

Eduardo Galeano: Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent (1972; 25th anniversary edition, paperback, 1997, Monthly Review Press): Suddenly shot up to bestseller status after Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez gave Obama a copy. This is a classic account of how the US and its corporations have plundered Latin America. Amazon's reviews are divided, with 59 5-star, 49 1-star, 19 2/3/4-star. Typical 1-star review: "Now, I simply won't read it on principle. I'm tired of the blame game on America." How easy it is for some people to dismiss history by calling blame a game.

Eduardo Galeano: Children of the Days: A Calendar of Human History (2013, Nation Books): After his classic book Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent, Galeano has written a number of elliptical meta-histories -- John Berger calls them "bedtime stories -- of which this is either more or perhaps some sort of summation: a vignette for each day of the year, meant to reveal much more. Other books in this vein: Genesis: Memory of Fire, Volume 1; Faces and Masks: Memory of Fire, Volume 2; Century of the Wind: Memory of Fire, Volume 3 (all three: paperback, 2010, Nation Books); Mirrors: Stories of Almost Everyone (same); Upside Down: A Primer for the Looking-Glass World (paperback, 2001, Picador); Voices of Time: A Life in Stories (paperback, 2007, Picador).

Carlotta Gall: The Wrong Enemy: America in Afghanistan 2001-2014 (2014, Houghton Mifflin): Longtime war reporter argues that the US war in Afghanistan failed because the "real enemy" wasn't the Taliban. It was Pakistan. That's not exactly news, but it opens up more questions than it answers, and more importantly it leaves unexamined America's contribution to its own failure.

Diego Gambetta/Steffen Hertog: Engineers of Jihad: The Curious Connection Between Violent Extremism and Education (2016, Princeton University Press)

Chaim Gans: A Just Zionism: On the Morality of the Jewish State (2008, Oxford University Press): Recommended by Jerry Haber, who blogs as The Magnes Zionist, attempting to recover and continue the more judicious Zionist thinking of Joseph Magnes and Martin Buber. Gans, therefore, accepts that a Jewish state is desirable, then explores what that should mean, which often puts him at odds with the actual Jewish State.

Stephen M Gardiner: A Perfect Moral Storm: The Ethical Tragedy of Climate Change (2011, Oxford University Press): A philospher's take on the problem, seeing ignorance and inaction as a lapse in ethics, looking into geo-engineering, etc.

Lloyd C Gardner/Marilyn B Young, eds.: Iraq and the Lessons of Vietnam: Or, How Not to Learn From the Past (2007, New Press).

Lloyd C Gardner: The Long Road to Baghdad: A History of US Foreign Policy From the 1970s to the Present (2008, New Press)

Lloyd C Gardner: Three Kings: The Rise of an American Empire in the Middle East After World War II (2009, New Press): No real idea what the title refers to, but up to WWII the Middle East was ruled effectively by Britain through proxy monarchs, ranging from Farouk in Egypt to the Pahlavis in Iran. By the 1970s, the US had supplanted the British, and that's the point of this book. This follows, or perhaps fills in the background for, Gardner's recent The Long Road to Baghdad: A History of US Foreign Policy From the 1970s to the Present (New Press).

Norton Garfinkle: The American Dream vs. The Gospel of Wealth: The Fight for a Productive Middle-Class Economy (paperback, 2007, Yale University Press): Why settle for middle class when you can have a slight chance of becoming rich? That's the question Americans have been gambling on the last few decades. Same years casino gambling has been spreading: good practice at losing.

Anne Garrels: Putin Country: A Journey Into the Real Russia (2016, Farrar Straus and Giroux): Before jumping to conclusions about Russia's president, perhaps a good idea to look at Russia itself. This focuses on Chelyabinsk, a city deep in Siberia best known as one of the centers of the Soviet Union's nuclear weapons program. Garrels is an NPR correspondent who spent several years in occupied Baghdad -- see Naked in Baghdad: The Iraq War and the Aftermath as Seen by NPR's Correspondent Ann Garrels (2003; paperback, 2004, Picador). Other recent books on Russia and/or Putin (aside from Satter, which I treat separately): Charles Clover: Black Wind, White Snow: The Rise of Russia's New Nationalism (2016, Yale University Press); Karen Dawiska: Putin's Kleptocracy: Who Owns Russia? (2014; paperback, 2015, Simon & Schuster); Steven Lee Myers: The New Tsar: The Rise and Reign of Vladimir Putin (2015, Knopf; paperback, 2016, Vintage Books); Mikhail Zygar: All the Kremlin's Men: Inside the Court of Vladimir Putin (2016, Public Affairs).

Brandon L Garrett: Convicting the Innocent: Where Criminal Prosecutions Go Wrong (2011; paperback, 2012, Harvard University Press): DNA evidence has shown that quite a few innocent people have been convicted of serious crimes. Analyzing those cases should help identify how the justice system gets it wrong and winds up creating injustice. Other recent books on this: Jim Petro/Nancy Petro: False Justice: Eight Myths That Convict the Innocent (2011, Kaplan); Daniel S Medwed: Prosecution Complex: America's Race to Convict and Its Impact on the Innocent (2012, NYU Press).

Brandon L Garrett: Too Big to Jail: How Prosecutors Compromise With Corporations (2014, Belknap Press): Although we've lately seen some large fines, none of the people who wrecked the economy in 2008 (except Bernie Madoff, I guess) have been so much as threatened with jail terms -- surprising given the magnitude of fraud in some of the cases.

Laurie Garrett: Betrayal of Trust: The Collapse of Global Public Health (2000; paperback, 2001, Hyperion)

Arthur Garson/Carolyn L Engelhard: Health Care Half Truths: Too Many Myths, Not Enough Reality (2007, Rowman & Littlefield)

Barbara Garson: Down the Up Escalator: How the 99 Percent Live in the Great Recession (2013, Doubleday): Not very well, but most working people have been practicing for the downfall for decades, as companies have squeezed them, cut down on benefits and kept up the pressure for more hours and more productivity. Garson talks of a "long recession" dating back to around 1970.

Charles Gasparino: The Sellout: How Three Decades of Wall Street Greed and Government Mismanagement Destroyed the Global Financial System (2009, Harper Collins): CNBC personality blames it all on Wall Street's embrace of risk.

Charles Gasparino: Circle of Friends: The Massive Federal Crackdown on Insider Trading -- and Why the Markets Always Work Against the Little Guy (2013, Harper Business): Fox business analyst, which is probably where the "massive federal crackdown" rhetoric comes from. More dirt on the Galleon Group case, which is probably better covered by Anita Raghavan: The Billionaire's Apprentice and Turney Duff: The Buy Side. Gasparino previously wrote Bought and Paid For: The Unholy Alliance Between Barack Obama and Wall Street, which is true enough, but hardly the only "unholy alliance" Wall Street has.

William H Gass: Life Sentences: Literary Judgments and Accounts (2012, Knopf): Scattered literary essays by the philosopher-aesthete. I took a course from him once and came to regard him as an intellectual fraud, but he can turn a delicious phrase when he has a mind to.

Atul Gawande: Complications: A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science (2002; paperback, 2003, Picador): Has a useful discussion of malpractice issues.

Atul Gawande, Better: A Surgeon's Notes on Performance (Metropolitan Books): His previous essay collection, Complications, turned out to be a pretty useful book, especially for thinking about malpractice issues, and well written as well. This is evidently more of the same.

Atul Gawande: The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right (2009, Metropolitan): Surgeon-writer, has written a couple of good books and some good essays on practicing his craft, especially on learning to do it better. Argues that checklists not only help but are essential for not screwing up, especially in complex, harried tasks, which include but are hardly limited to surgery.

Atul Gawande: Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End (2014, Metropolitan Books): Surgeon, has written several eloquent books on his craft, the health care industry, and sometimes how they don't mesh very well. For instance, hospitals often spend a lot of time and effort (for a lot of money) doing fruitless procedures on people who are dying anyway, often causing more suffering than they can alleviate.

Peter Gay: Modernism: The Lure of Heresy (2007, WW Norton): Another big (640 pages) book not big enough for its subject. I've seen it said that anyone who reads this and Alex Ross' The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century deserves an advanced degree. I remember buying a copy of Gay's The Enlightenment: An Interpretation: The Rise of Modern Paganism when it first came out in paperback back around 1967-68, lauded with all sorts of prizes. Never finished it.

Lily Geismer: Don't Blame Us: Suburban Liberals and the Transformation of the Democratic Party (2015, Princeton University Press): Focuses on the high-tech corridor of Route 128 around Boston, but that's just part of a more general movement, as the Democrats have embraced socially liberal professionals, especially in high-tech, to make up for their losses of unionized workers -- indeed, they've aided and abetted the destruction of unions in part because there's more money in professionals and similarly-minded businesses.

Charles R Geisst: Collateral Damaged: The Marketing of Consumer Debt to America (2009, Bloomberg Press): Credit cards, one of the leading vehicles for modern usury; how they have been marketed, how ordinary Americans have piled up hereto unimaginable levels of debt. Geisst has many banking books: one I missed in my round up was Undue Influence: How the Wall Street Elite Puts the Financial System at Risk. Main reason I missed it was that it came out in 2004.

Timothy F Geithner: Stress Test: Reflections on Financial Crises (2014, Crown): Obama's Secretary of the Treasury was already deeply involved in the struggle to save the big banks as head of the New York Fed in 2008. I doubt he has much to say about other financial crises, but for the one he experienced first hand he's happy to take credit for saving not only the banks but the bankers who ran them into the ground. As for the rest of the economy, well, that's more complicated, and as far as I can tell not something Geithner reflects on much, or even cares about.

Leslie H Gelb: Power Rules: How Common Sense Can Rescue American Foreign Policy (2009, Harper Collins): One of those select foreign policy mandarins who figures his vast experience qualifies him to tell us how to run the world. You'd think that his previous book, The Irony of Vietnam: The System Worked, would have permanently put him out to pasture.

David Gelernter, Americanism: The Fourth Great Western Religion (Doubleday): I've generally avoided listing examples from the enemy, and this is certainly suspicious with advance praise from William Bennett and Norman Podhoretz, but the idea of Americanism as religion has some attraction, even if it's likely to be misguided. Gelernter's argument that Americanism is "in fact a secular version of Zionism" is pretty scary, but maybe it helps explain what is otherwise simply bizarre.

David Gelernter: Americanism: The Fourth Great Western Religion (2007, Doubleday): Looks like a horrifying piece of patriotic onanism, but the very conceit -- not least the idea that America was the original Zionist chosen land -- clarifies an attitude that is otherwise hard to fathom. American imperialism makes so much more sense when you realize that we believe that the rest of the world is just yearning to worship us.

Nicole Gelinas: After the Fall: Saving Capitalism from Wall Street -- and Washington (2009, Encounter): Looks like a brief for deeper and more effective regulation, although Amazon seems to be bundling it with conservative books, some utterly nonsensical -- probably the publisher.

Robert Gellately: Stalin's Curse: Battling for Communism in War and Cold War (2013, Knopf): Claims access to newly declassified documents tracking Stalin's strategic moves as head of Comintern and the Soviet Union, although the assumption that his regime's power interests had anything to do with communism is far-fetched and annoying. Gellately blames the Cold War on Stalin, ignoring the fact that conflict existed only if you grant that the US had interests that conflicted with Stalin's interests -- the pre-WWII "isolationist" US would have made no such claims.

Pamela Geller/Robert Spencer: The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration's War on America (2010, Threshold Editions): The usual right-wing talking points, wrapped in fabulously great hyperbole.

Andrew Gelman: Red State, Blue State, Rich State, Poor State: Why Americans Vote the Way They Do (2008, Princeton University Press): Examines why Democrats win in most relatively wealthy states while Republicans win in most relatively poor states, despite the fact that rich people overwhelmingly vote Republican, and poor people primarily vote Democrat.

Barton Gellman: Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency (2008; paperback, 2009, Penguin): Standard biography, at least for the eight years when Cheney was the worst vice-president in history. Does a good job of showing how Cheney was able to grab power early in the Bush regime. Also suggests that he lost his grip after the downfall of Scooter Libby, although it was also true that he was losing his grip on staffing more generally, and that he suffered some degradation due to what you might call job performance. I read this, but haven't typed my notes up yet.

Elizabeth Fox Genovese/Eugene D Genovese: Slavery in White and Black: Class and Race in the Southern Slaveholders' New World Order (paperback, 2008, Cambridge University Press): Sums up what started as an innovative Marxist analysis of the slave South and turned into what? -- some kind of celebration of the slaveholders' conservative anticapitalism? I read Genovese early on and he had a big impact on my thinking. I understand he veered far to the right around 1990, but don't know what that was about. This looks much like another late book, The Mind of the Master Class: History and Faith in the Southern Slaveholders' Worldview.

Thomas Geoghegan: See You in Court: How the Right Made America a Lawsuit Nation (2007; paperback, 2009, New Press): Somewhat surprising given how much the right likes to rail on trial lawyers, but "tort reform" is just a mop-up action. The damage to ordinary people's right is forcing them into court, where the well heeled have all sorts of advantages. Not sure how well this holds up, but the basic idea seems well founded.

Thomas Geoghegan: Were You Born on the Wrong Continent?: How the European Model Can Help You Get a Life (2010, New Press): Labor lawyer -- I read his memoir, Which Side Are You On? Trying to Be for Labor When It's Flat on Its Back when it came out in 1991; seemed like an accidental leftist at the time. Five books later, he's looking for a better way of living, and finding some answers in Europe, specifically in Germany.

Thomas Geoghegan: Only One Thing Can Save Us: Why America Needs a New Kind of Labor Movement (2014, New Press): Labor lawyer, first book was a fine memoir -- Which Side Are You On? Trying to Be for Labor When It's Flat on Its Back (1991) -- then a few books more narrowly on law before he wrote an eye-opening book on the German welfare state, Were You Born on the Wrong Continent? (2011). This seems to be more of a political manifesto, and while I'm skeptical that unions are going to save us, I'm not going to reject any of his arguments out of hand. Next up on my reading table.

Rose George: Ninety Percent of Everything: Inside Shipping, the Invisible Industry That Puts Clothes on Your Back, Gas in Your Car, and Food on Your Plate (paperback, 2014, Picador): One of those books on basic, everyday life, and the technology and business that makes it possible. Author previously tried this with another important topic: The Big Necessity: The Unmentionable World of Human Waste and Why It Matters (2008).

Jim Geraghty, Voting to Kill: How 9/11 Launched the Era of Republican Leadership (Touchstone, paperback). This at least revels in the right's pathology.

David A Gerber: American Immigration: A Very Short Introduction (paperback, 2011, Oxford University Press).

Fawaz A Gerges, America and Political Islam: Clash of Cultures or Clash of Interests? (paperback, 1999, Cambridge University Press)

Fawaz A Gerges, Journey of the Jihadist: Inside Muslim Militancy (2006; paperback, 2007, Harcourt).

Fawaz A Gerges, The Far Enemy: Why Jihad Went Global (2005; 2nd ed, 2009, Cambridge University Press)

Fawaz A Gerges: Obama and the Middle East: The End of America's Moment? (2012, Palgrave Macmillan): Moment to do what? The US hasn't had a moment to do anything constructive in the Middle East since 1991, when defeating Saddam Hussein led to the Madrid talks on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but even then Bush was too hamstrung by the Saudis on one side and the Israelis on the other, with festering wounds in Iraq and Iran unsettled. Obama made some concessions to Arab Spring, but ultimately couldn't support it, because the goal there would not just be to make the Arab world more democratic and prosperous but also more independent of the US.

Fawaz A Gerges: A History of ISIS (2016, Princeton University Press)

Jack W Germond: Fat Man Fed Up: How American Politics Went Bad (2004, Random House).

Andre Gerolymatos: Castles Made of Sand: A Century of Anglo-American Espionage and Intervention in the Middle East (2010, St Martin's Press): Britain literally handed their assets over the the US around 1970, so the Anglo-American continuity is even better established here than elsewhere. The motives of the two empires were slightly different, except as regards greed for oil. Hard to say who made the greater cock-up, but the arrogance and folly never ends.

Marc Gerstein/Michael Ellsberg: Flirting With Disaster: Why Accidents Are Rarely Accidental (2008, Union Square Press): Examples include Chernobyl and Katrina, Vioxx, the Iraq War, Arthur Andersen/Enron, the 1994 Mexican peso crisis, a half dozen more. Gerstein's a management consultant. Ellsberg's an editor who helped his father publish the Pentagon Papers -- the father adds an introduction nominating Vietnam for the list. I'm on record as saying that how we handle disasters will be the most important political issue of the next few decades -- anticipating and preventing disasters looks like too tall an order, but understanding them when they happen is essential. This looks like a good place to start.

Gary Gerstle: Liberty and Coercion: The Paradox of American Government From the Founding to the Present (2015, Princeton University Press): A history of America refracted through a pair of concepts about governmental power. Funny thing is that the people who talk the most about liberty are often the same ones most eager to use the power of the state to impose their will on a reluctant citizenry. Gerstle previously wrote the similarly sweeping American Crucible: Race and Nation in the Twentieth Century.

Bill Gertz, Enemies: How America's Foes Steal Our Vital Secrets -- And How We Let it Happen (Crown). Previous books: Breakdown; The China Threat; Betrayal; Treachery: How America's Friends and Foes Are Secretly Arming Our Enemies.

John Geyman: Falling Through the Safety Net: Americans Without Health Insurance (paperback, 2003, Common Courage Press)

John P Geyman: The Corporate Transformation of Health Care: Can the Public Interest Still Be Served? (paperback, 2004, Springer)

John Geyman: Shredding the Social Contract: The Privatization of Medicare (paperback, 2006, Common Courage Press)

John Geyman/Marcia Angell: The Corrosion of Medicine: Can the Profession Reclaim Its Moral Legacy? (paperback, 2007, Common Courage Press)

John Geyman: Do Not Resuscitate: Why the Health Insurance Industry is Dying, and How We Must Replace It (paperback, 2009, Common Courage Press): Author is an MD, a professor emeritus of family medicine, active in Physicians for a National Health Program, and has written previous books like The Corrosion of Medicine: Can the Profession Reclaim Its Moral Legacy? One thing of interest here is that he not only looks at the usual suspects, he takes a close look at compromise reform plans like the Massachusetts mandate, and finds them inadequate too.

John Geyman: Hijacked: The Road to Single Payer in the Aftermath of Stolen Health Care Reform (paperback, 2010, Common Courage Press): Doctor, prominent in PNHP (Physicians for a National Health Program), has written a series of books on how the practice of medicine has been corrupted by corporate interests. Argues that Obama's reform act is just another instance of this.

John Geyman: Breaking Point: How the Primary Care Crisis Endangers the Lives of Americans (paperback, 2011, Copernicus Healthcare): Longtime critic of America's health care racket, a doctor and advocate for single-payer health insurance, turns his attention to the increasingly lost art of primary care.

John Ghazvinian: Untapped: The Scramble for Africa's Oil (2007, Harcourt): A report on the oil industry in Africa, especially Nigeria and Angola. Don't know how deep he goes, but the political strife over Nigeria's oil is certainly easy enough to find. The interests of the US and China are also obvious. [Paperback April 14]

Susan Giaimo: Markets and Medicine: The Politics of Health Care Reform in Britain, Germany, and the United States (2002, University of Michigan Press)

David N Gibbs: First Do No Harm: Humanitarian Intervention and the Destruction of Yugoslavia (paperback, 2009, Vanderbilt University Press): Another critical book on the US intervention in Yugoslavia, and evidently one of the best. A lot of strange things about those wars, not to mention apologists and advocates like Samantha Powers.

Bruce Cannon Gibney: A Generation of Sociopaths: How the Baby Boomers Betrayed America (2017, Hachette): Author is a venture capitalist, a guy who made a fortune mostly betting on high-tech start ups, so it's rather ripe for him to blame a whole generation for the short-sighted squandering of the unprecedented wealth many Americans enjoyed after the Great Depression and WWII. He berates "a generation whose reckless self-indulgence degraded the foundations of American prosperity . . . [who] ruthlessly enriched themselves as the expense of future generations . . . turned American dynamism into stagnation, inequality, and bipartisan fiasco." That all happened, and I think it is fair to say that the Boomer generation, which grew up with postwar prosperity and its focus on individual freedom was further removed from the previous generation than is generally the case, but those effects the author describes as sociopathic were just one political strain in a broad spectrum, that of the resurgent right-wing and its promotion of often predatory greed. Perhaps the author has some other political agenda, but offhand this looks like he's representative of the rarefied class that captured the nation's wealth then blamed the less fortunate for their "entitlements." Just who are the real sociopaths here?

DW Gibson: Not Working: People Talk About Losing a Job and Finding Their Way in Today's Economy (paperback, 2012, Penguin Books): A collection of interviews, some 480 pp, about just that -- reviewers compare this to Studs Terkel's Working, and to James Agee, high praise indeed. My own view of getting fired is that it's increasingly often like getting shot down by a random sniper -- you have little sense of it coming, it seems to single you out in a way that leaves you very isolated (and often feeling somewhat guilty), and in an instant you lose something you may never be able to put back together again. (In some ways that describes me after I was fired by SCO, although I had more of a safety net than most folks do.) Sure, there are differences: getting fired in America today is not a random act -- some people, including old guys like me, are statistically more likely to get hit -- nor is it an isolated act -- public policies that promote (or simply permit) mergers, union busting, outsourcing or offshoring of jobs, or other forms of corporate predation often result in mass firings.

DW Gibson: The Edge Becomes the Center: An Oral History of Gentrification in the Twenty-First Century (2015, Overlook Press): More interviews, but where the author's previous Not Working traveled around the country to focus on how getting sacked affects a wide range of people, here he focuses on one city (New York City, of course) and a phenomenon that affects people in various ways (although higher rent is one common denominator).

John Gibson: How the Left Swiftboated America: The Liberal Media Conspiracy to Make You Think George Bush Was the Worst President in History (2009, Harper Collins): Funniest book title of late. I especially love the list of things the left misrepresented Bush on: "his response to 9/11, the Iraq War, warrantless wiretapping, enhanced interrogation techniques, the Surge, uranium from Niger, the number of deaths in Iraq, the federal response to Katrina, and much, much more." Gibson claims that "Bush's performance was much better than most people now believe." Imagine that.

Rosemary Gibson/Janardan Prasad Singh: Medicare Meltdown: How Wall Street and Washington Are Ruining Medicare and How to Fix It (2013, Rowman & Littlefield): Given the alternatives it's tempting to give Medicare a free pass, but the program isn't immune from the profit-driven US healthcare industry, and the greed of the latter is as much a threat as the political right. So this is a real problem, but I'm not sure this book is much of a solution. Thumbing through it, the "Fifteen Medicare Facts That Will Astonish You" are mostly astonishing for their abuse of statistics. Gibson and Prasad also wrote Wall of Silence: The Untold Story of the Medical Mistakes That Kill and Injure Millions of Americans (2003, Lifeline Press), The Treatment Trap: How the Overuse of Medical Care Is Wrecking Your Health and What You Can Do to Prevent It (2011, Ivan R Dee), and The Battle Over Health Care: What Obama's Reform Means for America's Future (2012, Rowman & Littlefield).

Gary Giddins, Natural Selection: Gary Giddins on Comedy, Film, Music, and Books (2006; paperback, 2008, Oxford University Press): Less on music, I think, and much already familiar. One of the great critics of our times.

Gary Giddins/Scott DeVeaux: Jazz (2009, WW Norton): This takes a bunch of famous jazz performances and tears them apart measure by measure, sometimes note by note. The technical level is way too much for me, but Giddins is one of the essential critics of our age, so I figured I had to pick up a copy. The records are also available in a 4-CD, evidently drawing on the Sony catalog, running about $60. I'd be real surprised if there's anything there I don't have somewhere, so it might be a good mixtape project -- when/if I get the nerve to delve deeper.

Gary Giddins: Warning Shadows: Home Alone With Classic Cinema (paperback, 2010, WW Norton): Mostly a collection of short DVD reviews. Best known as a jazz critic, Giddins has dabbled in film reviews for quite a while.

Rob Gifford: China Road: A Journey into the Future of a Rising Power (paperback, 2008, Random House): Travel book, cuts through a cross section of China from Shanghai to Kazakhstan on China's Mother Road, Route 312.

Naeim Giladi: Ben-Gurion's Scandals: How the Haganah and the Mossad Eliminated Jews (paperback, 2003, Dandelion): Written by an Iraqi Jew, whose starting point was the desire to expose how the Mossad orchestrated the transfer of Iraqi Jews to Israel, which among other things involved promoting the threat of Arab pogroms to motivate Jews to immigrate to Israel. I've never seen much detail about this history, although there is no doubt that Ben-Gurion was ruthless in pursuing his demographic goals, ranging from negotiating with the Nazis to deliver Jews to organizing Mossad to penetrate the Arab world to ordering the expulsion of Palestinians during the 1948 war.

Mark Gilbert: Complicit: How Greed and Collusion Made the Credit Crisis Unstoppable (2010, Bloomberg Press): "Greed, stupidity, and hubris" -- sure, all those factors are endemic in the banking world, and maybe we should do something about that (not that I see much interest in or hope for disparaging greed systemwide), but the bit about collusion is more interesting and possibly more fateful. Gilbert reported for Bloomberg from London. All Amazon reviews are raves, and Nomi Prins praises this short (192 pp) book.

Martin Gilbert: In Ishmael's House: A History of Jews in Muslim Lands (2010, Yale University Press): Churchill biographer, Israel-friendly, combined those biases to write Churchill and the Jews: A Lifelong Friendship, which wasn't exactly true even if you think Churchill's Zionism was good for the Jews. There are numerous Israeli books that seek to hype up Islamic discrimination against Jews, both to give Mizrahi Jews a sense of historical oppression comparable to that of European Jews and to read the Israeli-Arab conflict back into the past. On the other hand, I don't get the sense that a contrary views, like Zachary Karabell's Peace Be Upon You: Fourteen Centuries of Muslim, Christian, and Jewish Coexistence in the Middle East (2007, Knopf), while more correct overall, glosses over a lot of dirt. Gilbert's book may be a useful historical corrective to both ends, although I suspect he has his own political ends.

George Gilder: The Israel Test (2009, Richard Vigilante): Do you have what it takes to uncritically support Israel? Can you write: "Tiny Israel stands behind only the United States in its contributions to the hi-tech economy. Israel has become the world's paramount example of the blessings of freedom." Or do you prefer "murderous regimes sustained by envy and Nazi ideology" and "a Marxist zero-sum-game theory of economics [which] has fueled the anti-Semitic ranting of Hitler, Arafat, bin Laden and history's other notorious haters"? I mean, if you have any second thoughts about Israel, how can we be sure you'll line up for all the other Middle East wars we have lined up?

Louisa Gilder: The Age of Entanglement: When Quantum Physics Was Reborn (2008, Knopf): Focuses on the further implications of quantum theory which started appearing with Bell's Theorem in 1964, the work of David Bohm, etc. Some fascinating science there, but I've never made much sense out of it, and too often it gets spun into a weird form of mysticism.

Paul Gilding: The Great Disruption: Why the Climate Crisis Will Bring On the End of Shopping and the Birth of a New World (2011, Bloomsbury Press): Former Greenpeace director, tryies to lay out a schemes for a sustainable economy that can survive not just global warming but all the other resource constraint issues facing us.

Martin Gilens: Affluence & Influence: Economic Inequality and Political Power in America (2012, Princeton University Press): Another book on the effects of growing income inequality in the US, an effect that is not just reflected but amplified in terms of political power. Previously wrote Why Americans Hate Welfare: Race, Media, and the Politics of Antipoverty Policy (1999; paperback, 2000, University of Chicago Press).

John Gillespie/David Zweig: Money for Nothing: How the Failure of Corporate Boards Is Ruining American Business and Costing Us Trillions (2010, Free Press): A couple of investment bankers put much of the blame for the financial crisis and plenty more on corporate boards. Reminds me of the low esteen Robert Townsend (Further Up the Organization) had for boards.

Steven M Gillon: The Pact: Bill Clinton, Newt Gingrich, and the Rivalry that Defined a Generation (2008, Oxford University Press): Not sure what generation Gillon has in mind; mine was more disgusted than defined. As for the "pact": evidently Clinton and Gingrich were on the verge of making some bipartisan (or counterpartisan) deal on Social Security and Medicare in 1997, which got derailed by more pressing matters (Monica Lewinsky). Sounds like a few blow jobs and a splattered dress were all that saved us.

Glenda Elizabeth Gilmore: Defying Dixie: The Radical Roots of Civil Rights, 1919-1950 (2008, WW Norton): Later on civil rights came to be seen as a liberal movement, but before WWII only radicals (principally Communists) stuck their necks out (at least among whites). That history needs to be told, because like the so-called "premature antifascists" who opposed Franco, they were right.

Glenda Elizabeth Gilmore: Defying Dixie: The Radical Roots of Civil Rights, 1919-1950 (2008; paperback, 2009, WW Norton): A long, detailed history of the few white people who stood up for civil rights before it became fashionable among post-WWII liberals: communists, socialists, radicals. You might call them "premature antiracists" -- it's important to recognize them because they've always been the first people to stand up for human rights.

John Gimlette, Theatre of Fish: Travels Through Newfoundland and Labrador (2006-11, Knopf, paperback).

Benjamin Ginsberg: The Worth of War (2014, Prometheus): Most recently wrote The Value of Violence (2013, Prometheus), so this is a sequel as well as a doubling down. His arguments are much like those who delight in the "creative destruction" of capitalism, except with more blood and guts. Still, in both cases, what makes the argument sanitary is that the violence/war he praises is comfortably in the past ("few today would trade our current situation for the alternative had our forefathers not resorted to the violence of the American Revolution and the Civil War"). Maybe he has something more in mind -- he does see that the modern state is rife with implicit violence ("the police, prisons, and the power of the bureaucratic state to coerce and manipulate"), and he's right that we are less free of violence than we'd like to think, but by rationalizing war instead of rejecting it, he's not doing us any favors. He's written many other books, mostly anti-government tracts like The Captive Public: How Mass Opinion Promotes State Power (1986), but also: How the Jews Defeated Hitler: Exploding the Myth of Jewish Passivity in the Face of Nazism (2013, Rowman & Littlefield). I have no idea how he makes the leap from his subtitle to his title, but it's kind of like noting a few worthwhile technical advancements that were developed during a war and concluding that war is a good thing.

Henry A Giroux: America's Education Deficit and the War on Youth: Reform Beyond Electoral Politics (2013, Monthly Review Press): Blames "four fundamentalisms: market deregulation, patriotic and religious fervor, the instrumentalization of education, and the militarization of society." The other three are right-wing ideology, but the third is less a theory than a consequence. Conservatives want to shift the responsibility for success from society to the individual, which means there will be less wealth and what there is spread more inequitably. They figure this to be a good thing: if success is rarer we should appreciate it, and the virtues that help individuals accumulate it, more, but the net effect is to create a declining economy where education becomes an ever more dear tool. That strikes me as less a "war on youth" than gross indifference to the future of civilization. Giroux has also written: Disposable Youth: Racialized Memories, and the Culture of Cruelty (paperback, 2012, Routledge), and Youth in Revolt: Reclaiming a Democratic Future (paperback, 2013, Paradigm).

Henry A Giroux: The Violence of Organized Forgetting: Thinking Beyond America's Disimagination Machine (paperback, 2014, City Lights): Canadian educator and culture critic, has written books like Zombie Politics and Culture in the Age of Casino Capitalism (2011, Peter Lang). Essays include "America's Descent Into Madness" -- "The stories it now tells are filled with cruelty, deceit, lies, and legitimate all manner of corruption and mayhem. The mainstream media spin stories that are largely racist, violent, and irresponsible -- stories that celebrate power and demonize victims, all the while camouflaging their pedagogical influence under the glossy veneer of entertainment" -- and "The Vanishing Point of US Democracy."

Henry A Giroux: America at War With Itself (paperback, 2016, City Lights Press)

Todd Gitlin/Liel Leibovitz: The Chosen Peoples: America, Israel, and the Ordeals of Divine Election (2010, Simon & Schuster)

Antonio Giustozzi: Koran, Kalashnikov, and Laptop: The Neo-Taliban Insurgency in Afghanistan (paperback, 2009, Columbia University Press): Promises a great deal of detail on how the neo-Taliban works, but I suspect it's still sketchy, and I'm not sure how the author got what he got.

Antonio Giustozzi: Empires of Mud: Wars and Warlords of Afghanistan (2009, Columbia University Press): Not sure that the warlord side of the Afghan equation is any easier to research than the Taliban side. Ismail Khan and Abdul Rashid Dostum are prominent subjects here.

Tom Gjelten: Bacardi and the Long Fight for Cuba: The Biography of a Cause (2008, Viking): A portrait of the rum barons as benevolent capitalists in the old Cuba, cast by Castro out of their country to exile in Miami, whereupon they started financing the good fight against the bad revolution.

Tom Gjelten: A Nation of Nations: A Great American Immigration Story (paperback, 2016, Simon & Schuster): Focuses on Fairfax County, Virginia, an area which has been significantly changed since the Immigration Reform Act of 1965.

Malcolm Gladwell: Outliers: The Story of Success (2008, Little Brown): Bestselling author, known for piquant insights. Dull but presumably marketable subject.

Malcolm Gladwell: David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants (2013, Little Brown): Stories showing how underdogs can leverage their weakness to get ahead, or something like that. I don't have a strong opinion on him one way or the other: he has a knack for making trivial points, and a great fondness of success even when it's pretty superficial, but sometimes he runs across something interesting or important and he's rarely stupid or inelegant about it.

Aaron Glantz: How America Lost Iraq (2005, Jeremy P Tarcher).

Aaron Glantz: Winter Soldier: Iraq and Afghanistan: Eyewitness Accounts of the Occupations (paperback, 2008, Haymarket Books): Reports from US soldiers who took part in Iraq and Afghanistan, from hearings held by Iraq Veterans Against the War. Glantz previously wrote How America Lost Iraq, the first of several books on that theme.

Aaron Glantz: The War Comes Home: Washington's Battle Against America's Veterans (2009, University of California Press): Follows US veterans home after previously writing Winter Soldier: Iraq and Afghanistan: Eyewitness Accounts of the Occupations, and before that How America Lost Iraq, which I recall as the first book to figure that out.

Barry Glassner: The Gospel of Food: Why We Should Stop Worrying and Enjoy What We Eat (paperback, 2007, Harper Perennial): Saw this right next to Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto -- don't know how redundant they are. I have Glassner's previous book on the shelf but never got around to it: The Culture of Fear: Why Americans Are Afraid of the Wrong Things.

Ronald J Glasser: Broken Bodies Shattered Minds: A Medical Odyssey From Vietnam to Afghanistan (paperback, 2011, History Publishing): Forty years of war, written by a doctor whose 365 Days is considered a classic on Vietnam, updated for Iraq and Afghanistan, which mostly means IEDs.

James Gleick: Faster: The Acceleration of Just About Everything (paperback, 2000, Vintage).

James Gleick: What Just Happened: A Chronicle of the Information Frontier (paperback, 2003, Vintage).

James Gleick: The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood (2011, Pantheon): The journalist who hipped everyone to chaos theory digs up something less novel: information theory -- or maybe it's just that I've been reading about Claude Shannon, Alan Turing, Norbert Wiener, and John Von Neumann for decades now. I was much impressed with Gleick's Chaos and his Feynman biography Genius, but thought he wrote Faster a bit too fast. He should have come up with more than he did there.

Misha Glenny: The Balkans: Nationalism, War & the Great Powers ().

Misha Glenny: McMafia: A Journey Through the Global Criminal Underworld (2008, Knopf): Journalist, started covering the wars in Yugoslavia then backed up and wrote a very good history, The Balkans: Nationalism, War & the Great Powers, 1804-1999. Back to the present here, covering organized crime, especially in the former Soviet Union.

Caroline B Glick: The Israeli Solution: A One-State Plan for Peace in the Middle East (2014, Crown Forum): Not a single state in Israel/Palestine where everyone lives with equal rights under equitable laws, though Glick dresses up Jewish dominance in various guises, including her claim that census data "wildly exaggerated the numbers of Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza." So this does start to shift away from the "two-state solution" that gets so much lip service but no actual support from liberal Zionists, including virtually all American politicians.

Peter Godwin: When a Crocodile Eats the Sun: A Memoir of Africa (2007, Little Brown).

William N Goetzmann: Money Changes Everything: How Finance Made Civilization Possible (2016, Princeton University Press)

Stan Goff: Full Spectrum Disorder ().

Indur Goklany, The Improving State of the World: Why We're Living Longer, Healthier, More Comfortable Lives on a Cleaner Planet (2007-01, Cato Institute, paperback).

Tanya Maria Golash-Boza: Forced Out and Fenced In: Immigration Tales From the Field (paperback, 2017, Oxford University Press).

Philip Gold: Take Back the Right: How the Neocons and the Religious Right Have Betrayed the Conservative Movement (paperback, 2004, Carroll & Graf).

Russell Gold: The Boom: How Fracking Ignited the American Energy Revolution and Changed the World (2014, Simon & Schuster): It's long been known that you can boost oil production by pumping liquids into oil fields to force the oil toward the producing wells. That's been done in Saudi Arabia since the 1940s, but hasn't been cost-effective in the US until recently. Hydraulic fracturing goes a step further, opening up oil- (and gas-) saturated shales that otherwise would be too dense to produce. The US has a lot of gas-shale, and that's the base for the so-called boom. US oil production has been diminishing since its peak in 1969, and we're seeing similar limits and declines all around the world -- a phenomenon that validates the "peak oil" hypothesis. Fracking, therefore, to some observers looks like a reversal of the laws of physics rather than just the next increasingly-expensive recovery methods. My view is that the boom is temporary, and that in the US in particular, where there is so little effort aimed at conserving petroleum resources, it's something that we'll burn through pretty quickly (while depositing all that greenhouse gas in the atmosphere, trapping solar energy and cooking the planet). Other recent books (2014 unless noted): Ezra Levant: Groundswell: The Case for Fracking (Signal); Michael Levi: The Power Surge: Energy, Opportunity, and the Battle for America's Future (2013, Oxford University Press); Alex Prudhomme: Hydrofracking: What Everyone Needs to Know (paperback, 2013, Oxford University Press); George Zuckerman: The Frackers: The Outrageous Inside Story of the New Billionaire Wildcatters (2013, Portfolio); but also see: Walter M Brasch: Fracking Pennsylvania: Flirting With Disaster (paperback, Greeley & Stone); and Richard Heinberg: Snake Oil: How Fracking's False Promise of Plenty Imperils Our Future (paperback, 2013, Post Carbon Institute).

Victor Gold, Ivasion of the Party Snatchers: How the Holy-Rollers and the Neo-Cons Destroyed the GOP (Sourcebooks): This looks to be the most entertaining of several recent books taking aim at the Busheviks from their right flank -- John Dean's Conservatives Without Conscience is another.

Bernard Goldberg: A Slobbering Love Affair: The True (and Pathetic) Story of the Torrid Romance Between Barack Obama and the Mainstream Media (2009, Regnery): Front cover also includes "presents" after Goldberg, and "Starring Barack Obama" below the title line. When in doubt, blame the media. The same thing could have been written about McCain, Bush, or Reagan -- on any of those a more judicious writer than Goldberg still would have had little trouble topping the 184 pages behind this quickie.

Jeffrey Goldberg, Prisoners: A Muslim and a Jew Across the Middle East Divide (Knopf).

Jonah Goldberg: Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning (2008, Doubleday): Seems like it should be a joke, but this book has improbably wound up on top of bestseller lists. The title isn't very clear: is "liberal" an adjective here? or just an expletive? The argument seems to be transitive: that liberals are fascists, and vice versa. (Chapter titles include "Hitler: Man of the Left" and "Brave New Village: Hillary Clinton and the Meaning of Liberal Fascism"). The point may be to trivialize the word "fascist" as a political epithet. That obviously benefits conservatives like Goldberg more than anyone else.

Jonah Goldberg: The Tyranny of Clichés: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas (2012, Sentinel HC): More from the guy who taught you that Fascism is friendly. Of course, liberals cheat: they use facts, logic, argue for the public good, advocate change in favor of greater fairness and more equal opportunity. And they don't go around calling people Fascists, except when they are.

Michelle Goldberg: Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism (2006, WW Norton).

Michelle Goldberg: The Means of Reproduction: Sex, Power, and the Future of the World (2009, Penguin Press): Author previously wrote Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism. In other words, Goldberg is following up her fearful investigation of right-wing Christianity by delving into what those same Christians are most fearful of: sex. That's a welcome change from the moderate tendency to backpeddle whenever confronted, a tendency that has as much as conceded this issue, forgetting how critical it really is.

Frances Goldin/Debby Smith/Michael Steven Smith, eds: Living in a Socialist USA (paperback, 2014, Harper Perennial): A mixed bag of essays, none afraid of the "S-word" but while some take the traditional tack and blame capitalism (e.g., Paul Street's "Capitalism: The Real Enemy") and some try to imagine post-capitalist (Rick Wolff) or ecosocialist (Joel Kovel) economic forms, others are likely more reformist, either intent on mitigating excesses of capitalism or using government to make amends. A big part of the reason socialism has come to be more respected of late is that the right uses the scare word so loosely, it now covers all sorts of modest reforms few old leftists would even recognize.

Ian Goldin/Mike Mariathasan: The Butterfly Defect: How Globalization Creates Systemic Risks, and What to Do About It (2014, Princeton University Press)

Marshall I Goldman: Petrostate: Putin, Power, and the New Russia (2008, Oxford University Press): Short book on where Russia stands in the world today -- the collapsing criminal economy of the 1990s having some measure of order restored by Putin, to no small extent pumped up by Bush oil prices. I've read a couple of books on the 1990s, and could use an update. This at least seems saner than Edward Lucas' The New Cold War: Putin's Russia and the Threat to the West. It's a pretty peculiar viewpoint that thinks Russia is threatening the West rather than the other way around. [May 30]

Jack Goldsmith: The Terror Presidency: Law and Judgment Inside the Bush Administration (2007, WW Norton): Cover photos: Cheney, Bush, Gonzales. Insider account: Goldsmith worked in DOJ's Office of Legal Counsel until he quit in disgust. You know what they were up to.

Gordon M Goldstein: Lessons in Disaster: McGeorge Bundy and the Path to War in Vietnam (2008, Times Books): Views Bundy's persistent role advancing the war somewhat tragically, which may be easier than for Walt Rostow. The fact is that the two of them were always on the front lines derailing any attempt to rethink the mess the US had gotten into. One lesson should concern the power that ideologically committed aparatchiks have to control or limit the agendas of the politicians who supposedly outrank them. (A similar book on Rostow appeared recently: David Milne: America's Rasputin: Walt Rostow and the Vietnam War.)

Gordon M Goldstein: Lessons in Disaster: McGeorge Bundy and the Path to War in Vietnam (2008; paperback, 2009, Holt): Looks at the push to escalate US involvement in Vietnam through the prism of McGeorge Bundy's post-MacNamara revisionist memory. Thankfully, Bundy died before he could whitewash this, but Bundy did manage to keep the focus on what presidents want as opposed to what their stupid advisers tell them.

Joshua S Goldstein: Winning the War on War: The Decline of Armed Conflict Worldwide (2011, Dutton): I think the thesis is basically right, although I'm less certain about the effectiveness of international peacekeeping forces than I am about the general sense that war is a losing proposition, inimical to everything we aspire to in life today.

Joyce Goldstein: Mediterrannean: The Beautiful Cookbook (1994, Collins).

Richard Goldstein: Another Little Piece of My Heart: My Life of Rock and Revolution in the '60s (2015, Bloomsbury USA): A memoir by a good candidate for America's first rock critic, who started writing "Pop Eye" for the Village Voice in 1966. By the time I started reading him he was mostly writing about politics, which was fine with me.

Lawrence Goldstone: Inherently Unequal: The Betrayal of Equal Rights by the Supreme Court, 1865-1903 (2011, Walker): The Supreme Court rulings that struck down the civil rights laws of the reconstruction and paved the way for Jim Crow segregation.

Adrian Goldsworthy: How Rome Fell: Death of a Superpower (2009, Yale University Press): A venerable topic, of course, always more so when one's own sense of superpowership is well nigh keeling over.

Arthur Goldwag: The New Hate: A History of Fear and Loathing on the Populist Right (2012, Pantheon): Blurb talks more about the old hate -- "hysteria about the Illuminati," McCarthyism, Henry Ford's anti-semitism -- which leaves us short of understanding what's new about the new hate. No doubt there are plenty of examples, but why it resonates is more important. Only by skimming the surface can you treat Henry Ford as a populist.

Risa L Goluboff: The Lost Promise of Civil Rights (paperback, 2010, Harvard University Press): Argues that before Brown v. Board of Education the civil rights movement was much broader than just a legal challenge to racial discrimination -- that it had a lot to do with economic rights.

Julio Gonzalez: Health Care Reform: The Truth (2009, Aragon): Anti "Democrat agenda"; hint: only right-wingers label their books "The Truth."

Manuel G. Gonzalez, The Politics of Fear: How Republicans Use Money, Race and the Media to Win (Paradigm, paperback).

Roberto G Gonzales: Lives in Limbo: Undocumented and Coming of Age in America (paperback, 2015, University of California Press).

Jeff Goodell, Big Coal: The Dirty Secret Behind America's Energy Future (2007-04, Houghton Mifflin, paperback).

Jeff Goodell: How to Cool the Planet: Geoengineering and the Audacious Quest to Fix Earth's Climate (2010, Houghton Mifflin): Journalist, wrote Big Coal: The Dirty Secret Behind America's Energy Future (2007), looks into various schemes to solve global warming by investing new ways to perturb the atmosphere even more.

John C Goodman/Gerald L Musgrave/Devon M Herrick: Lives at Risk (paperback, 2004, Rowman & Littlefield): Anti-single-payer hysteria.

Leah McGrath Goodman: The Asylum: The Renegades Who Hijacked the World's Oil Market (2011, William Morrow): On the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX), where speculators set the price of oil. No surprise that the author finds dirt and grime there.

Martin Goodman: Rome and Jerusalem: The Clash of Ancient Civilizations (2007, Knopf): First century CE conflicts and revolts, a subject I only have a rough outline for. Got rather mixed reviews, and is long (624 pages).

Melvin A Goodman: National Insecurity: The Cost of American Militarism (paperback, 2013, City Lights): Ex-CIA analyst, wrote Failure of Intelligence: The Decline and Fall of the CIA (2008), certainly a good place to start on his bigger theme.

Melvin A Goodman: National Insecurity: The Cost of American Militarism (paperback, 2013, City Lights): Disaffected longtime CIA vet, previously wrote The Failure of Intelligence: The Decline and Fall of the CIA (2008, Rowan & Littlefield), may be able to tote up many of the costs but I doubt he'll get them all. I'd start with the moral rot of thinking you can run the world, and that you must start with the power not just to intimidate the world but to destroy it many times over.

Peter S Goodman: Past Due: The End of Easy Money and the Renewal of the American Economy (2009, Times Books): More concerned with Main Street than with Wall Street, perhaps figuring that ultimately the real economy matters more than the casino and its cronies. Looks like more reporting than theorizing, and looks like he's done an impressive job of it.

Larry P Goodson: Afghanistan's Endless War: State Failure, Regional Politics, and the Rise of the Taliban (paperback, 2001, University of Washington Press)

Doris Kearns Goodwin: The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism (2013, Simon & Schuster): Follow-up to her ridiculously acclaimed Lincoln book, Team of Rivals, taking another juicy slice of hyperbole and puffs it up to 848 pp.

Jason Goodwin: Lords of the Horizons: A History of the Ottoman Empire ().

Michael Goodwin/Dan E Burr: Economix: How and Why Our Economy Works (and Doesn't Work), in Words and Pictures (paperback, 2012, Abrams Comic Arts): Comix-style, more history than theory, which probably helps both the illustrator and the reader. For many years Larry Gonick had a corner on scholarly (or at least nerdy) comix, but others are appearing: aside from this one on, Yoram Bauman and Grady Klein have two volumes of The Cartoon Introduction to Economics, one micro, the other macro. I've just finished reading this one, and it is a remarkably concise primer on nearly everything you need to know about politics and the economy since Adam Smith (plus it's a big help on Smith).

Merrill Goozner: The $800 Million Pill: The Truth Behind the Cost of New Drugs (2004; paperback, 2005, University of California Press)

Anand Gopal: No Good Men Among the Living: America, the Taliban, and the War Through Afghan Eyes (2014, Metropolitan): Focuses on three examples (a Taliban commander, a member of the US-backed government, and a village housewife), showing through each how the occupying Americans are viewed in Afghanistan, and therefore the limits of what they can hope to do.

Adam Gopnik: Angels and Ages: A Short Book About Darwin, Lincoln, and Modern Life (2009, Knopf): Coincidentally, both Lincoln and Darwin were born on 12 February 1809, the first link in this attempt to draw both in to a common narrative of 19th century progress.

Mikhail Gorbachev: The New Russia (2016, Polity)

Michael D Gordin: Red Cloud at Dawn: Truman, Stalin, and the End of the Atomic Monopoly (2009, Farrar Straus and Giroux): Another look at the Soviet Union's first atom bomb test, more concerned with its political ramifications than with the technical details.

Daniel Gordis: Saving Israel: How the Jewish People Can Win a War That May Never End (2009, Wiley): Propaganda, "a full-throated call to arms" -- blurb reviewers include Michael Oren, Cynthia Ozick, Natan Sharansky, and Alan Dershowitz -- but even on its own terms, I fail to see any valor in a war that can never end. Indeed, as even the US showed in WWII, the longer we fight the more debased we become. I sometimes wonder if reading such a book might offer some insight I lack, but what else is there other than the founding existential dread of Zionism?

Daniel Gordis: Menachem Begin: The Battle for Israel's Soul (2014, Schocken): Born in Poland, in his youth joined the fascist Betar movement, emigrating to Palestine in the 1940s where he quickly rose to head the Irgun, an ultra-right-wing paramilitary organization responsible for many of the worst atrocities of Israel's "War for Independence." Once the Irgun was integrated into the IDF, he went into politics, establishing himself as an extreme right-wing demagogue until he was suddenly invited ("without portfolio") into the "unity government" which launched Israel's expansionist 1967 war. A decade later he became Israel's first Likud Prime Minister, consolidating and furthering the nation's drift into militarism. He reluctantly signed a peace agreement which returned the Sinai to Egypt, allowing reopening of the Suez Canal, then plotted to destroy the PLO once and for all by invading Lebanon -- the act which, for me at least, destroyed the last shred of credibility that Israel possessed. This looks to be a sympathetic biography, which doesn't mean you'll come away liking the little monster.

Colin Gordon: Dead on Arrival: The Politics of Health Care in Twentieth-Century America (2003, Princeton University Press)

Colin Gordon: Mapping Decline: St. Louis and the Fate of the American City (paperback, 2009, University of Pennsylvania Press): Having lived in St. Louis, I can certainly buy it as a case example for urban decline.

Michael R Gordon/General Bernard E Trainor: Cobra II: The Inside Story of the Invasion and Occupation of Iraq (2006, Pantheon).

Michael R Gordon/General Bernard E Trainor: Endgame: The Inside Story of the Struggle for Iraq From George W Bush to Barack Obama (2012, Pantheon; paperback, 2013, Vintage): Authors of Cobra II: The Inside Story of the Invasion and Occupation of Iraq, back when they were embedded in high command, their typical viewpoint for all things military. Once again, they claim the inside story, backed by "still-classified documents" their sources don't trust to the public.

Neve Gordon: Israel's Occupation (paperback, 2008, University of California Press): One review describes this as a "highly theoretical book" -- something of a surprise given how much empirical evidence there is on Israel's occupation regime. Gordon is a long-on-the-scene critic, should have a lot to say.

Rebecca Gordon: American Nuremberg: The US Officials Who Should Stand Trial for Post-9/11 War Crimes (2016, Hot Books): Previously wrote Mainstreaming Torture: Ethical Approaches in the Post-9/11 United States (2014, Oxford University Press) and Cruel and Unusual: How Welfare "Reform" Punishes Poor People (2001), drawing on her Ph.D. in Ethics and Social Theory. This one, too, seems to focus more on torture than the grosser war crimes that seem so obvious to me.

Robert J Gordon: The Rise and Fall of American Growth: The US Standard of Living Since the Civil War (2016, Princeton University Press): For 100 years after the Civil War, technological advances dramatically stimulated growth and raised living standards. However, from about 1970 on, growth rates have slowed markedly, and we seem to have entered a period of long-term stagnation. James K Galbraith, in The End of Normal: The Great Crisis and the Future of Growth, made a similar argument, but this goes much deeper into the changes wrought by the century of high growth. As for the future, we've already seen one consequence of slack growth: to keep profit levels up to expectations, investors have sought political favors and increasingly engaged in predatory behaviors (something often called financialization). Sooner or later the other shoe is bound to drop, as workers (and non-workers) who had been promised growth and wound up suffering from stagnation inevitably seek to regroup. Meanwhile, as Gordon points out, things like increasing inequality further dampen growth, further fueling the need for change.

Al Gore: The Assault on Reason: How the Politics of Fear, Secrecy, and Blind Faith Subvert Wise Decision Making, Degrade Our Democracy, and Put Our Country and Our World in Peril (2007, Penguin Press).

Al Gore: Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis (paperback, 2009, Rodale): Gore's sequel to An Inconvenient Truth. Still practical, still optimistic. No doubt features outstanding charts and illustrations. Amazon reviews are divided between 28 5-star and 27 1-star. Young reader's edition available, although it's probably already as simple as it can or should be.

Al Gore: The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change (2013, Random House): Smarter than he ever let on as a politician, but still . . . The six, more or less: "ever-increasing economic globalization" ("Earth Inc."); "worldwide digital communications" ("the Global Mind"); "the balance of power is shifting from a US-centered system to one with multiple emerging centers of power"; "unsustainable growth in consumption, pollution flows, and depletion of strategic resources"; "sciences revolutions are putting control of evolution in human hands"; "a radical disruption of the relationship between human beings and the earth's ecosystems, along with the beginning of a revolutionary transformation of energy systems, agriculture, transportation, and construction worldwide" -- no idea what that last one means, either.

Al Gore: An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power (paperback, 2017, Rodale Books)

Gershom Gorenberg, The Accidental Empire: Israel and the Birth of the Settlements, 1967-1977 (2006-03, Times Books; 2007-03, Henry Holt, paperback).

Gershom Gorenberg: The Unmaking of Israel (2011; paperback, 2012, Harper Perennial): I read this a few years ago and was surprised I hadn't mentioned it here before. You can think of this as a kinder, gentler version of (not alternative to) Max Blumenthal's Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel. Both deal with the rot at the heart of a nation dedicated to the domination of one group over all others. The shadings differ a bit, with Gorenberg more concerned with the established religion, but religion wouldn't be so critical if it weren't needed to justify the occupation. Gorenberg previously wrote The Accidental Empire: Israel and the Birth of the Settlements, 1967-1977, which similarly soft-pedaled the origins of the settler movement while at least acknowledging the facts.

Ken Gormley: The Death of American Virtue: Clinton vs. Starr (2010, Crown): Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't it Starr vs. Clinton? At 800 pp, it seems unlikely that Gormley left out anything from Ken Starr's mudslinging report, which probably means there is at least some redeeming social content (i.e., smut). A sad, pathetic story, compounded by ill will from all sides, cheered on by a jaded media.

Gary Gorton: Slapped by the Invisible Hand: The Panic of 2007 (2010, Oxford University Press): Rather short (240 pp) big picture survey of the meltdown, with references back to similar events like 1893 and 1907. Argues that this panic was concentrated in the financial sector, which put the panic at a distance from everyday understanding even if it couldn't contain its effects.

André Gorz: Ecologica (2010, Seagull Books), and The Immaterial (2010, Seagull Books): Two final books of critical theory by Gorz, who died in 2007. More than any other Marxist critic, Gorz saw the need to transform increased productivity into a shorter working life. I more or less figured that out on the basis of something Paul Sweezy wrote in the 1950s, but Gorz pushed the argument further than anyone else. Also newly available is the second edition of Critique of Economic Reason (1989; 2nd ed, paperback, 2011, Verso).

Peter Gosselin: High Wire: The Precarious Financial Lives of American Families (2008, Basic Books): Los Angeles Times reporter tells stories about how the "great risk shift" (Jacob Hacker's term, the title of a good book) has affected dozens of ordinary families. Everyone rates the reporting here as superb, but evidently it doesn't go much into causes -- more interesting to me, since I have no trouble envisioning the problem.

Peter Gosselin: High Wire: The Precarious Financial Lives of American Families (2008; paperback, 2009, Basic Books): A deeper reporter's version of Jacob Hacker's The Great Risk Shift: the small problem is that workers are earning less these days, the bigger one that they are running bigger risks. Needless to say, health insurance (or lack thereof) plays a big role.

Laura Gottesdiener: A Dream Foreclosed: Black America and the Fight for a Place to Call Home (2013, Zuccotti Park Press): How predatory lending and foreclosure have wracked black America, contributing to the failure to build real economic security on top of nominal civil rights gains.

Marie Gottschalk: Caught: The Prison State and the Lockdown of American Politics (2014, Princeton University Press): This so-called "bastion of freedom" is the world's largest jailer, its justice system trapped in a spiral where the only fixes for past mistakes it can conceive of are more mistakes of the same sort. One blurb: "sheds new light on the relationship between criminal justice and the ideological shape, material conditions, and institutional structure of the broader political economy." Looks like an important book.

Philip Gourevitch/Errol Morris: Standard Operating Procedure (2008, Penguin): Companion book to Morris's documentary, focusing on the Abu Ghraib scandal.

Michael Grabell: Money Well Spent? The Truth Behind the Trillion-Dollar Stimulus, the Biggest Economic Recovery Plan in History (2012, PublicAffairs): I don't know about you, but I always have trouble believing any book that offers "Truth" in its title. This one's about the Obama stimulus program, which he inflates from $700 billion to $1 trillion, then attempts to dissect. As I understand it, his conclusion is that it didn't work as well as it should have less because it was too small -- which it was -- than because it was poorly designed -- which is also, uh, true.

Michael Grabell: Money Well Spent? The Truth Behind the Trillion-Dollar Stimulus, the Biggest Economic Recovery Plan in History (2012, Public Affairs): Refers to the "American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009," which as I recall proposed well less than $1 trillion, and was further watered down with tax breaks that translated poorly into spending. (Grabell claims the higher figure "when extensions and inflation adjustments are factored in.") It's a fair question which deserves a fair treatment; doubt this is it.

David Graeber: Debt: The First 5,000 Years (2011, Melville House): Anthropologist, argues that credit (therefore debt) goes back a long ways, predating even money. His is one of those ideas that threatens to turn around much about how we think real economies have functioned throughout history. Has a bunch of books, including Possibilities: Essays on Hierarchy, Rebellion and Desire (paperback, 2007, AK Press), and Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology (paperback, 2004, Prickly Paradigm Press).

David Graeber: The Democracy Project: A History, a Crisis, a Movement (2013, Spiegel & Grau): Anthropologist, wrote the widely admired (or at least debated) Debt: The First 5,000 Years (2011, Melville House); was deeply involved in Occupy Wall Street, so this is first-draft history from the middle of the action, hopefully with some deep thinking tossed in, especially about democracy.

David Graeber: The Utopia of Rules: On Technology, Stupidity, and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy (2015, Melville House): Radical anthropologist, best known for Debt: The First 5,000 Years (2011), but more recently wrote The Democracy Project: A History, a Crisis, a Movement (2013) based on his involvement with Occupy Wall Street. The focus here is on bureaucracy, how it actually works, and how that affects our perceptions of how the world works (hint: not very well).

Michael J Graetz/Linda Greenhouse: The Burger Court and the Rise of the Judicial Right (2016, Simon & Schuster): Of course, the Rehnquist and Roberts Courts moved even further to the right, but Nixon's appointment of Warren Burger to replace Earl Warren started the rightward shift. This book explains how and why. I'll add that this represented a reversion to form for the Supreme Court up to the New Deal. Maybe now we should recognize how fortunate we were to have grown up in an era when the Supreme Court took an active interest in expanding individual and civil rights.

Bradley Graham: By His Own Rules: The Ambitions, Successes, and Ultimate Failures of Donald Rumsfeld (2009, Public Affairs): Big (832 pp), more than I want to know about him, plenty of room for his many idiosyncrasies to get so annoying you lose track of how he fit into the military-industrial complex as well as how he wrecked it.

Edward M Gramlich: Subprime Mortgages: America's Latest Boom and Bust (paperback, 2007, Urban Institute Press): A short (120 pp), relatively early primer on on the problem, before it became clear how toxic those mortgages had become, or how crooked the whole affair was.

Greg Grandin, Empire's Workshop: Latin America, the United States, and the Rise of the New Imperialism (2006-05, Henry Holt).

Greg Grandin: Fordlandia: The Rise and Fall of Henry Ford's Forgotten Jungle City (2009, Metropolitan Books): The story of the city Henry Ford built in 1927 in the middle of Brazil: meant to be a huge rubber plantation feeding his automobile empire, it soon turned into an arrogant delusion.

Greg Grandin: The Empire of Necessity: Slavery, Freedom, and Deception in the New World (2014, Metropolitan Books): One story here concerns New Englanders establishing colonial outposts in the south Pacific in the early 19th century, killing seals and selling them in China. Not sure what else you get here, but Herman Melville seems to be one prism into looking at early post-independence America, an "age of freedom" but also an "age of slavery."

Greg Grandin: Kissinger's Shadow: The Long Reach of America's Most Controversial Statesman (2015, Metropolitan Books): More like America's premier war criminal, a point we need to keep stressing as he continues to woo war-friendly politicians of both major parties. Grandin, whose books include Empire's Workshop: Latin America, the United States, and the Rise of the New Imperialism (2006), wants to delve deeper, going beyond Kissinger's own acts to explore his influence on America's peculiar self-conception as an empire. I'm not sure how much neocon nonsense can really be pinned on Kissinger, but if I did wonder this would be the place to start. Amazon thinks if you're curious about this you'll also be interested in Niall Ferguson: Kissinger: 1923-1968: The Idealist (2015, Penguin Press). You won't be.

Temple Grandin: Animals Make Us Human: Creating the Best Life for Animals (paperback, 2010, Mariner Books)

Jennifer M Granholm/Dan Mulhern: A Governor's Story: The Fight for Jobs and America's Economic Future (2011, Public Affairs): Democratic Governor of Michigan during some especially tough times, while America's business elites were doing everything they could to break labor, especially by closing plants and moving production overseas. So she has something to talk about.

James Grant: Mr. Market Miscalculates: The Bubble Years and Beyond (2008, Axios): Collected from speeches and editorials by the editor of Grant's Interest Rate Observer. Seems to have had a clue on the subprime crisis.

David Gratzer, The Cure: How Capitalism Can Save American Health Care (Encounter Books).

Lester W Grau/Michael A Gress, eds: The Soviet-Afghan War: How a Superpower Fought and Lost (paperback, 2002, University Press of Kansas): From the Russian General Staff papers.

Mike Gravel/Joe Lauria: A Political Odyssey: The Rise of American Militarism and a Man's Fight to Stop It (paperback, 2008, Seven Stories Press): I usually don't bother listing books by politicians, but this one's exceptional, and not just because he isn't much of a politician. Note ghostwriter gets same size type on front cover. Note forward by Daniel Ellsberg.

John Gray: Al Qaeda and What It Means to Be Modern (paperback, 2005, New Press)

John Gray: Black Mass: Apocalyptic Religion and the Death of Utopia (2007, Farrar Straus and Giroux): British philosopher examines the history of utopian ideas and how the right, especially the religious right, has taken to them in recent years. Previously wrote: Al Qaeda and What It Means to Be Modern; Beyond the New Right: Markets, Government and the Common Environment.

AC Grayling: Among the Dead Cities: The History and Moral Legacy of the WWII Bombing of Civilians in Germany and Japan (paperback, 2007, Walker & Co.): All of a sudden there are a bunch of books that raise serious questions about the Allied bombing campaigns in WWII -- more general ones like Nicholson Baker: Human Smoke and more specific ones like: Paul Addison/Jeremy A Grant, eds: Firestorm: The Bombing of Dresden, 1945; Frederick Taylor: Dresden: Tueday, February 13, 1945; Keith Lowe: Inferno: The Fiery Destruction of Hamburg, 1943; Hans Erich Nossack: The End: Hamburg 1943; Marshall De Bruhl, Firestorm: Allied Airpower and the Destruction of Dresden. In between: Herman Krell: To Destroy a City: Strategic Bombing and Its Human Consequences in World War II; and Jörg Friedrich, The Fire: The Bombing of Germany, 1940-1945.

Joshua Green: Devil's Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, and the Storming of the Presidency (2017, Penguin): Campaign reporting, focusing on Bannon -- presumably the Devil in the title, although it's since become clear that he picked a very leaky and unstable vessel for his machinations. I have no idea what Bannon's been able to accomplish since moving into the White House. During the campaign he provided Trump with a gloss of fascist aesthetics and a whiff of ideological coherence distinct from the usual run of conservative nostrums -- that probably contributed to Trump's win, but was far less significant than Hillary's failures, the lock-step support of the Koch/Republican machines, and the amazing gullibility of so much media and so many people. On the other hand, one might cast Trump as the Devil, and explore why Bannon would invest all his hare-brained ideological fantasies in such a shoddy salesman. I suppose because doing so made him famous, and in America fame is merchantable (and money is everything).

Mark Green/Michele Jolin, eds: Change for America: A Progressive Blueprint for the 44th President (paperback, 2009, Basic Books): The standard, inevitable collection of slightly leftish wonk briefs, a hefty 704 pages, published a mere two months after Obama's election. I have a similar book on the shelf in front of me, also edited by Green, called Changing America: Blueprints for the New Administration. It was published in 1992. I doubt that much as changed, despite Bill Clinton's stated enthusiasm for both volumes.

Steven K Green: Inventing a Christian America: The Myth of the Religious Founding (2015, Oxford University Press): Author has written several books on church-state relations -- The Second Disestablishment: Church and State in Nineteenth-Century America (2010, Oxford University Press); The Bible, the School, and the Constitution: The Clash That Shaped Church-State Doctrine (2012, Oxford University Press) -- and returns here to dissect the oft-repeated claim that the founders intended a Christian republic.

Amy S Greenberg: A Wicked War: Polk, Clay, Lincoln, and the 1846 US Invasion of Mexico (2012, Knopf): Certainly a war of naked aggression by the US, aimed at removing Mexico if not yet the more numerous native population from the slice of North America from Texas west to California. Polk was president and orchestrated it. Clay was his most prominent Whig opponent, and Lincoln was a virtual unknown, but not for long.

Edward S Greenberg/Leon Grunberg/Sarah Moore/Patricia B Sikora: Turbulence: Boeing and the State of American Workers and Managers (2010, Yale University Press): A subject long deserving attention: over the last decade, in particular, Boeing has been much more effective at wringing concessions from labor than in competing with Airbus, let alone in building planes. (Anyone seen a 787 Dreamliner lately?) The biggest symbol of this was when they moved their headquarters from Seattle to Chicago so that managers would be further removed from workers, but there are plenty more examples. Although Boeing is nominally America's biggest exporting company, much of what they've exported recently has been jobs. No lobbyists worked harder than Boeings to grant China most favored nation trade favors, and Boeing is only nominally an aircraft company: their real "core competency" is pulling strings in Washington, even if sometimes they're inept enough to land their officials in jail.

Karen J Greenberg, ed, Torture Papers: The Road to Abu Ghraib ().

Karen Greenberg: The Least Worst Place: Guantanamo's First 100 Days (2009, Oxford Univesity Press): How Guantanamo became America's dumping ground for prisoners of war from Afghanistan, and how the dumping ground became a notorious symbol for the abuse of power.

Karen J Greenberg: Rogue Justice: The Making of the Security State (2016, Crown): Having written a book on Guantanamo and edited one called Torture Papers, the author is in a position to sum up the marginal rationalizations used to trample two centuries of legal principle just to facilitate the security state's defense of its own power and secrets. While many of these examples were started by the Bush administration in its initial panic over 9/11, most have been continued under Obama, with some policies -- like extrajudicial killings -- greatly extended.

Paul Greenberg: Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food (2010, Penuin): Salmon, tuna, bass, cod. The world's major fisheries are overexploited, and aquaculture is, well, more than a bit messy. Amazon has an interview with Greenberg on the genetically-modified salmon controversy which shows a lot of insight into salmon farming.

Stanley B Greenberg: America Ascendant: A Revolutionary Nation's Path to Addressing Its Deepest Problems and Leading the 21st Century (2015, Thomas Dunne): Pollster to hegemonic Democrats like Clinton and Gore, consultant to companies like Boeing and Microsoft, and all around hack reassures us that the future is rosy and won't be clouded by a Republican Party which is self-destructing as we speak. He seeks the nation "turning to Democrats to take on the country's growing challenges," continuing "the social transformations that are making the country ever more racially and culturally diverse, younger, a home to immigrants, and the metropolitan centers that foster a rising economic and cultural dynamism."

Jan Crawford Greenburg: Supreme Conflict: The Inside Story of the Struggle for Control of the United States Supreme Court (2007, Penguin): Another book on the packing of the court, up through Roberts and Alito.

Ronnie Greene: Night Fire: Big Oil, Poison Air, and Margie Richard's Fight to Save Her Town (2008, Amistad): The town is Norco, LA, located in what's variously called Chemical Corridor and/or Cancer Alley. The poison air comes from Shell Oil, one of the real big ones. Greene's a Miami Herald reporter, who gets to report for once.

Steven Greenhouse: The Big Squeeze: Tough Times for the American Worker (2008, Knopf): Mostly case studies -- NYT review claims they were largely selected from lawsuits, a quick way to identify corporate dirty tricks. Barbara Ehrenreich said "my blood boiled when I read [it]."

Alan Greenspan: The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World (2007, Penguin Press): Memoir written shortly after leaving the Fed, shortly before the housing bubble that he failed to recognize burst with all of its repercussions. One of the key actors in deregulating the banks, initiator of the "Greenspan put" which meant the Fed would reliably respond to any dip in the stock market, occasional pitch-man for variable rate subprime mortgages. Some people blame it all on him. Sometimes his ego seems big enough to bear that much responsibility.

Ran Greenstein: Zionism and Its Discontents: A Century of Radical Dissent in Israel/Palestine (paperback, 2014, Pluto Press): Surveys various political movements and thinkers based in Israel/Palestine who rejected the politics of Zionist dominance, starting with Ahad Ha'am in the 19th century, continuing through the Communist Party, the various Palestinian movements, and the Matzpen movement up to the 1980s.

Glenn Greenwald: How Would a Patriot Act? Defending American Values From a President Run Amok (paperback, 2006, Working Assets).

Glenn Greenwald: A Tragic Legacy: How a Good vs. Evil Mentality Destroyed the Bush Presidency (2007, Crown): Constitutional lawyer, got upset by Bush's legal advisers and started blogging, spinning off a short book called How Would a Patriot Act? Defending American Values from a President Run Amok, worth reading, especially if you don't know better. Judging from his blog, this is likely bigger, broader, deeper. He claimed to be apolitical before Bush. Not any more. [Paperback April 8]

Glenn Greenwald: Great American Hypocrites: Toppling the Big Myths of Republican Politics (2008, Crown): New book in the works. Not sure who he has in mind. Don't recognize the dude in the cowboy hat.

Glenn Greenwald: With Liberty and Justice for Some: How the Law Is Used to Destroy Equality and Protect the Powerful (2011, Metropolitan Books): Title suggests he's moved beyond his initial concerns over civil liberties into seeing how a legal system that money buys inequal access to -- starting with Congress and every other legislative body in the land, moving on to every executive authority, and even to the courts (where, to put it bluntly, representation costs money and is therefore more affordable to them that's got).

Glenn Greenwald: With Liberty and Justice for Some: How the Law Is Used to Destroy Equality and Protect the Powerful (2011, Metropolitan Books; paperback, 2012, Picador):

Glenn Greenwald: No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the US Surveillance State (2014, Metropolitan Books): A lawyer, Greenwald reacted to the Patriot Act by becoming a blogger focused on how the security state is encroaching on civil liberties -- a transformation he explained in his book How Would a Patriot Act? Since then he's found more and more to worry about, most dramatically when Snowden passed him leaked info about NSA spying.

Germaine Greer: Shakespeare's Wife (paperback, 2009, Harper Perennial): Famed feminist author of The Female Eunuch dusts off that old degree in Elizabethan drama -- not for the first time; she's also written Shakespeare: A Very Short Introduction. Admittedly, very little is known about the real Ann Hathaway, but that hasn't prevented much from being written, and that in itself is fodder enough for a critic so skilled as slicing through sexual presumptions.

John Michael Greer: The Long Descent: A User's Guide to the End of the Industrial Age (paperback, 2008, New Society): Archdruid, organic gardener, peak oil blogger. Not clear, but I suspect he sees the descent as future rather than already done, and that he sees it happening slowly as people adapt to alternative lifestyles like, uh, organic gardening. Similar: Sharon Astyk: Depletion and Abundance: Life on the New Home Front; Pat Murphy: Plan C: Community Survival Strategies for Peak Oil and Climate Change; Lyle Estill: Small is Possible: Life in a Local Economy; David Holmgren: Future Scenarios: How Communities Can Adapt to Peak Oil and Climate Change; better known is Bill McKibben: Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future.

John Michael Greer: The Wealth of Nature: Economics as if Survival Mattered (paperback, 2011, New Society): Bounces his title off Adam Smith and E.F. Schumacher ("economics as if people mattered"); should provide a primer on externalities and how to properly cost them out, but author isn't really an economist -- styles himself as an archdruid, is into organic farming and autarky, that most uneconomist of concepts.

John Michael Greer: Decline and Fall: The End of Empire and the Future of Democracy in 21st Century America (paperback, 2014, New Society): Prime concern is economic sustainability, which he doesn't find much evidence of in the US. Has a number of doom and gloom works, aside from his interest in organic gardening.

Katharine Greider: The Big Fix: How The Pharmaceutical Industry Rips Off American Consumers (paperback, 2003, Public Affairs)

William Greider: Secrets of the Temple: How the Federal Reserve Runs the Country (1987; paperback, 1989, Simon & Schuster): The then-definitive book on the Fed, and still the place to start. Focuses more (and more critically) on the sainted Paul Volcker than on the then-neophyte Alan Greenspan.

William Greider: Come Home, America: The Rise and Fall (and Redeeming Promise) of Our Country (2009, Rodale): Seems like a fairly general political opinion tome, but Greider's been way up on the learning curve for a long time now; e.g., he wrote the first important book on the Federal Reserve Bank way back in 1987: Secrets of the Temple: How the Federal Reserve Runs the Country. He tackled globalization a decade later in One World, Ready or Not: The Manic Logic of Global Capitalism, and immediately followed that up with Fortress America: The American Military and the Consequences of Peace.

William Greider: Come Home, America: The Rise and Fall (and Redeeming Promise) of Our Country (2009; paperback, 2010. Rodale): Having written pathbreaking books on the major political issues of our age -- Secrets of the Temple on the Fed and the financial system, One World, Ready of Not on globalization, and Fortress America on the imperial military-industrial complex -- he's settled into a mode of gently reminding us that democracy is still here for the taking.

Stephen Grey: Ghost Plane: The True Story of the CIA Torture Program (2006, St Martin's Press): I wouldn't be surprised if there is more to this story, but this is at least a start: how the CIA kidnapped terrorism suspects, whisking them away to countries where they could be tortured at leisure.

Jonathan Marc Gribetz: Defining Neighbors: Religion, Race, and Early Zionist-Arab Encounter (2014, Princeton University Press): Explores how Jews and Arabs interacted in the early days of Zionist settlement, especially under Ottoman rule before the British tilted the tables in favor of Zionism. Gribetz argues that at least within this period the two peoples didn't see themselves in nationalist terms, but were separated on other bases (like religion and race). It occurs to me that the Ottomans provided just that framework, one which changed dramatically when the English took over (when Zionists adopted British colonial attitudes and tactics, while both sides realized that nationalism would provide a path to independence).

John Gribbin, The Origins of the Future: Ten Questions for the Next Ten Years (2006-11, Yale University Press).

David Ray Griffin: Osama Bin Laden: Dead or Alive? (paperback, 2009, Olive Branch Press): Short book (120 pp), but the author doesn't claim to know the answer, even though he raises plenty of doubts. Still, it would be nice to know whether you've bumbled into a snark hunt, getting bumped and bruised and wasting your fortune in pursuit of nothing.

Farah Jasmine Griffin/Salim Washington: Clawing at the Limits of Cool: Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and the Greatest Jazz Collaboration Ever (2008, Thomas Dunne): An important group, especially once they picked up on George Russell's modal thing and recorded Kind of Blue, but both key musicians did much more pathbreaking work later. Maybe you could say that separately they finally broke through the limits of cool. Griffin has a previous book on Billy Holiday: If You Can't Be Free, Be a Mystery: In Search of Billie Holiday.

Stephany Griffith-Jones/José Antonio Ocampo/Joseph Stiglitz, eds: Time for a Visible Hand: Lessons from the 2008 World Financial Crisis (paperback, 2010, Oxford University Press): A collection of academic papers pushing for significant reform of the banking system.

Ryan Grim: This Is Your Country on Drugs: The Secret History of Getting High in America (2009, Wiley): Amazon lists "seven surprising consequences" from this book, which hardly bear repeating other than the obvious one ("past antidrug campaigns actually encouraged drug use"). Sounds like trivia to me, but this a subject where ignorance and misinformation rise to the top levels of policy, so maybe it has a place.

David A Grimes/Linda G Brandon: Every Third Woman in America: How Legal Abortion Transformed Our Nation (2014, Daymark): Grimes is a doctor, so this focuses on health care matters. Clearly, availability of safe legal abortion procedures was a big advance over illegal and often dangerous procedures. Not clear how far this goes into how abortion rights changed political, economic, and social issues but a book could be written there, too.

Jerome Groopman: The Anatomy of Hope: How People Prevail in the Face of Illness (paperback, 2005), Random House: Author of the more recent How Doctors Think, and several previous books along the same lines.

Jerome Groopman, How Doctors Think (Houghton Mifflin): An intrinsically interesting book. I've seen better reviews for this than for Atul Gawande's Better, which appeared at the same time. Health care is something I figure to write on, and there's something to be said there for the experiences of everyday professionals as opposed to politicians and economists.

Tim Groseclose: Left Turn: How Liberal Media Bias Distorts the American Mind (2011, St Martin's Press): Ph.D. invented some math that he calls PQ (for Political Quotient) to measure left and right political bias; discovers that the "maintream media" is way biased to the left, much more so than right-leaning media like Fox. I bet I could come up with a formula that would show the New York Times on the far right. For instance, they'd score points for lying in the Iraq War buildup. I could even factor in support for Israeli militarism. I don't doubt that there is bias in media, but how does that bias affect "the American mind"?

Daniel Gross: Dumb Money: How Our Greatest Financial Minds Bankrupted the Nation (paperback, 2009, Free Press): Short (112 pp) account of the current financial debacle, rushed out in paperback first. Even so, I wonder how much news there is here, let alone analysis.

Dave Grossman: On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society (1995; paperback, 1996, Back Bay Books).

Dave Grossman: On Combat: The Psychology and Physiology of Deadly Combat in War and in Peace (2004; 2nd edition, paperback, 2007, PPCT Research Publications).

Dave Grossman/Gloria DeGaetano: Stop Teaching Our Kids to Kill: A Call to Action Against TV, Movie & Video Game Violence (1999; rev ed, paperback, 2014, Harmony): Grossman was a Lt. Col. who had second thoughts and wrote On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society (1995; paperback, 1996, Back Bay Books). I don't think there is a simple relationship between witnessing violence in fictional contexts and killing (or for that matter between watching porn and sex crimes), although I also don't doubt that habituation and desensitization can lead some people to become more dangerous. And I'm particularly suspicious of video games, where the point seems to be not just to kill but to develop an automatic reflex to do so thoughtlessly. But I'd worry more about the morals conveyed by our national celebration of "the troops" and their "heroism" -- by the nearly constant practice of war by the United States over the last 75 years. That the military itself is so gung-ho on games is a bad sign, but probably has less to do with violence today than the proliferation of their other favorite toy: firearms.

Richard S Grossman: Wrong: Nine Economic Policy Disasters and What We Can Learn From Them (2013, Oxford University Press)

Jonathan Gruber: Health Care Reform: What It Is, Why It's Necessary, How It Works (paperback, 2011, Hill & Wang): Short book, illustrated, tries to walk through and explain the ins and outs of the Affordable Care Act. Someone complained that this is Obama's propaganda disguised as information. Hmm, information -- don't have much of that to go on.

Michael Grunwald: The Swamp: The Everglades, Florida, and the Politics of Paradise (paperback, 2007, Simon & Schuster).

Michael Grunwald: The New New Deal: The Hidden Story of Change in the Obama Era (2012, Simon & Schuster): Mostly on Obama's stimulus bill, now widely understood to have been way too small, not to mention oversold. Not sure what more has been hidden about the story, other than Obama's penchant for negotiating himself down while imagining that he's working up a bipartisan deal. There were no meaningful bipartisan deals during his watch -- only more or less egregious capitulations, which showed how little he was willing to stand up for the very people who elected him, even so much as speaking out in defense of their (and supposedly his) principles. Grunwald previously wrote The Swamp: The Everglades, Florida, and the Politics of Paradise (paperback, 2007, Simon & Schuster), which I bought long ago but never got around to reading.

Ramachandra Guha: India After Gandhi: The History of the Largest Democracy (2007, Ecco).

Ramachandra Guha: How Much Should a Person Consume?: Environmentalism in India and the United States (paperback, 2006, University of California Press): Interesting question for a point of comparison. Guha also wrote the recent 907 page India After Gandhi: The History of the Largest Democracy, and the briefer, earlier Environmentalism: A Global History.

Alma Guillermoprieto: Looking for History: Dispatches From Latin America ().

Robert Gumbiner: Curing Our Sick Health Care System: A Solution to America's Health Care Crisis (paperback, 2006, Author House): Looks like "Medicare for all."

David G. Gutierez: Walls and Mirrors: Mexican Americans, Mexican Immigrants, and the Politics of Ethnicity (paperback, 1995, University of California Press).

Roy Gutman: How We Missed the Story: Osama Bin Laden, the Taliban, and the Hijacking of Afghanistan (2008, Potomac Books): A journalist with extensive experience in the area digs into the question of how the media failed to grasp the significance of the relationship between Bin Laden and the Taliban. I doubt that this exonherates Condoleezza ("Who Knew?") Rice.

Donald Gutstein: Not a Conspiracy Theory: How Business Propaganda Hijacks Democracy (paperback, 2009, Key Porter): The argument here seems to be that politicians don't become stooges for business interests because they're corrupt so much as because they're brainwashed. No doubt true, but that hardly proves they're not "greedy, corrupt, double-talking, and unqualified" as well. Indeed, those conditions seem to go together quite agreeably.

DD Guttenplan: American Radical: The Life and Times of IF Stone (2009, Farrar Straus and Giroux): One of the things I did as a teenager that formed my politics was to subscribe to IF Stone's Weekly, so I always regarded Stone as some kind of saint. Seems like these days people like to harp on Stone's complicated handling of the Sovet Union as if it's still important to score points against anyone who wasn't staunchly anti-Stalin. Given how destructive American anticommunism turned out, I find it hard to nitpick.

SC Gwynne: Empire of the Summer Moon: Quannah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History (2010, Scribners): Not sure if "powerful" is the right word, but the Comanches were relatively effective at putting up a guerrilla struggle against encroaching US settlers, and their story has been rehashed far less than the Custer debacle (Nathaniel Philbrick's The Last Stand: Custer, Sitting Bull, and the Battle of Little Bighorn is the latest). Steven Walt recommended this book while thinking about the Taliban.

Pamela Haag: The Gunning of America: Business and the Making of American Gun Culture (2016, Basic Books)

Richard N Haass/Martin S Indyk/et al: Restoring the Balance: A Middle East Strategy for the Next President (paperback, 2008, Brookings Institution Press): Papers from the Saban Center, the first two names being veteran diplomats, with Indyk in particular guilty of much of the imbalance that needs correction. (Indyk has his own disingenuous book out: Innocent Abroad: An Intimate Account of American Peace Diplomacy in the Middle East.)

Richard N Haass: War of Necessity, War of Choice: A Memoir of Two Iraq Wars (2009, Simon & Schuster): A realist functionary in both Bush administrations, a fan of the first Iraq war, a critic of the second, unable to see the connections, e.g., how the first war led to the second.

Richard N Haass: Foreign Policy Begins at Home: The Case for Putting America's House in Order (2013, Basic Books): Veteran foreign policy mandarin, realist division, but not realist enough to concede that the gig is up. But he does realize that American power has always been built on the American economy, so that's something worth paying some attention to, especially if you hope to remain a foreign policy mandarin.

Raymond J Haberski Jr: God and War: American Civil Religion Since 1945 (2012, Rutgers University Press): Americans have long been conceited about their uniqueness in the world, and this gradually cohered into the notion of a civil religion -- something which got a huge boost during the Cold War era, as the American brand alternately stood for freedom and capitalism. All nations claim to fight for God, but few have bound them together so unquestionably as the US has done.

Nina Hachigan/Mona Sutphen: The Next American Century: How the US Can Thrive as Other Powers Rise (2008, Simon & Schuster): Another entry in the future superpowers sweepstakes game. I normally skip right past the genre because the game itself is less and less worth playing, much less winning, but Matt Yglesias hyped this -- apparently Hachigan works at his progressive think tank. I still think they should think about real problems.

Jacob S Hacker: The Road to Nowhere: The Genesis of President Clinton's Plan for Health Security (1996; paperback, 1999, Princeton University Press): One of the main books on the Clinton fiasco.

Jacob S. Hacker/Paul Pierson, Off Center: The Republican Revolution and the Erosion of American Democracy (2005, Yale University Press). I have this, but haven't gotten around to it. Thought it looked like the best book on how the right-wing machine works.

Jacob S. Hacker, The Great Risk Shift: The Assault on American Jobs, Families, Health Care, and Retirement and How You Can Fight Back (2007; paperback, 2008, Oxford University Press).

Jacob S Hacker, ed: Health at Risk: America's Ailing Health System -- and How to Heal It (paperback, 2008, Columbia University Press)

Jacob S Hacker/Paul Pierson: Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer -- and Turned Its Back on the Middle Class (2010, Simon & Schuster): A logical follow-up to Hacker's The Great Risk Shift: The Assault on American Jobs, Families, Health Care, and Retirement and How You Can Fight Back, looking if not so much for reasons at least for the mechanics behind the chasm of ever-greater inequality. The right is dedicated not just to making the rich richer but, perhaps more importantly, increasing the perceived value of being rich by making not being rich all the more dreadful. America's brief moment of middle class identity had just the opposite effect: it allowed workers the security to feel they were part and parcel of the nation. I used to think that middle-classness was just false consciousness -- and the fact that it surrendered to readily kind of proves the point -- but now that it's over it seems like a pleasantly naïve idea. Still, whenever I hear someone defending the middle class it sounds to me like a putdown of the working poor: the only way to save the middle class is to build up the working poor so they become it. Pierson has co-authored with Hacker before, on Off Center: The Republican Revolution and the Erosion of American Democracy.

Jacob S Hacker/Paul Pierson: American Amnesia: How the War on Government Led Us to Forget What Made America Prosper (2016, Simon & Schuster): Once upon a time Ronald Reagan told a joke -- something like "the scariest words in the English language are 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help'" -- and some people took it as profound insight and blew it up into a nihilistic war against any and all forms of government activity, especially the kind that tries to actually help people. Hacker & Pierson have written a number of important books -- Off Center: The Republican Revolution and the Erosion of American Democracy (2005), The Great Risk Shift: The Assault on American Jobs, Families, Health Care, and Retirement and How You Can Fight Back (2007), Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer, and Turned Its Back on the Middle Class (2010) -- and now this one, where the remind us that public investment has long been a foundation of prosperity here, and why the movement against it makes us poorer.

Jacob S Hacker/Paul Pierson: American Amnesia: How the War on Government Led Us to Forget What Made America Prosper (2016; paperback, 2017, Simon & Schuster): Argues that ever since Madison and Hamilton crafted a strong federalist constitution, America has benefited from a strong activist government, one that regulated commerce to limit market failures, that made major investments in infrastructure, and eventually built a modern safety net -- lessons that too many Americans have forgotten as narrow-minded business interests have sought to capture government for their own greedy ends.

Nortin M Hadler: The Last Well Person: How to Stay Well Despite the Health-Care System (2004, McGill-Queen's University Press)

Nortin M Hadler, MD: Worried Sick: A Prescription for Health in an Overtreated America (2008, University of North Carolina Press): Backs off a bit from the health care reform argument to ask whether large classes of current treatments aren't seriously abused and overused -- mammography, colorectal screening, statin drugs, or coronary stents. One effect of having a money-driven, profit-seeking health care system is that there's little check on selling anything.

Ann Hagedorn, Savage Peace: Hope and Fear in America, 1919 (2007, Simon & Schuster): A big (543 pp.) history book on a subject of minor but genuine interest: post-WWI trauma, the red scare, race riots, flu pandemic, the failed and flawed return to normalcy. The same issues returned after WWII, to be dealt with differently, but one wonders about the connections.

Ann Hagedorn: The Invisible Soldiers: How America Outsourced Our Security (2014; paperback, 2015, Simon & Schuster): As I recall, when Bush I set out to attack Iraq in 1990, the US moved over 600,000 troops into position. When Bush II decided to invade Iraq, the US went with a little over 100,000 troops. The main difference was that in the intervening years the Military had contracted out vast numbers of support jobs -- logistics, food, that sort of thing. Over the course of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, the outsourcing expanded to security, and the mercenaries they hired became increasingly common and unaccountable for their actions. (You may recall, for instance, that when Fallujah first revolted, the Americans they hung from that bridge were contractors.) That's what this book is about. I'm a little surprised Hagedorn wrote this book, since the main thing I had read by her was a magnificent slice of history, Savage Peace: Hope and Fear in America, 1919 (2007; paperback, 2008, Simon & Schuster).

Jonathan Haidt: The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion (2012, Pantheon): Heard a line recently that sums up politics these days: "either you're preaching to the choir, or talking to a wall." This psychologist thinks he knows why, something having to do with our tendency to react emotionally with our "moral taste buds" while only seeking post hoc reinforcement from reason. For an example of how people find what they want, an Amazon reader wrote: "This book is a fun read for conservatives because it pokes more holes in liberalism than it does in conservatism."

Nisid Hajari: Midnight's Furies: The Deadly Legacy of India's Partition (2015, Houghton Mifflin): Another book on the bloody history of the British Empire's final "gift" to India: partition in 1947, which led a million deaths, many millions displaced, and set the stage for future wars, subterfuge, and terrorism between India and Pakistan. I've read Alex von Tunzelman's Indian Summer: The Secret History of the End of an Empire (2007), which focuses more on the Mountbattens, and Yasmin Khan's The Great Partition: The Making of India and Pakistan (2007), but there are many other books on this subject, including fictions like Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children. This is reportedly one of the best.

David Halberstam: War in a Time of Peace: Bush, Clinton, and the Generals (paperback, 2002, Scribner): First Bush; had Halberstam lived longer he could have written a sequel, War in a Time of Madness. Never read him, and not sure how sharp he really is, but this covers a big subject: how the armed forces avoided shrinking by finding new enemies and new missions after the cold war ended. I noticed another Halberstam book that might be interesting: The Fifties.

David Halberstam: The Coldest Winter: America and the Korean War (2007, Hyperion): Major work on Korean War, possibly also on early phase of Cold War. Reportedly focuses heavily on MacArthur while missing other aspects of the war.

Stephen P Halbrook: The Founders' Second Amendment: Origins of the Right to Bear Arms (2008, Ivan R Dee): Fundamental research into the why and wherefore of the second amendment. Argues that an individual right was seen as a way to check the abusive power of a standing army. Author previously wrote The Swiss and the Nazis: How the Alpine Republic Survived in the Shadow of the Third Reich, which is probably another brief in favor of broad gun ownership.

Fred Halliday: 100 Myths About the Middle East (paperback, 2005, University of California Press): Copy in store was shrinkwrapped, so I couldn't peer inside. Halliday writes for New Left Review. Looks like basic remedial education.

Jeff Halper: An Israeli in Palestine: Resisting Dispossession, Redeeming Israel (paperback, 2008, Pluto Press): An activist, especially in opposing Israel's demolition of Palestinian houses, Halper wrote a remarkable essay on the Israeli occupation's "matrix of control" showing that it goes far beyond such models as South Africa's bantustans.

Jeff Halper: War Against the People: Israel, the Palestinians and Global Pacification (paperback, 2015, Pluto Press): Head of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, and author of one of the most trenchant short analyses of Israel's "matrix of control" over the Palestinians, takes a deeper look at Israel's technologies of control, including how they are exported elsewhere in the world.

Mark Halperin/John F Harris: The Way to Win: Taking the White House in 2008 (2008, Random House): A couple of insider political hacks playing up their insider grasp of the usual mechanics of prseidential elections. Probably the most instantly disposable book of the season.

George C Halvorson/George J Isham: Epidemic of Care: A Call for Safer, Better, and More Accountable Health Care (2003, Wiley)

George C Halvorson: Health Care Reform Now!: A Prescription for Change (2007, Jossey-Bass)

George C Halvorson: Health Care Will Not Reform Itself: A User's Guide to Refocusing and Reforming American Health Care (2009, Productivity Press): CEO of Kaiser Permanente, the huge health care conglomerate in California, which actually has a relatively reasonable record of cost containment -- i.e., self-reform. Short book (184 pp), don't know how it plays out.

Jacob Darwin Hamblin: Arming Mother Nature: The Birth of Catastrophic Environmentalism (2013, Oxford University Press): The story here is about how the US military has been working ever since the start of the Cold War to figure out how the US can create environmental disasters and use them as strategic weapons: inducing droughts in the Soviet Union is just one example. Not sure if this is covered, but the US military continues to war game global warming -- the idea may be taboo among right-wing politicos, but the realities impinge on global military strategy (ranging from African droughts to submarine cover in the Arctic).

Mohsin Hamid: Discontent and Its Civilizations: Dispatches from Lahore, New York, and London (2015, Riverhead): Novelist from Pakistan, has lived in those other towns (currently a UK citizen), collects essays on "life, art, politics, and 'the war on terror.'"

Andy Hamilton: Lee Konitz: Conversations on the Improviser's Art (paperback, 2007, University of Michigan Press): I find interview books fascinating, besides which Konitz has always been such a thinker's saxophonist, with 50+ years on the creative fringe. Foreword by Joe Lovano. Next related book I ran across is the next one you'd want to see: Jason Weiss, ed: Steve Lacy: Conversations.

Dorothy Hamilton/Patric Kuh: Chef's Story: 27 Chefs Talk About What Got Them into the Kitchen (paperback, 2008, Harper Perennial): Foodie book: wonder if it goes much beyond the usual "my first taste of paté was better than sex" yarns.

Jeremy R Hammond: Obstacle to Peace: The US Role in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (paperback, 2016, Worldview)

Haider Ala Hamoudi: Howling in Mesopotamia: An Iraqi-American Memoir (2008, Beaufort Books): A cousin of Ahmed Chalabi, not quite an insider but something like that, making him a journalist with an unusual perspective on the US occupation of Iraq.

Howard Hampton: Born in Flames: Termite Dreams, Dialectical Fairy Tales, and Pop Apocalypses (2007, Harvard University Press): Big (496 pages) collection of film and music reviews. As I recall, Hampton and I wound up inadvertently reviewing the same William Parker album for the Village Voice once. [Paperback April 15]

Chelsea Handler: Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea (2008, Simon Spotlight Entertainment): Noticed this earlier, but figured it was too far off-topic to mention here, until it somehow showed up in my Amazon Recommendations list. Read a few pages in the store, which were funnier than "Sex and the City" but not as funny as Cynthia Heimel. Haven't heard from Heimel in a while, so maybe this fills a void. Handler previously wrote My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One-Night Stands. Heimel, on the other hand, wrote: Sex Tips for Girls (reissued as Advanced Sex Tips for Girls: This Time It's Personal); When Your Phone Doesn't Ring, It'll Be Me; If You Can't Live Without Me, Why Aren't You Dead Yet; and the more poignant Get Your Tongue Out of My Mouth, I'm Kissing You Goodbye!

Mark Hannah: The Best "Worst President": What the Right Gets Wrong About Barack Obama (2016, Dey Street Books): As Obama's second term comes to a close, it's tempting to start looking at his legacy, which Hannah views through the peculiar prism of the most ungrounded, counterfactual attacks any president has had to suffer. Still, vilification of political opponents is old hat in America, even if now it seems more unhinged than ever. The other part of the problem with Obama is that he hasn't clearly changed much, but he also has this idea that small incremental changes will have larger long-term consequences, and those are hard, perhaps impossible, to accurately gauge now. I suspect that Hannah is trying to claim those changes now, and I don't know that he's not right to do so.

James Hansen: Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth about the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity (2009, Bloomsbury): The NASA scientist best known for pushing the science and issues related to global warming. This book raised some hackles by opposing the cap-and-trade schemes that politicians like -- at least the ones that take the issue seriously at all. Hansen is also the subject of Mark Bowen: Censoring Science: Inside the Political Attack on Dr James Hansen and the Truth of Global Warming.

Randall Hansen: Fire and Fury: The Allied Bombing of Germany (2009; paperback, 2010, NAL)

Mark J Hanson/Daniel Callahan: The Goals of Medicine: The Forgotten Issues in Health Care Reform (paperback, 2001, Georgetown University Press)

Victor Davis Hanson: How the Obama Administration Threatens Our National Security (2009, Encounter): One of a series of short "broadsides" (this one is 48 pp.) slandering Obama. I just picked this one out because it's probably the most vacuous. Others include: John Fund: How the Obama Administration Threatens to Undermine Our Elections; David Gratzer: Why Obama's Government Takeover of Health Care Will Be a Disaster; Stephen Moore: How Barack Obama Is Bankrupting the US Economy; Andrew C McCarthy: How the Obama Administration Has Politicized Justice; and, of course, Michael A Ledeen: Obama's Betrayal of Israel.

Hussain Haqqani: Pakistan: Between Mosque and Military (paperback, 2005, Carnegie)

Husain Haqqani: Magnificent Delusions: Pakistan, the United States, and an Epic History of Misunderstanding (2013, Public Affairs): Of course, I doubt that the US could have done anything to make a success out of the 2001 Afghanistan intervention -- I think they sealed their fate in 1979 when they decided it would be such fun to arm religious fanatics to kill Russians -- but high on the Bush administration's list of tactical errors was their utter inability to come to a mutual understanding with Pakistan. (Nor did Obama do any better when he gave that pompous ass Richard Holbrooke the assignment.) Haqqani has been a Pakistani diplomat and is currently a professor at Boston U, so he's likely to be intimately acquainted with the sort of incomprehensible nonsense that makes for such epic misunderstandings.

Yuval Noah Harari: Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind (2015, Harper): From the emergence of modern humans c. 70,000 years ago, a mix of genetics and sociology used to construct a hypothetical prehistory, regardless of the title -- "packed with heretical thinking and surprising facts" one reviewer says.

Bernard E Harcourt: The Illusion of Free Markets: Punishment and the Myth of Natural Order (2011, Harvard University Press): If laissez-faire economics produces so much freedom, why do we have so many prisons? That's probably not the only question here. One of the preconcepts of laissez-faire is the idea that there is natural order that functions even in the absence of government regulation. Harcourt previously wrote Illusion of Order: The False Promise of Broken Windows Policing, Against Prediction: Profiling, Policing, and Punishing in the Actuarial Age, and Language of the Gun: Youth, Crime, and Public Policy.

Tim Harford: The Logic of Life: The Rational Economics of an Irrational World (2008, Random House): Another study of the fuzzy edges to economic rationality. Harford previously wrote a book I've read: The Undercover Economist: Exposing Why the Rich Are Rich, the Poor Are Poor -- and Why You Can Never Buy a Decent Used Car. He's most convincing about that car, not that he's right.

Tim Harford: The Undercover Economist Strikes Back: How to Run -- or Ruin -- an Economy (2014, Riverhead): Author of a series of book that try to explain economics with everyday examples, attempts to make the leap from micro to macro here. Not sure whether he's up to it, especially given the summaries I've read. I've read one of his book, and don't remember a thing about it.

Istvan Hargittai: Judging Edward Teller (2011, Prometheus Books): Author previously wrote a collective biography on five eminent Jewish-Hungarians, Martians of Science: Five Physicists Who Changed the Twentieth Century (2006; paperback, 2008, Oxford University Press) -- Theodore von Kármán, Leo Szilard, Eugene Wigner, John Von Neumann, and Teller; here he goes into much more depth on Teller, the implication that he would not only explore Teller's science but also his mania for Defense politics; not clear that he does. An alternative is Peter Goodchild: Edward Teller: The Real Dr Strangelove (2004, Harvard University Press); another is PD Smith: Doomsday Men: The Real Dr Strangelove and the Dream of the Superweapon (2007, St Martin's Press).

Johann Hari: Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs (2015, Bloomsbury USA): Wide-ranging history of the world's futile efforts to ban drug use, starting with the first prohibition one hundred years ago and leading up to at least one country that sensibly legalized the whole gamut. Lessons: "Drugs are not what we think they are. Addiction is not what we think it is. And the drug war has very different motives to the ones we have seen on our TV screens for so long."

Chris Harman: A People's History of the World: From the Stone Age to the New Millennium (paperback, 2008, Verso): New edition, originally published in 1999. Title parallels Howard Zinn's US history primer. Clearly, a comparable survey of world history would be useful. But, but all things considered, concise (760 pages). [April 7]

Chris Harman: A People's History of the World: From the Stone Age to the New Millennium (new edition, paperback, 2008, Verso): Brief for its subject (760 pages), tends in classic Marxist fashion to view everything as class struggle.

Chris Harman: Zombie Capitalism: Global Crisis and the Relevance of Marx (paperback, 2010, Haymarket Books): Late editor of International Socialism (d. 2009), author of A People's History of the World: From the Stone Age to the New Millennium (paperback, 2008, Verso). After all the crowing over the collapse of communism some blowback seems to be in order.

Alexandra Harney: The China Price: The True Cost of Chinese Competitive Advantage (2008, Penguin): Big subject, probably a lot of angles to it, with the low-price burden falling harshly on Chinese workers, and their competitiveness undermining workers here as well as elsewhere. One could even look at the waste side-effect of cheap goods, the psychological impact of consumerism, etc., but I'm not aware that Harney does so.

Ethan S Harris: Ben Bernanke's Fed: The Federal Reserve After Greenspan (2008, Harvard Business School): Seems a little premature to sum up Bernanke, especially since he's been through much more since this book appeared than before, but you can understand the urge to put Alan Greenspan behind us.

Ethan S Harris: Ben Bernanke's Fed: The Federal Reserve After Greenspan (2008; revised ed, paperback, 2010, Harvard Business Press): Seemed quick on the draw when it came out before Bernanke got a chance to live up to his reputation as an inflation hawk or get blindsided by the subprime bubble collapse. Paperback has been revised, but most often with these things the stamp is set at the start.

Robert L Harris: Information Graphics: A Comprehensive Illustrated Reference (paperback, 2000, Oxford University Press): An extensive catalog of ideas for presenting data graphically. Not splashy like Edward R Tufte's books, and pricey to boot.

Ruth Harris: Dreyfus: Politics, Emotion, and the Scandal of the Century (2010, Metropolitan Books): That would be the 19th century, although the 1895 L'affaire Dreyfus had profound implications for the 20th, including inspiring Theodor Herzl to come up with his program of colonialist Zionism, although France's ultimate rejection of the antisemitic attack on Alfred Dreyfus could have been developed in a wholly different direction. This looks to be the big (560 pp) book on a subject that has also been recently reviewed in Louis Begley: Why the Dreyfus Affair Matters (2009; paperback, 2010, Yale University Press), and Frederick Brown: For the Soul of France: Culture Wars in the Age of Dreyfus (2010, Knopf).

David Harsanyi: Obama's Four Horsemen: The Disasters Unleashed by Obama's Reelection (2013, Regnery): The paranoid hate lit moves into its post-apocalyptic phase, oblivious to the fact that not much happened under Obama's first term and that even less is likely under the second. The "four horsemen" are "national debt, widespread dependence on government, turmoil in the Middle East, and expansion of the bureaucratic state" -- makes me think of GW Bush, but, well, you know. Also competing for the paranoid bigot's dollars: John R Lott Jr: At the Brink: Will Obama Push Us Over the Edge? (2013, Regnery); Wayne Allyn Root: The Ultimate Obama Survival Guide: Secrets to Protecting Your Family, Your Finances, and Your Freedom (2013, Regnery); Ken Cuccinelli: The Last Line of Defense: The New Fight for American Liberty (2013, Crown).

Alan Hart: Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews, Volume One: The False Messiah (paperback, 2009, Clarity Press): One should be able to make a strong case for the title. Evidently a second volume is planned.

Alan Hart: Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews, Vol. 3: Conflict Without End (paperback, 2010, Clarity Press): Previous volumes were subtitled The False Messiah (up to 1948) and David Becomes Goliath (1948-1967). This focuses on Israel after 1967, the occupation and its perpetuation of conflict. It's worth noting that each of these periods offered a somewhat different Zionism, with the utopian ideology giving way to the practical politics of dominance and occupation.

Carl Hart: High Price: A Neuroscientist's Journey of Self-Discovery That Challenges Everything You Know About Drugs and Society (2013, Harper): A memoir, detailing the author's early interest in crack addiction as a user before he became a scientist and started researching others, rethinking how anti-drug laws work and what they are doing, especially given their racially-selective enforcement, and providing research on what drugs actually do, which is often not what you think.

Andrew Hartman: A War for the Soul of America: A History of the Culture Wars (2015, University of Chicago Press): The phrase "culture war" is brandied about so often that you probably know what Hartman is writing about -- a laundry list of hot-button issues ("abortion, affirmative action, art, censorship, feminism, and homosexuality") that the (mostly religious) right got worked up about since whenever, their hysteria more effective once they aligned with the right-wing Reagan juggernaut. But to call this a "war" posits a skirmish where both sides attack the other: in fact, the attacks almost all come from the right, and what they're attacking is most often an extension of basic civil and human rights contrary to the most cherished prejudices of the right. Note that the list above doesn't include theocracy, which is what most of the huff is really about.

Thom Hartmann, Screwed: The Undeclared War Against the Middle Class and What We Can Do About It (). Described as a "radio host," which makes me suspicious. I did find an earlier book -- The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight: The Fate of the World and What We Can Do Before It's Too Late -- intriguing enough to pick up, but haven't gotten to it.

William Hartung: Prophets of War: Lockheed Martin and the Making of the Military-Industrial Complex (2011, Nation Books): I'm more familiar with Boeing because Boeing is closer to home, but Lockheed Martin is an even bigger cog in the military-industrial complex, mostly because it's more purely military. First thing I did when I saw this was to look up my cousin (a former Lockheed VP) in the index, but he slipped by. Probably too much real dirt to report on. Hartung previously wrote How Much Are You Making on the War, Daddy?: A Quick and Dirty Guide to War Profiteering in the Bush Administration.

David Harvey, Limits to Capital (2007, Verso, paperback).

David Harvey: A Short History of Neoliberalism (paperback, 2007, Oxford University Press): Goes back three decades or so, roughly since 1970, the economic doctrines pushed especially by the US through the IMF, the World Bank, and various trade regimes. Harvey has a lot of books, including Limits to Capital and Spaces of Global Capitalism: A Theory of Uneven Geographical Development.

David Harvey: The Enigma of Capital and the Crises of Capitalism (2010, Oxford University Press): English Marxist, gives him a distinctive edge in sorting out the flows of capital at a time when the flow has been severely disrupted. Also wrote A Companion to Marx's Capital (paperback, 2010, Verso), based on forty-some years of teaching the book, its times, what it meant, what it might still mean today.

David Harvey: The Enigma of Capital and the Crises of Capitalism (2010; paperback, 2011, Oxford University Press): English Marxist critic of neoliberalism, has a longer term and deeper view of the 2008 meltdown than your average analyst. Also writes a bit dryer, which makes this somewhat of a slog, but it's one of the most worthwhile books I've read on the subject. Paperback adds on a new afterword.

David Harvey: Seventeen Contradictions and the End of Capitalism (2014, Oxford University Press): English Marxist, has been picking at the scab of capitalism for many years, churning out books like Limits to Capital (2007), A Short History of Neoliberalism (2007), and The Enigma of Capital and the Crises of Capitalism (2010) -- I read the latter and found it tedious but deeply insightful. No surprise that he finds capitalism rife with contradictions -- many are obvious even casually -- or that they periodically crack up but that "end" has proven elusive.

Richard L Hasen: The Voting Wars: From Florida 2000 to the Next Election Meltdown (2012, Yale University Press): Book came out in August, but would be much longer if author had waited until after November to assess the rash of voter ID laws Republicans put in place after winning so many 2010 elections. Say what you will about Obama, the economy, health care reform, and the Tea Party, the difference between 2008 and 2010 came down to a massive drop in voting, from 116 to 83 million: the more people the Republicans can keep away from the polls, the better their chances. Don't know whether Hasen spells this out or not, but "gaming the system" is no less than an attack on the fundamentals of democracy.

Richard L Hasen: Plutocrats United: Campaign Money, the Supreme Court, and the Distortion of American Elections (2016, Yale University Press): The title a play on the Citizens United ruling, where the right-wing Supreme Court concocted a scheme to eliminate limits on campaign spending and in principle turn elections into auctions among the superrich. Hasen, a professor of law and political science, has covered this beat before, notably in The Voting Wars: From Florida 2000 to the Next Election Meltdown (2012).

Philip Hasheider: The Complete Book of Butchering, Smoking, Curing, and Sausage Making: How to Harvest Your Livestock & Wild Game (paperback, 2010, Voyageur Press): Looks essential for anyone willing to contemplate just where your meat comes from, even if you're not quite ready to take the next step and do it yourself.

Ron Haskins/Isabel V Sawhill: Creating an Opportunity Society (paperback, 2009, Brookings Institution Press): Haskins was a Bush staff adviser on social policy, since moved on to Brookings. He also wrote, Work Over Welfare: The Inside Story of the 1996 Welfare Reform Bill. Sawhill, also at Brookings, has co-edited a book with Alice Rivlin, Restoring Fiscal Sanity. So I figure these for pretty conservative types, but Yglesias recommended this, arguing that how can you study inequality without moving to the left?

Jonathan Haslam: Russia's Cold War: From the October Revolution to the Fall of the Wall (2011, Yale University Press): We could use a systematic history of the Cold War from Soviet viewpoints. Not sure if this is it. One thing that makes me uncomfortable is a previous title: The Nixon Administration and the Death of Allende's Chile: A Case of Assisted Suicide. Suicide?

Ralph Hassig/Kongdan Oh: Hidden People of North Korea: Everyday Life in the Hermit Kingdom (2009, Rowman & Littlefield): Not much else available on this subject. We tend to reduce what little we learn into cartoon form -- South Park is a good example. Also new: Barbara Demick: Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea (2009, Random House).

Max Hastings: Retribution: The Battle for Japan, 1944-45 (2008, Knopf): Big book on the last year of the war against Japan, filled with atrocities on all sides. Author of a number of other WWII books, including the matching Armageddon: The Battle for Germany, 1944-1945, plus one on the Korean War.

Max Hastings: Inferno: The World at War, 1939-1945 (2011, Knopf): The author is knocking out huge WWII books at a furious clip, with this 729 pp. one following Armageddon: The Battle for Germany, 1944-1945 and Retribution: The Battle for Japan, 1944-45, plus Winston's War: Churchill 1940-1945, almost as if this is the Reader's Digest edition. Meanwhile, one of his chief competitors, Ian Kershaw, has rewritten the Germany book as The End: The Defiance and Destruction of Hitler's Germany, 1944-1945 (2011, Penguin Press).

Max Hastings: The Secret War: Spies, Ciphers, and Guerrillas, 1939-1945 (2016, Harper)

Michael Hastings: The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America's War in Afghanistan (2012, Blue Rider Press): Author interviewed Gen. Stanley McChrystal, supreme commander of US forces in Afghanistan, who made such an ass of himself he was sacked when the interview came out. Here, Hastings soldiers on, mopping up the rest of the US brass, their arguments over swank concepts that go nowhere on the ground.

Gary A Haugen/Victor Boutros: The Locust Effect: Why the End of Poverty Requires the End of Violence (2014; paperback, 2015, Oxford University Press). The authors are primarily talking about "common violence like rape, forced labor, illegal detention, land theft, and police abuse" but more organized forms of violence are even more effective at depressing a population and locking them in poverty. One thinks, for instance, of the total inability of the US occupying forces to rebuild Afghanistan and Iraq when faced with even relatively sporadic insurgent violence. Nor does the violence have to be "eruptive" -- the enforcement of economic sanctions depresses economies and pushes people into poverty (e.g., Gaza, or 1991-2003 Iraq, although the latter got worse). The authors argue that ending "common violence" requires effective criminal justice systems. Although you can find worse examples around the world, that doesn't let the US off lightly.

Wenonah Hauter: Foodopoly: The Battle Over the Future of Food and Farming in America (2012, New Press): "Local food" farmer, director of Food & Water Watch, explains how agricultural policy has been designed to aid Cargill, Tyson, Kraft, and ConAgra.

Wenonah Hauter: Frackopoly: The Battle for the Future of Energy and the Environment (2016, New Press): US petroleum production had been declining ever since Hubbert's Peak was hit in 1969, but at least in the short term new technologies like hydraulic fracturing has made it possible to recover more oil and to open up substantial amounts of natural gas trapped in shale deposits. On the other hand, all this new production adds to the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and fracking introduces new environmental problems -- so much so that opposition to it has become a potent political movement. Hauter herself heads an organization called Food & Water Watch, and previously wrote Foodopoly: The Battle Over the Future of Food and Farming in America (paperback, 2014, New Press).

Paul Hawken: Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution (paperback, 2000, Back Bay Books).

Paul Hawken, Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Movement in the World Came Into Being and Why No One Saw It Coming (Viking): Green capitalist, not real sure what the point is, but my cousin was reading this along with Bill McKibben's Deep Economy for a labor conference she's working on. Has a long appendix that looks to be a useful reference.

Fran Hawthorne: Inside the FDA: The Business and Politics Behind the Drugs We Take and the Food We Eat (2005, Wiley)

Michael V Hayden: Playing to the Edge: American Intelligence in the Age of Terror (2016, Penguin Press)

Tom Hayden: Writings for a Democratic Society: The Tom Hayden Reader (paperback, 2008, City Lights): New Left activist. I'm not sure I've ever read anything by him, but he has a recent book, Ending the War in Iraq. Don't have a table of contents here, but this runs 450 pages, probably 40 years.

Tom Hayden: The Long Sixties: From 1960 to Barack Obama (2009, Paradigm): Claims Obama for the 1960s civil rights and antiwar movements that brought Hayden to public attention. Seems like a stretch and a formula for disappointment, although Hayden was hardly alone in investing hope in Obama.

Tom Hayden: The Long Sixties: From 1960 to Barack Obama (2009, Paradigm): Fair enough for Hayden to write about the 1960s movements he was so prominent in, but Obama missed them, coming of age in the backlash years where he learned to be pragmatic, to couch his occasional idealistic-sounding rhetoric in obeissance to the powers that be. On the other hand, it's worth reminding that nearly all of the substantive agenda the 1960s new left succeeded -- civil rights were secured, the Vietnam War was ended, women made substantial advances both politically and economically, a serious effort was made to clean up the environment. Where the new left fell short was in not being able to secure the institutional power that would be needed to defend those gains. One might hope that Obama might succeed where the new left failed, but even if he had the inclination he may be too compromised. Still, how'd that '60s song go? "You can't always get what you want/but if you try sometimes you might find/you get what you need."

Brian Hayes: Infrastructure: A Field Guide to the Industrial Landscape (paperback, 2006, WW Norton): Large format illustrated book, lots of pictures and explanations of the technology that ties us together, especially the electrical system. Author also wrote a recent volume of math essays: Group Theory in the Bedroom, and Other Mathematical Diversions.

Christopher Hayes: Twilight of the Elites: America After Meritocracy (2012, Crown): The idea that anyone could rise in America commensurate with their talent, effort, and achievement, is passé. America is an oligarchy, not a meritocracy, and Hayes at least has finally figured that out. Lots of reasons are possible here: the simplest is that in a declining economy -- the measure of which is median wages and wealth, and both in real terms have declined for more than 30 years -- the elites have fewer job slots available, and the rich want them for their own idiot offspring. By the way, it wasn't Obama and Clinton who decided to tank the country -- they were poster boys for the meritocratic impulse, or would have been if their politics were more right-wing; it was the business elites who thought they were maligned in the 1970s and who thought they were brilliant in the 1980s who pushed their short-term self-serving game way past its limits and luck.

Christopher Hayes: Twilight of the Elites: America After Meritocracy (2012, Crown; paperback, 2013, Broadway): Shows how the idea of meritocracy is a two-edged sword: on the one hand, it accustoms you to thinking that inequality is due to merit; on the other, Hayes shows how the meritocracy game can be rigged, and inevitably degrades into oligarchy. He also shows that we're so far gone down this road one scarcely bothers with meritocracy any more, even as a shallow excuse.

Chris Hayes: A Colony in a Nation (2017, WW Norton): A look at race relations, keyed off the shooting in Ferguson, MO, expanding on the theme that there remain a managed colony of black people in America, separate and very different from the concept of an egalitarian nation commonly experienced (at least the lip-service) by whites. Hayes previous book, Twilight of the Elites: America After Meritocracy, was one of the most insightful, accessible, and powerful books on increasing inequality.

Steven F Hayward: The Age of Reagan: The Conservative Counterrevolution: 1980-1989 (2009, Crown Forum): Second big (768 pp) volume under that rubric. Don't know whether a third volume is in the works: Reagan was pretty much done even before he left office, but his cult has never let up in their campaign to beatify and deify him. Hayward is part of that cult, clearly show in a previous book title: Greatness: Reagan, Churchill, and the Making of Extraordinary Leaders. (Another memorable Hayward title: The Real Jimmy Carter: How Our Worst Ex-President Undermines American Foreign Policy, Coddles Dictators, and Created the Party of Clinton and Kerry.)

Simon Head: Mindless: Why Smarter Machines Are Making Dumber Humans (2014, Basic Books): Focuses on Computer Business Systems (CBSs) used to run large businesses, including the supply chains of Walmart and Amazon but also the financial shenanigans of Goldman Sachs. That this sort of technology is used to automate jobs and suppress wages has long been obvious. But who gets dumber as a result?

David Healy: Let Them Eat Prozac: The Unhealthy Relationship Between the Pharmaceutical Industry and Depression (paperback, 2006, NYU Press)

Jennifer Michael Hecht: The Happiness Myth: The Historical Antidote to What Isn't Working Today (2007; paperback, 2008, Harper One). Original subtitle: Why What We Think Is Right Is Wrong. History part digs into past/present ideas of happiness. Focuses on drugs, money, bodies, celebration. Not sure what she makes of them. My own view is that happiness is overrated as a pursuit, but nice when it comes along, especially if it doesn't take too much trouble. Author also wrote: Doubt: A History: The Great Doubters and Their Legacy of Innovation from Socrates and Jesus to Thomas Jefferson and Emily Dickinson.

Chris Hedges: War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning (paperback, 2003, Anchor Books).

Chris Hedges: Losing Moses on the Freeway: The Ten Commandments in America (2005, Free Press).

Chris Hedges, American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America (2007, Free Press).

Chris Hedges: I Don't Believe in Atheists (2008, Free Press): A short attack on Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, possibly others. Before he became a war journalist, Hedges did time in a seminary, and he still hasn't gotten over it. I've read three of his books, including Losing Moses on the Freeway: The 10 Commandments in America, which is most pointedly a book of his sense of religion. He hasn't improved my opinion of God, but I do have a lot of respect for Chris Hedges.

Chris Hedges: When Atheism Becomes Religion: America's New Fundamentalists (2008; paperback, Free Press, 2009): New title, a slight improvement over his original I Don't Believe in Atheists, although it introduces new problems. I haven't bothered with the Harris-Dawkins-Hitchens troika, whose books don't look all that interesting even though I reckon myself an atheist.

Chris Hedges: The World as It Is: Dispatches on the Myth of Human Progress (2011, Nation Books): Short, unhappy pieces -- someone describes them as sermons, and the former divinity student copes to the charge -- written 2006-10 and published on TruthDig.com. "It's Not Going to Be OK," "The Truth Alone Will Not Set You Free," "Liberals Are Useless," "A Culture of Atrocity," "War Is Sin," "War Is a Hate Crime," "No One Cares" -- sample chapters. One I read was less lofty: about a guy charged with stealing $9, held in jail two years before trial, acquitted of all charges, left with $12,000 in debts and no job or prospects.

Chris Hedges/Laila Al-Arian: Collateral Damage: America's War Against Iraqi Civilians (2008, Nation Books): Read an excerpt from this in The Nation already. It's important to realize how inevitable, widespread, and counterproductive all this killing is.

Chris Hedges/Laila Al-Arian: Collateral Damage: America's War Against Iraqi Civilians (2008; paperback, 2009, Nation Books): Atrocity stories, from soldiers on the spot.

Chris Hedges: Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle (2009, Nation Books): More on our blighted intellect and moral bankruptcy, an easy target for cheap shots, but Hedges is deep enough he's one of the few people I'm inclined to listen to when he preaches -- I take this more as a sequel to Losing Moses on the Freeway than to American Fascists or I Don't Believe in Atheists.

Chris Hedges: Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle (2009; paperback, 2010, Nation Books): Hard-hitting screed on the moral decline of America.

Chris Hedges: The Death of the Liberal Class (2010, Nation Books): Most likely another fevered political screed on the deterioration of public morals in American life, continuing a theme from his Empire of Illusion and, for that matter, Losing Moses on the Freeway. The "liberal class" is a vague but juicy target: he identifies five "pillars" -- the press, liberal religious institutions, labor unions, universities, and the Democratic Party. Each has lost authority, especially since the 1960s, and with that their moral high ground, leaving a void that is being filled by all sorts of dangerous nonsense -- the relevant Hedges book there is undoubtedly American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America.

Chris Hedges/Joe Sacco: Days of Destruction Days of Revolt (2012, Nation Books): Pine Ridge, SD; Camden, NJ; southern WV; Imoakalee, FL; Occupy Wall Street. Hedges reports, and rails; Sacco illustrates (although he has a book in his own right called Journalism).

Chris Hedges/Joe Sacco: Days of Destruction Days of Revolt (2012; paperback, 2014, Nation Books):

Chris Hedges: Wages of Rebellion: The Moral Imperative of Revolt (2015, Nation Books): Extended screed on the many wrongs of the American state, and a call for resistance, rebellion, revolution. Hedges is such a skilled journalist he has little trouble filling out the critique and making it seem reasonable. Harder to gauge as an action manual, but that's always the hard part.

Chris Hedges: Unspeakable: Talks With David Talbot About the Most Forbidden Topics in America (2016, Hot Books): Conversations, evidently the publisher has a series of these. Hedges was a divinity student who left the church and became a prize-winning war journalist, then the more he saw the more he moved to the left. Among his books: American Fascists, written back in 2007.

Jacob Heilbrunn: They Knew They Were Right: The Rise of the Neocons (2008, Doubleday): Covers similar ground to James Mann's Rise of the Vulcans: The History of Bush's War Cabinet, which I've read, but probably concentrates more on the ideologues, bench jockeys and backseat drivers.

John Heilemann/Mark Halperin: Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime (2010, Harper): Dirt on the campaign trail. It's not like you really thought any of these people were normal.

Richard Heinberg: The Party's Over: Oil, War and the Fate of Industrial Societies (2003; paperback, 2005, New Society).

Richard Heinberg: The Oil Depletion Protocol: A Plan to Avert Oil Wars, Terrorism and Economic Collapse (paperback, 2006, New Society).

Richard Heinberg: Peak Everything: Waking Up to the Century of Declines (2007, New Society): Another book in my queue. I think Heinberg's understanding of energy issues (e.g., peak oil) is quite solid -- his The Party's Over: Oil, War and the Fate of Industrial Societies is the best book I can recommend on the subject (much better than anything Michael Klare has done). Here he ventures beyond his strong suit into water, food, climate, etc. Should be interesting.

Richard Heinberg: Blackout: Coal, Climate and the Last Energy Crisis (paperback, 2009, New Society): One of the most persuasive authors on peak oil and what it means, especially why alternative energy sources are at best a limited answer, takes on the biggest and blackest: coal. Should be a very dirty read.

Richard Heinberg/Daniel Lerch, eds: Post Carbon Reader: Managing the 21st Century's Sustainability Crises (paperback, 2010, University of California Press): A couple dozen essays on peak oil, other resource crises, climate change (Bill McKibben), population ("the multiplier"), alternative energy and sustainability schemes. No single answer; just lots of issues that require sober analysis and cooperative efforts.

Richard Heinberg: The End of Growth: Adapting to Our New Economic Reality (paperback, 2011, New Society): Peak oil crank, got there early and has been one of the deepest analysts of what's happening and what it means. I think Heinberg is right in the not-all-that-long-term, but I wouldn't say that growth is over at the moment, if only for the reason that most current constraints are politically driven. The key characteristic of growth has long been a rising standard of living. In the US that's been halted by the right's dominance of political discourse. On the other hand, one possible explanation why the right's political agenda has moved beyond enriching themselves to impoverishing everyone else may be the sense that it's all coming to an end, and they merely want to get theirs while the getting's still good.

Richard Heinberg: Snake Oil: How Fracking's False Promise of Plenty Imperils Our Future (paperback, 2013, Post Carbon Institute): Horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing promises to increase the amount of oil we can extract from already largely depleted oil fields, and to make the extraction of natural gas from widespread shale deposits economically attractive -- assuming you don't get too squeamish about the environmental risks, which for gas at least are considerable. Heinberg wrote a book in 2003 which declared The Party's Over: Oil, War and the Fate of Industrial Societies and followed that up in 2007 with Peak Everything: Waking Up to the Century of Declines, and he's sticking to his guns here. For less dismal views of fracking, see: John Graves: Fracking: America's Alternative Energy Revolution (paperback, 2013, Safe Harbor); Vikram Rao: Shale Gas: The Promise and the Peril (paperback, 2012, RTI International); Tom Wilber: Under the Surface: Fracking, Fortunes, and the Fate of the Marcellus Shale (2012, Cornell University Press).

Richard Heinberg/David Fridley: Our Renewable Future: Laying the Path for One Hundred Percent Clean Energy (paperback, 2016, Island Press): Heinberg has written a number of books on the limits of basing our energy needs on oil, starting with The Party's Over: Oil, War and the Fate of Industrial Societies (2003) up to Snake Oil: How Fracking's False Promise of Plenty Imperils Our Future (2013), and he's generally been a pretty pessimistic sort, one book even titled The End of Growth: Adapting to Our New Economic Reality (2011). On the other hand, the cost of renewable energy sources has been plumeting (especially solar cells), opening up the possibility of transitioning to renewables with relatively little disruption (except, of course, to fossil fuel companies). Related: Lester R Brown: The Great Transition: Shifting From Fossil Fuels to Solar and Wind Energy (paperback, 2015, WW Norton); Gretchen Bakke: The Grid: The Fraying Wires Between Americans and Our Energy Future (2016, Bloomsbury USA).

Richard Hell: I Dreamed I Was a Very Clean Tramp: An Autobiography (2013, Ecco): One of the key musicians in the mid-1970s New York rock revolution, originally a founder of Television, later ran the Void-Oids. Seems to be a good writer as well as a focal point.

Michael Heller: The Gridlock Economy: How Too Much Ownership Wrecks Markets, Stops Innovation, and Costs Lives (2008, Basic Books): Well, one way there's too much ownership is in the way we parcel out legal monopolies known as patents. That's one of Heller's examples, but it looks like he'd like to see more use of eminent domain -- e.g., he complains about the inability to build 25 new runways that would eliminate most air travel delays. You always have conflicts between private ownership and public utilities, and lately we've leaned so far toward the private side that the public has suffered.

Raymond G Helmick: Negotiating Outside the Law: Why Camp David Failed (2004, Pluto Press): A Jesuit priest, Professor of Conflict Resolution, and mediator during the Camp David talks, places blame for the failure of the summit on the unwillingness of all parties to recognize applicable international law and position their goals within that framework. Based on what I know from Charles Enderlin: Shattered Dreams: The Failure of the Peace Process in the Middle East, 1995-2002 (2003, Other Press), and Clayton E Swisher: The Truth About Camp David: The Untold Story About the Collapse of the Middle East Peace Process (2004, Nation Boks), that makes sense.

Harry Helms: Top Secret Tourism: Your Travel Guide to Germ Warfare Laboratories, Clandestine Aircraft Bases and Other Places in the United States You're Not Supposed to Know About (paperback, 2007, Feral House): Not much of a travel guide, and evidently not all that complete -- e.g., no Fort Detrick, the evident source of the post-9/11 anthrax attacks, at the very least enabled by your tax dollars.

David Hemenway: Private Guns, Public Health (paperback, 2006, University of Michigan Press)

Timothy J Henderson: Beyond Borders: A History of Mexican Migration to the United States (2011, Wiley).

Obed Hendricks Jr: The Politics of Jesus: Rediscovering the True Revolutionary Nature of Jesus' Teachings and How They Have Been Corrupted (2006, Doubleday).

Steve Hendricks: A Kidnapping in Milan: The CIA on Trial (2010, WW Norton): The CIA kidnapped a terrorism suspect in Milan, in Italy, in 2003, and flew him to Egypt to be tortured. This was illegal, and Italian prosecutors investigated the case, eventually indicting a number of CIA operatives, and thereby exposing the entire covert operation. Some of this was previously covered in Stephen Grey's more general book, Ghost Plane: The True Story of the CIA Torture Program (2006).

Tyche Hendricks: The Wind Doesn't Need a Passport: Stories From the US-Mexico Borderlands (2010, University of California Press).

Robert Henson: The Rough Guide to Climate Change: The Symptoms, the Science, the Solutions (3rd ed, paperback, 2011): A broad, general purpose primer on the issues and the controversies; recommended by Duncan Clark as the first book to read on the subject. Has some picture but nothing as slick as Al Gore has done.

Doug Henwood: My Turn: Hillary Clinton Targets the Presidency (paperback, 2015, OR Books): All the dirt on Clinton, at least as viewed from the left, a perspective which reveals her as a corporate shill and inveterate warmonger. Henwood mostly writes about economic issues, in Left Business Observer. Other books tackling Clinton from the left include: Diana Johnstone: Queen of Chaos: The Misadventures of Hillary Clinton (paperback, 2015, CounterPunch), and Liza Featherstone, ed: False Choices: The Faux Feminism of Hillary Rodham Clinton (paperback, 2016, Verso [June 16]).

Bob Herbert: Losing Our Way: An Intimate Portrait of a Troubled America (2014, Doubleday): Former New York Times opinion columnist travels around America and finds much to worry, and complain, about.

Arthur Herman: Gandhi & Churchill: The Epic Rivalry That Destroyed an Empire and Forged Our Age (2008, Bantam): It rather trivializes matters to see this as a personal rivalry, don't you think? The side-by-side pictures on the cover are evocative, especially if you recognize the economic depredation India underwent at Britain's hands -- India's share of world GDP was reduced from 20% to something like 3% before they were able to throw off the British yoke. Herman previously wrote How the Scots Invented the Modern World: The True Story of How Western Europe's Poorest Nation Created Our World & Everything in It -- not what you'd call an India scholar.

Will Hermes: Love Goes to Buildings on Fire: Five Years in New York That Changed Music Forever (2011, Faber & Faber): 1973-77, basically the New York Dolls to Talking Heads, although there was also disco and funk and salsa and some jazz regrouping in downtown lofts -- not sure the author has the latter covered. I moved to NYC to hit the tail end of all that. I don't recall Hermes being around then, but he must have worked his way back there many times.

Bruce Herschensohn: An American Amnesia: How the US Congress Forced the Surrenders of South Vietnam and Cambodia (2010, Beaufort Books): And wouldn't we be so much happier if they hadn't, and we were still tied down fighting an endless war there? Like the one we're fighting in Afghanistan, ever since presidents Carter and Reagan decided to give Russia their taste of Vietnam?

Seymour Hersh: Chain of Command: The Road From 9/11 to Abu Ghraib (2004, Harper Collins).

Seymour M Hersh: The Killing of Osama Bin Laden (2016, Verso): Short book on how the US sent a team of Navy SEALs deep into Pakistan to assassinate the nominal leader of Al-Qaida. Hersh casts doubt on many of the stories the Obama administration spread about its exploit.

Mark Hertsgaard: Hot: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth (2011, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt): Global warming horror story, featuring author's daughter who can reasonably expect to live long enough to see as much as author prognosticates. James Hansen did something similar, calling his latest Storms of My Grandchildren.

Hendrik Hertzberg: ¡Obámanos!: The Rise of a New Political Era (2009, Penguin): New Yorker political columnist, looks like he's recycling old essays and wrapping them up to look like something new. Includes something on "Palinopsia," which was probably his alternate title if McCain won. "Brouhaha" was about Clinton. I guess he had it covered.

Regina Herzlinger: Market-Driven Health Care: Who Wins, Who Loses in the Transformation of America's Largest Service Industry (paperback, 1999, Basic Books): Harvard Business School prof, sees insurance as the problem for distorting prices; uses eyewear as an example of how an effective market-driven system should work.

Regina Herzlinger, Who Killed Health Care? America's $2 Trillion Medical Problem -- and the Consumer-Driven Cure (McGraw-Hill): Harvard Business School Dean, advocates some kind of market-driven system; not sure how that works, but looks like it could be a useful critique.

Peter Hessler: Oracle Bones: A Journey Through Time in China (2006; paperback, 2007, Harper Perennial).

Peter Hessler: Country Driving: A Journey Through China From Farm to Factory (2010, Harper): China-based journalist, wrote an earlier China book that has intrigued me: Oracle Bones: A Journey Through Time in China. This one travels around the fast-changing country, one of the best ways of getting a glimpse.

Shir Hever: The Political Economy of Israel's Occupation: Repression Beyond Exploitation (paperback, 2010, Pluto Press): The subtitle is key. Most colonial establishments sought to exploit cheap native labor, and Israel has done more of that than is commonly acknowledge. But the early focus on "Hebrew Labor" aimed at displacing native Palestinians, and Israel has repeatedly worked to isolate and suppress the Palestinian economy.

Duncan Hewitt: China: Getting Rich First: A Modern Social History (2008, Pegasus): Evidently focuses more on the internal upheavals caused by China's breakneck modernization than on the usual themes of superpower envy. Clearly, a lot of things are happening fast over there, and they are likely to defy most of our expectations.

Carl Hiaasen: The Downhill Lie: A Hacker's Return to a Ruinous Sport (2008, Knopf): My first thought was that this would be another test for George Plimpton's ball-size theory of sports books. I've never read any of the golf books Plimpton so admires, and I doubt that I'll try this one. Grew up thinking that golf was the sport of another class, and I've never overcome that mental framework. A Kenneth Rexroth poem about sneaking into the country club at night and shitting in the golf holes didn't help.

Steven Hiatt, A Game As Old As Empire: The Secret World of Economic Hit Men and the Web of Global Corruption (2007-02, Benett-Koehler).

Dave Hickey: The Invisible Dragon: Essays on Beauty (1993; revised and expanded, 2009, University of Chicago Press): I think of him as a rock critic, the author of Air Guitar: Essays on Art & Democracy, but his interests are broader. Something of a manifesto.

Brian Hicks/Chris Nelder: Profit From the Peak: The End of Oil and the Greatest Investment Event of the Century (2008, Wiley): I don't normally go for books that bill themselves as investment guides, even if the occasion is a catastrophe, but is nearly encyclopedic on the peak oil issue, and looks to be pretty level headed. Haven't looked at it close enough to figure out what that investment angle might be. Some of the books in this genre are: Aric McBay: Peak Oil Survival: Preparation for Life After Gridcrash; Mick Winter: Peak Oil Prep: Prepare for Peak Oil, Climate Change and Economic Collapse; Stephen Leeb: The Coming Economic Collapse: How You Can Thrive When Oil Costs $200 a Barrell; Stephen Leeb: The Oil Factor: Protect Yourself and Profit From the Coming Energy Crisis; George Orwel: Black Gold: The New Frontier in Oil for Investors; more generally: Daniel A Arnold: The Great Bust Ahead: The Greatest Depression in American and UK History is Just Several Short Years Away/This is Your Concise Reference Guide to Understanding Why and How Best to Survive It; Peter D Schiff: Crash Proof: How to Profit From the Coming Economic Collapse; James Turk/John Rubino: The Collapse of the Dollar and How to Profit from It: Make a Fortune by Investing in Gold and Other Hard Assets; Addison Wiggin: The Demise of the Dollar . . . : And Why It's Even Better for Your Investments; Michael J Panzner: Financial Armageddon: Protecting Your Future From Four Impending Catastrophes; Howard J Ruff: How to Prosper During the Coming Bad Years in the 21st Century. [Got and read this from library.]

John Higham: Strangers in the Land: Patterns of American Nativism, 1860-1925 (1955; paperback, 2002, Rutgers University Press).

Marc Lamont Hill: Nobody: Casualties of America's War on the Vulnerable, From Ferguson to Flint and Beyond (2016, Atria)

Rod Hill/Anthony Myatt: The Economics Anti-Textbook: A Critical Thinker's Guide to Microeconomics (paperback, 2010, Zed Books): Picks apart classical micro, most likely by comparing it to the messy reality the models try to abstract from.

Steven Hill: Europe's Promise: Why the European Way Is the Best Hope in an Insecure Age (paperback, 2010, University of California Press): As compared to what? The Tea Party movement? Kleptocracy and civil war in Africa? China's bourgeois revolution from above? I'm not sure Europe is such great shakes, but Americans have never wanted to follow the old world's lead. On the other hand, there is something to be said for sanity, which Europe proves is still possible.

Philip J Hilts: Protecting America's Health: The FDA, Business, and One Hundred Years of Regulation (2002; paperback, 2004, University of North Carolina Press)

Michael Hiltzik: Colossus: Hoover Dam and the Making of the American Century (2010, Free Press): Although it's been told before, the building of Boulder Dam remains an amazing story: there's certainly no way now that anything as big can be built as fast and as cheaply as it was in the 1930s. This book explains how, and that should be interesting in its own right. How you get an American Century from that is yet something else.

David Himmelstein/Steffie Woolhandler: Bleeding the Patient: The Consequences of Corporate Health Care (paperback, 2001, Common Courage Press)

Elizabeth Hinton: From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime: The Making of Mass Incarceration in America (2016, Harvard University Press): Author starts with Lyndon Johnson's War on Poverty, which includes a simultaneous "war on crime," a set of policing policies that Republicans (and Bill Clinton) kept building up while at the same time tearing down the welfare programs. It is probably no accident that Johnson's programs were launched while America was increasingly mired in war in Vietnam, and even less so that police became more militarized during the so-called War on Terror. In between you get the War on Drugs. The idea there was probably that in post-WWII America "war" is the magic word for unity and determination, but after Vietnam most Americans were tired of war, and anti-drug laws criminalized a wide swath of society, which gave increasingly well-financed police a wide license to pick and choose. The result is that "the land of the free" became the world's most pervasive prison state.

Dilip Hiro: Iraq: In the Eye of the Storm (paperback, 2002, Thunder's Mouth Press).

Dilip Hiro: Secrets and Lies: Operation "Iraqi Freedom" and After: A Prelude to the Fall of US Power in the Middle East? (paperback, 2003, Nation Books).

Dilip Hiro: The Essential Middle East: A Comprehensive Guide (second edition, paperback, 2003, Carroll & Graf).

Dilip Hiro: The Iranian Labyrinth: Journeys Through Theocratic Iran and Its Furies (paperback, 2005, Nation Books).

Dilip Hiro, Blood of the Earth: The Battle for the World's Vanishing Oil Resources (2006, Nation Books, paperback).

Dilip Hiro: After Empire: The Birth of a Multipolar World (2010, Nation Books): London-based reporter, has written much that is worthwhile on the Middle East, Central Asia, and oil politics. Book covers rising powers in China and India, and the relative decline of the war-logged United States.

Dilip Hiro: Inside Central Asia: A Political and Cultural History of Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tadjikistan, Turkey and Iran (2009; paperback, 2011, Overlook): Author of the encyclopedic The Essential Middle East: A Comprehensive Guide (2nd ed, paperback, 2003, Carroll & Graf), various books on Iran, Iraq, and oil, provides an overview to the ex-Soviet "-stans," which in addition to their continuing Russian (and Chinese) interests are also affected by Turkey and Iran. And yes, there's oil there, also Islamist militants, corrupt leaders, etc., everything you need for another round of "great games." Also available: Ahmed Rashid: Jihad: The Rise of Militant Islam in Central Asia (2002, paperback, Penguin Books); Olivier Roy: The New Central Asia: The Creation of Nations (updated ed, paperback, 2007, NYU Press).

Dilip Hiro: Apocalyptic Realm: Jihadists in South Asia (2012, Yale University Press): Author continues working his way around the troublespots of Asia, focusing here on the Kashmir border, which is to say India and Pakistan, although I wouldn't discount Afghanistan, which in some ways is the shadow of this long-lived, stubbornly fought dispute.

Dilip Hiro: The Longest August: The Unflinching Rivalry Between India and Pakistan (2015, Nation Books): The partition of India in 1947 led immediately to one of the greatest carnages of the post-WWII era, remembered through a continuous conflict that errupted in two more major wars between India and Pakistan and numerous threats and crises. Hiro, b. in Pakistan, has written dozens of books on the Middle East and South and Central Asia -- his reference book The Essential Middle East: A Comrepehsive Guide (2003) is one I keep on an easy-reach shelf; his A Comprehensive Dictionary of the Middle East (2013) would be an update -- so he's well positioned to cover this story.

Michael Hirsh: Capital Offense: How Washington's Wise Men Turned America's Future Over to Wall Street (2010, Wiley): Covers a couple decades of politically-connected economic thinking, basically the notion that all will be well if only you keep the financial markets happy. That's a mantra that's been followed lavishly and slavishly by presidents of both parties as we've lurched from one burst bubble to another. Newsweek writer, previously wrote At War With Ourselves: Why America Is Squandering Its Chance to Build a Better World (2003; paperback, 2004, Oxford University Press).

David Hirst: Beware of Small States: Lebanon, Battleground of the Middle East (2010, Nation Books): Previously wrote The Gun and the Olive Branch: The Roots of Violence in the Middle East, originally published in 1977 and revised for a third ed. in 2003, mostly about the Israel-Palestine conflict, which has repeatedly overflowed into Lebanon -- in 1978, in 1982 followed by a partial occupation that lasted until 1999, and again in 2006. It would be hard to improve on Robert Fisk's Pity the Nation for the 1980s period, but there's much to add since then.

David Hirst: Beware of Small States: Lebanon, Battleground of the Middle East (2010; paperback, 2011, Nation Books): Major history of Lebanon, a complex state again and again meddled with by dangerous and conniving forces -- Syria, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Iran, far from least the United States.

Christopher Hitchens: Hitch 22: A Memoir (2010, Twelve): Somehow I have no picture in my mind of Hitchens as a leftist journalist, which he was rumored to be before he got all gonzo and signed up for Bush's Iraq adventure. Since then he's mostly distinguished himself as a noisy atheist and a lout, which makes him a poor example for atheism. Presumably he explains, or more likely exemplifies, this here, not that either strikes me as reason to read further.

J Hoberman: Army Phantoms: American Movies and the Making of the Cold War (2011, New Press): Longtime Village Voice film critic, goes back to the 1946-56 period in search of demons -- a period of purges and black lists in the movie industry.

Eric Hobsbawm: On Empire: America, War, and Global Supremacy (2008, Knopf): Essay collection, plenty to write about, one of the major historians of the 20th century.

Eric Hobsbawm: How to Change the World: Tales of Marx and Marxism (2011, Little Brown UK): Intellectual history, with sections on Marx and his period and influence, the struggle against fascism, postwar Marxism, up to the recent. An historian who knows both the period and the lore well.

Adam Hochschild: King Leopold's Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa (1998).

Adam Hochschild: Bury the Chains: Prophets and Rebels in the Fight to Free an Empire's Slaves (paperback, 2006, Houghton Mifflin): The story of the political movement that over a few decades turned Britain from its leading position in the slave trade to abolitionism, with the British navy working to suppress the slave trade.

Adam Hochschild: To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918 (2011, Houghton Mifflin): The so-called Great War, with its mechanized slaughter, utopian rhetoric, and brutal assault on free thought. Focuses on the dispute between those who opposed the war and those who furthered it, especially in Britain, where the former were mostly jailed.

Adam Hochschild: Spain in Our Hearts: Americans in the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939 (2016, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt): As Franco turned to Hitler and Mussolini to support his movement in Spain's civil war, many others around the world, including 2800 Americans, rallied to the cause of Spanish democracy, becoming (in the terminology of the post-WWII CIA, "premature antifascists." This tries to tell their story, while picking up a few others like George Orwell. Author has written several notable books about (mostly British) protest movements against war and colonialism, such as King Leopold's Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa, Bury the Chains: Prophets and Rebels in the Fight to Free an Empire's Slaves, and To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918.

Arlie Russell Hochschild: Strangers in Their Own Land (2016, New Press): Sociologist sets out to explore "a stronghold of the conservative right" in Louisiana, finding "lives ripped apart by stagnant wages, a loss of home, an elusive American dream," a context for trying to understand their self-defeating political choices. Made a list of "6 books to understand Trump's win," compiled by people who probably don't understand it themselves. Also on that list: J.D. Vance: Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of Family and Culture in Crisis (2016, Harper).

Nathan Hodge/Sharon Weinberger: A Nuclear Family Vacation: Travels in the World of Atomic Weaponry (2008, Bloomsbury): Another history-via-travel book, which includes stops in Pakistan, Iran, India, China, North Korea, Israel, Russia, France, UK, as well as numerous spots in the US. Weinberger previously wrote: Imaginary Weapons: A Journey Through the Pentagon's Scientific Underground.

Nathan Hodge: Armed Humanitarians: The Rise of the Nation Builders (2011, Bloomsbury): Journalist on the war beat, seems to have backed into the notion of "nation building" as it has slipped into the Pentagon's counterinsurgency dogma -- as a tactic to prolong stalemated wars; whereas we're more used to "humanitarian intervention" as a political excuse to enter new wars. So I figure this could be more critical, but the military's adoption of the conceit could prove more damaging than ever.

Roger D Hodge: The Mendacity of Hope: Barack Obama and the Betrayal of American Liberalism (2010, Harper): Found this while searching out right-wing lunatic attacks on Obama, and if you replaced "liberalism" with pretty much anything else this would look like one, but the blurb quotes include Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein, and Barbara Ehrenreich ("should help wake up all those Obama-voters who've been napping while the wars escalate, the recession deepens, and the environment goes straight to hell").

Godfrey Hodgson: The Myth of American Exceptionalism (2009, Yale University Press): One of those ideas that keeps popping up no matter how many times you try to kill it. Not necessarily a good thing either. One Amazon review points out: "In the last third of the book, Hodgson details the areas where America truly is exceptional among industrial nations: last in health care, near last in educational achievement, first in incarceration rates, first in violent crime, last in intercity train service and public transit, first in income inequality, first in the amount spent on the military, first in allowing lobbyists and money to influence the democratic process." Probably helps that Hodgson is British. He's written a number of books on the US, including The World Turned Right Side Up: A History of the Conservative Movement in America.

Joan Hoff: A Faustian Foreign Policy From Woodrow Wilson to George W Bush: Dreams of Perfectability (paperback, 2007, Cambridge University Press): I don't normally list books this old, but when I see a blurb line like this I have to make a note: "Like no book since William Appleman Williams' The Tragedy of American Diplomacy, Hoff's study powerfully demonstrates that a better future for America (and the world) lies in coming to terms with the corrupt bargains of the past." Of course, she could have started with William McKinley but that was plain greed -- no one tops the sanctimonious arrogance of Wilson and Bush, plus you get the Dulles Brothers, Henry Kissinger, and Oliver North sandwiched in the middle.

Bruce Hoffman: Anonymous Soldiers: The Struggle for Israel, 1917-1947 (2015, Knopf): Author is some kind of "terrorism expert" -- wrote Inside Terrorism (rev ed, 2006, Columbia University Press), and, w/Fernando Reinares: The Evolution of the Global Terrorist Threat: From 9/11 to Osama bin Laden's Death (2014, Columbia University Press) -- so sees mandatory Palestine as a rare case study where Israeli terrorism "worked": as such, he rather narrowly focuses on the Irgun and LEHI (Stern Gang) from 1939-47, as opposed to the broader question of the militarization of the Yishuv from the death of Joseph Trumpeldor (1920) through the formation of Haganah and Palmach, the Arab Revolt (1937-39), WWII, and the final integration of Irgun and LEHI into the IDF in 1948. No doubt this has a lot of detail as far as it goes, but the broader book seems to have been an afterthought -- little more than jiggering the dates. Also note that it's easy to overrate the effectiveness of Irgun/LEHI terror, since the UK had basically decided to quit Palestine after suppressing the Arab Revolt. Also that the "soldiers" didn't remain "anonymous" for long: Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir parlayed their notoreity as terrorists into successful political careers (both became Prime Minister).

David E Hoffman: The Dead Hand: The Untold Story of the Cold War Arms Race & Its Dangerous Legacy (2009, Doubleday): Looks like a major book, based on research on both sides of the Cold War divide. Early on, at least some US military planners saw the arms race as a way to bankrupt the Soviet Union. That led to ever more fanciful schemes, which still possess the "best and brightest" minds of the Pentagon. That arms race almost immediately led to scenarios of apocalyptic destruction. It also caused a persistent unraveling of America's sense of democracy, a moral rot that time and again sided us with despotic regimes in a desperate totalitarian pursuit of gamesmanship. If this book doesn't spell all that out, it should.

David Hoffman: The Dead Hand: The Untold Story of the Cold War Arms Race and its Dangerous Legacy (2009, Doubleday): Not sure whether this is a general history of the arms race and its bizarre mentality or whether it just focuses on the "untold" parts, which seem to have a lot to do with chemican and biological weapons. Either way, likely to be useful for understanding the waste and folly of the cold war.

Philip T Hoffman: Why Did Europe Conquer the World? (2015, Princeton University Press): Economist, sees the answer in economics, basically the relatively intense competition between late medieval European states involving nearly continuous war. Their rivalry favored whoever could advance science and technology for destructive purposes, and whoever could solve the financial problems of such military adventures. Along the way, Hoffman rejects various other theories, like those of Jared Diamond (Guns Germs and Steel, which as I recall includes similar economic arguments among others). Evidently doesn't address the obvious next question, which is why Europe made such a mess of the world it conquered. Both rise and fall, after all, are intimately related.

Stanley Hoffmann, Chaos and Violence: What Globalization, Failed States, and Terrorism Mean for US Foreign Policy (Rowman & Littlefield).

John Hofmeister: Why We Hate the Oil Companies: Straight Talk From an Energy Insider (2010; paperback, 2011, St Martin's Griffin)

Douglas Hofstadter, I Am a Strange Loop (2007-03, Perseus).

Michael Hogan: Savage Capitalism and the Myth of Democracy: Latin America in the Third Millennium (paperback, 2009, Booklocker.com): Essays on Latin America, recommended by Noam Chomsky. Probably not the Michael J Hogan who has a number of books on cold war diplomatic history, nor the novelist Michael Hogan, but the Michael Hogan with a couple of previous books on Mexico is a possibility.

James Hoggan/Richard Littlemore: Climate Cover-Up: The Crusade to Deny Global Warming (paperback, 2009, Douglas & McIntyre): I basically accept the global warming hypothesis, but what I'm more certain of is that the disinformation campaign of business and political interests is way off base, so this book at least should be on relatively firm ground.

Joshua Holland: The Fifteen Biggest Lies About the Economy: And Everything Else the Right Doesn't Want You to Know about Taxes, Jobs, and Corporate America (paperback, 2010, Wiley): Good idea for a primer, but mostly stuff I already know laid out on a broad political level. I'd be more impressed if the author could tackle some deeper problems, like John Quiggin does in Zombie Economics: How Dead Ideas Still Walk Among Us.

Tom Holland: Rubicon: The Last Years of the Roman Republic (paperback, 2005, Anchor Books).

Tom Holland: The Forge of Christendom: The End of Days and the Epic Rise of the West (2009, Doubleday): A history of Europe's 1K crisis -- the apocalyptic expectations surrounding the year 1000. Don't know how far this goes, but it certainly sets the stage for the Crusades beginning in 1095. Holland has written a couple of books on earlier history: Rubicon: The Last Years of the Roman Republic and Persian Fire: The First World Empire and the Battle for the West. I found Rubicon to be a very useful introduction to a subject I knew little of.

Tom Holland: In the Shadow of the Sword: The Birth of Islam and the Rise of the Global Arab Empire (2012, Doubleday): Wrote two books of ancient history, one on Rome (Rubicon: The Last Years of the Roman Republic) and one on the Middle East (Persian Fire: The First World Empire and the Battle for the West), and now has two more even more complementary, The Forge of Christendom: The End of Days and the Epic Rise of the West, which runs from Otto to the Crusades, so this adds to the back story, the rise of Islam. When I read Forge, I was struck by the nastiness of his take on Islam, which doesn't bode well here.

Leslie Holmes, Rotten States? Corruption, Post-Communism, and Neoliberalism (Duke University Press, paperback).

Stephen Holmes: The Matador's Cape: America's Reckless Response to Terror (2007, Cambridge University Press).

David Holmgren: Future Scenarios: How Communities Can Adapt to Peak Oil and Climate Change (paperback, 2009, Chelsea Green).

William J Holstein: Why GM Matters: Inside the Race to Transform an American Icon (2009, Walker): A timely subject, given that the US government is likely to wind up owning about 50% of the formerly huge automaker, and few people (if anyone) have a clue to do about it. Looks like this has more to do with the size and economic relationships that GM has than the details of car making.

Harold Holzer/Norton Garfinkle: A Just and Generous Nation: Abraham Lincoln and the Fight for American Opportunity (2015, Basic Books): "Rather than a commitment to eradicating slavery or a defense of the Union, [the authors] argue, Lincoln's guiding principle was the defense of equal economic opportunity." They do figure that the emancipation of slaves was a step toward such opportunity, but also bring up other efforts, casting the first Republican president as "the protector not just of personal freedom but of the American dream itself." In other words, the opposite of the party which seeks to crush that dream today.

Elizabeth Holtzman/Cynthia L Cooper: Cheating Justice: How Bush and Cheney Attacked the Rule of Law, Plotted to Avoid Prosecution -- and What We Can Do About It (2011, Beacon Press): Former prosecutor and congresswoman, wrote a book during the Bush reign laying out the case for impeachment, remains hot on the miscreants' tails. Good thing someone is. Nothing Obama did or didn't do has disappointed me so much as his unwillingness to look back at the Bush years and expose the malfeasances there -- and not just because had he done so he would have been forced to think twice before repeating so many of them.

Jed Home, Breach of Faith: Hurricane Katrina and the Near Death of a Great American City (Random House).

Thomas Homer-Dixon: The Ingenuity Gap ().

Thomas Homer-Dixon: The Upside of Down: Catastrophe, Creativity, and the Renewal of Civilization (paperback, 2008, Island Press): Big thinker, able to draw on a vast range of knowledge, but his skills at manipulating possible world scenarios ultimately reduces the world to simplistic models. Finding an upside to a downside is one such model, but not the only one. Previously wrote The Ingenuity Gap: Facing the Economic, Environmental, and Other Challenges of an Increasingly Complex and Unpredictable Future, which I was impressed with but didn't manage to slog through.

Thomas Homer-Dixon, ed: Carbon Shift: How the Twin Crises of Oil Depletion and Climate Change Will Define the Future (2009, Random House Canada): Smart guy, likes big questions with a lot of weight on the future. This is one of those questions, but he's just editing, pulling together six Canadian experts, including William Marsden, author of a title worth repeating: Stupid to the Last Drop: How Alberta Is Bringing Environmental Armageddon to Canada (And Doesn't Seem to Care).

Jessica Hopper: The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic (paperback, 2015, Featherproof Books): She mostly writes for Pitchfork, which I don't read enough to have any sense of who she is or what she likes. Pitchfork's business model is based on the ideas that bits are cheap and so are writers, so make the latter crank out plenty of the former -- always more than it takes to glaze my eyes over. Her title is provocative, and not just because Ellen Willis and Lillian Roxon are dead, or because others like Ann Powers went straight into books without bothering to gather up their numerous short pieces. Still, the main reason I mention this book is to throw in a plug for Carol Cooper's Pop Culture Considered as an Uphill Bicycle Race: Selected Critical Essays (1979-2001), which belies Hopper's title.

John Horgan: The End of War (2012, McSweeney's): Science writer, argues that war is not intrinsic to human nature nor inevitable, and that we are in fact trending towards ending war. I think one way to look at this is to look at the rationales that are used to advocate and serve in war: they've changed markedly over the last few centuries. One might point out that the US used to have a War Department that rarely went to war, but now that we've renamed it the Department of Defense it's always involved in one shootout or another, so this is a thorny subject, correct I think, but a habit hard to break.

Robert D Hormats, The Price of Liberty: Paying for America's Wars (Henry Holt). Goldman Sachs vice-chairman. Henry Kissinger sez, "Robert Hormats mounts a compelling argument that America faces large-scale economic catastrophe due to lack of a long-term, fiscally sound strategy for meeting military and security needs as well as domestic obligations."

Nick Hornby: The Polysyllabic Spree (paperback, 2004, McSweeney's): A short book about reading books, done on the cheap. I have a soft spot for meta-books, but this may be a little too soft to bother with.

Alistair Horne: Kissinger: 1973, the Crucial Year (2009, Simon & Schuster): Actually, the crucial year will be the one Kissinger spends in the Hague.

Alistair Horne: Hubris: The Tragedy of War in the Twentieth Century (2015, Harper): Argues that the many major wars of what the late Gabriel Kolko summed um as Century of War (1994) turned on excessive hubris of one side or the other ("In Greek tragedy, hubris is excessive human pride that challenges the gods and ultimately leads to total destruction of the offender" -- in reality the US has been a repeat offender without paying the ultimate price). Huge topic, but to provide depth of battle detail Horne limits his study to six cases: Tsushima (1905), Mononhan (1939), Moscow (1941), Midway (1942), Korea (1950), and Dien Bien Phu (1954).

Gerald Horne: The Counterrevolution of 1776: Resistance and the Origins of the United States of America (2014, NYU Press): Argues that by 1776 Britain was increasingly likely to abolish slavery, so one major motivation for the American Revolution was the desire of slaveholders to preserve their peculiar institution. Conversely, slave revolts in the British Caribbean were increasing, and likely to spread to the American colonies. Author previously wrote Negro Comrades of the Crown: African Americans and the British Empire Fight the US Before Emancipation (paperback, 2013, NYU Press), and Race to Revolution: The US and Cuba During Slavery and Jim Crow (paperback, 2014, Monthly Review Press). An earlier book with a similiar thesis is Alfred Blumrosen: Slave Nation: How Slavery United the Colonies and Sparked the American Revolution (paperback, 2006, Sourcebooks).

Jack Horner/James Gorman: How to Build a Dinosaur: The New Science of Reverse Evolution (2009; paperback, 2010, Plume): Original subtitle: Extinction Doesn't Have to Be Forever. I went through a phase reading a lot of paleontology books, including Horner's Digging Dinosaurs: The Search That Unraveled the Mystery of Baby Dinosaurs. The Jurassic Park angle strikes me as nuts, but Horner's made major contributions to figuring out how dinosaurs functioned, especially advancing the "warm-blooded" hypothesis which I find makes a lot of sense.

Alexandra Horowitz: Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know (2009, Scribner): One of those topics you wonder about now and then. Seems like a good idea for a book, but how do we know that the author knows what dogs know? And even if someone knew all that, could it be communicated over an epistemological that is no doubt pretty broad?

Tony Horwitz: Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches From the Unfinished Civil War (paperback, 1999, Vintage Books): A journalistic survey of residual Confederate fans, sympathetic enough to be recommended by some, presumably rooted accurately enough in history to be useful.

Tony Horwitz: A Voyage Long and Strange: Rediscovering the New World (2008, Henry Holt): General history of the European discovery of America, possibly incorporating travelogue. First section on Discovery hits Vinland and Santo Domingo, but the rest, up through Plymouth, settles in the future continental US.

Tony Horwitz: A Voyage Long and Strange: On the Trail of Vikings, Conquistadors, Lost Colonists, and Other Adventurers in Early America (2008; paperback, 2009, Picador): Seems like one of those writers who tells a good history yarn by tracing his travels the various spots -- cf. a previous title, Blue Latitudes: Boldly Going Where Captain Cook Has Gone Before.

Albert Hourani: A History of the Arab Peoples (paperback, 1992, Warner Books).

Christopher Howard: The Welfare State Nobody Knows: Debunking Myths About US Social Policy (paperback, 2008, Princeton University Press): Looks like a fairly informative, non-ideological investigation. Yes, there is a welfare state, a pretty big one. No, it doesn't work very well, especially in terms of redistributing wealth. On the other hand, it works better than nothing, at least in terms of preventing the middle class from getting swamped in crises. It could work better, but most people are pretty confused about it all.

Philip K Howard: The Rule of Nobody: Saving America From Dead Laws and Broken Government (2014; paperback, 2015, WW Norton): Lawyer, political theorist, wrote The Death of Common Sense: How Law Is Suffocating America (1994), followed by The Collapse of the Common Good: How America's Lawsuit Culture Undermines Our Freedom (2002) and Life Without Lawyers: Liberating Americans From Too Much Law (2009). His big point -- that too many laws and regulatory rules, and lawyers and bureaucrats, has turned into a trap that has all sorts of bad effects, from inhibiting common sense to sapping freedom -- is something that we can all relate to, but still you have to wonder who benefits? For instance, lawsuits have never been the great leveler of theory, but sometimes they do manage to bring corporate abuses to an end. Howard wants to get rid of most lawsuits, which sounds laudable but not if doing so leaves us without recourse to right wrongs. It turns out that Howard is founder and chair of Common Good, a "nonpartisan, nonprofit legal reform coalition" trying to implement his recommendations. He seems to have support from members of both political parties, but most of the names mentioned in his Wikipedia page (which reads like PR) are Republicans (Jeb Bush, Alan Simpson, Mitch Daniels) and mouthpieces like David Brooks. Still, I imagine someone could rewrite Howard's books to arrive at a more progressive result -- although that may involve equalizing access to lawyers and lobbyists before cutting back on the overkill. Howard, by the way, wrote another book that is alarming and self-discrediting on the surface: The Lost Art of Drawing the Line: How Fairness Went Too Far (2001): nothing then or since suggests that we're suffering from too much fairness.

Georgina Howell, Gertrude Bell: Queen of the Desert, Shaper of Nations (2007-04, Farrar Straus and Giroux).

Russ Hoyle: Going to War: How Misinformation, Disinformation, and Arrogance Led America Into Iraq (2008, Thomas Dunne): Stop me if you've heard this one before. At 544 pages may even have something you don't know already.

Madeline Y Hsu: The Good Immigrants: How the Yellow Peril Became the Model Minority (2015; paperback, 2017, Princeton University Press).

Douglas W. Hubbard: The Failure of Risk Management: Why It's Broken and How to Fix It (2009, Wiley): Back to the drawing board. One thing we know now is that the computer models for risk management on things like CDOs and CDSs have been wildly wrong. Presumably Hubbard, who's supposed to be an expert in such, is out to correct that.

Peter Huber/Mark P Mills: The Bottomless Well: The Twilight of Fuel, the Virtue of Waste, and Why We Will Never Run out of Energy (paperback, 2006, Basic Books).

Jack Huberman: Bushit! An A-Z Guide to the Bush Attack on Truth, Justice, Equality, and the American Way (paperback, 2006, Nation Books).

Jack Huberman: 101 People Who Are Really Screwing America (And Bernard Goldberg Is Only #73) (paperback, 2006, Nation Books).

Andrew Hudson/Paul Hudson: Red Hat Fedora Core 6 Unleashed (paperback, 2006, Sams).

Deal W Hudson: Onward, Christian Soldiers: The Growing Political Power of Catholics and Evangelicals in the United States (2008, Threshold Editions): On the political rise of the religious right.

Michael Hudson: The Bubble and Beyond: Fictitious Capital, Debt Deflation and Global Crisis (paperback, 2012, Islet): Economist, has a bunch of books but is perhaps best known for his 2006 essay predicting "the coming real estate collapse." He has ahead of the curve back then, and likely still is.

Michael Hudson: Finance Capitalism and Its Discontents 1: Interviews and Speeches, 2003-2012 (paperback, 2012, Islet): Also wrote The Bubble and Beyond: Fictitious Capital, Debt Deflation and Global Crisis (paperback, 2012, Islet), and going back a ways, Super Imperialism: The Origin and Fundamental of US World Dominance (new edition, paperback, 2003, Pluto Press), an unorthodox economist who has been exceptionally sharp at predicting the 2008 collapse. This collects his map of the path to the brink, while The Bubble and Beyond shows us the chasm beyond.

Michael Hudson: Killing the Host: How Financial Parasites and Debt Destroy the Global Economy (paperback, 2015, Islet): Unorthodox economist, has seen this coming for a long time and written many books about it -- most recently The Bubble and Beyond: Fictitious Capital, Debt Deflation and Global Crisis (2012), and more presciently an essay on "the coming real estate collapse" in 2006. As I've tried to point out, the function of debt today has little to do with putting savings to productive work, and much to do with allowing people who can't afford it to keep up appearances until they crash. Needless to say, this is unsustainable -- not that governments haven't struggled heroically to keep the bankers solvent.

Michael Hudson: J Is for Junk Economics: A Guide to Reality in an Age of Deception (paperback, 2017, Islet): Presented as a "companion" to his 2015 book, Killing the Host: How Financial Parasites and Debt Destroy the Global Economy. Starts with an "A-to-Z" of key economic terms, nothing that "economic vocabulary is defined by today's victors -- the rentier financial class," and working to unmask their spin. Follows up with several scattered essays, like "The 22 Most Pervasive Economic Myths of Our Time," "Economics as Fraud," and "Methodology Is Ideology, and Dictates Policy." He was one of the first to recognize the real estate bubble of the 2000's and predict its bust -- a now obvious point that all but a few conventional economists missed.

Michael W Hudson: The Monster: How a Gang of Predatory Lenders and Wall Street Bankers Fleeced America -- and Spawned a Global Crisis (2010, Times Books): A former Wall Street Journal reporter, now writes for Center for Public Integrity. Hardly the first to tackle the big story of our times, nor to focus on the subprime mortgage machine. Previously wrote Merchants of Misery: How Corporate America Profits From Poverty (1996; paperback, 2002, Common Courage Press). Not the same Michael Hudson who wrote a 2006 essay in Harper's predicting the subprime collapse ("The New Road to Serfdom: An Illustrated Guide to the Coming Real Estate Collapse"); the latter is an economist who wrote Super Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire (1971; new edition subtitled The Origin and Fundamentals of US World Dominance, paperback, 2003, Pluto Press), and A Philosophy for a Fair Society (paperback, 1994, Shepheard-Walwyn).

Ariana Huffington: Right Is Wrong: How the Lunatic Fringe Hijacked America, Shredded the Constitution, and Made Us All Less Safe (and What You Need to Know to End the Madness) (2008, Knopf): At least she snagged a good title this time. I still find it hard to take her seriously, but the Amazon reviews are pretty evenly divided between 5 and 1 stars -- one of the latter called the book "a vile cesspool of hate."

Arianna Huffington: Third World America: How Our Politicians Are Abandoning the Middle Class and Betraying the American Dream (2010, Crown): I don't trust her, and I hate it when politicians like Obama whine on and on about what they're going to do for the middle class, but the basic thesis here is right. It's not so much that the present middle class is being attacked as that the basic economic relationships that made it possible working people to enjoy middle class comforts have been undermined and will keep getting torn down any chance the right gets. However, what is needed isn't aid to the present middle class but raising the floor under the working class to give them and their children and so forth new opportunities to grow.

Matthew W Hughey/Gregory S Parks: The Wrongs of the Right: Language, Race, and the Republican Party in the Age of Obama (2014, NYU Press): Looks at how Republicans talk about Obama and finds various ways they exploit lingering racism in America.

Wang Hui: The End of the Revolution: China and the Limits of Modernity (2010, Verso): Chinese "new left" intellectual, an activist in Tiananmen Square, evidently has a four volume intellectual history of modern China somewhere in the translation mill. Something is happening in China now that we haven't begun to understand, but little pieces like this are bound to help. Still, as Chou En-lai said about the French Revolution, it's really too early to tell.

Mike Hulme: Why We Disagree About Climate Change: Understanding Controversy, Inaction and Opportunity (paperback, 2009, Cambridge University Press): The argument here seems to be that when we argue about climate change, we're actually arguing about something else: about what "the human project" is all about.

Edward Humes: Monkey Girl: Evolution, Education, Religion, and the Battle for America's Soul (paperback, 2008, Harper Perennial): On the political struggle over intelligent design vs. evolution, especially the Dover, PA case, although there's also quite a bit on Kansas here.

R Stephen Humphreys: Between Memory and Desire: The Middle East in a Troubled Age ().

Lynn Hunt, Inventing Human Rights: A History (WW Norton).

Zahid Hussain: Frontline Pakistan: The Struggle Within Militant Islam (2007; paperback, 2008, Columbia University Press)

Stephen SS Hyde: Cured! The Insider's Handbook for Health Care Reform (paperback, 2009, HobNob): Perfect markets can fix anything.

Louis Hyman: Debtor Nation: The History of America in Red Ink (2011; paperback, 2012, Princeton University Press): On the expansion of consumer credit in America. Also has another book, Borrow: The American Way of Debt (paperback, 2012, Vintage), which appears to cover the same ground. Don't know what his angle is, but one way to think of the expansion of consumer debt is as an ersatz wage substitute: it allows people to buy more without being worth more. As median incomes have stagnated over the last 30 years, consumer debt allowed the illusion that the wage progress of previous generations has continued. As that seems unlikely to be sustainable, one would expect some sort of crisis to follow.

Raymond Ibrahim, ed: The Al Qaeda Reader (paperback, 2007, Broadway): In case your copy of Mein Kampf is lonely. Introduction is by Victor Davis Hanson, who's certain to muddy the waters.

Icon Group International: Health Care Reform: Webster's Timeline History, 1945-2007 (paperback, 2009, Icon Group)

Gwen Ifill: The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama (2009, Doubleday): Seemed like an obvious subject for the most prominent black reporter on television -- she can claim a breakthrough or two on her own. Also seems likely to be slight: I haven't seen any evidence of her getting sharper in the last few years, even with subjects as easy as Bush and Cheney let alone as subtle and discerning as Obama.

Noel Ignatiev: How the Irish Became White (1995; paperback, 2008, Routledge Classics).

Dan Immergluck: Foreclosed: High-Risk Lending, Deregulation, and the Undermining of America's Mortgage Market (2009, Cornell University Press): Another history of the rise and fall of the mortgage market.

Richard B Immerman: Empire for Liberty: A History of American Imperialism From Benjamin Franklin to Paul Wolfowitz (2010, Princeton University Press): Subtitle reminds me of Sorel's cartoon of the evolution of presidents from FDR on, but this looks to be more episodic, with six figure singled out: Franklin, Henry Seward, Henry Cabot Lodge, John Foster Dulles, and Wolfowitz. Not sure how Franklin qualifies, but in his time expansion was largely conceived as contiguous and homogenizing. Not so with Seward's drive across the Pacific, Lodge's militarization of that drive, or the global megalomania of Dulles and Wolfowitz.

Laura Ingraham: The Obama Diaries (2010, Threshold): By a leftist, this would no doube be satire? But what's the word to describe something like this from someone with no sense of humor, let alone grasp of reality? Garbage seems too kind.

Paul Ingrassia: Crash Course: The American Automobile Industry's Road from Glory to Disaster (2010, Random House): I imagine there's a lot one can say about this subject -- the first key question being when do you want to start? To get to some glory, you have to go back quite a ways. The collapse of profits is a more recent problem, more susceptible to scapegoating. Of course, even if he doesn't get the whole story right, a little dirt can't hurt. Previously wrote Comeback: The Fall & Rise of the American Automobile Industry, which appears now to have been premature.

James Inhofe: The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future (2012, WND Books): Cover introduces Inhofe as "US Senator"; actually he's just a Republican from Oklahoma, but since the opposition to the science of climate change is overwhelmingly political, why not let a real politician (as opposed to a hack like Roy Spencer) do the talking: "Americans are over-regulated and over-taxed. When regulation escalates, the result is an increase in regulators. In other words, bigger government is required to enforce the greater degree of regulation. Bigger government means bigger budgets and higher taxes. 'More' simply doesn't mean 'better.' A perfect example is the entire global warming, climate-change issue, which is an effort to dramatically and hugely increase regulation of each of our lives and business, and to raise our cost of living and taxes." Nothing here about whether the science is true. Nothing about future effects. Nothing about whether it can be mitigated or controlled. The whole case for opposition is that it runs against Inhofe's political agenda, which is itself nonsense. There are many other books that oppose the supposed political agenda riding on top of climate science, and even a few that try to "debunk" that science. I published a long list in 2010; some more recent ones include: Larry Bell: Climate of Corruption: Politics and Power Behind the Global Warming Hoax (2011, Greenleaf); Patrick J Michaels: Climate Coup: Global Warming's Invasion of Our Government and Our Lives (2011, Cato Institute); Brian Sussman: Eco-Tyranny: How the Left's Green Agenda Will Dismantle America (2012, WND Books); Robert Zubrin: Merchants of Despair: Radical Environmentalists, Criminal Pseudo-Scientists, and the Fatal Cult of Antihumanism (2012, Encounter Books).

Steve Inskeep: Jacksonland: President Andrew Jackson, Cherokee Chief John Ross, and a Great American Land Grab (2015, Penguin Books): In case you ever got queasy about Stalin moving whole nations to the barren margins of Russia, beware that he got the idea from an American, Andrew Jackson, who ordered the Cherokee (and other tribes) uprooted and moved from North Carolina to Oklahoma (then designated "Indian Territory"). The story, retold here with uncommon focus on the Cherokee chief, is commonly known as the "Trail of Tears." Ready why. The author, by the way, was last seen writing about Pakistan: Instant City: Life and Death in Karachi (2011, Penguin Books).

George Irvin: Super Rich: The Rise of Inequality in Britain and the United States (paperback, 2008, Polity): Presumably an English writer, otherwise why bother with them. On the other hand, may be good that he does, because the trend isn't limited to the US, and it produces similar problems elsewhere.

Neil Irwin: The Alchemists: Three Central Bankers and a World on Fire (2013, Penguin Press): Focuses on central banks in the US (Ben Bernanke), UK (Mervyn King), and Europe (Jean-Claude Trichet), how they've handled the financial meltdown from August 2007 forward -- and hopefully pointing out how they haven't handled it very well.

Neil Irwin: The Alchemists: Three Central Bankers and a World on Fire (2013; paperback, 2014, Penguin Press):

Robert Irwin, Dangerous Knowledge: Orientalism and Its Discontents (Overlook): A counterattack on Edward W. Said's famous book Orientalism, which itself discredited several generations of Western scholarship on the Middle East for their support of western imperialism. Seems likely to me that both views are true, in large part because texts inevitably reveal more than they intend.

Joel Isaac/Duncan Bell, eds: Uncertain Empire: American History and the Idea of the Cold War (paperback, 2012, Oxford University Press): A dozen scattered essays, no one I recognize and no clear political bent, but a couple look interesting -- "War Envy and Amnesia: American Cold War Rewrites of Russia's War"; "God, the Bomb, and the Cold War: The Religious and Ethical Debate Over Nuclear Weapons, 1945-1990"; "Blues Under Siege: Ralph Ellison, Albert Murray, and the Idea of America" -- and one that I wonder about: "Cold War culture and the Lingering Myth of Sacco and Vanzetti."

David Isby: Afghanistan: Graveyard of Empires: A New History of the Borderland (2010; paperback, 2011, Pegasus)

Nancy Isenberg: White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America (2016, Vintage): A history of the white underclass in America going back to colonial immigrants, many of whom sold themselves as indentured servants, continuing through generation after generation of impoverishment and the various forms of approbation heaped on them by the more affluent -- I rather wish she had used the term "waste people" for the title. Author previously wrote Fallen Founder: The Life of Aaron Burr and co-authored (with Andrew Burstein) Madison and Jefferson.

Tetsuya Ishikawa: How I Caused the Credit Crunch (paperback, 2009, Icon Books): Banker, Japanese by birth, grew up in London, attended Eton and Oxford; worked for Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, ABN AMRO, securitizing toxic assets, so maybe it was his fault. Just not quite his alone.

Michael Isikoff and David Corn, Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War (Crown).

Sasha Issenberg, The Sushi Economy: Globalization and the Making of a Modern Delicacy (Gotham): Food business, culture industry, etc.

Molly Ivins/Lou Dubose: Bushwhacked: Life in George W Bush's America ().

Molly Ivins/Lou Dubose: Bill of Wrongs: The Executive Branch's Assault Against America's Fundamental Rights (2007, Random House): Was tempted to buy this the moment I saw it, no doubt for sentimental reasons. The more I looked at it, the more it read like a Lou Dubose book. While I agree with all this stuff about rights, it's not something I'm all that interested in reading about.

Bob Ivry: The Seven Sins of Wall Street: Big Banks, Their Washington Lackeys, and the Next Financial Crisis (2014, Public Affairs)

Deepa Iyer: We Too Sing America: South Asian, Arab, Muslim, and Sikh Immigrants Shape Our Multiracial Future (2015; paperback, 2017, New Press).

Mark Jaccard: Sustainable Fossil Fuels: The Unusual Suspect in the Quest for Clean and Enduring Energy (2006, Cambridge University Press): Tries to clean up the reputation of fossil fuels by pushing for clean, zero-emissions technology -- not really sustainable, at least beyond a few centuries, and probably not all that clean either. Cover shows a dinosaur riding a bicycle -- the sort of image you can endlessly pick apart.

Brooks Jackson/Kathleen Hall Jamieson: unSpun: Finding Facts in a World of Disinformation (paperback, 2007, Random House): Tough job for a short (208 pp) book, more likely to drown in examples than draw lessons beyond the usual don't believe most (or damn near anything) that you hear. Focuses on politics and advertising, pretty low lying fruit.

Gregg Jackson, Conservative Comebacks to Liberal Lies: Issue by Issue Responses to the Most Common Claims of the Left From A to Z (paperback, 2006, JAJ Publishing). Thumbed through this in the bookstore, stopping at Israel, where the responses were utterly fact-free.

Joe Jackson: The Thief at the End of the World: Rubber, Power, and the Seeds of Empire (2008, Penguin): The story of Henry Wickham, who stole the seeds to Brazilian rubber trees on which the British rubber industry was based.

Maggie Jackson: Distracted: The Erosion of Attention and the Coming Dark Age (2008, Prometheus): There's a growing perception that people are getting dumber, and there are a lot of theories as to why -- some of which can be taken as proof that people are getting dumber. I imagine that a case can be made for distraction (as PW puts it: "our near-religious allegiance to a constant state of motion and addiction to multitasking"). Jackson previously wrote: What's Happening to Home? Balancing Work, Life, and Refuge in the Information Age.

Tim Jackson: Prosperity Without Growth: Economics for a Finite Planet (2009, Earthscan): Short book (160 pp), arguing that it is possible to have broader prosperity without economic growth, a good thing given the limits to growth posed by natural resource constraints. Most economists seem to believe that trickle down from infinite growth will satisfy everyone, but that strikes me as not just untenable but downright dumb.

Wes Jackson: Consulting the Genius of the Place: An Ecological Approach to a New Agriculture (2010, Counterpoint): Runs the Land Institute near Salina, KS, where he's been experimenting with alternative approaches to agriculture for close to 35 years. Has a couple of previous books, but this looks like the one where he pulls it all together. Wendell Berry is a big fan.

Jane Jacobs: Dark Age Ahead (paperback, 2005, Vintage Books).

Sean Jacobs/Jon Sooke, eds: Apartheid Israel: The Politics of an Analogy (paperback, 2015, Haymarket Books)

Sid Jacobson/Ernie Colon: The 9/11 Report: A Graphic Adaptation (Hill & Wang).

Russell Jacoby: Bloodlust: On the Roots of Violence From Cain and Abel to the Present (2011, Free Press): Barbara Ehrenreich wrote convincingly on this in 1997 (Blood Rites: Origins and History of the Passions of War), but Jacoby seems to stress the fratricidal aspect, extrapolating on to Hutu/Tutsi, etc.

Susan Jacoby: The Age of American Unreason (2008, Pantheon): Hard to tell how good or bad this is, since the old saw of dumb people getting dumber has long been a standard rant of the highbrow cultural right. On the other hand, there is something to write about. Inspired by Richard Hofstadter, which I take to be a good sign. Previously wrote Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism, which is probably interesting.

Susan Jacoby: Alger Hiss and the Battle for History (2009, Yale University Press): After writing such sweeping books as Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism and The Age of American Unreason, here's one short and specific, part of a series, "Icons of America." Hiss is, well, iconic because people read more into him than there ever was -- something that I must say I never understood. I can, for instance, recall Nixon ranting that the real reason liberals opposed him on Vietnam was that they could never forgive him for what he did to Hiss, as if a couple million dead in Vietnam and Cambodia mattered less than the fate of an Ivy League commie. That's the sort of exaggeration Jacoby gets to work with -- if only anyone cares anymore.

Susan Jacoby: Never Say Die: The Myth and Marketing of the New Old Age (2011, Pantheon): A less than rosy look at old age these days, and the issues it raises. Tough issues to get clear headed on; not even sure it's worth the effort.

Susan Jacoby: The Great Agnostic: Robert Ingersoll and American Freethought (2012, Yale University Press): A prominent anti-religious speaker from the golden age of Jacoby's previous Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism.

Susan Jacoby: Strange Gods: A Secular History of Conversion (2016, Pantheon): Looks into the history of various people converting to one religion of another, with Saul/Paul a prominent early example, and Muhammad Ali and George W Bush among the more recent. Secularism has been a repeated theme in Jacoby's writing, especially Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism (2004).

Martin Jacques: When China Rules the World: The End of the Western World and the Birth of a New Global Order (2009, Penguin): Title indicates the fevered imperialist mindset. It's rather ridiculous to think that China could ever "rule the world" -- as well as presently unclear that China has any such intention. He means more like "when China corners the world's industrial capacity and stockpiles most of the world's money because China's the only country that invests in its labor." I suspect that even that will be self-correcting as other nations want to get in at the bottom, while the US is turning into a shell by getting out at the top, because the politicians here care more about profits than about workers.

Alireza Jafarzadeh, The Iran Threat: President Ahmadinejad and the Coming Nuclear Crisis (2007-01, Palgrave Macmillan): Scott Ritter identifies Jafarzadeh as front man for Israeli intelligence leaks.

Ayesha Jalal: Partisans of Allah: Jihad in South Asia (2008, Harvard University Press): Presumably South Asia means India (up through Kashmir) and Pakistan -- Jalal has previously written The Sole Spokesman: Jinnah, the Muslim League and the Demand for Pakistan. The Deobandis are at least one distinct fundamentalist strain in Islam in the area, and have been little written about -- the exception is Gilles Kepel's essential study: Jihad: The Trail of Political Islam.

Ayesha Jalal: The Struggle for Pakistan: A Muslim Homeland and Global Politics (2014, Belknap Press): A history of Pakistan from 1947 to the present, its Muslim identity, cold war alliances, and ever troublesome relations with India, Afghanistan, and ultimately the United States. Other recent books on Pakistan: Hassan Abbas: The Taliban Revival: Violence and Extremism on the Pakistan-Afghanistan Frontier (2014, Yale University Press); Faisal Devji: Muslim Zion: Pakistan as a Political Idea (2013, Harvard University Press); C Christine Fair: Fighting to the End: The Pakistan Army's Way of War (2014, Oxford University Press); Laurent Gayer: Karachi: Ordered Disorder and the Struggle for the City (2014, Oxford University Press); Husain Haqqani: Magnificent Delusions: Pakistan, the United States, and an Epic History of Misunderstanding (paperback, 2015, Public Affairs); Feroz Khan: Eating Grass: The Making of the Pakistani Bomb (paperback, 2012, Stanford Security Studies); Aqil Shah: The Army and Democracy: Military Politics in Pakistan (2014, Harvard University Press); Rafia Zakaria: The Upstairs Wife: An Intimate History of Pakistan (2015, Beacon Press).

Dahr Jamail: Beyond the Green Zone: Dispatches from an Unembedded Journalist in Occupied Iraq (2007, Haymarket). Covers a lot more turf than the mainstream media. Much of this is probably old news by now, but things haven't change as much as they'd have you believe.

Dahr Jamail: The Will to Resist: Soldiers Who Refuse to Fight in Iraq and Afghanistan (2009, Haymarket): Another scoop for a freelance reporter who went further and dug deeper into the Iraq war than just about anyone else. Forward by Chris Hedges.

Arif Jamal: Shadow War: The Untold Story of Jihad in Kashmir (2009, Melville House): First thing to understand is that Kashmir is the bee in Pakistan's bonnet, and almost everything that Pakistan's security sector does is done with Kashmir (and India) in mind -- and it's tough to wrap your mind around that because it often makes little sense. The Kashmir conflict is little known, little understood -- well, it doesn't help that it doesn't make a hell of a lot of sense either.

Bill James: The Bill James Gold Mine 2008 (2008, ACTA): I'm far removed from the days when I knew everything there was to know about baseball, in large part because I read everything Bill James ever wrote. He hasn't written that much lately, which may be part of my problem. Spent some time with the book. Quizzed myself on how many players per team I had even heard of (Arizona: 0; Atlanta: 3; Baltimore: 0; don't recall the others, but I think Boston was 5 and the Yankees 8). A lot of bare tables and trivial comparisons; a few short essays. Not sure if it's worthwhile, even for sentimental reasons.

Harold James: The Roman Predicament: How the Rules of International Order Create the Politics of Empire (2006; paperback, 2008, Princeton University Press): Short book on comparative empireology, with Rome and Britain as the obvious counterpoints. Previously wrote: The End of Globalization: Lessons From the Great Depression, another exercise in historical analogizing.

Harold James: The Creation and Destruction of Value: The Globalization Cycle (2009, Harvard University Press): One argument here is that the globalization juggernaut is a likely victim of the recession, much like globalization was undercut by the Great Depression. Previously wrote: The End of Globalization: Lessons From the Great Depression.

Rawn James Jr: The Double V: How Wars, Protest, and Harry Truman Desegregated America's Military (2013, Bloomsbury Press): One of the first important breakthroughs in post-WWII civil rights, partly because it could be done by executive order, but also, I suspect, because becoming gun fodder wasn't much of a step up, and trying to maintain segregation in a modern military as large as the US wanted for its "cold" and not-so-cold wars would have been a nightmare. Indeed, one can argue that segregation only survived in the South as long as feudalism did.

Frederic Jameson: Valences of the Dialectic (2009; paperback, Verso, 2010): One of the first American critics to set himself up as an authority on critical Marxist thinkers -- his 1972 book Marxism and Form lists Adorno, Benjamin, Marcuse, Bloch, Lukacs, and Sartre on the cover -- and he's had a long run ever since. Big book (640 pp) on dialectic theories, Hegel and Sartre in particular, with an attempt to establish their continued relevance.

Frederic Jameson: An American Utopia: Dual Power and the Universal Army (paperback, 2016, Verso): Marxist literary critic and political theorist -- I must have a copy of his 1971 Marxism and Form: Twentieth Century Dialectical Theories in Literature somewhere upstairs -- takes a shot at sketching out his utopia in the lead essay here, followed by nine responses edited by Slavoj Zizek (only other author I recognize is novelist Kim Stanley Robinson). I haven't read any of his later books, most recently (all Verso): Raymond Chandler: The Detections of Totality (2016); The Ancients and the Postmoderns: On the Historicity of Forms (2015); The Antinomies of Realism (2013, Verso); Representing 'Capital': A Reading of Volume One (2011); The Hegel Variations: On the Phenomenology of Spirit (2010); Valences of the Dialectic (2009).

Dale Jamieson: Reason in a Dark Time: Why the Struggle Against Climate Change Failed -- and What It Means for Our Future (2014, Oxford University Press): Author, a philosopher, seems to accept the basic science of climate change -- indeed, "in his view, catastrophic ecological damage is a foregone conclusion" -- but has more trouble with why so many people have trouble coming to grips with the issue. One thing he focuses on is lack of agency: the sense that what little we can do as individuals doesn't matter. Not clear that he digs behind this sense of powerlessness to look at the economic interests that benefit -- at least within the narrow confines of their accounting systems -- from filling the atmosphere with carbon dioxide. Related: George Marshall: Don't Even Think About It: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Ignore Climate Change (2014, Bloomsbury Press).

Kathleen Hall Jamieson/Joseph N Cappella: Echo Chamber: Rush Limbaugh and the Conservative Media Establishment (2008; paperback, 2010, Oxford University Press): Also focuses on Wall Street Journal opinion pages and Fox News. Has a lot of charts and stuff.

Eugene Jarecki: The American Way of War and How It Lost Its Way: Guided Missiles, Misguided Men, and a Republic in Peril (2008, Free Press): Director of the documentary, Why We Fight, a pretty good movie on the War on Terror. This covers a lot of ground around America's obsession with militarily engaging the world, going back as far as a discussion of who knew what about Pearl Harbor.

Elliot Jaspin: Buried in the Bitter Waters: The Hidden History of Racial Cleansing in America (2007, Basic Books): When I was in Arkansas a couple weeks ago, I was talking about the Civil War there, and was told that there were several cases where slaveholders killed all their slaves rather than let them go free. Don't know whether those specific stories are here, but this book details 12 of the most brutal racial purges.

Philip Jenkins: Jesus Wars: How Four Patriarchs, Three Queens, and Two Emperors Decided What Christians Would Believe for the Next 1,500 years (2010, Harper One): A history of the early Christian church, especially how political influences dictated theology. Author has a number of books, many on the ancient (and somewhat hidden) history of Christianity, but also Mystics and Messiahs: Cults and New Religions in American History, The New Anti-Catholicism: The Last Acceptable Prejudice, The New Faces of Christianity: Believing the Bible in the Global South, Pedophiles and Priests: Anatomy of a Contemporary Crisis, and Decade of Nightmares: The End of the Sixties and the Making of the Eighties.

Derrick Jensen: Endgame, Vol. 1: The Problem of Civilization (paperback, 2006, Seven Stories Press): A fairly encyclopedic doomsday book. Intriguing inasmuch as I think a lot of the things he digs up are indeed serious problems, but it's also possible that he's a crackpot. Has a lot of books in a short time, including a Vol. 2 where he gets activist, and a graphic book called As the World Burns: 50 Things You Can Do to Stay in Denial.

Jamie Jensen: Road Trip USA: Cross-Country Adventures on America's Two-Lane Highways (paperback, 2006, Avalon Travel Publishing): Looks like an attractive road book, the main problem being that it is organized around no more than 11 cross-country treks, whereas I'd think that shorter stretches of 2-lane roads would be more select. For example, Readers Digest has two competing books, but they're larger format, hardcover: The Most Scenic Drives in America: 120 Spectacular Road Trips and Off the Beaten Path. In the smaller format, National Geographic has: Guide to Scenic Highways & Byways: The 275 Best Drives in the US.

Fred Jerome: Einstein on Israel and Zionism: His Provocative Ideas About the Middle East (2009, St Martin's Press): I've long known that Einstein turned down an invitation to Israel, settling in New Jersey instead. This fleshes the story out further. Jerome previously wrote Einstein on Race and Racism.

Robert Jervis: Why Intelligence Fails: Lessons From the Iranian Revolution and the Iraq War (2010, Cornell University Press): It always amuses me that they call this intelligence. More like scattered and imperfect information, some deliberately falsified, selected and distorted through all sorts of cultural and intentional filters. In particular, intelligence rarely argues against desired acts, no matter how foolhardy they're retrospectivally recognized as. Plenty of examples here. Jervis evidently wrote the Iran section up while working for the CIA thirty years ago. Don't know if that's a plus or a minus.

Flora Jessop/Paul T Brown: Church of Lies (2009, Jossey-Bass): On the polygamist Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints, by a woman who grew up there, broke away, and works against them.

Jon Jeter: Flat Broke in the Free Market: How Globalization Fleeced Working People (2009, WW Norton): Former Washington Post bureau chief for South Africa, offers numerous examples of how globalization has hurt South Africans and others, especially in the third world.

Jewish Voice for Peace: On Anti-semitism: Solidarity and the Struggle for Justice in Palestine (paperback, 2017, Haymarket Books): Essay collection probing various aspects of the frequent charge that advocating peace and justice in Israel/Palestine is anti-semitic. JVP has been an important group in America in the campaign to end the Occupation precisely because their activism is rooted in common Jewish values, which has put them in a uniquely authoritative position to dispute this canard.

Greg Jobin-Leeds/AgitArte: When We Fight, We Win: Twenty-First Century Social Movements and the Activits That Are Transforming Our World (paperback, 2016, New Press): I can't say as I consider all of the author's examples as victories, but it is clear that they all resonate with substantial numbers of (mostly) young people, to such point that they've become reference posts for more conventional political campaigns. I suspect a more accurate title might be If We Don't Fight, We Won't Win -- and by "fight" I mean a quaint term from an earlier era: organize.

Andrew L Johns: Vietnam Second Front: Domestic Politics, the Republican Party, and the War (2010, University Press of Kentucky): Nixon promised to solve the Vietnam War then kept it going so long the Republicans became the permanent war party. Covers 1961-73, so a big chunk of that time Republicans were in opposition, threatening to burn Johnson if he let down his guard. Wonder how this accords with now, when the Republicans are dead set obstructionists on everything Obama does except Afghanistan, where they have to be careful to keep him on the hook. Looks like Gerald Ford and Melvin Laird on the cover.

Chalmers Johnson: The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic (2004, Metropolitan Books).

Chalmers Johnson: Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic (2007, Metropolitan Books).

Chalmers Johnson: Dismantling the Empire: America's Last Best Hope (2010, Metropolitan Books): Collection of essays from the past decade, mostly on the exorbitant costs of maintaining a global garrison that doesn't even work very well on its own terms. Can get redundant, especially compared to his more systematic trilogy: Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire (2000; paperback, 2004, Holt); The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic (2004, Metropolitan Books); and Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic (2007, Metropolitan Books).

Chalmers Johnson: Dismantling the Empire: America's Last Best Hope (2010; paperback, 2011, Henry Holt): A rather slight collection of essays following the late author's brilliant Blowback trilogy.

Chris Johnson/Joylon Leslie: Afghanistan: The Mirage of Peace (2nd ed, paperback, 2008, Zed Books)

Haynes Johnson/David S Broder: The System: The American Way of Politics at the Breaking Point (1996, Little Brown; paperback, 1997, Back Bay Books): More/less the standard history of Clinton's health care fiasco, written shortly after the event. Worth reviewing for the details on the lobbying efforts against the bill, and for the sense of déjà vu as Obama takes on the same forces, now richer than ever.

Kaylene Johnson: Sarah: How a Small Town Girl Turned Alaska's Political Establishment on Its Ear (paperback, 2008, Epicenter Press): Well, that was quick, even for a scant 159 pages, and no doubt obsolete by the time you read this.

Kevin R Johnson: Opening the Floodgates: Why America Needs to Rethink Its Borders and Immigration Laws (paperback, 2009, NYU Press).

Marilyn Johnson: This Book Is Overdue!: How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All (2010, Harper Collins): A book about librarians and what's happening to their world as it becomes increasingly digital -- a more complicated and ambiguous story than the wishful subtitle suggests.

Robert Johnson: The Afghan Way of War: How and Why They Fight (2011, Oxford University Press): A survey of the changing tactics used by Afghan warriors since the 19th century to fight off foreign aggression, which since 2001 means the US (and its NATO allies).

Simon Johnson/James Kwak: 13 Bankers: The Wall Street Takeover and the Next Financial Meltdown (2010, Pantheon): Johnson has been on target throughout the crisis, and is likely to pull together one of the best big picture summaries of what happened and why. The six too-big-to-fail megabanks and their oligarchs are at the heart of the problem. That they start to talk abouta "next financial meltdown" suggests that they don't think Obama et al. are up to reigning these bankers in.

Steven Johnson: The Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic -- and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World (2006, Penguin): The 1854 cholera epidemic, which led to a breakthrough in understanding how the disease is transmitted and what needed to be done to control it. Johnson has written a scattered range of books, including Everything Bad Is Good for You, which among other things claims that TV and video games make people smarter.

Steven Johnson: The Invention of Air: A Story of Science, Faith, Revolution, and the Birth of America (2008, Riverhead): On Joseph Priestley, focusing more on his political interests in emigrating to America and advising Thomas Jefferson than on his notable work in chemistry.

Steven Johnson: Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Inovation (2010, Riverhead): Pop science/history writer, gets to dabble in a bit of everything here on the theory that there is something to "innovation" more general than the specific innovations. Has dabbled in neuroscience before -- first two books were Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities, and Software (2001) and Mind Wide Open: Your Brain and the Neuroscience of Everyday Life (2004), and he's tried to argue that Everything Bad Is Good for You: How Today's Popular Culture Is Actually Making Us Smarter (2005).

Walter Johnson: River of Dark Dreams: Slavery and Empire in the Cotton Kingdom (2013, Belknap Press): A history of slavery in the US South, especially after the Revolution, the opening of the west, and the cotton boom.

David Cay Johnston: Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense (and Stick You with the Bill) (2007, Portfolio): Well, sure. Johnston also wrote Perfectly Legal: The Covert Campaign to Rig Our Tax System to Benefit the Super Rich -- and Cheat Everybody Else, out in paperback. I can't get excited about these books, although they may well be eye-opening for some people. Reminds me of a short book by Dean Baker: The Conservative Nanny State: How the Wealthy Use the Government to Stay Rich and Get Richer.

David Cay Johnston: The Fine Print: How Big Companies Use "Plain English" to Rob You Blind (2012, Portfolio): Muckracker, previously wrote Perfectly Legal: The Covert Campaign to Rig Our Tax System to Benefit the Super Rich -- and Cheat Everybody Else (2003), and Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense (and Stick You With the Bill) (2007). Here he discovers what Woody Guthrie knew all along: some people will rob you with a fountain pen. Dylan Ratigan is stalking the same beast, but appears to have fried his brain on the title: Greedy Bastards: How We Can Stop Corporate Communists, Banksters, and Other Vampires From Sucking America Dry (paperback, 2012, Simon & Schuster).

David Cay Johnston, ed: Divided: The Perls of Our Growing Inequality (2014, New Press): Various papers, with overviews by Barrack Obama, Elizabeth Warren, and Adam Smith, and more topical papers, most pretty basic -- focusing perhaps more on the fallout at the bottom of the scale rather than the real action at the top.

David Cay Johnston: The Making of Donald Trump (2016, Melville House): Journalist, previously wrote a couple books on how the political system is rigged to favor the rich -- Perfectly Legal: The Covert Campaign to Rig Our Tax System to Benefit the Super Rich -- and Cheat Everybody Else and Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense (and Stick You With the Bill). Not an in-depth biography (288 pp), but probably as good as any quick primer on the Republican nominee. Other new books on Trump (aside from the jokes I mention under Trump's own book): Michael D'Antonio: The Truth About Trump (paperback, 2016, St Martin's Griffin -- reissue of 2015 book Never Enough: Donald Trump and the Pursuit of Success; Michael Kranish/Marc Fisher: Trump Revealed: An American Journey of Ambition, Ego, Money, and Power (2016, Scribner); Marc Shapiro: Trump This! The Life and Times of Donald Trump, an Unauthorized Biography (paperback, 2016, Riverdale Avenue Books); Mark Singer: Trump and Me (2016, Mark Duggan Books); and, of course, GB Trudeau: Yuge! 30 Years of Doonsebury on Trump (paperback, 2016, Andrews McNeel).

Diana Johnstone: Fools' Crusade: Yugoslavia, NATO, and Western Illusions (paperback, 2003, Monthly Review Press): I've never managed to get a good grip on what the US did in Bosnia and Kosovo in the 1990s, other than to notice that the cult of "Humanitarian Intervention" smelled funny. This is one book I've seen commonly referenced by critics, all the more timely as the Humanitarians are once again on the march.

Alex S Jones: Losing the News: The Future of the News That Feeds Democracy (2009, Oxford University Press): Specifically newspaper news. Others have pointed out that there is no shortage of demand for news now; rather, there's a shortfall in supply from newspapers, which traditionally provided news as a sideline to their now-suffering business of selling advertising. I'll also add that the demise of newspapers is less of a problem than the demise of democracy, which has been increasingly evident in newspapers' lack of interest in searching out real political problems.

Ann Jones: Kabul in Winter: Life Without Peace in Afghanistan (paperback, 2007, Picador): An NGO relief worker who arrived in Kabul after the US liberated the country. Describes what she saw, especially focusing on what it's meant for Aghan women: not a pretty picture.

Ann Jones: War Is Not Over When It's Over: Women and the Unseen Consequences of Conflict (2010, Metropolitan Books): Author has a couple of books on battered women, plus an old one recently reissued on the subset who strike back: Women Who Kill (1980; paperback, 2009, Feminist Press). Also a travel book in Africa and a memoir of NGO relief work in Afghanistan: Kabul in Winter: Life Without Peace in Afghanistan (paperback, 2007, Picador). The new book pulls all those threads together.

Ann Jones: War Is Not Over When It's Over: Women and the Unseen Consequences of Conflict (2010, Metropolitan Books; paperback, 2011, Picador):

Ann Jones: They Were Soldiers: How the Wounded Return From America's Wars: The Untold Story (paperback, 2014, Haymarket Books): Former NGO worker, wrote Winter in Kabul: Life Without Peace in Afghanistan about what she saw in Afghanistan in 2002, and two more books following the casualties: War Is Not Over When It's Over: Women and the Unseen Consequences of Conflict, and now this short book on maimed US soldiers -- the real VA scandal.

Bart Jones: ¡Hugo!: The Hugo Chavez Story From Mud Hut to Perpetual Revolution (2007, Steerforth): Newsday reporter's biography, 568 pages, regarded as well written and sympathetic. I have no real interest in or feelings about Chavez, although in general I'd rather see any leftist in power vs. any rightist.

Bryan D Jones/Walter Williams: The Politics of Bad Ideas: The Great Tax Cut Delusion and the Decline of Good Government in America (paperback, 2008, Longman): Fiscal responsibility lecture centering around ill-advised tax cuts.

Daniel Stedman Jones: Masters of the Universe: Hayek, Friedman, and the Birth of Neoliberal Politics (2012, Princeton University Press): The other two pictures on the cover: Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan, both looking much younger than Hayek and Friedman. Neoliberalism is a term that never caught on among its right-wing adherents, but this is about them. Idea seems to be to illustrate Keynes' famous maximum about politicians in thrall to dead economists.

Gregg Jones: Honor in the Dust: Theodore Roosevelt, War in the Philippines, and the Rise and Fall of America's Imperial Dream (2012; paperback, 2013, NAL): Taking the Philippines from Spain was the easy part. Crushing their war for independence was a much larger and more arduous ordeal.

Ishmael Jones: The Human Factor: Inside the CIA's Dysfunctional Intelligence Culture (2008, Encounter Books): Evidently written by a long-time spook who never got his higher-ups to understand anything he was telling them, much less stuff they never found out about.

Jacqueline Jones: A Dreadful Deceit: The Myth of Race From the Colonial Era to Obama's America (2013, Basic Books): Rather than write a sketch history of racism in America, Jones takes six individuals including a slave in colonial Maryland and an auto worker in recent Detroit, real people to stand the various myths of race and the realities of power against.

Robert P Jones: The End of White Christian America (2016, Simon & Schuster): Head of something called the Public Religion Research Institute argues that since the 1990s White Christians have both demographically and culturally become a minority in America. Not sure what he does with this insight, but but it does correspond to many Republicans losing grip not just on power but on reality -- as you'd expect, it's a question that only matters to people wrapped up in White Christian identity, especially those nostalgic for an America that honored and privileged their prejudices.

Seth G Jones: In the Graveyard of Empires: America's War in Afghanistan (2009, WW Norton): RAND Corp. analyst looks back, second guesses, offers some more guesses. [PS: After reading this book, note seems about right.]

Seth G Jones: In the Graveyard of Empires: America's War in Afghanistan (2009; paperback, 2010, WW Norton): RAND Corp. analyst reviews America's fiasco in Afghanistan, suggests tweaks to make it more/less bad, but at least covers the background enough for a basic primer. Paperback reissue includes a new afterword, most likely I-told-you-so's.

Seth G Jones: Hunting in the Shadows: The Pursuit of Al Qa'ida Since 9/11 (2012, WW Norton): RAND analyst, wrote a useful book on Afghanistan (In the Graveyard of Empires: America's War in Afghanistan), but lately has turned into a full-time apologist for the US occupation of Afghanistan. If this book is honest, one thing you will see is how little the US military contributed to the "hunt" -- even granting that the Bin Laden kill was their action. Still, you won't find Jones questioning the whole mission, or how the US earned Al-Qaeda's enmity in the first place.

Owen Jones: Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class (paperback, 2011, Verso Books): Mostly on England, where "chavs" has become an epithet for ridiculing the working class, but the subtitle resonates here as well, especially when you look at the efforts of the Republican Party to defund not just labor unions but the workers as well.

Toby Craig Jones: Desert Kingdom: How Oil and Water Forged Modern Saudi Arabia (2010, Harvard University Press): It's certainly obvious that the economic parameters of Saudi Arabia are determined by oil and water: oil pays for the economy, but lack of water limits how much of that wealth can be reinvested in the country. Other books tend to focuse on religion -- something we used to call superstructure.

Van Jones: Rebuild the Dream (2012, Nation Books): Obama's "green jobs" czar for a few days in 2009 until Obama left him high and dry, lynched on Rush Limbaugh's tree. He's back now, with an organization he named his book for, like the eery shadow of a campaign theme Obama used in 2008 and is unlikely to bring up ever again. Pitch: "America is still the best idea in the world. The American middle class is still her greatest invention. Rebuild the Dream is dedicated to the proposition that -- with the right strategy -- both can be preserved and strengthened for generations to come."

Don Jordan/Michael Walsh: White Cargo: The Forgotten History of Britain's White Slaves in America (paperback, 2008, New York University Press): Authors claim more than 300,000 white English were sent to America as slaves over a 170 year period. This details how they were procured and treated, not much different than African slaves. I've always heard of such people as "indentured servants" implying that the servitude is limited to a fixed term, usually incurred due to debt.

Asgeir Jonsson: Why Iceland?: How One of the World's Smallest Countries Became the Meltdown's Biggest Casualty (2009, McGraw-Hill): Interesting case study, although both the extreme boom and the bust were exaggerated by the tiny size of the economy.

Lieve Joris: The Rebel's Hour (2008, Grove Press): Belgian travel writer, in the Congo where the well-known Rwandan genocide spawned a secondary, in some ways even more horrific, war.

Paul Joseph, Are Americans Becoming More Peaceful? (2006-10, Paradigm).

ST Joshi, The Angry Right: Why Conservatives Keep Getting It Wrong (Prometheus).

Timothy Stoltzfus Jost: Health Care at Risk: A Critique of the Consumer-Driven Movement (paperback, 2007, Duke University Press): Abbreviated CDHC, not that any actual consumers are driving it.

Tim Judah: Kosovo: What Everyone Needs to Know (paperback, 2008, Oxford University Press): Brief history, not much liked by Serbophiles. That in itself may not be such a problem, but there should be more angles on the matter. For one thing, it looked an awful lot like a make-work project to promote NATO, a dubious proposition on the face of it. Judah also wrote Kosovo: War and Revenge. Another book on Kosovo is: Iain King/Whit Mason: Peace at Any Price: How the World Failed Kosovo.

John B Judis: Genesis: Truman, American Jews, and the Origins of the Arab/Israeli Conflict (2014, Farrar Straus and Giroux): Looks specifically at the years 1945-49, when the US had conquered the Axis powers and was starting to establish itself as a global hegemon, probing deep into why Truman sided with Israel and what that meant for the evolution of the Arab/Israeli conflict. Alison Weir: Against Our Better Judgment: The Hidden History of How the United States Was Used to Create Israel (paperback, 2014, CreateSpace) covers the same ground, much more briefly. I've been reading Judis and am impressed with his depth and balance.

John B Judis: The Populist Explosion: How the Great Recession Transformed American and European Politics (paperback, 2016, Columbia Global Reports): Short (184 pp) and topical overview of what passes for populism both on the right and the left, both in Europe and America. It takes a peculiar perspective to see all those stances as related. Even shorter: Jan-Werner Müller: What Is Populism? (2016, University of Pennsylvania Press); also: Benjamin Moffitt: The Global Rise of Populism: Performance, Political Style, and Representation (2016, Stanford University Press).

Tony Judt: Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945 (2005; paperback, 2006, Penguin Press).

Tony Judt: Reappraisals: Reflections on the Forgotten Twentieth Century (2008, Penguin Press): A collection of previously published essays, most from New York Review of Books, which is to say most already read, most very sharp. I've read his huge Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945, and recommend it highly. (Lots of quotes in my Books section.)

Tony Judt: Ill Fares the Land (2010, Penguin Press): Looks like a quickie political tract in defense of social democracy, the values the left had before losing our way, and/or getting run over by the right-wing propaganda machine. Judt's Postwar is one of the great historical books of the last twenty years, but despite its length is wound tight, a sketchy synthesis, which at least shows that no one understands the human progress of postwar Europe better. Recently diagnosed with ALS, Judt's disabling illness may add to the urgency of his thoughts, as if material conditions wasn't more than enough.

Tony Judt: The Memory Chalet (2010, Penguin): A collection of short pieces, mostly memoirs, mostly published in New York Review of Books, from the period when Judt was struggling with ALS. With his mind free within the prison of a dysfunctional body, Judt went into an extraordinarily prolific phase. Ill Fares the Land was the first book to come out of this, and Thinking the Twentieth Century is still in the pipeline.

Tony Judt: The Memory Chalet (2010, Penguin Press): Short memoirs, dictated while Judt's mind was imprisoned in a body shut down by ALS. Some on just that, most on growing up in England, visiting Switzerland, his unhappy experiences in Israel, coming to America, trains, cars, and food.

Tony Judt/Timothy Snyder: Thinking the Twentieth Century (2012, Penguin): Conversations between two historians, the senior Judt struck with ALS and filled with memories as well as expertise -- his Postwar itself covers a big part of the 20th century (Europe from 1945 to 2000). Looks like this rehashes a lot of subjects that came up in Judt's post-illness books. Billed as his last, this may be one to savor.

Tony Judt: When the Facts Change: Essays, 1995-2010 (2015, Penguin): Selected essays from the late historian, including his famous essay recanting his early Zionism. The title refers to a famous quote that one's views should change in accordance with changing facts.

Antonia Juhasz: The Bu$h Agenda: Invading the World, One Economy at a Time (paperback, 2007, Harper Perennial): Hadn't mentioned this before because it looked like a fairly standard anti-globalization rant -- maybe I was just reacting to the dollar sign, because it shouldn't be hard to make the case, and there are examples that could use some press: Iraq you probably know about, but what about Haiti? She has a new book coming out, another easy mark, even timelier: The Tyranny of Oil: The World's Most Powerful Industry -- and What We Must Do to Stop It.

Antonia Juhasz: The Tyranny of Oil: The World's Most Powerful Industry -- and What We Must Do to Stop It (2008; paperback, 2009, Harper): Easy enough to paint the oil industry as evil, especially if you go back to Rockefeller and cram it all into 480 pages. Author previously wrote The Bu$h Agenda: Invading the World, One Economy at a Time.

Sebastian Junger: War (2010, Twelve): Fighting the "good fight" in Afghanistan's Korengal Valley, glorying in the cult of "rough men"; he frets over nearly getting blown up by an IED, while casually documenting the decimation of rural villages. Previously wrote the equally exclamatory Fire, and was responsible for the now-notorious cliché, The Perfect Storm.

Geoffrey Kabaservice: Rule and Ruin: The Downfall of Moderation and the Destruction of the Republican Party From Eisenhower to the Tea Party (2012, Oxford University Press): Seems to be a history of the extinct moderate (and in some cases flat-out liberal) wing of the Republican Party, especially since the rise of Goldwater and Reagan threw them into disarray.

Robert Kagan: Dangerous Nation: America's Foreign Policy from Its Earliest Days to the Dawn of the Twentieth Century (paperback, 2007, Vintage): Right-wing historian, scion of a family of public menaces, but his title is true enough. Argues that even at the time of the American Revolution we were headed for empire, a tack we've never strayed much from. While this is consistent with neoconservative ambitions, it also seems like a warning to the rest of the world. Ends in 1898 with the Spanish-American War, just when most studies of American imperialism are getting warmed up. A second volums is in the works, bound to be massive. Meanwhile, Kagan has also written: The Return of History and the End of Dreams. First three names to offer "advance praise": John McCain, Joseph Lieberman, Richard Holbrooke.

Robert Kagan: The World America Made (2012, Knopf): A right-wing view of America as the world's indispensible nation, without which the whole world declines into war and chaos -- as opposed, I suppose, to the universe where the US causes all that war and chaos, i.e., the one we live in today.

David Kahane: Rules for Radical Conservatives: Beating the Left at Its Own Game to Take Back America (2010, Ballantine): Saul Alinsky translated and paraphrased for young fascists.

Brian Kahn: Real Common Sense (2011, Seven Stories Press)

Charles Kaiser: 1968 in America: Music, Politics, Chaos, Counterculture, and the Shaping of a Generation (paperback, 1997, Grove Press): Amazon reader: "this book gives great insight to the days of rage and the background leading up to the reign of terror in America." What? Mixed reports on the music part. Mark Kurlansky's 1968: The Year That Rocked the World covers the same ground plus more international.

David Kaiser: No End Save Victory: How FDR Led the Nation into War (2014, Basic Books): Covers the period before the attack on Pearl Harbor at least back to 1939, showing how Roosevelt worked to better position the US to fight a war that he considered inevitable. I doubt that this goes into the question of to what extend Roosevelt provoked the Japanese attack (let alone the old conspiracy buff argument that he knew in advance of the attack and didn't tip the military off to maximize the outrage). One Amazon reader panned this, saying "spoiled by a slap at George Bush." A comparison of the two wartime presidents, how they managed their wars, and what the accomplished (or failed) might be worth a book of its own. Related: Nigel Hamilton: The Mantle of Command: FDR at War, 1941-42 (2014, Houghton Mifflin).

Robert G Kaiser: So Damn Much Money: The Triumph of Lobbying and the Corrosion of American Government (2009, Knopf): Washington Post reporter, been around long enough he could write this book many times over. This take evidently focuses on one lobbyist, Gerald Cassidy, who started out in 1969 and got bigger and richer over the decades.

Michio Kaku: Physics of the Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives by the Year 2100 (2011, Doubleday): Physics writer, cosmology mostly; as I recall he got into the game with superstring theory, which is about the point when I lost interest in it. But this looks to be mere futurology, a literary genre that has never managed to get anything right.

Laura Kalman: Right Star Rising: A New Politics, 1974-1980 (2010, WW Norton): Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan on the cover. Seems to have a low opinion of Carter, arguing that American voters rejected him personally rather than liberalism in general. Makes me wonder if that doesn't hit close to home with Obama, who like Carter came along at the end of an eight-year nightmare with a compromised agenda and a lot of poorly understood legacy problems.

Peter Kaminsky: Pig Perfect: Encounters with Remarkable Swine and Some Great Ways to Cook Them (2005, Hyperion): Essential reading for porkalicious fans.

William Kamkwamba/Bryan Mealer: The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope (2009, Morrow): Story of a 14-year-old boy in Malawi who built his own windmill, bringing electricity, power, and freedom to a small patch of the third world.

David Kamp: The United States of Arugula: The Sun Dried, Cold Pressed, Dark Roasted, Extra Virgin Story of the American Food Revolution (paperback, 2007, Random House).

Rhoda Ann Kanaaneh: Surrounded: Palestinian Soldiers in the Israeli Military (2008, Stanford University Press): This looks at the small number (about 3,000) of Palestinian citizens of Israel who volunteer to serve in Israel's military.

Tim Kane: Bleeding Talent: How the US Military Mismanages Great Leaders and Why It's Time for a Revolution (2012, Macmillan Palgrave): Right-wing economist (Hudson Institute, John McCain), former USAF "intelligence" officer, "startup maven" (to quote Bush economist Glenn Hubbard). I suspect his thesis is right, but I have my doubts that "great leaders" is something the we need the military to have, right now, or just about ever. Bean counters and shrinks, that's another story.

Dave Kansas: The Wall Street Journal Guide to the End of Wall Street as We Know It: What You Need to Know About the Greatest Financial Crisis of Our Time -- and How to Survive It (paperback, 2009, Harper): Financial writer, depends on brand name for authority, writes down to his presumed audience, which might include Rip Van Winkle.

Rosabeth Moss Kanter: America the Principled: 6 Opportunities for Becoming a Can-Do Nation Once Again (2007, Crown): Harvard Business School professor, wrote a famous management book I read back in the 1980s when I was into that sort of thing: The Change Masters: Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the American Corporation. New book tries to apply some common business sense to rebranding America -- successful enough to lure blurb praise from Bill Clinton, David Gergen, Warren Bennis, Arianna Huffington, Donna Shalala, Alan Dershowitz. Gag if you want (#6: citizens should cooperate with government to do more for our communities; #3: companies should be more honest and transparent). Actually, all of the points are true, even if they fall far short of what's needed.

Seth Kantner: Shopping for Porcupine: A Life in Arctic Alaska (2008, Milkweed Editions): Born in an igloo, grew up on the tundra, wrote a previous book, Ordinary Wolves. Lots of photographs.

Martin Kantor: Uncle Sam's Shame: Inside Our Broken Veterans Administration (2008, Greenwood): Don't know how this squares with other reports that the VA system is actually pretty good.

Fred Kaplan: Daydream Believers: How a Few Grand Ideas Wrecked American Power (2008, Wiley).

Fred Kaplan: 1959: The Year That Changed Everything (2009, Wiley): Evidently takes the view that the 1960s started a year earlier and hinged on crucial events in 1959, specifically citing birth control pills, microchips, and the first US soldiers killed in Vietnam, but also noting "Kind of Blue" -- Kaplan is something of a jazz critic on the side, his main beat being the military-industrial complex.

Fred Kaplan: The Insurgents: David Petraeus and the Plot to Change the American Way of War (2013, Simon & Schuster): Kaplan wrote an important book a few years back on the "revolution in military affairs" which was put to the test when Bush invaded Iraq -- Daydream Believers: How a Few Grand Ideas Wrecked American Power -- so he should be fairly critical at reporting the military's latest theoretical hubris, COIN (counterinsurgency theory and practice). Petraeus was the marquis star of COIN: he wrote the book, which got him back in the game, not that he ever practiced what he preached. The guy suckered into that was Gen. Stanley McChrystal, whose memoir is also newly available (My Share of the Task: A Memoir). No word from Petraeus yet, but Paula Broadwell: All In: The Education of General David Petraeus turns out to be more authorized than you could ever have imagined.

Fred Kaplan: John Quincy Adams: American Visionary (2014, Harper): A substantial (672 pp.) biography of the sixth US president, his term four years in the middle of a career that started as a teenage diplomat during the revolution and ended as one of the strongest voices against slavery in the House of Representatives.

Fred Kaplan: Dark Territory: The Secret History of Cyber War (2016, Simon & Schuster): A lot of grey lines here, especially ethically where propaganda and censorship blend into espionage and subversion, where the lack of blood may make transgressions seem more acceptable, where state and non-state actors cloak themselves in similar obscurity, where one's dirty tricks may be another's terrorism. I can't help but feel disgust over virtually every aspect of the subject. More or less related: Richard A Clarke/Robert Knake: Cyber War: The Next Threat to National Security and What to Do About It (paperback, 2011, Ecco); PW Singer/Allan Friedman: Cybersecurity and Cyberwar: What Everyone Needs to Know (paperback, 2014, Oxford University Press); Shane Harris: @War: The Rise of the Military-Internet Complex (paperback, 2015, Mariner Books); Marc Goodman: Future Crimes: Everything Is Connected, Everyone Is Vulnerable and What We Can Do About It (2015, Doubleday); Richard Stiennon: There Will Be Cyberwar: How the Move to Network-Centric War Fighting Has Set the Stage for Cyberwar (paperback, 2015, IT-Harvest); Adam Segal: The Hacked World Order: How Nations Fight, Trade, Maneuver, and Manipulate in the Digital Age (2016, PublicAffairs).

Jerry Kaplan: Humans Need Not Apply: A Guide to Wealth and Work in the Age of Artificial Intelligence (2015, Yale University Press)

Robert D Kaplan: Soldiers of God: With Islamic Warriors in Afghanistan and Pakistan (1990; paperback, 2001, Vintage).

Robert D Kaplan: Balkan Ghosts: A Journey Through History ().

Robert D Kaplan: Eastward to Tartary: Travels in the Balkans, the Middle East, and the Caucusus ().

Robert D Kaplan: The Ends of the Earth: From Togo to Turkmenistan, From Iran to Cambodia, a Journey to the Frontiers of Anarchy ().

Robert D Kaplan: An Empire Wilderness: Travels Into America's Future (paperback, 1999, Vintage Books).

Robert D Kaplan: The Coming Anarchy: Shattering the Dreams of the Post Cold War ().

Robert D Kaplan: Warrior Politics: Why Leadership Requires a Pagan Ethos (paperback, 2003, Vintage Books).

Robert D Kaplan, Imperial Grunts: On the Ground With the American Military, From Mongolia to the Philippines to Iraq (Random House): I've read everything else by him, and regard him as a useful reporter-historian and a dangerous ideologue. I gather he's gone off the deep end this time. Thought I'd wait until the paperback came out, which happened recently. Still waiting.

Robert D Kaplan: Hog Pilots, Blue Water Grunts: The American Military in the Air, at Sea, and on the Ground (2007, Random House): Sequel to Imperial Grunts, where the militarism became de trop for me, even though I've read virtually everything else he's written. Good writer, useful historian and observer (although I've seen Tom Bissell shred him on specifics), dangerously defective thinker.

Robert D Kaplan: Monsoon: The Indian Ocean and the Future of American Power (2010, Random House): Further travels around the periphery of the empire, no doubt splattered with more of Kaplan's shallow thinking and fanciful imperialist cheerleading.

Robert D Kaplan: The Revenge of Geography: What the Map Tells Us About Coming Conflicts and the Battle Against Fate (2012, Random House): Good writer, interesting journalist, someone who tries to think deep and invariably fails, mostly because his mind is locked in ancient struggles for domination. How confused can he get? Try this: "Afghanistan's porous borders will keep it the principal invasion route into India, and a vital rear base for Pakistan, India's main enemy." That hasn't been true since Babur: the Brits came in boats, the Americans wired in dollars, Pakistan (for better or, mostly, worse) has a direct border, and Afghanistan doesn't.

Robert D Kaplan: Asia's Cauldron: The South China Sea and the End of a Stable Pacific (2014, Random House): Former travel writer to uncomfortable backwaters, has proven to be useful enough to the US security state he got appointed to the Defense Policy Board, where he's probably regarded as a deep thinker. No doubt he'd like nothing better than to stir up a Cold War with China, giving the Pentagon cover for buying up another generation of war toys.

Robert D Kaplan: In Europe's Shadow: Two Cold Wars and a Thirty-Year Journey Through Romania and Beyond (2016, Random House): Travel journalist and imperialist pundit/apologist (or in his own mind strategist), started out writing propagandistic books on Ethiopia (Surrender or Starve: The Wars Behind the Famine) and Afghanistan (Soldiers of God: With the Mujahidin in Afghanistan, followed by his more substantial Balkan Ghosts: A Journey Through History (1993), remembered today for its background on Yugoslavia just before it was dismembered, but actually the longest section of the book his caustic portrait of Romania. Here he returns in 2013-14 and evidently finds the same hellhole he knew before.

Robert D Kaplan: Earning the Rockies: How Geography Shapes America's Role in the World (2017, Random House)

Zachary Karabell, Peace Be Upon You: Fourteen Centuries of Muslim, Christian, and Jewish Coexistence in the Middle East (2007, Knopf): A view worth shedding some light on.

Zachary Karabell: Superfusion: How China and America Became One Economy and Why the World's Prosperity Depends on It (2009, Simon & Schuster): Historian, last two books focused on the Middle East, but before that he did books on Chester Arthur and Harry Truman, so he jumps around. The idea of looking at China and America as one co-dependent economy is interesting, and a good history would be useful.

Kojin Karatani: The Structure of World History: From Modes of Production to Modes of Exchange (paperback, 2014, Duke University Press): Japanese philosopher, has written about Kant and Marx in the past (Transcritique: On Kant and Marx), revisits Marx somewhere between anthopology and globalization.

Charles H Karelis: The Persistence of Poverty: Why the Economics of the Well-Off Can't Help the Poor (2007, Yale University Press): These things bear repeating, especially since the contrary positions are repeated so often, even when they have little or no empirical support. Recently read Ha-Joon Chang's book on the same basic subject: Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism.

Neal Karlen: The Story of Yiddish: How a Mish-Mosh of Languages Saved the Jews (2008, Morrow): Another book on Yiddish as language and culture -- Paul Kriwaczek: Yiddish Civilization: The Rise and Fall of a Forgotten Nation; Michael Wex: Born to Kvetch: Yiddish Language and Culture in All of Its Moods (and others); David Katz: Words on Fire: The Unfinished Story of Yiddish; Miriam Weinstein: Yiddish: A Nation of Words; as well as things like Yetta Emmes: Drek! The Real Yiddish Your Bubbe Never Taught You and Lita Epstein: If You Can't Say Anything Nice, Say It in Yiddish: The Book of Yiddish Insults and Curses.

Wayne Karlin: Wandering Souls: Journeys With the Dead and the Living in Viet Nam (2009, Nation Books): Starts with a diary a US soldier took off a Vietnamese soldier he killed in 1969, then follows the soldier and diary back to Vietnam to see what he has done. Karlin tags along, writes it up.

Matthew Karp: This Vast Southern Empire: Slaveholders at the Helm of American Foreign Policy (2016, Harvard University Press): When I think of southerners running US foreign policy, I think of James Byrne's decisive role in launching the Cold War, and later Lyndon Johnson plotting a coup in Brazil as well as "Americanizing" the civil war in Vietnam. But this goes back to the first half of the nineteenth century, before the South tried to secede from the union, a period when prominent southerners agitated to expand American power south and west, and thereby to buttress and advance their system of slavery. I suppose you can start with the Louisiana Purchase and the Monroe Doctrine, as well as the Mexican War and the annexation of Texas, but there were other schemes that didn't come to fruition, notably the desire to annex Cuba as a "slave state."

Walter Karp: The Politics of War: The Story of Two Wars Which Altered the Political Life of the American Republic (1890-1920) (paperback, 2003, Moyer Bell).

Anne Karpf/Brian Klug/Jacqueline Rose/Barbara Rosenbaum, eds.: A Time to Speak Out: Independent Jewish Voices on Israel, Zionism and Jewish Identity (paperback, 2008, Verso): Pieces from a British group called Independent Jewish Voices.

Efraim Karsh: Palestine Betrayed (2010, Yale University Press): Israeli historian, usually one that can be depended on to sculpt history to fit Israel's nationalist narrative. Not sure how this plays out, but a long litany of how Palestinian leaders disserved their people by opposing the creation of the Jewish State. Past books include: Islamic Imperialism: A History, Arafat's War: The Man and His Battle for Israeli Conquest, Saddam Hussein: A Political Biography, and his hatchet job on Israel's "new historians," Fabricating Israeli History.

Garry Kasparov: Winter Is Coming: Why Vladimir Putin and the Enemies of the Free World Must Be Stopped (2015, Public Affairs)

Tim Kasser: The High Price of Materialism (paperback, 2003, MIT Press).

Jerome P Kassirer: On the Take: How Medicine's Complicity with Big Business Can Endanger Your Health (paperback, 2005, Oxford University Press): Focuses on bribes of various sorts health care companies (especially drug companies) make to physicians. Author is an MD who's been around and no doubt has seen a lot.

Alyssa Katz: Our Lot: How Real Estate Came to Own Us (2009, Bloomsbury): Not sure how much of this is on the bubble and how much goes beyond it to what made the bubble possible: cheap money, shoddy business practices, and a thirst for risk, of course, but even deeper the conviction most Americans have that owning a home is essential to building up personal wealth.

Alyssa Katz: The Influence Machine: The US Chamber of Commerce and the Corporate Capture of American Life (2015, Spiegel & Grau): I don't know how common this is, but in Wichita at least the Chamber of Commerce is extremely Republican and very active in pushing state politics to the extreme right. Evidently this is more widespread: "Through its propaganda, lobbying, and campaign cash, the Chamber has created a right-wing monster that even it struggles to control, a conservative movement that is destabilizing American democracy as never before."

Jonathan M Katz: The Big Truck That Went By: How the World Came to Save Haiti and Left Behind a Disaster (2013; paperback, 2014, Palgrave Macmillan): The only American news correspondent based in Haiti at the time of the 2010 earthquake, details the international relief effort ($16.3 billion in pledges) and how little it relieved.

Michael B Katz: The Undeserving Poor: America's Enduring Confrontation With Poverty (1989; updated and revised, paperback, 2013, Oxford University Press): One effective way to keep poor people poor is to blame their poverty on their supposed shortcomings -- perhaps the title should be The Deserving Poor, since that's the thrust of interests which seek to deflect blame for impoverishment.

Sandor Ellix Katz: The Art of Fermentation: An In-Depth Exploration of Essential Concepts and Processes From Around the World (2012, Chelsea Green)

Yaakov Katz/Yoaz Hendel: Israel Vs. Iran: The Shadow War (2012, Potomac Books): Documents Israel's ongoing activities to wage war against Iran -- assassinations, computer viruses, sanctions, political subversion -- as well as various Israeli wars against supposed Iranian fronts like Syria, Hamas in Gaza, and Hezbollah in Lebanon, finding them all inadequate, favoring a full-out attack. For more pro-war propaganda, see Robert D. Blackwill/Elliot Abrams, et al., Iran: The Nuclear Challenge (paperback, 2012, Council on Foreign Relations Press).

Yaakov Katz/Amir Bohbot: The Weapon Wizards: How Israel Became a High-Tech Military Superpower (2017, St Martin's Press)

Ira Katznelson: When Affirmative Action Was White: An Untold Story of Racial Injustice in Twentieth-Century America (paperback, 2006, WW Norton).

Ira Katznelson: Fear Itself: The New Deal and the Origins of Our Time (2013, Liveright): A substantial history of the New Deal. Previously wrote When Affirmative Action Was White, which showed how the New Deal shortchanged blacks, so I don't expect him to pull his punches on race.

Ira Katznelson: Fear Itself: The New Deal and the Origins of Our Time (2013; paperback, 2014, Liveright):

Bill Kauffman: Ain't My America: The Long, Noble History of Antiwar Conservatism and Middle-American Anti-Imperialism (2008, Metropolitan Books): Has an elephant with peace signs on the cover, possibly a tribute to Ron Paul, who likes the book. I think it's about time someone wrote up this history.

Joel M Kauffman: Malignant Medical Myths: Why Medical Treatment Causes 200,000 Deaths in the USA Each Year, and How to Protect Yourself (paperback, 2006, Infinity)

Frederick Kaufman: Bet the Farm: How Food Stopped Being Food (2012, Wiley): Starting with Domino's Pizza, hits all the usual stops surveying the contemporary food industry, how it's all related and tied more to finance than to old-fashioned interests like agriculture. Related: Kara Newman: The Secret Financial Life of Food: From Commodities Markets to Supermarkets (2012, Columbia University Press).

Henry Kaufman: The Road to Financial Reformation: Warnings, Consequences, Reforms (2009, Wiley): Notoriously bearish financial analyst gets to write an I-told-you-so book, and lay out some ideas for fixing things. Niall Ferguson wrote the intro, which doesn't strike me as a plus.

Robert G Kaufman: In Defense of the Bush Doctrine (paperback, 2008, University of Kentucky Press): As Jacob Weisberg noted, there are at least five Bush Doctrines, made up on the spot to rationalize whatever insanity or inanity the Decider fell for at any given moment, not counting the last year-plus when it's not been clear that he's had any clue at all, so this book starts with its author's jackboot buried in a tub of cement. The only possible interest might be in finding out what he thinks he's defending. Given that all five-plus "doctrines" are indefensible, this is bound to be an uphill slog.

Sharon R Kaufman: And a Time to Die: How American Hospitals Shape the End of Life (2005, Scribner)

Ichiro Kawachi/Bruce P Kennedy: The Health of Nations: Why Inequality is Harmful to Your Health (paperback, 2006, New Press): Linked from Richard Wilkinson's The Impact of Inequality: How to Make Sick Societies Healthier, this seems to be even more specifically focused on health care. As you know, the US has worse health outcomes than any other rich country despite spending twice or more as much per capita. Lots of reasons are possible, including that overtreatment isn't necessarily a good thing, but inequality seems to have far more to do with it: both in the denial of essential services and in the jealous protectionism of those who think they're better off for it.

John Kay: Other People's Money: The Real Business of Finance (2015, Public Affairs)

Harvey J Kaye: The Fight for the Four Freedoms: What Made FDR and the Greatest Generation Truly Great (2014, Simon & Schuster): The Four Freedoms -- "Franklin Roosevelt's vision of a truly just and fair America" -- was war propaganda and thus easily forgotten once FDR died and the war against Germany and Japan was concluded. They are, however, something we can and should aspire to today, especially given the beating at least two freedoms (from want and from fear) have taken from the right in recent decades. Kaye previously wrote Thomas Paine and the Promise of America (2005, Hill and Wang).

Harvey J Kaye: The Fight for the Four Freedoms: What Made FDR and the Greatest Generation Truly Great (2014, Simon & Schuster): Everyone knows that the US fought WWII for freedom, but hardly anyone knows about FDR's inspiring definition of what freedom means, probably because two of those four freedoms got junked almost immediately in America's postwar fight to oppose communism and (under more favorable terms to the US) to restore imperialism. I read Cass R Sunstein, who's hardly my idea of a visionary political thinker, The Second Bill of Rights: FDR's Unfinished Revolution -- and Why We Need It more Than Ever (2004), so I have an idea what Kaye is pushing for. I always saw FDR as a man of the upper class, whose aim was always to save capitalism from its own contradictions. But one thing all the Calvin Coolidge worship in the Republican Party has done is to make FDR relevant -- indeed, necessary -- again. These days, those four freedoms look like a pretty good deal.

Michael Kazin: American Dreamers: How the Left Changed a Nation (2011, Knopf): Broad strokes history, but as Andrew Bacevich recently conceded, virtually every beneficial change in American history was advanced by the left and opposed by the right. Kazin's specialty is the populist period and William Jennings Bryan, but he also co-wrote with Maurice Isserman, America Divided: The Civil War of the 1960s.

John Keay: China: A History (2009, Basic Books): Big, broad history; big subject (642 pp). Keay previously wrote the similar India: A History (2000), which I had initially been interested in but mixed reviews dissuaded me. Both subcontinents are vast and important and, certainly for me and most likely for you, barely understood, so such books should be welcome, at least if they are well done.

Nikki R Keddie: Modern Iran: Roots and Results of Revolution (1981; revised paperback, 2006, Yale University Press).

Andrew Keen, The Cult of the Amateur: How Today's Internet Is Killing Our Culture (Currency): This looks like an annoying elitist screed -- indeed, looking at the Publishers Weekly review it may be worse than that. I listed it because I find amateurism on the web not a cult but a sad effect of lack of cooperation and hope for anything better. But for me Wikipedia is the exception, not (as Keen seems to think) the rule. Maybe someone who doesn't moonlight for the Weekly Standard should rewrite this.

L Douglas Keeney: 15 Minutes: General Curtis LeMay and the Countdown to Nuclear Annihilation (2011; paperback, 2012, St Martin's Griffin)

Lierre Keith: The Vegetarian Myth: Food, Justice, and Sustainability (paperback, 2009, PM Press): Ex-vegan, found her way back to meat through various lines of thought. Not sure how solid her research is, but I got so frustrated at a recent "peace" event that was overrun with vegetarianism that I'd like to see some counterarguments.

Robin DG Kelley: Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original (2009, Free Press): Likely to be the essential book on Monk, never a very straightforward subject.

John Kelly: The Great Mortality: An Intimate History of the Black Death, the Most Devastating Plague of All Time (paperback, 2006, Harper Perennial): Specifically focuses on the plagues that swept Europe in the 1340s, killing a third or more of the total population. A number of books available on this.

Kate Kelly: Street Fighters: The Last 72 Hours of Bear Stearns, the Thoughest Firm on Wall Street (2009; paperback, 2010, Portfolio Trade): An hour-by-hour account of the last tree days that terminated the venerable investment bank -- short on context or analysis, which no doubt heightens the blindsided by reality shock.

Walter Kempowski: Swansong 1945: A Collective Diary of the Last Days of the Third Reich (2015, WW Norton): History from a thousand scraps of paper -- diaries and letters from ordinary civilians, soldiers and prisoners of both sides, here and there some bigwig, a contemporary picture of the Reich in ruins. Kempowski (1929-2007) assembled ten volumes of diaries like this, as well as writing a number of novels, but this is his first book translated into English.

Ibram X Kendi: Stamped From the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America (2016; paperback, 2017, Nation Books): I've long thought that the "definitive" history was Winthrop Jordan's monumental White Over Black: American Attitudes Toward the Negro, 1550-1812, which won the National Book Award for 1968, but that book was focused more on the early development of Anglo-American racism. Those ideas have since been recapitulated (sometimes with mutations) in many ways up to the present day -- the key to Kendi's own National Book Award winning tome. Many reviewers describe this book as "painful" -- often citing the skewering of otherwise admirable abolitionists like William Lloyd Garrison for adopting racial stereotypes (the book consists of five parts built around individuals: Cotton Mather, Thomas Jefferson, Garrison, WEB DuBois, and Angela Davis). I don't know whether the author adopts a fatalist position on the racist ideas, but I believe that their persistence has everything to do with increasing inequality, much as the origins of those ideas had everything to do with exploiting negro labor. As Kendi argues: "Hate and ignorance have not driven the history of racist ideas in America. Racist policies have driven the history of racist ideas in America."

Matt Kennard: Irregular Army: How the US Military Recruited Neo-Nazis, Gang Members, and Criminals to Fight the War on Terror (2012, Verso): Hard to tell how big a problem this is, given that no respectable US reporter would make a point of describing US soldiers as psychos, although you do have all those suicides, the occasional mass shooter, and it doesn't stretch the imagination much to wonder how many militia nuts got their basic training in overkill at public expense.

Alan Kennedy-Shaffer, Denial and Deception: A Study of the Bush Administration's Rhetorical Case for Invading Iraq (Universal, paperback).

Michelle Kennedy: Without a Net: Middle Class and Homeless (with Kids) in America (paperback, 2006, Penguin Books): Memoir, one case study, fortunate enough to be able to write about it.

Paul Kennedy: Engineers of Victory: The Problem Solvers Who Turned the Tide in the Second World War (2013, Random House): WWII was won with Russian (and Chinese) blood and guts, with American industry, and with western engineering -- especially in the atom bomb project one can count a lot of significant refugees from the fascist powers. The Manhattan Project has been much written about elsewhere, so this most likely focuses on less esoteric technology, like radar, and pontoon bridges, and possibly decryption and logistics and the scientific approach to management, some stuff we've even forgotten about as the right has turned against government.

Robert F Kennedy Jr: Crimes Against Nature: How George W Bush and His Corporate Pals Are Plundering the Country and Hijacking Our Democracy (paperback, 2005, Harper Perennial).

Kate Kenski/Bruce W Hardy/Kathleen Hall Jamieson: The Obama Victory: How Media, Money, and Message Shaped the 2008 Election (paperback, 2010, Oxford University Press): A technical book on campaigning, not sure that the authors even care about the issues involved except insofar as they can be packaged. Jamieson's done this before, in Packaging the Presidency: A History and Criticism of Presidential Campaign Adversiting (1992; paperback, 1996, Oxford University Press).

Lane Kenworthy: Social Democratic America (2014, Oxford University Press): Argues that the US has been progressing slowly toward the social democracy common in most wealthy nations, but isn't that a stretch given how hard it is to talk about such things in their customary terms? So I expect this is longer on prescription than description, but mapping popular programs like Social Security and Medicare into the social democratic matrix is a step toward realizing what we're missing.

Gilles Kepel: Jihad: The Trail of Political Islam (2000, Belknap Press).

Gilles Kepel: The War for Muslim Minds: Islam and the West (2004, Belknap Press).

Gilles Kepel/Jean-Pierre Milelli, eds: Al Qaeda in Its Own Words (2008; paperback, 2009, Belknap Press): It's a dirty job, but Kepel has proven to be the most broadly learned and sensible of experts. Several competing editions, not worth mentioning.

Gilles Kepel: Beyond Terror and Martyrdom: The Future of the Middle East (2008; paperback, 2010, Harvard University Press): Having established himself as the most acute historian of political Islam back in the 1990s, Kepel's post-Jihad books keep having to chew up more events that mostly just go to show how unfortunate it was that US policy makes hadn't taken him to heart much sooner.

Ian Kershaw: Fateful Choices: Ten Decisions That Changed the World, 1940-1941 (2007, Penguin Press): In particular, they changed the world by starting WWII including the Holocaust. This presumably goes into the strategizing that made those decisions appear rational at the time. I suspect much of this is groupthink, the conventional racism and militarism of the period. Nicholson Baker's Human Smoke looks like it clarifies the context within which these details were debated.

Ian Kershaw: The End: The Defiance and Destruction of Hitler's Germany, 1944-1945 (2011, Penguin Books): He's written a lot of books about the Third Reich -- I have one on the shelf unread called Fateful Choices: Ten Decisions That Changed the World, 1940-1941 -- so it seems he's focusing now on hypotheticals. In this case: what held the Nazis together until Berlin was overrun, allowing no thought of trying to negotiate surrender terms. Looks like the publisher already has a sequel prepared: Gerald Steinacher: Nazis on the Run: How Hitler's Henchmen Fled Justice (2011, Penguin Books).

Ian Kershaw: To Hell and Back: Europe 1914-1949 (2015, Penguin): Part of a series called The Penguin History of Europe, joining the two world wars and the turbulent interwar period -- Arno Mayer called this period "the 30 years war of the 20th century." Kershaw has written several big books on the tail end of this period, including Fateful Choices: Ten Decisions That Changed the World, 1940-1941 (2007) and The End: The Defiance and Destruction of Hitler's Germany (2011). On the same time period, Heinrich August Winkler: The Age of Catastrophe: A History of the West 1914-1945 (2015, Yale University Press), even longer (1016 pp).

Razmig Keucheyan: The Left Hemisphere: Mapping Critical Theory Today (2013, Verso): A broad survey of Marxist thinkers in the post-Communist era (since 1993), prefaced by a brief history of the new left (1956-77) and the 1977-93 period "of decline." Not sure how important this is, but one thing that is clear is that post-Cold War triumphalism didn't have much to stand on: capitalism remained alienating, crisis-prone, and only got more so as political alternatives melted away.

David Keys: Catastrophe: An Investigation Into the Origins of Modern Civilization ().

Rashid Khalidi: Resurrecting Empire: Western Footprints and America's Perilous Path in the Middle East (2004, Beacon Press).

Rashid Khalidi, The Iron Cage: The Story of the Palestinian Struggle for Statehood (2006, Beacon Press).

Rashid Khalidi: Sowing Crisis: The Cold War and American Hegemony in the Middle East (2009, Beacon Press): It almost goes without saying that the US approached the Middle East as much or more through the prism of its Cold War obsession with the Soviet threat as for any other reason -- oil and empathy for Israel two more obvious concerns. One reason the Cold War is worth reviewing at this time is that it was the policy concern least connected to reality, and most distorting of reality. Not sure how far Khalidi goes with this -- his specialty is Israel/Palestine and their Arab neighbours but Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan are big pieces of the picture, and there are more little pieces.

Rashid Khalidi: Sowing Crisis: The Cold War and American Dominance of the Middle East (2009; paperback, 2010, Beacon Press): Shows how the US imposed its neuroses onto the Middle East -- a paranoia over communism that put us in bed with Islamic jihadists, a messianic embrace of Israeli and apocalypse that put us on the outs, an obsession with oil and money, and with our own military omnipotence, no matter how often it failed.

Rashid Khalidi: Palestinian Identity: The Construction of Modern National Consciousness (1998; paperback, 2009, Columbia University Press): New introduction to Khalidi's 1998 book on how the Palestinians came to think of themselves as Palestinian -- long the standard book on the subject.

Rashid Khalidi: Brokers of Deceit: How the US Has Undermined Peace in the Middle East (2013, Beacon Press): Could be about any number of areas in the Middle East where the US has sold arms and worked against peace -- Khalidi's Sowing Crisis: The Cold War and American Hegemony in the Middle East (2009) takes such a general view -- but this one is specifically about Israel/Palestine, focusing on three episodes where the US not only failed to bring Israel to the peace table but arguably collaborated with Israel's right-wing hawks to undermine the US's own stated intentions: Reagan's 1982 plan, Bush's 1991 Madrid Conference, and Obama's 2009 initiative.

Rashid Khalidi: Brokers of Deceit: How the US Has Undermined Peace in the Middle East (2013; paperback, 2014, Beacon Press):

M Ashgar Khan: We've Learnt Nothing from History: Pakistan: Politics and Military Power (2006, Oxford University Press)

Yasmin Khan: The Great Partition: The Making of India and Pakistan (paperback, 2008, Yale University Press): Relatively short (288 pp) history of one of the most traumatic events of the post-WWII era: responsible for a million deaths, 10-15 million exiles or displaced, three subsequent wars and countless lesser acts of violence, posing two nuclear-armed nations at each other's throats. Not to mention the stunning indifference of Britain to all the misery they caused. I'm tempted to pick this up, or Alex von Tunzelman's Indian Summer: The Secret History of the End of an Empire, or maybe Narendra Singh Sarila's The Shadow of the Great Game: The Untold Story of India's Partition. Stanley Wolpert's Shameful Flight: The Last Years of the British Empire might also add something, but strikes me as far too sympathetic to the British.

Parag Khanna: The Second World: Empires and Influence in the New Global Order (2008, Random House): One of those books about which nations/regions are growing, which are likely to be global powers, pushing which others around, etc. Its value (if any) is in the details.

Tarun Khanna: Billions of Entrepreneurs: How China and India Are Reshaping Their Futures -- and Yours (2008, Harvard Business School Press): There are several books along this line, celebrating ubiquitous capitalism and taunting the west for slipping behind, not being pro-business enough. The reality is that China and India have a few entrepreneurs and a whole lot of cheap labor, and the latter are less likely to be suckered into dreams of becoming rich than Americans have been.

Muhammad Khudayyir: Basrayatha: The Story of a City (paperback, 2008, Verso): A short tribute to the Iraqi city of Basra, originally published in 1997.

Tracy Kidder: Strength in What Remains (2009, Random House): I've read two of Kidder's books: The Soul of a New Machine and House, both of which showed great skill at explaining technical challenges. His other work is more scattered, hard to characterize. This is the story of a student from Burundi who fled the mid-1990s war there (and more famously in neighboring Rwanda) for New York. Most likely a powerfully human story.

Ben Kiernan: Blood and Soil: A World History of Genocide and Extermination from Sparta to Darfur (paperback, 2009, Yale University Press): Big comparative history (756 pp), filling in a lot of prehistorical slaughter to the 20th century concept of genocide.

Denise Kiernan: The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II (2013, Touchstone): Oak Ridge, TN, home of the Manhattan Project's uranium enrichment facility, focusing on the numerous women who worked there.

Peter D Kiernan: Becoming China's Bitch: and Nine More Catastrophes We Must Avoid Right Now (2012, Turner): Another self-declared "centrist" (and former Goldman Sachs partner) out to save the nation from problems like, "our semiconscious dependency on China, our lack of a centrally coordinated intelligence effort, our downward-spiraling health-care system, and the continually expanding problem of illegal immigration."

David Kilcullen: The Accidental Guerrilla: Fighting Small Wars in the Midst of a Big One (2009, Oxford University Press): Australian military theoretician, has some experience as a counterinsurgency advisor to Petraeus. Accidental guerrillas are locals who wouldn't be fighting but pick up guns when they see outsiders like the US military trampling their country. Iraq and Afghanistan offer plenty of examples. The sort of new thinking that gives politicians hope to keep embarrassing wars going on indefinitely, postponing defeat by prolonging tragedy.

David Kilcullen: Counterinsurgency (paperback, 2010, Oxford University Press): Australian COIN consultant, wrote The Accidental Guerrilla: Fighting Small Wars in the Midst of a Big One, which could be read as reason not to, but for the author business is booming -- no surprise for someone who can write "Measuring Progress in Afghanistan" with a straight face, or update Lawrence of Arabia's 27 articles to a full 28.

David Kilcullen: Blood Year: The Unraveling of Western Counterterrorism (2016, Oxford University Press)

Andrew Kilman: The Failure of Capitalist Production: Underlying Causes of the Great Recession (paperback, 2011, Pluto Press): A Marxist critique of the Great Recession -- author previously wrote Reclaiming Marx's Capital: A Refutation of the Myth of Inconsistency. Title seems a bit misleading: I doubt that there was a problem with production so much as declining profits sent capitalists elsewhere in search of higher gains, especially into finance where it was easy to create imaginary value, at least while it lasted.

Richard Kim/Betsy Reed, eds: Going Rouge: An American Nightmare (paperback, 2009, Health Communications): A rip-off, of course, the most obvious difference from the bestseller it mimics is the gloomy sky behind Palin's crazed gaze into space. Note that at least two other books hit on the same title: Bob Silber's Going Rouge: A Candid Look Inside the Mind of Political Conservative Sarah Palin and Julie Sigwart's Going Rouge: The Sarah Palin Rogue Coloring & Activity Book. Still, when I googled the book title, the search engine served up "going rogue" instead. I've seen it suggest more common alternatives, but never substitute one before.

Kristin Kimball: The Dirty Life: A Memoir of Farming, Food, and Love (2010; paperback, 2011, Scribner): NY journalist moves to a 500 acre farm in Vermont, resolves to grow everything one needs for "a whole diet" -- meat and dairy as well as veggies and grains, so there's an element here of moving off the grid.

Baruch Kimmerling/Joel S Migdal: The Palestinian People: A History ().

Baruch Kimmerling: The Invention and Decline of Israeliness: State, Society, and the Military (2001; paperback, 2005, University of California Press): Argues that Israeli identity has broken down into seven major cultures, which fits in with Richard Ben Cramer's argument that post-2000 Israeli hawkishness has been fueled by the disunity of the Israeli polity -- the repression of the Palestinians is the only thing all those Israeli factions can agree on. Like Tom Segev's Elvis in Jerusalem, written at a point when the events of the last 8 years didn't seem inevitable.

Baruch Kimmerling: Politicide: Ariel Sharon's War Against the Palestinians (2003, Verso).

Baruch Kimmerling: Clash of Identities: Explorations in Israeli and Palestinian Societies (2008, Columbia University Press): Looks like a collection assembled over 20 years, updating arguments from Kimmerling's earlier The Invention and Decline of Israeliness: State, Society, and the Military.

Barbara J King, Evolving God: A Provocative View on the Origins of Religion (2007-01, Doubleday).

Desmond King: The Liberty of Strangers: Making the American Nation (2004, Oxford University Press).

Mervyn King: The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking, and the Future of the Global Economy (2016, WW Norton)

R. Alan King, Twice Armed: An American Soldier's Battle for Hearts and Minds in Iraq (MBI). "As unconventional as any soldier this side of T.E. Lawrence, . . . Armed with a Palm Pilot, a Koran, and a nuanced respect for Middle Eastern culture, King arranged the capture or surrender of almost a dozen of the most wanted villains from Saddam's regime."

William K Kingaman/Nicholas P. Kingaman: The Year Without a Summer: 1816 and the Volcano That Darkened the World and Changed History (2013, St Martin's Press): The volcano was Tambora, in what is now Indonesia, which ejected a vast amount of ash and sulfur dioxide gas into the atmosphere, altering weather patterns all around the world.

Patrick Kingsley: The New Odyssey: The Story of the Twenty-First Century Refugee Crisis (2017, Liveright): British, writes for The Guardian. Details various stories of refugees struggling to flee dangers in Africa and the Middle East to reach asylum in Europe.

Barbara Kingsolver: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life (2007; paperback, 2008, Harper Perennial): Can't vouch for her well-regarded novels, but I've dabbled in her essay collections -- barely, evidently: I missed Small Wonder: Essays and High Tide in Tucscon: Essays From Now or Never, probably others. Another tantalizing food book from a year full of them. Some people (and I'm one of them) eat when faced with stress. Reading food books is almost as comforting.

Michael Kinsley: Please Don't Remain Calm: Provocations and Commentaries (2008, WW Norton): Recycled columns, some of possible interest, although I don't see why such recycled goods don't go straight to paperback.

Michael Kinsley, ed: Creative Capitalism: A Conversation with Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and Other Economic Leaders (2008, Simon & Schuster): Famous liberal buckraker picks now to edit a schmoozy collection extolling the genius and philanthropic virtues of a pretty recent crop of robber barons. Mixes in some suck-up economists too, like Gary Becker and Lawrence Summers. In a similar vein, there's Michael Bishop's Philanthropocapitalism: How the Rich Can Save the World.

Eli Kintisch: Hack the Planet: Science's Best Hope -- or Worst Nightmare -- for Averting Climate Catastrophe (2010, Wiley)

Stephen Kinzer: Crescent and Star: Turkey Between Two Worlds ().

Stephen Kinzer: All the Shah's Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror (2003, John Wiley).

Stephen Kinzer, Overthrow: America's Century of Regime Change From Hawaii to Iraq (Times Books). I've read Kinzer's All the Shah's Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror, a good history of Iran focusing on the anti-Mossadegh coup.

Stephen Kinzer: A Thousand Hills: Rwanda's Rebirth and the Man Who Dreamed It (2008, Wiley): I've read Kinzer's good books on Iran and Turkey, as well as his valuable Overthrow: America's Century of Regime Change From Hawaii to Iraq. This one on Rwanda is a change of pace, a trusting (if not necessarily a puff piece) account of Paul Kagame's post-genocide Rwandan rule and its putative economic progress, following Asian Tigers like Singapore rather than the IMF.

Stephen Kinzer: Reset: Iran, Turkey, and America's Future (2010, Times Books): Not major powers, but not chopped liver either: two nations with about 75 million subjects each, major empires in their pasts, and revolutions which set them apart from the crowd. In other words, nations to be reckoned with if we want to be realistic (which doesn't seem to be the case). Kinzer previously wrote on both countries: Crescent and Star: Turkey Between Two Worlds and All the Shah's Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror.

Stephen Kinzer: The Brothers: John Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles, and Their Secret World War (2013, Times Books): A biography of two of the major architects of the Cold War, all the more potent when they controlled both the official (State Dept.) and clandestine (CIA) policy-making agencies, and weren't the least averse to going behind the back of the president who appointed them. Kinzer approached this story when he wrote one of the better accounts of the CIA coup against Iran in 1953 (All the Shah's Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror), then went on to take a longer look at American mischief (Overthrow: America's Century of Regime Change From Hawaii to Iraq).

David Kirby: Animal Factory: The Looming Threat of Industrial Pig, Dairy, and Poultry Farms to Humans and the Environment (2010, St Martin's Press): The latest wholesale assault on the meat end of the agribusiness conglomerate, with plenty to easy targets to write about. Big book (510 pp), clearly much of what's going on should be exposed, and this looks like one of the most comprehensive books on the subject. Harder to find reasonable compromises.

David Kirkpatrick: The Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company That Is Connecting the World (2010, Simon & Schuster): Insider-ish history of the company and the thinking behind the social network tool.

Bakari Kitwana: Why White Kids Love Hip-Hop: Wankstas, Wiggers, Wannabes, and the New Reality of Race in America (paperback, 2006, Basic Civitas Books): Strikes me as true, at least to a significant extent, even if not majority true.

Daniel Klaidman: Kill or Capture: The War on Terror and the Soul of the Obama Presidency (2012, Houghton Mifflin): A look at the politics behind Obama's retreat from his initial promises to close Guantanamo and prosecute terror suspects in the legal system, his use of drones to assassinate supposed enemies, leading up to the preference for killing over capturing Bin Laden.

Michael Klare: Blood and Oil: The Dangers and Consequences of America's Growing Dependency on Imported Petroleum (paperback, 2005, Owl Books).

Michael T Klare: Rising Powers, Shrinking Planet: The New Politics of Energy (2008, Metropolitan Books): For better or worse, Klare is the guy who's been following the problems of shrinking resources (especially oil) and mapping them to geopolitics. TomDispatch has published an excerpt from this, which had nothing new but also nothing terribly wrong.

Michael T Klare: Rising Powers, Shrinking Planet: The New Geopolitics of Energy (2008; paperback, 2009, Holt): Much trouble and turmoil over which power gets what, especially oil.

Michael T Klare: The Race for What's Left: The Global Scramble for the World's Last Resources (2012, Metropolitan Books): The next logical evolution of his argument after Resource Wars: The New Landscape of Global Conflict, Blood and Oil: The Dangers and Consequences of America's Growing Dependency on Imported Petroleum and Rising Powers, Shrinking Planet: The New Politics of Energy. I've long thought that the conflict part of the equation is overrated, in part because it is impossible to see any national public interest in what the US does to support capitalists (with virtually no distinction between US and foreign), in part because the US military posture is so counterproductive.

Grady Klein/Yoram Bauman: The Cartoon Introduction to Economics: Volume One: Microeconomics (paperback, 2010, Hill and Wang): Introductory, although it offers an interesting, well-rounded range of topics -- probably good as a sanity check on what you do and do not understand. Amusing too, although Bauman doesn't have a lot of competition as a "stand-up economist."

Joe Klein, Politics Lost: How American Democracy Was Trivialized by People Who Think You're Stupid (Doubleday). Did read a bit of this, but didn't get far, realizing that Klein is part of his subject problem.

Naomi Klein: The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism (2007, Metropolitan Books): Seems to be a major effort at summing up what globalized capitalism is doing. Something turns me away from her: haven't read any of her books, not sure I've even managed to finish one of her Nation columns. Strong activism, weak economics. Probably a lot of research here worth knowing. The notion that capitalism depends on disaster doesn't make any sense to me, although there are plenty of examples of capitalism leading to disaster.

Naomi Klein: This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate (2014, Simon & Schuster): Canadian political writer, has written a series of bestselling books which seem to sum up the left's thinking about the rot of capitalism -- No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies (2000) on globalization, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism (2007) factoring in the terrorism wars, and now this one taking notice of climate change.

Naomi Klein: No Is Not Enough: Resisting Trump's Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need (paperback, 2017, Haymarket Books): Describes Trump as "a logical extension of the worst and most dangerous trends of the past half-century" -- trends Klein has made a career of writing about; e.g., No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies (2000), The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism (2007), This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate (2014).

Edward D Kleinbard: We Are Better Than This: How Government Should Spend Our Money (2014, Oxford University Press): An attempt to reframe government taxation/spending debates not on traditional left-right terms but in terms of return on investments regardless of size. I think this is fundamentally right, although the devil will be in the details. There are many useful and important things that government can do more efficiently and more effectively than the private sector -- indeed, there are some that the private sector will only do if plied with exorbitant bribes. Nice to think we're smart enough we can figure this out, but there's little evidence of that.

JD Kleinke: Oxymorons: The Myth of a US Health Care System (2001, Wiley): Another CDHC scheme, based on eliminating employer groups.

Eric Klinenberg, Fighting for Air: The Battle to Control America's Media (2007-01, Henry Holt).

William Kleinknecht: The Man Who Sold the World: Ronald Reagan and the Betrayal of Main Street America (2009, Nation Books): Another attempt to put Reagan back into focus, this time focusing on the Middle America Reagan was supposed to champion, and what his political legacy has done to them.

Arnold Kling: Crisis of Abundance: Rethinking How We Pay for Health Care (paperback, 2006, Cato Institute)

Elizabeth Kolbert, Field Notes From a Catastophe (paperback, 2006, Bloomsbury). Read most/all of this in New Yorker.

Elizabeth Kolbert: The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History (2014, Henry Holt): Five massive waves of extinctions have occurred since the Cambrian period when most modern phyla came into existence, with each defining boundaries between geological ages, something we can discern with the perspective of millions of years. Kolbert is suggesting that the sheer quantity of species extinctions that have occurred in recent years is well on its way to adding up to a sixth major extinction event, and she's traveling around the world gathering and checking out evidence. Not the first book on this subject -- cf. Richard E Leakey: The Sixth Extinction: Patterns of Life and the Future of Humankind (paperback, 1996, Anchor); Terry Glavin, The Sixth Extinction: Journeys Among the Lost and Left Behind (2007, Thomas Dunne); and for that matter a couple classics: David Quammen: The Song of the Dodo: Island Biography in an Age of Extinction (paperback, 1997, Scribner); and Paul S Martin/Herbert Edgar Wright, eds: Pleistocene Extinctions: The Search for a Cause (1967, Yale University Press) -- but likely a succinct, thought-provoking summary.

Sonali Kolhatkar/James Ingalls: Bleeding Afghanistan: Washington, Warlords, and the Propaganda of Silence (paperback, 2006, Seven Stories Press): Co-directors of Afghan Women's Mission, a US-based NGO working with RAWA (Revolutionary Association of Women of Afghanistan). They look to be ahead of the learning curve, but Amazon reviews are very polarized.

Andrew Kolin: State Power and Democracy: Before and During the Presidency of George W Bush (2010, Palgrave Macmillan): How America became a police state, mostly under Bush, of course, but precedents go back to the Alien and Sedition Acts, more generally the distrust elites have always had about democracy.

Gabriel Kolko/Joyce Kolko: The Limits of Power: The World and United States Foreign Policy, 1945-1954 (paperback, 1972, Harper & Row).

Richard C Koo: The Holy Grail of Macroeconomics: Lessons from Japan's Great Recession (2009, Wiley): Back in the 1980s wags were writing books about how Japan was taking over the world. That ended with the recession in Japan that started in 1992 and ended when? -- says 2007 here, but isn't that about when the worldwide depression started to overwhelm local recessions? Krugman's been pushing the line that the US is likely to wind up recovering as meagerly as Japan did. Cause of Japan's recession? As I recall, it was the real estate bubble.

Josh Kosman: The Buyout of America: How Private Equity Will Cause the Next Great Credit Crisis (2009, Portfolio): I guess this makes sense. Private equity companies use their leverage to buy up real companies and suck them dry, leaving them with huge piles of debt, which means that creditors can get screwed on both ends of the deal, while the banks at least reap huge fees for their complicity.

Laurence J Kotlikoff: Healthcare Fix: Universal Insurance for All Americans (2007, MIT Press): Mandatory private insurance with vouchers.

Lawrence J Kotlikoff: Jimmy Stewart Is Dead: Ending the World's Ongoing Financial Plague with Limited Purpose Banking (2010, Wiley): Stewart played the earnest small town banker in Frank Capra's film, It's a Wonderful Life, whose depression was cured by a chance to look decades ahead at all the good he would do with his bank. Such banks don't exist any more, but Kotlikoff has some sort of scheme to bring them back. The fact is that we need some small subset of banking services, and almost everything else that modern banks do is predatory -- scams that suck money out of the real economy and into the bankers' pockets.

David M Kotz: The Rise and Fall of Neoliberal Capitalism (2015, Harvard University Press): Economist, "one of the few academic economists to predict it [the great recession in 2008]," rehashes the neoliberal economic policies that led to the crash. Not clear, though, what the "fall" is, sine no matter how hard they got tripped up, the politicians haven't been forced to rethink the standard approaches.

Markos Kounalakis/Peter Laufer: Hope Is a Tattered Flag: Voices of Reason and Change for the Post-Bush Era (2008, Polipoint Press): Two radio anchors associated with Washington Monthly interview various people -- don't have the list, other than: Ahmed Ahmed, Chris Anderson, Pat Buchanan, Joe Klein, Bill McKibben, Drew Westin. Title from a Sandburg poem. Hope springs eternal.

Warren Kozak: LeMay: The Life and Wars of General Curtis LeMay (2009, Regnery): A war criminal, at least in his own mind, which relished the role and repeatedly courted disaster. Given the publisher, this is presumably a flattering right-wing paean, but LeMay was so blunt I doubt that you can slant him much.

Nikolas Kozloff: Revolution!: South America and the Rise of the New Left (2008, Palgrave Macmillan): Author of a previous book on Venezuela: Hugo Chavez: Oil, Politics, and the Challenge to the US. Here he broadens the picture to include more challenges to the US -- nearly a continent's worth.

Jonathan Kozol, Letters to a Young Teacher (Crown): I haven't read anything by Kozol since Death at an Early Age, when I was still a teenager. The recent spate of "letters to a young [whatever]" books have become a cliché, but one thing they reveal is a sense that we're losing our grip on the handing down of knowledge. In any case, this one looks to be earnest and heartfelt. Kozol ranked high on Bernard Goldberg's list of 101 people screwing up America. I could see the logic of some picks and take others as back-handed compliments, singling Kozol out struck me as plain proof of Goldberg's moral rot.

Jonathan Kozol: Fire in the Ashes: Twenty-Five Years Among the Poorest Children in America (2012, Crown): Bernard Goldberg wrote a book a while back listing "101 people screwing up America." Most were good people, but you could sort of see where their political stances ticked off Goldberg (Noam Chomsky, for instance, even though he's almost always right). However, the one thing I couldn't forgive, or even see anything but pure moral rot in, was his picking on Jonathan Kozol, a teacher who's never done anything more than expose how poor children are treated shabbily in our public schools. The only book of his that I've read was his first, Death at an Early Age: The Destruction of the Hearts and Minds of Negro Children in the Boston Public Schools (1967), but he's written a dozen others, notably: Rachel and Her Children: Homeless Families in America (1988); Savage Inequalities: Children in America's Schools (1991); and The Shame of the Nation: The Restoration of Apartheid Schooling in America (2005). Here he revists people he knew as children and growing up, over some twenty-five years, a mix of success stories and all-too-common failure.

Joel Kovel: Overcoming Zionism: Creating a Single Democratic State in Israel/Palestine (paperback, 2007, Pluto Press).

Heidi Squier Kraft: Rule Number Two: Lessons I Learned in a Combat Hospital (2007, Little Brown): A clinical psychologist goes to Iraq. There are hundreds of war memoirs by now, but this is likely to be a little different.

Jon Krakauer: Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith (2003, Doubleday).

Jon Krakauer: Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman (2009, Doubleday): I've probably read all of Krakauer's books -- mountain climbing is one of my odder side interests, and Mormonism is another -- still this doesn't seem like a very promising combination. The only lesson I draw from Tillman is the utter waste of America's war in Afghanistan, and more generally America's passion for war. People are tempted to think that Tillman did something remarkable leaving the NFL for Afghanistan, but the two are so foolishly intertwined that it was merely pathetic.

Jon Krakauer: Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman (2009, Doubleday; paperback, 2010, Anchor): Bestselling account of how a pro football star quit the NFL to join the army for the war in Afghanistan, only to get killed by fellow US troops.

Jon Krakauer: Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town (2015, Doubleday): A small city, population nearly 70,000, home of University of Montana so about 15,000 students. Local authorities were notoriously lax investigating rape complaints, so Krakauer investigated and this is what he found out. FWIW, I've read five previous books by Krakauer (out of six).

Mattea Kramer, et al. [National Priorities Project]: A People's Guide to the Federal Budget (paperback, 2010, Olive Branch Press): Basic info on what the budget is, how the process works, etc. -- subjects lots of people are woefully ignorant of. Doubt that it goes much further, but clearly fills a need.

Michael Kranish/Scott Helman: The Real Romney (2012, Harper): I guess there is a real one, but that strikes me as a scary concept. Surprisingly few books about Romney at this point, given his prominence, but thus far there's this and a 2011 paperback by RB Scott: Mitt Romney: An Inside Look at the Man and His Politics -- well, also a few paranoid books on his Mormonism. Isn't the free market supposed to fix this dearth? Or is interest so low we have to say the market has cleared?

Lawrence M Krauss: Quantum Man: Richard Feynman's Life in Science (2011, WW Norton): Another bio of the famous physicist, always an entertaining and enlightening subject, fits into the publisher's "Great Discoveries" series, by the author of such semi-unserious books as The Physics of Star Trek.

Andrew F Krepinevich: 7 Deadly Scenarios: A Military Futurist Explores War in the 21st Century (2009, Bantam): One of the geniuses who keeps plotting new ways to get us into senseless wars. Imagines global pandemics, black-market nukes, a Pakistani collapse, civil unrest in China, "the consequences of a timed withdrawal from Iraq"; not sure what else. Wonder if he's thought about the Armageddon-addled Jesus freaks in the US Air Force Academy?

Greta R Krippner: Capitalizing on Crisis: The Political Origins of the Rise of Finance (2011, Harvard University Press): Argues that the growth of finance since the 1970s was encouraged by politicians trying to solve other problems (e.g., compensating for trade imbalances by encouraging capital inflows), and that one things led to another as opposed to the government being captured by the bankers or anyone having a bright idea.

Nicholas D Kristof/Sheryl WuDunn: Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide (2009, Knopf; paperback, 2010, Vintage Books)

Paul Kriwaczek, Yiddish Civilization: The Rise and Fall of a Forgotten Nation (paperback, 2006, Vintage Books).

Jonathan Krohn: Defining Conservatism: The Principles That Will Bring Our Country Back (2010, Vanguard Press): Teenage philosopher, self-published an earlier draft of this book when he was 13; is more like 15 now, out giving speeches at Tea Parties and CPAC. Identifies four principles: defend the Constitution, respect human life, minimalist government, personal responsibility. Those principles are sophisticated enough it might be possible to flip him, unlike less thoughtful conservatives whose principles are more like "be white" and "inherit (or steal) a lot of money" and "slaughter people not like us." Talks a lot about "natural laws" and gibberish like that. Clearly is a smart kid with a lot to learn.

Paul Krugman: The Great Unraveling: Losing Our Way in the New Century (2003, WW Norton).

Paul Krugman: The Conscience of a Liberal (2007; paperback, 2009, WW Norton): Part political manifesto, but cooly delivered because he wants to work a macro view of US history in, from the Long Gilded Age through the New Deal-inspired levelling and back to a return of Gilded Age inequality.

Paul Krugman: The Return of Depression Economics and the Crisis of 2008 (2008, WW Norton): New edition, updated, maybe even a rewrite, of Krugman's 1999 The Return of Depression Economics: a book that must seem more prescient now than when it originally appeared at the top of the high tech boom.

Paul Krugman: The Return of Depression Economics and the Crisis of 2008 (2008; paperback, 2009, WW Norton): Revised a year ago from the 1999 original, written then in response to the East Asian collapse of 1997, which bears many of the same traits as the current boom/bust.

Paul Krugman: End This Depression Now! (2012, WW Norton): A basic, straightforward guide to what is wrong with the economy today, and what can (and should) be done about it. Analysis is basic macroeconomics from Keynes to Minsky to Bernanke (who used to know something about this before he became the bankers' tool). Doesn't put as much emphasis on the role of inequality as I would, but does at least recognize that the recovery is stalled mostly by political design, and can prove that. Also lots on the Euro, which is a different problem, also political.

Kevin M Kruse: One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America (2015, Basic Books): Argues that the idea that the United States "is, was, and always has been a Christian nation" originated in the 1930s when opponents of FDR, including corporations like General Motors and Hilton Hotels, recruited conservative clergymen to attack the "pagan statism" of the New Deal. That line of attack gained more traction after WWII when "godless communism" became a more plausible enemy, and Dwight Eisenhower proved a particularly useful idiot for the meme. This complements the similarly themed Steve K Green: Inventing a Christian America: The Myth of the Religious Founding (2015).

Benjamin Kunkel: Utopia or Bust: A Guide to the Present Crisis (paperback, 2014, Verso): Short "crash course" in the latest Marxist/Leftist thinking on the economy -- names dropped include Zizek, Harvey, Graeber, Jameson. Previously wrote the novel Indecision.

David Kuo: Tempting Faith: An Inside Story of Political Seduction (2006; paperback, 2007, Free Press): Somewhere well down on my pending list of questions about the Bush regime is whether their "faith-based" initiatives were ever meant to be anything more than patronage favors for evangelical supporters (in other words, everyday graft). Of course, it helped to con a few believers, and Kuo was one of them.

Charles A Kupchan: No One's World: The West, the Rising Rest, and the Coming Global Turn (2012, Oxford University Press): An antidote to the silly genre of books predicting who will dominate whom in the coming century, as domination itself becomes both less possible and less desirable.

David Kupelian: How Evil Works: Understanding and Overcoming the Destructive Forces That Are Transforming America (2010, Threshold Editions): Previously wrote The Marketing of Evil: How Radicals, Elitists, and Pseudo-Experts Sell Us Corruption Disguised as Freedom. I'd be more intrigued if he replaced "radicals" with "conservatives" (or if I thought that was what he meant by "elitists"). The list of "profoundly troubling questions" he takes a whack at don't strike me as all that profound, like "why are boys doing worse in school today than girls?"

Mark Kurlansky: The Basque History of the World ().

Mark Kurlansky: 1968: The Year That Rocked the World (2003; paperback, 2005, Vintage Books).

Mark Kurlansky: Nonviolence: Twenty-Five Lessons From the History of a Dangerous Idea (2006, Modern Library).

Mark Kurlansky, The Big Oyster: History on the Half Shell (2007-01, Random House, paperback).

Mark Kurlansky: The Last Fish Tale: The Fate of the Atlantic and Survival in Gloucester, America's Oldest Fishing Port and Most Original Town (2008, Random House): Another fish tale from a historian who's recently been extremely prolific lately -- Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World; Salt: A World History; The Basque History of the World: The Story of a Nation; 1968: The Year That Rocked the World; The Big Oyster: History on the Half Shell; and my off-topic fave, Nonviolence: Twenty Five Lessons From the History of a Dangerous Idea.

Mark Kurlansky: Hank Greenberg: The Hero Who Didn't Want to Be One (2011, Yale University Press): Kurlansky seems like a history factory, with far-ranging books like Salt: A World History, Cod: A Biography of the Fish, A Basque History of the World, The Big Oyster: History on the Half Shell, 1968: The Year That Rocked the World, Nonviolence: The History of a Dangerous Idea, a half-dozen more, but for a hack he's remarkably good -- I've read 4 of those 6 -- and his new books are as likely as not to fill in gaps in his established web of interests: for instance, his new book on the famous Jewish slugger follows his book on Jewish history (A Chosen Few: The Ressurrection of European Jewry) and a previous baseball book (The Eastern Stars: How Baseball Changed the Dominican Town of San Pedro Macoris, itself following up his A Continent of Islands: Searching for the Caribbean Destiny).

Mark Kurlansky/Talia Kurlansky: International Night: A Father and Daughter Cook Their Way Around the World (2014, Bloomsbury USA): The elder author has written a number of popular history books with built around food -- Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World (1997), which led him to The Basque History of the World (1999); Salt: A World History (2002); The Big Oyster: History on the Half Shell (2006); and Birdseye: The Adventures of a Curious Man (2012). The idea here is to spin the globe, land on a country, and fix dinner appropriate to that country. They wrote up a year's worth of meals, including the recipes. The sort of book I might be able to write, although his randomizing approach ventures further than I have. He also wrote two other books I've read (and recommend): 1968: The Year that Rocked the World (2004), and Nonviolence: The History of a Dangerous Idea (2006).

Stanley Kurtz: Radical-in-Chief: Barack Obama and the Untold Story of American Socialism (2010, Treshold Editions): The hits keep on coming, this exceptionally lame one by a National Review hack (also Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center). More imaginative is David Freddoso's latest, Gangster Government: Barack Obama and the New Washington Thugocracy (2011, Regnery); hallucinatory even is Jack Cashill's Deconstructing Obama: The Life, Loves, and Letters of America's First Postmodern President (2011, Threshold), which reveals that Obama's books were actually written by "terrorist emeritus Bill Ayers." Also out soon is Jerome R. Corsi Ph.D.: Where's the Birth Certificate: The Case That Barack Obama Is Not Eligible to Be President (2011, WND). I should set up a separate file for all this shit -- all four authors here are serial offenders.

Daniel C Kurtzer/Scott B Lasensky: Negotiating Arab-Israeli Peace: American Leadership in the Middle East (paperback, 2008, United States Institute of Peace Press): Kurtzer was rumored to be a prime Obama appointment for sorting out the Israel/Palestine mess, and seemed at least to be a better candidate than Martin Indyk or Dennis Ross.

Daniel C Kurtzer, ed: Pathways to Peace: America and the Arab-Israeli Conflict (2012, Palgrave Macmillan): "This book is the antidote to the fatalism and pessimism" -- or so says Tony Blair, who as much as anyone is the cause. Bill Clinton, Javier Solana, and Chuck Hagel also support the book. Kurtzer is a long-time US diplomat, former ambassador to Egypt and Israel, a guy with much experience talking the talk, none at walking the walk. Also wrote the lead piece in The Peace Puzzle: America's Quest for Arab-Israeli Peace, 1989-2011 (2013, Cornell University Press).

Daniel C Kurtzer/Scott B Lasensky/William B Quandt/Steven L Spiegel/Shibley Z Telhami: The Peace Puzzle: America's Quest for Arab-Israeli Peace, 1989-2011 (2013, Cornell University Press): Could be sub-subtitled "An Autopsy" -- that at least is what the subject calls for, with some additional pieces on how Israel inspired the neocons, how Israel's flagrantly illegal counterterrorism tactics were adopted by the Americans, and how Israel played the Iran atomic issue to distract Bush and especially Obama from the real gaping sore in the Middle East. The authors shouldn't be uncritical, but Kurtzer (in particular) may have been too close to the process to call it the sham it has been.

Robert Kuttner: The Squandering of America: How the Failure of Our Politics Undermines Our Prosperity (2007, Knopf).

Robert Kuttner: Obama's Challenge: America's Economic Crisis and the Power of a Transformative Presidency (paperback, 2009, Chelsea Green): Quickie book dressing up Obama as a future Lincoln or Roosevelt (or Johnson, except for that mess in Vietnam, or do I mean Afghanistan?), based on crudely applying Doris Kearns Goodwin to his otherwise solid economic critique.

Robert Kuttner: A Presidency in Peril: The Inside Story of Obama's Promise, Wall Street's Power, and the Struggle to Control Our Economic Future (2010, Chelsea Green): After rushing out his campaign hype, Obama's Challenge: America's Economic Crisis and the Power of a Transformative Presidency, Kuttner owes us a revisit on the many ways Obama has failed to achieve (or even much attempt) anything like what Kuttner envisioned. Maybe those of us who bought the earlier book should get some sort of price break on the new one?

Robert Kuttner: Debtor's Prison: The Politics of Austerity Versus Possibility (2013, Knopf): Not only is austerity economically counterproductive, at least within a recession, its attraction is purely political, as is the decision to follow its dictates. Kuttner knows this, and presumably has some worthwhile suggestions, but right now it is mainly a test of political will -- something Obama, in particular, doesn't seem to understand.

James Kwak: Economism: Bad Economics and the Rise of Inequality (2017, Pantheon): A primer on how "Economics 101" is wrapped up in political biases which promote inequality, passing it off as the genius of markets. Another book along the same lines: Joe Earle/Cahal Moran/Zach Ward-Perkins: The Econocracy: The Perils of Leaving Economics to the Experts (paperback, 2016, Machester University Press); also Michael Hudson: J Is for Junk Economics: A Guide to Reality in an Age of Deception (paperback, 2017, Islet).

Kwasi Kwarteng: Ghosts of Empire: Britain's Legacies in the Modern World (2012, Public Affairs): British historian and politician (Conservative MP), parents came to England from Ghana, so he knows a bit about the late empire from both ends, but like many of his countrymen may tend to the effect, most of all the benefit, of having experienced British rule.

Matt Labash: Fly Fishing With Darth Vader: And Other Adventures With Evangelical Wrestlers, Political Hitmen, and Jewish Cowboys (2010, Simon & Schuster): Features Dick Cheney's mug on the center of the cover. In case you thought this might be critical, consider that it's just a compilation of pieces recycled from The Weekly Standard, and on the blurb draws praise from David Brooks, PJ O'Rourke, and Christopher Hitchens.

Robert Lacey: Inside the Kingdom: Kings, Clerics, Modernists, Terrorists, and the Struggle for Saudi Arabia (2009, Viking): Broad-ranging survey of Saudi Arabia these days. Lacey previously wrote The Kingdom: Arabia and the House of Sa'ud back in 1981, which had the good fortune of being banned by the Saudis.

Simon Lack: The Hedge Fund Mirage: The Illusion of Big Money and Why It's Too Good to Be True (2012, Wiley): Formerly worked at JPMorgan making investments in hedge funds, only to find out that despite occasionally spectacular stories they didn't in general work out.

Arthur B Laffer/Stephen Moore: Return to Prosperity: How America Can Regain Its Economic Superpower Status (2009, Threshold): A quick about face after warning of certain doom in his recession-timed The End of Prosperity: How Higher Taxes Will Doom the Economy -- If We Let It Happen. Laffer has one of those names like legendary toilet inventor Thomas Crapper. Laffer was responsible for the back-of-the-envelope calculations that led to the Reagan tax cut, justifying it on grounds that turned out to be flat out wrong. As far as I can tell, he's never been right since. So laff it off, or cry.

Tony Lagouranis/Allen Mikaelian: Fear Up Harsh: An Army Interrogator's Dark Journey Through Iraq (2007, NAL): Abu Ghraib interrogator's memoir. There seem to be several of these floating around; in no particular order: Tara McKelvey: Monstering: Inside America's Policy of Secret Interrogations and Torture in the Terror War; Chris Mackey: The Interrogators: Task Force 500 and America's Secret War Against Al Qaeda; Paul Holton: Saving Babylon: The Heart of an Army Interrogator in Iraq; Matthew Alexander/John Bruning: How to Break a Terrorist: The U.S. Interrogators Who Used Brains, Not Brutality, to Take Down the Deadliest Man in Iraq; Michael Otterman: American Torture: From the Cold War to Abu Ghraib and Beyond.

Gordon Laird: The Price of a Bargain: The Quest for Cheap and the Death of Globalization (2009, Palgrave Macmillan): We're supposed to be thankful that globalization makes it possible for jerkwad companies like WalMart to keep their margins up while selling junk for less. Helps make up for the fact that working people in America are making less then they have in 30-40 years. Several people have written this up lately, so I'm not sure what distinguishes this account, other than that the title suggests it cannot continue indefinitely.

Steve Lake/Paul Griffiths, eds.: Horizons Touched: The Music of ECM (2007, Granta): Big coffee table book, with cover illustrations and miscellaneous info for some/most/all[?] of ECM's 2000 or so releases -- jazz with a pastoral or chamber bent/classical music for new agers. Important label, possibly the most important of the last 40 years.

George Lakoff: Moral Politics: How Liberals and Conservatives Think (paperback, 2002, University of Chicago Press).

George Lakoff: Don't Think of an Elephant! Know Your Values and Frame the Debate (paperback, 2004, Chelsea Green).

George Lakoff: The Political Mind: Why You Can't Understand 21st-Century American Politics With an 18th-Century Brain (2008, Viking): Linguistics professor, has written a number of books on how the right frames its issues to sell them, and how progressives should do the same -- Don't Think of an Elephant!: Know Your Values and Frame the Debate is the short version; Moral Politics: How Liberals and Conservatives Think and Whose Freedom? The Battle Over America's Most Important Idea are the long ones. The new book continues in that vein, although why he thinks we have 18th-century brains isn't obvious -- I'd say they're a good deal more ancient, which is why we're willing to follow frauds who look tough even in cases where tough isn't what we need (much less fraud).

George Lakoff/Elisabeth Wehling: The Little Blue Book: The Essential Guide to Thinking and Talking Democratic (paperback, 2012, Free Press): Lakoff thinks we can solve all our problems by coming up with better terminology to frame our arguments -- i.e., something other than what Frank Luntz comes up with. Supposedly this is that.

Chris Lamb: Conspiracy of Silence: Sportswriters and the Long Campaign to Desegregate Baseball (2012, University of Nebraska Press): Previously wrote Blackout: The Story of Jackie Robinson's First Spring Training, digs deeper here into the press attitudes that reinforced the color line in baseball, and a few journalists -- mostly blacks and/or communists, by the way -- who thought differently.

Christina Lamb: The Sewing Circles of Herat: A Personal Voyage Through Afghanistan (2003; paperback, 2004, Harper Perennial): A memoir of time spent in Afghanistan in late 1980s as a foreign correspondent, plus interviews following the rout of the Taliban in late 2001.

Richard D Lamm: The Brave New World of Health Care (paperback, 2003, Fulcrum): Former Colorado governor, from before rationing and death panels became scare words.

Richard D Lamm/Robert H Blank: Condition Critical: A New Moral Vision for Health Care (paperback, 2007, Fulcrum)

John Lanchester: IOU: Why Everyone Owes Everyone and No One Can Pay (2010, Simon & Schuster): I don't see the word in any of the review notes, but my impression is that this is about leverage. Politically convenient cheap credit has led to a mountain of highly leveraged investments that don't seem to be based on much of anything. Getting that money back is going to be difficult. Author started researching this for a novel, then decided truth is stranger, or maybe just more powerful, than fiction.

David Landau: Arik: The Life of Ariel Sharon (2014, Knopf): Having just referred to Begin as Israel's "little monster," it's no contest who the corresponding "big monster" was. Sharon could never be described as Begin's henchman: Begin bears responsibility for the Lebanon war, and more importantly for letting Sharon run it, but none for the actual details of how Sharon ran the war. Sharon had been a great favorite of Ben Gurion's and Dayan's, but what they loved him for wasn't doing what they wanted but invariably going much farther: he not only destroyed things, he did so at levels and degrees his "superiors" couldn't dream of asking for. His Lebanon War was like that, leading to the massacre of thousands of Palestinians, and his suppression of the second Intifada was like that. Still, it is important to realize that Sharon wasn't insane (unlike, say, Begin, whose tortured mind seemed to be stuck constantly replaying the Holocaust). He could make a tactical retreat when he needed to regroup, and on some level he seemed to be completely cynical about politics and everything else -- the real reason he was capable of such brutality was that he knew he would be adored for it, although it also helped that he was utterly indifferent to what anyone else thought or care about. And that he was so successful for so long ultimately says much more about his country than it does him. Reviewers say this is "scrupulously fair," which is to say it's mostly warts because that's what his supporters admired so much about him. Anything less would be a disservice.

Mark Landler: Alter Egos: Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and the Twilight Struggle Over American Power (2016, Random House): Journalist, interviewed over 100 "inside sources" to discover that Clinton was invariably hawkish as Secretary of State, while Obama usually started skeptical but often gave in to the hawks he surrounded himself with -- far be it from to seriously reject any orthodoxy. I doubt Landler further explores how often Obama's policies backfired, as he seems more entranced with his "team of rivals" collaboration story -- the common ground of those alter egos.

Barry M Lando, Web of Deceit: The History of Western Complicity in Iraq, From Churchill to Kennedy to George W Bush (2007-01, Other Press).

Steven E Landsburg, More Sex Is Safer Sex: The Unconventional Wisdom of Economics (Free Press): Presumably inspired by the chart success of Freakonomics, but Landsburg has been perverse longer. I started reading his previous Armchair Economist but got disgusted. Still, his description of "the principle of indifference" has haunted me ever since, perhaps the most dismal idea the Dismal Science ever concocted.

Charles Lane: The Day Freedom Died: The Colfax Massacre, the Supreme Court, and the Betrayal of Reconstruction (2008, Henry Holt): Easter Sunday, 1873, in Colfax, LA, white vigilantes murdered at least 80 blacks. The Supreme Court decided that the states should handle such cases, effectively condoning lynching. Another new book covers the same story, more briefly: Lee Anna Keith: The Colfax Massacre: The Untold Story of Black Power, White Terror, and the Death of Reconstruction.

Jaron Lanier: You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto (2010, Knopf): Computer scientist, developed some early version of virtual reality, disparages "Web 2.0" information aggregation (e.g., Wikipedia, Amazon.com) for undervaluing individuals and creating a hive mentality. Not sure how I feel about this.

Jaron Lanier: Who Owns the Future? (2013, Simon & Schuster): Previously wrote You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto (2010), and is credited as "the father of virtual reality." Argues that "the rise of digital networks led our economy into recession and decimated the middle class," and proposes some things -- short of Luddism, which probably wouldn't work anyway -- to ameliorate all that. I don't buy the causal argument, but he may have some points on networks exacerbated other trends that are primarily political.

Yitzhak Laor: Myths of Liberal Zionism (2010, Verso): On the self-proclaimed "peace camp" Zionists, such as Amos Oz and AB Yehoshua, a group that invariably rallies for each new Israeli military offensive, only to bemoan it once things go awry. Short (128 pp), probably scathing. The core problem is that the Liberal Zionists are more concerned with proving their Zionism than their commitment to peace or justice -- concepts that are disallowed by the very nature of Zionism.

Costas Lapavitsas: Profiting Without Producing: How Finance Exploits Us All (paperback, 2014, Verso): British economist, previous book focused on Eurozone issues, sees "financialization" as the root of most of our current evils. There can be little doubt that most of the profits capitalism produces these days go to the financial sector, and it would be interesting to understand why.

Lewis Lapham: Theater of War (2002, New Press).

Lewis Lapham, Pretensions to Empire: Notes on the Criminal Folly of the Bush Administration (2006; paperback, 2007, New Press).

Walter Laqueur: After the Fall: The End of the European Dream and the Decline of a Continent (2012, Thomas Dunne Books): Historian, now in his 90s, has written about Fascism, anti-semitism, Zionism (which he strongly identifies with, having escaped pre-WWII Poland for Palestine). Predicts gloom and doom for Europe.

Walter Laqueur: Putinism: Russia and Its Future With the West (2015, Thomas Dunne)

Guy Laron: The Six-Day War: The Breaking of the Middle East (2017, Yale University Press): Fifty years later, has the advantage of recently declassified documents. "The Six-Day War effectively sowed the seeds for the downfall of Arab nationalism, the growth of Islamic extremism, and the animosity between Jews and Palestinians." The latter started much earlier, but the war led to a massive increase in the number of Palestinians living under Israeli military occupation, and started the great land grab known as the Settler Movement -- so, yes, it did much to poison relations. I don't know if Laron discloses anything new about the run up to the war -- 90% of the book is on the events before the war itself -- but it seems pretty clear to me that Ben-Gurion regarded the 1950 armistices as temporary stays while Israel gathered strength to launch new offensives to grab the various territories they've long coveted. Their military success changed the nation's psychology, as they stopped paying heed to world law and opinion, and set out on their own arrogant path, trusting only in their own brute force and cunning.

Eric Larsen, A Nation Gone Blind: America in the Age of Simplification and Deceit (Avalon, paperback).

Edward J Larson: A Magnificent Catastrophe: The Tumultuous Election of 1800, America's First Presidential Campaign (2007, Free Press): Not only the first properly partisan campaign, the first serious emergence of treachery in high stakes political activity. Checked this out to answer some questions raised by the HBO John Adams series, poked around, wound up reading most of it.

Marie L Lassey/William R Lassey/Martin J Jinks: Health Care Systems Around the World: Characteristics, Issues, Reforms (paperback, 1996, Prentice Hall)

Matt Latimer: Speech-less: Tales of a White House Survivor (2009, Crown; paperback, 2010, Broadway): Bush/Rumsfeld speechwriter

Jacky Law: Big Pharma: Exposing the Global Healthcare Agenda (paperback, 2006, Basic Books)

Quil Lawrence: Invisible Nation: How the Kurds' Quest for Statehood Is Shaping Iraq and the Middle East (2008, Walker & Co): A history of the Kurds, or at least their nationalist political struggle, semi-successful in Iraq as of late.

Ervin Laszlo: The Chaos Point: The World at the Crossroads (new edition, paperback, 2006, Hampton Roads): Entire editorial review in Amazon: "We are at a critical juncture in history where we face global collapse or creation of a new world." The readers' reviews are wordier but basically say the same thing, emphasizing that Laszlo would prefer to create that new world. Laszlo has a bunch of fuzzy science books -- The Consciousness Revolution is a relatively straightforward title.

Nathan Lean: The Islamophobia Industry: How the Right Manufactures Fear of Muslims (paperback, 2012, Pluto Press): One of many (mostly but not all critical) books on the fear of and hatred against Muslims that has been cultivated in the US and Europe recently, concurrent with the US War on Terror and the termination of Israel's "peace process." Lean sees a right-wing conspiracy as responsible, with the Israel lobby at least complicit. I suspect it's uglier and dumber than that, in part because the hatred has overshot US neo-imperial goals, turning right-wingers anti-war (as we saw with Syria). Other recent books (no idea if they're any good or not): Chris Allen: Islamophobia (paperback, 2010, Ashgate); Carl W Ernst, ed: Islamophobia in America: The Anatomy of Intolerance (paperback, 2013, Palgrave Macmillan); John L Esposito/Ibraham Kalin, eds: Islamophobia: The Challenge of Pluralism in the 21st Century (paperback, 2011, Oxford University Press); Peter Gottschalk/Gabriel Greenberg: Islamophobia: Making Muslims the Enemy (2007, Rowman & Littlefield); Deepa Kumar: Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire (paperback, 2012, Haymarket Books); Stephen Sheehi: Islamophobia: The Ideological Campaign Against Muslims (paperback, 2011, Clarity Press); John R Bowen: Blaming Islam (2012, MIT Press); Walid Shoebat/Ben Barrack: The Case FOR Islamophobia: Jihad by the Word; America's Final Warning (2013, Top Executive Media). I could also mention: Jack Shaheen: Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies a People (2nd ed, paperback, 2009, Olive Branch Press); and Martha C Nussbaum: The New Religious Intollerance: Overcoming the Politics of Fear in an Anxious Age (2012, Belknap Press).

Adam LeBor, "Complicity With Evil": The United Nations in the Age of Modern Genocide (2006-11, Yale University Press).

Adam LeBor: The Believers: How America Fell for Bernard Madoff's $65 Billion Investment Scam (2010, Orion): This looks to be better tied to the real issues than the quickie bios that dwell on Madoff's personal extravagance. His "too good to be true" scam depended on those gullible enough to buy in, which is the underlying condition (part stupid, part greedy, part just sunny optimism) that allowed the entire investment world to lose their moorings.

Robert H LeBow: Health Care Meltdown: Confronting the Myths and Fixing Our Failing System (2003, Alan C. Hood).

Michael A Lebowitz: The Socialist Alternative: Real Human Development (paperback, 2010, Monthly Review Press): Still committed to the old verities, like worker control of the means of production, that few of us accused of socialism still put much stake in. Also wrote Build It Now: Socialism for the Twenty-First Century (paperback, 2006, Monthly Review Press) and Following Marx: Method, Critique and Crisis (paperback, 2009, Haymarket Books).

James Ledbetter: Unwarranted Influence: Dwight D Eisenhower and the Military Industrial Complex (2011, Yale University Press): Fairly detailed account of Eisenhower's famous (and ultimately ineffective) farewell speech.

Charlie Leduff, US Guys: The True and Twisted Mind of the American Man (2007-02, Penguin).

Charlie LeDuff: Detroit: An American Autopsy (2013, Penguin Press): Local journalist, has watched Detroit decline from 1.9 million people to fewer than 700,000, as people left the city for the suburbs or beyond while industry crumbled. I recall that when I was visiting Detroit it was hard to find books on the city, but that at least is looking up. For example, another is Mark Binelli: Detroit City Is the Place to Be: The Afterlife of an American Metropolis (2012, Metropolitan).

Frank Ledwidge: Losing Small Wars: British Military Failure in Iraq and Afghanistan (2011, Yale University Press): Unlike the truly token efforts of so many "coalition partners," the British chewed off a large enough chunk of these wars to fail on their own terms. That hasn't been widely reported, nor deeply analyzed, but I gather from this the failure was utter.

Erika Lee: At America's Gates: Chinese Immigration During the Exclusion Era, 1882-1943 (paperback, 2005, University of North Carolina Press).

Erika Lee: The Making of Asian America: A History (paperback, 2016, Simon & Schuster).

Derek Leebaert: The Fifty-Year Wound: How America's Cold War Victory Has Shaped Our World (paperback, 2003, Back Bay Books): Finally, an examination of what it cost America to wage the cold war. I doubt that the accounting includes many factors that I would add in, such as how it undermined labor unions, shifting US politics to the right, exacerbating inequality, and so forth.

Derek Leebaert: Magic and Mayhem: The Delusions of American Foreign Policy, From Korea to Afghanistan (2010, Simon & Schuster): Why do smart people wind up acting so stupidly when they enter America's foreign policy establishment? They believe in magic? "When we think magically, we conjure up beliefs that everyone wants to be like us, that America can accomplish anything out of sheer righteousness, and that our own wizardly policymakers will enable gigantic desires like "transforming the Middle East" to happen fast. Mantras of 'stability' or 'democracy' get substituted for reasoned reflection. Faith is placed in high-tech silver bullets, whether drones over Pakistan or helicopters in Vietnam." Leebaert previously wrote The Fifty-Year Wound: How America's Cold War Victory Has Shaped Our World, one of the few books that considers what the Cold War cost us.

Rafael Lefevre: Ashes of Hama: The Muslim Brotherhood in Syria (2013, Oxford University Press): I pulled this out of the long list of Syria books (see Reese Ehrlich) because it stands out: the focus is on the 1982 Hama uprising and Hafez Assad's brutal suppression (over 20,000 killed, mostly in an artillery barrage of the liberated city). The Muslim Brotherhood led the uprising, and returned two decades later as an activist faction in Syria's "Arab Spring" demonstrations -- also met brutally, resulting in the civil war that has killed another 200,000 (not that any of these estimates are proven).

Philippe Legrain: Immigrants: Your Country Needs Them (2007, Princeton University Press): English economist, makes the case for free labor markets, clearly out of step with the US right although not necessarily with the GOP money people. Previously wrote Open World: The Truth About Globalization, about as trustworthy as any other book with "truth" in the title.

Chris Lehmann: Rich People Things: Real-Life Secrets of the Predator Class (paperback, 2011, Haymarket): Looking at the TOC: Meritocracy, Populism, The Free Market, The Stock Market, "Class Warfare," David Brooks, Malcolm Gladwell, The New York Times. Each chapter is six pages long, suggesting a recycled stack of columns (or blog posts).

Chris Lehmann: The Money Cult: Capitalism, Christianity, and the Unmaking of the American Dream (2016, Melville House): A book on how often throughout America's history Christianity has upheld and celebrated economic iniquity -- "the pursuit of profit, as well as the inescapability of economic inequality."

Mark Leibovich: This Town: Two Parties and a Funeral -- Plus Plenty of Valet Parking! -- in America's Gilded Capital (2013, Blue Rider Press): "There are no Democrats and Republians anymore in the nation's capital, just millionaires. That's the grubby secret of the place in the twenty-first century. You will always have lunch in This Town again. No matter how many elections you lose, apologies you make, or scandals you endure." So don't expect anything on the real problems America faces; just the surreal ones.

Nicholas Lemann: Redemption: The Last Battle of the Civil War (2006, Farrar Straus and Giroux): Short history of a key turning point in the white South's reconquest of Mississippi and rejection of Union reconstruction.

Ray Lemoine/Donovan Webster, Babylon by Bus: Or, the True Story of Two Friends Who Gave Up Their Valuable Franchise Selling "Yankees Suck" T-shirts at Fenway to Find Meaning and Adventure in Iraq (Penguin).

Annie Leonard: The Story of Stuff: How Our Obsession With Stuff Is Trashing the Planet, Our Communities, and Our Health -- and a Vision for Change (2010, Free Press): The expanded book version of a pretty good little animated video, exploring the life cycle of stuff and our role in pushing it through the economy and the environment. Basic, and basically profound.

Sarah Leonard/Bhaskar Sunkara, eds: The Future We Want: Radical Ideas for the New Century (paperback, 2016, Metropolitan Books): Editors associated with The Nation and Jacobin collect some essays to sketch out "a stirring blueprint for American equality," starting with the recognition that the present system is an oligarchy. They imagine finance without Wall Street, full employment achieved by limiting work hours, and many other things.

Miguel Leon-Portillo, Broken Spears: The Aztec Account of the Conquest of Mexico (2007-04, Beacon Press, paperback).

Les Leopold: The Looting of America: How Wall Street's Game of Fantasy Finance Destroyed Our Jobs, Pensions, and Prosperity--and What We Can Do About It (paperback, 2009, Chelsea Green): The Wall Street debacle told by a labor economist. I dislike "and what we can do about it" titles, but this is most likely a good primer on the problem, the place to start.

Les Leopold: How to Make a Million Dollars an Hour: Why Hedge Funds Get Away With Siphoning Off America's Wealth (2013, Wiley): How hedge funds work, and how their managers skim billions off nothing more substantial than bets with other people's money. Author previously wrote The Looting of America: How Wall Street's Game of Fantasy Finance Destroyed Our Jobs, Pensions, and Prosperity (2009).

Les Leopold: Runaway Inequality: An Activist's Guide to Economic Justice (paperback, 2015, The Labor Institute Press): Labor economist, previously wrote a couple of primers on how Wall Street has ripped off America -- The Looting of America: How Wall Street's Game of Fantasy Finance Destroyed Our Jobs, Pensions, and Prosperity (2009), and How to Make a Million Dollars an Hour: Why Hedge Funds Get Away With Siphoning Off America's Wealth (2013). Has lots of "easy-to-understand charts and graphs," goes beyond explaining predatory finance to note how other key issues ("from climate change to the exploding prison population") are connected to economic inequality, and offers activists a guide for doing something about this central problem.

Jill Lepore: The Whites of Their Eyes: The Tea Party's Revolution and the Battle Over American History (2010, Princeton Unversity Press): A well-regarded historian of late colonial/revolutionary America (The Name of War: King Philip's War and the Origins of American Identity, New York Burning: Liberty, Slavery, an Conspiracy in Eighteen-Century Manhattan) takes a look at the historical assertions of Tea Party ideologues -- claims that the Founding Fathers hated centralized government, weren't serious about church-state separation, etc.

Josh Lerner: Boulevard of Broken Dreams: Why Public Efforts to Boost Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital Have Failed -- and What to Do About It (2009, Princeton University Press): Seems to come up with a dozen or so suggestions on how to make public efforts work even though the main thrust is that they don't. Might be useful to help clear the air, although it might just reflect the confusion: government actually does a lot to promote business even though the dominant ideology denies that it can ever work, while lobbyists have their own unworkable schemes to peddle.

Jill Lepore: Book of Ages: The Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin (2013, Knopf): Benjamin Franklin's sister, who unlike Shakespeare's sister was a real person we actually know a good deal about, not that anyone bothered to focus much on her before. Lepore started as a notable historian of 18th century America, but then developed a knack for semi-popular nonfiction pieces in the New Yorker and learned to bounce masterfully between past and present, as in The Whites of Their Eyes: The Tea Party's Revolution and the Battle Over American History.

Antony Lerman: The Making and Unmaking of a Zionist: A Personal and Political Journey (2012, Pluto Press): British Jew, in 1960s worked on a kibbutz and served in the IDF, later returning to England, working in think tanks, eventually turning into a critic of current Israeli policies.

Lawrence Lessig, Code: Version 2.0 (2006-12, Basic Books, paperback).

Lawrence Lessig: Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy (2008, Oxford University Press): Interesting guy. First appeared on my radar during the Microsoft antitrust case, where he was thrashed for being a Mac user. Didn't seem all that promising then, but he's gone on a tear on copyright law, one of the few people who maintains a sensitivity to common interests in a world dominated by private interests. Remix is not only a point where interests conflict -- it's a point where rights holders can strangle creativity, not to mention free speech.

Lawrence Lessig: Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress, and a Plan to Stop It (2011, Twelve): Nothing could be more true. Tries to posit his critique of the corrupting influence of money outside of the right-left axis, but the essential point of the right is their subversion of democracy, which generally puts them in league with the corrupters -- at the very least, they figure the process works more for them than against them, and they're so desperate for power they'll take those odds.

Lawrence Lessig: Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress -- and a Plan to Stop It (2011; paperback, 2012, Twelve):

Jonathan Lethem: The Ecstasy of Influence: Nonfictions, Etc. (2011, Doubleday): A novelist based in Brooklyn dumps off scattered essays, mostly lit, some about music. Poking around Amazon's "look inside" I can't get a sense of the whole, but one fragment on "Disnial" is certainly sharp.

Jonathan Lethem: Talking Heads' Fear of Music (paperback, 2012, Continuum): Part of their 33 1/3 series of short books, where a writer picks out a single record and riffs on it. This is number 86, a rare case with a celebrity author.

Flynt Leverett/Hillary Mann Leverett: Going to Tehran: Why the United States Must Come to Terms With the Islamic Republic (2013, Metropolitan Books): Sensible appeal from diplomats and analysts who know more than a little about Iran. They've been arguing this for some time: lost some credibility when they told us to deal with Iran back when there were massive demonstrations against Ahmadinejad's reëlection, but they were right, and hoping for regime change has yielded nothing.

Gregory Levey: Shut Up, I'm Talking: And Other Diplomacy Lessons I Learned From the Israeli Government -- A Memoir (2008, Free Press): Former speechwriter, first for the Israeli UN delegation, then for Ariel Sharon. Nice work if you can get it, but ultimately a little weird.

Michael Levi: The Power Surge: Energy, Opportunity, and the Battle for America's Future (2013, Oxford University Press): Bullish on US energy from all corners, covering the oil and gas booms as well as the ever-more-competitive renewables, seeing bright futures in both. The "battle" is likely to be more political than economic, as the Kochs and other oil partisans, for instance, would love to see solar and wind power stamped out. No indication that nuclear comes into play here at all.

Mark R Levin: Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto (2009, Threshold Editions): Yet another right-wing radio talk show blowhard, currently on top of the bestseller lists. I suppose someone could write a cogent and logical "conservative manifesto" but I doubt that the same person would spend much time railing against someone named Barack Milhouse Nobama.

Bruce Levine: The Fall of the House of Dixie: The Civil War and the Social Revolution That Transformed the South (2013, Random House): A Civil War history that emphasizes changes in the structure of southern society, presumably the end of the slaveholder aristocracy and its replacement by, well, what exactly? By the time Reconstruction was ended and Jim Crow laws were imposed it doesn't seem like much changed, does it?

Evan S Levine: What Your Doctor Won't (or Can't) Tell You: The Failures of American Medicine -- and How to Avoid Becoming a Statistic (paperback, 2005, Berkley Trade)

Mark LeVine: Why They Don't Hate Us: Lifting the Veil on the Axis of Evil (2005, Oneworld).

Mark LeVine: Heavy Metal Islam: Rock, Resistance, and the Struggle for the Soul of Islam (paperback, 2008, Three Rivers Press): Historian, rock guitarist, political activist, sometimes gets his careers confused, although few Middle East scholars are more insightful, or interesting.

Mark LeVine: Impossible Peace: Israel/Palestine Since 1989 (2009, Zed): The years in question start with the Intifada, follow through the Oslo accords and the revival of Israel's rejectionist right under Ariel Sharon. The Intifada marked a shift in how Israel saw its Palestinian problem: before it was external, led by the PLO, characterized by terrorism; after, it was homegrown, an indictment of Israeli occupation. Short book has a lot of ground to cover.

Mark LeVine/Mathias Mossberg, eds: One Land, Two States: Israel and Palestine as Parallel States (paperback, 2014, University of California Press): A collection of essays that attempt to work out how two states, defined not by territory but by their respective citizenship cohorts, might work to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I don't see the term, but this looks like a refinement of the bi-national notion that pops up periodically when prospects for two-states or one-state look especially grim, but never seems more than an idea. This is, indeed, "thinking outside the box" (a chapter title).

Robert Arthur Levine: Shock Therapy for the American Health Care System: Why Comprehensive Reform Is Needed (2009, Praeger)

Steve LeVine: The Oil and the Glory: The Pursuit of Empire and Fortune on the Caspian Sea (2007, Random House): One of largest oil bonanzas in play today -- probably the largest, but also problematical politically (check the map and see if you can figure out how to get all that oil to Houston) and also technically. For me, how good this book is depends on how technically savvy it is. The politics, after all, is open and shut stupid, at least for the forseeable future.

Daniel J Levitin: The World in Six Songs: How the Musical Brain Created Human Nature (2008, Dutton): Follow-up to the author's This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession, which I bought but haven't read. Six song classes: friendship, joy, comfort, knowledge, religion, love.

Daniel J Levitin: The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload (2014, Dutton): Brain book, verging into self-help territory. Author has a couple of books on music: This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession and The World in Six Songs: How the Musical Brain Created Human Nature. Information overload is a real issue, and a reliable method for coping is something one might desire. However, as long as misinformation is profitable that will be a tall order.

Steven D Levitt/Stephen J Dubner: Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (2005, William Morrow).

Steven D Levitt/Stephen J Dubner: Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (2005; paperback, 2009, Harper Perennial): Not sure what the new material for the long-awaited paperback is: maybe why it takes four years to turn a much-in-demand hardcover bestseller into a paperback. But probably doesn't have much new, unless they explain why they saved the good stuff for the hardcover sequel coming out October 20: SuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance. Most likely I'll wait for the paperback again; may even get so used to waiting I wait a little longer.

Steven D Levitt/Stephen J Dubner: SuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance (2009, William Morrow): With a huge bestseller setting expectations, they've gone back to the well for more profitable contrariness, but seem to have come up with a load of crap -- their efforts to go against the grain of climate research have drawn a lot of fire for their sloppy scholarship. Makes you wonder about the whole bag, even if the previous book was actually based on some of their own research.

Bernard-Henri Levy: Left in Dark Times: A Stand Against the New Barbarism (2008, Random House): Not sure what to make of him, but the notion that he's a leftist, or is in any way concerned about the left, isn't credible. One of those guys who pretends to be your friend to lend cred to the gossip and lies he likes to tell about you, as if that stance somehow puts him above the fray.

Frank Levy/Richard J Murnane: The New Division of Labor: How Computers Are Creating the Next Job Market (paperback, 2005, Princeton University Press): On the shifting shape of the job market, driven largely by the increased use of computers, and what this means for a generally ill-prepared workforce.

Gideon Levy: The Punishment of Gaza (paperback, 2010, Verso): Short (160 pp) report on Israel's 2009 assault on Gaza and the policies that led to it, based on 40 weekly columns from Haaretz. One of the most conscientious Israeli journalists working the beat. Several books on Gaza are trickling out, like Norman G Finkelstein's 'This Time We Went Too Far': Truth & Consequences of the Gaza Invasion, James Petras: War Crimes in Gaza and the Zionist Fifth Columin in America, and (scheduled for November) Noam Chomsky/Ilan Pappé: Gaza in Crisis: Reflections on Israel's War Against the Palestinians. (Pappé has a bigger book scheduled further out: The Bureaucracy of Evil: The History of the Israeli Occupation.)

Paul Levy: The Madness of George W Bush: A Reflection of Our Collective Psychosis (2006, AuthorHouse): May just be more psychobabble, but the intriguing word here is "collective" with its suggestion that we are participants in Bush's madness. Book cover is unnervingly schizo.

Bernard Lewis: What Went Wrong? The Clash Between Islam and Modernity in the Middle East (paperback, 2002, Harper Perennial).

Bernard Lewis: The End of Modern History in the Middle East (2011, Hoover Institute Press): The guy who understands so little about the Middle East that he's frequently consulted by neocons seems to be running out of things to write about.

Charles Lewis: 935 Lies: The Future of Truth and the Decline of America's Moral Integrity (2014, Public Affairs): IF Stone used to say, "all governments lie." Still, we'd be better off with fewer lies, which I suppose is the point of this. But getting to the truth is surely a more complex process. Lewis is such a stickler for the certainty of truth that his title refers to a documented count of "lies that led to the war in Iraq." Sure, there were lies, many of them, but some were big and some were small, some flowed automatically from others, most from misperceptions about how the world works and how American force functions in that world. Correcting for lies is a worthwhile step, but understanding why powers lie and being able to detect when they do even if you don't know what the truth is are more important still.

David Levering Lewis: God's Crucible: Islam and the Making of Europe, 570-1215 (2008, WW Norton): History focuses on 8th century Muslim Spain in a somewhat broader context -- seems to have gotten very mixed notices.

George E Lewis: A Power Stronger Than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music (2008, University of Chicago Press): Big book (672 pages), an essential slice of jazz history that has rarely been written about before. Lewis is a brilliant avant-garde trombonist who's worked with most of these people. Should be a fine historian as well. [May 1]

George E Lewis: A Power Stronger Than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music (2008; paperback, 2009, University of Chicago Press): Most likely a major book on the development of avant-garde jazz in the 1970s, told by a major figure in his own right.

Michael Lewis: Next: The Future Just Happened ().

Michael Lewis, ed: Panic: The Story of Modern Financial Insanity (2008, WW Norton): A quickie collection of old and not-so-old pieces, just in time to slap some product on the latest financial disaster, and to be obsolete almost instantly.

Michael Lewis: The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine (2010, WW Norton): Wrote a famous book about the 1980s scandals on Wall Street, Liar's Poker, based on his days working for Salomon Brothers -- an experience that at the time he described as "America, when a great nation lost its financial mind." Now, he looks back on the old book and wonders: "How quaint. How innocent." The new book tries to cover the new crisis by focusing on traders who sold short -- as good an angle as any, and no doubt a lot more fun to write about.

Michael Lewis: Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World (2011, WW Norton): Travelogues relating to high finance, or mischief, or both. The "new third world" means old first world countries saddled with so much debt they're sinking fast: you know, Greece, Ireland, Iceland, the United States.

Michael Lewis: Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt (2014, WW Norton): A book on high-frequency trading, entertaining and informative no doubt, with something of a moral centre even though the journalist is inordinately fond of rich people.

Minqi Li: The Rise of China and the Demise of the Capitalist World (paperback, 2009, Monthly Review Press): Interesting contrast here, as if the two major events were related, as if China's Communists figured out the way to really destroy the capitalist system was to join and master it.

Eric Lichtblau: Bush's Law: The Remaking of American Justice (2008, Pantheon): Probably good as far as it goes -- author received a Pulitzer for his reporting on NSA's wiretap program -- but an even bigger subtitle would be The Remaking of American Injustice (of course, then the title should be Bush's Crimes -- good idea for a sequel).

Allan J Lichtman: White Protestant Nation: The Rise of the American Conservative Movement (2008, Atlantic Monthly Press): Big history of the conservative movement, with two idiosyncrasies: goes back to WWI rather than WWII or later, and characterizes the movement as protestant.

David Lida: First Stop in the New World: Mexico City, the Capital of the 21st Century (2008, Riverhead): Described as a "literary portrait," a panorama of Mexico City. Subtitle reminds me of Walter Benjamin, who wrote of Paris as the capital of the 19th century.

Anatol Lieven: America Right or Wrong: An Anatomy of American Nationalism (2004, Oxford University Press).

Anatol Lieven and John Hulsman, Ethical Realism: A Vision for America's Role in the World (2006, Knopf; paperback, 2007, Vintage Books).

Anatol Lieven: Pakistan: A Hard Country (2011, Public Affairs): Financial Times journalist, covered the Chechen Wars. I thought his America Right of Wrong was an uncommonly smart book, but I'm less sure about his coverage of America's terrorism wars. Still, this could be one of the better books on Pakistan, a country that America's political and military leaders cavalierly fuck with but don't begin to understand. Other recent Pakistan books: MJ Akbar: Tinderbox: The Past and Future of Pakistan (2011, Harper Collins); Pamela Constable: Playing With Fire: Pakistan at War With Itself (2011, Random House); Imtiaz Gul: The Most Dangerous Place: Pakistan's Lawless Frontier (2010; paperback, 2011, Penguin Books); Steve Inskeep: Instant City: Life and Death in Karachi (2011, Penguin Books); Maleeha Lodhi, ed: Pakistan: Beyond the "Crisis State" (2011, Cambridge University Press); Iftikhar Malik: Pakistan: Democracy, Terrorism, and the Building of a Nation (paperback, 2010, Olive Tree Press); Bruce Riedel: Deadly Embrace: Pakistan, America, and the Future of Global Jihad (2011, Brookings Institution Press); John R Schmidt: The Unraveling: Pakistan in the Age of Jihad (2011, Farrar Straus and Giroux).

Robert Jay Lifton: Witness to an Extreme Century: A Memoir (2011, Free Press): A psychiatrist, b. 1926, studied brainwashing during the Korean War, went on to study survivors of Hiroshima and of several incidents of genocide, writing a number of remarkable books along the way: e.g., Death in Life: Survivors of Hiroshima (1968); Revolutionary Immortality: Mao Tse-Tung and the Chinese Cultural Revolution (1968); Home From the War: Vietnam Veterans -- Neither Victims nor Executioners (1973); The Nazi Doctors: Medical Killing and the Psychology of Genocide (1986); Destroying the World to Save It: Aum Shinrikyo, Apocalyptic Violence, and the New Global Terrorism (2000); Superpower Syndrome: America's Apocalyptic Confrontation With the World (2003). He didn't do a full book on Abu Ghraib, but did weigh in on the subject, so I expect there's some of that here.

Robert Jay Lifton: Witness to an Extreme Century: A Memoir (2011; paperback, 2014, Free Press):

Andrew Lih: The Wikipedia Revolution: How a Bunch of Nobodies Created the World's Greatest Encyclopedia (2009, Hyperion): One of the major developments in world civilization in the last ten years of so. Not quite the "greatest story ever told," but along those lines.

Audrea Lim, ed: The Case for Sanctions Against Israel (paperback, 2012, Verso Books): Twenty essays here, including Omar Barghouti, Naomi Klein, Ilan Pappe, Joel Beinin, John Berger, Neve Gordon. Sanctions are a relatively non-belligerent way of expressing concern over Israel's manifest unwillingness either to free occupied Palestinians or to treat them equitably. Sanctions helped to tip the balance in South Africa to end the apartheid regime. At some point I fear they will be necessary to make any degree of progress toward peace and justice in Israel-Palestine. Also see: Omar Barghouti: Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions: The Global Struggle for Palestinian Rights (paperback, 2011, Haymarket Books).

Elvin T Lim: The Anti-Intellectual Presidency: The Decline of Presidential Rhetoric from George Washington to George W Bush (2008, Oxford University Press): Lots of things have declined, not least intellectual integrity. Rhetoric, however, still seems to be very much with us -- it's just grown emptier and more clichéd.

Michael Lind: The Next American Nation: The New Nationalism and the Fourth American Revolution (1995; paperback, 1996, Free Press): I only know Lind from his 2004 book, Made in Texas: George W Bush and the Southern Takeover of American Politics -- as sharp as any book published on Bush around that time. I gather he started as a rabid anti-communist conservative, then started to distance himself from conservatism in the 1990s. This book seems to be transitional, his embrace of liberal nationalism itself a conservative impulse.

Michael Lind: Up From Conservatism: Why the Right Is Wrong for America (1996; paperback, 1997, Free Press): Offhand, this one looks prescient. The target is big enough, but at the time it hadn't really sunk in how extreme the Gingrich upheaval was, let alone where it might go once someone like Bush got into the White House. Ariana Huffington's Right Is Wrong had it easy.

Michael Lind: Vietnam: The Necessary War: A Reinterpretation of America's Most Disastrous Military Conflict (1999; paperback, 2002, Free Press): Lind argues that it was necessary for the US to intervene in Vietnam -- something about global communist conspiracy -- but that the tactics chosen were all wrong, leading to the disaster. I believe that the Cold War itself was wrong, and Vietnam was just a particularly egregious case of why. Lind may have moved up from his conservatism; he still needs to grow out of liberal interventionism.

Michael Lind: Made in Texas: George W Bush and the Southern Takeover of American Politics (paperback, 2004, Basic Books).

Michael Lind: The American Way of Strategy: US Foreign Policy and the American Way of Life (2006, Oxford University Press): Bad as Lind was on the Cold War, he was one of the first to identify the perils the neoconservatives posed in its aftermath. Argues that US policy abroad shouldn't undermine the American way of life at home. Seems obvious, but I can show you 60 years of presidents who didn't get it. (Doubt that Lind agrees on the whole list, but GW Bush is certainly one he has in mind.)

Michael Lind: Land of Promise: An Economic History of the United States (2012, Harper): Big subject, 592 pp. is likely to require much conceptualizing while still compressing the subject. Lind has usually nipped around the corners, sometimes usefully, sometimes not (I can't see ever forgiving his defense of the Vietnam War). [April 17]

Eugene Linden: The Winds of Change: Climate, Weather, and the Destruction of Civilizations (paperback, 2007, Simon & Schuster): Global warming book, with historical examples similar to Jared Diamond's Collapse -- Greenland, Mayan, etc.

Peter H Lindert/Jeffrey G Williamson: Unequal Gains: American Growth and Inequality Since 1780 (2016, Princeton University Press): The authors crunch numbers for a much longer stretch of American history than anyone else has done before, and find two time stretches where inequality rose steeply: from the 1970s to today, as you damn well know by now, and from 1774 to 1860, which actually predates the legendary robber baron period of the late 19th century and the great bubble of the "roaring '20s" -- two periods where the wealth of the very richest was especially conspicuous. Meanwhile there were three periods when the wealthy took serious hits: during the Revolution, the Civil War, and the Great Depression.

Dave Lindorff: This Can't Be Happening: Resisting the Disintegration of American Democracy (paperback, 2004, Common Courage Press).

David Lindorff/Barbara Olshansky, The Case for Impeachment: The Legal Argument for Removing President George W. Bush From Office (2006, St. Martin's; paperback, 2007, Thomas Dunne Books).

Sven Lindqvist: "Exterminate All the Brutes": One Man's Odyssey Into the Heart or Darkness and the Origins of European Genocide (1992; paperback, 1996, The New Press).

Brink Lindsey, The Age of Abundance: How Prosperity Transformed America's Politics and Culture (Collins): Cato Institute VP, for figure on the predictable policy arguments, but it probably true that prosperity makes people more libertarian. To argue that libertarianism makes people more prosperous is harder to back up.

Martin Lindstrom: Buy-ology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy (2008; paperback, 2010, Crown Business)

Richard Lingeman: The Noir Forties: The American People From Victory to Cold War (2012, Nation Books): The selling of the cold war is one of the most important, least debated topics in American history, undoing and reversing 160 years of isolation and anti-militarism in American culture and politics, undermining significant gains by workers and the poor, many of whom could aspire to "middle class" status, and leading to the calculated insanity of the new right. I'm sceptical of trying to argue politics through culture, but it is a puzzle. Otherwise, this is just a guide to the period's film noir.

William A Link: Righteous Warrior: Jesse Helms and the Rise of Modern Conservatism (2008, St Martin's Press): Helms was the most extreme of the Republian Dixiecrats, the most unapologetic, the one guy who never tried to hide his racism or his viciousness. He rose with the right, and was lucky to do so, an embarrassment to his associates as well as his constituents.

William A Link: Righteous Warrior: Jesse Helms and the Rise of Modern Conservatism (2008, St Martin's Press): Obviously way too sympathetic, which in this case makes you question the whole project. A better title would have been Blustering Bigot.

Jen Lin-Liu: Serve the People: A Stir-Fried Journey Through China (paperback, 2009, Mariner Books): Chinese-American journalist tramps around China, attending cooking schools and checking in on the food industry. Includes some recipes.

George Lipsitz: The Possessive Investment in Whiteness: How White People Profit From Identity Politics (revised ed, paperback, 2006, Temple University Press).

George Lipsitz: Midnight at the Barrelhouse: The Johnny Otis Story (2010, University of Minnesota Press): An old friend and mentor, long since disconnected -- was it something I said about his plunge into academia, or was I right that it made us non-academics irrelevant? First I ever heard of Johnny Otis was when George played "Signifying Monkey" for me -- took me years to find that on CD (Ace's 2002 twofer, Cold Shot/Snatch and the Poontangs) -- which makes him an expert in my book. Otis was Greek by birth but "black by persuasion" at a time when that was a tough proposition. Lipsitz wrote the introduction to the 2009 reprint of Otis's book, Listen to the Lambs.

David Lipsky: Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip With David Foster Wallace (paperback, 2010, Broadway Books): Transcribed tapes from interviews with the late novelist by the author, assigned by Rolling Stone to do a profile based on Wallace's book tour supporting his touted debut novel, Infinite Jest. Seems like before I would take the time to read 320 pp. of such I should crack open one of Wallace's novels, or at least an essay collection not dedicated to John McCain, but I've always been a fan of interviews. In fact, I learned an awful lot of what I know about American history from John Garraty's interviews with historians.

Kimberly Lisagor/Heather Hansen: Disappearing Destinations: 37 Places in Peril and What Can Be Done to Help Save Them (paperback, 2008, Vintage): Travel guide to fascinating spots around the world, considered in peril for one reason or another. Similar, with more spots and more pictures but fewer words, is Alonzo C Addison: Disappearing World: 101 of the Earth's Most Extraordinary and Endangered Places.

Charles R Lister: The Syrian Jihad: Al-Qaeda, the Islamic State and the Evolution of an Insurgency (2016, Oxford University Press); Middle East/terrorism wonk, has been involved with "a two-year process of face-to-face engagement with the leaderships of over 100 Syrian armed opposition groups," a background which has resulted in a substantial (540 pp) book with a reputable publisher. That certainly doesn't give him equal access to all sides, nor the sort of distance academics will eventually require to chart the history of this tragic war. But he is likely to shed light on the granularity of the opposition groups, and the extent to which they have gravitated towards Jihadism as the war evolved and the situation on the ground deteriorated.

Amanda Little: Power Trip: From Oil Wells to Solar Cells -- Our Ride to the Renewable Future (2009, Harper): A travelogue of sorts through how we produce and consume energy, realistic enough to recognize the big problems, optimistic enough to think we can handle them. I wouldn't want to say she's wrong.

Alexander Litvinenko/Yuri Felshtinsky, Blowing Up Russia: The Secret Plot to Bring Back KGB Terror (Encounter Books): Covers the apartment bombings and Ryazan "training exercise" that helped start the Second Chechen War and bring KGB veteran Vladimir Putin to power. Has an air of paranoia to it, but Litvinenko was the Russian murdered in 2006 by polonium poisoning. Also available: Alex Goldfarb/Marina Litvinenko, Death of a Dissident: The Poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko and the Return of the KGB, written with his widow. The latter also discusses the murder of Anna Politikovskaya, another murdered Russian journalist.

Leon F Litwack: How Free Is Free?: The Long Death of Jim Crow (2009, Harvard University Press): Short lecture by a historian who's been tracking this beat his whole career. The sad thing is that America keeps giving Litwack new things to write about.

James Livingston: The World Turned Inside Out: American Thought and Culture at the End of the 20th Century (2009, Rowman & Littlefield): Interesting, far-ranging survey; talks a lot about the conservative thrust, but finds the nation more liberal now than ever before, clinging to a form of socialism few actually admit to. If this sounds confused, well there is that.

Christopher Lloyd: What on Earth Happened? The Complete Story of the Planet, Life, and People From the Big Bang to the Present Day (2008, Bloomsbury USA)

William Lobdell: Losing My Religion: How I Lost My Faith Reporting on Religion in America -- and Found Unexpected Peace (2009, Harper Collins): Memoir, following the writer through the maze of American religion, first as someone seeking help, then as a journalist covering the beat, then finally as someone seeking help. Seems like honest confusion, and modest enlightenment.

Dylan Loewe: Permanently Blue: How Democrats Can End the Republian Party and Rule the Next Generation (paperback, 2010, Three Rivers Press): Not sure what he's smoking. Long-term political power depends on two things: institutional support, which the Republicans have in spades because they do the bidding of people rich and mean enough to bounce back from a setback and keep fighting even when their positions make them look stupid; and competency, a big problem for Republicans once they get into power. The Democrats don't have the former -- they don't even take their unions seriously -- and they haven't exactly mastered the latter. So how's this supposed to work?

James W Loewen: Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of American Racism (2006, Touchstone): These are towns, mostly outside the South, that used various legal formalities (as well as extralegal acts) to remain all-white. Loewen also wrote Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong and Lies Across America: What American Historic Sites Get Wrong -- both useful pieces of remedial education.

James W Loewen: Teaching What Really Happened: How to Avoid the Tyranny of Textbooks & Get Students Excited About Doing History (paperback, 2009, Teachers College Press): Author of Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong, Lies Across America: What Our Historic Sites Get Wrong, and Sunset Towns: A Hidden Dimension of American Racism -- books that have got quite a few people to rethink what they thought they knew.

Antony Loewenstein/Ahmed Moor, eds: After Zionism: One State for Israel and Palestine (paperback, 2012, Saqi): The "one state" case. One should recall that it was "facts on the ground" that made the "two state" scenario plausible. Before the segregation enforced by expulsion of 700,000 Palestinians during the 1948 war and the subsequent military occupation, the only fair solution was one nation with equal rights for all.

Mike Lofgren: The Party Is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless, and the Middle Class Got Shafted (2012, Viking): Some sort of Washington insider, which may be why he's stuck in the trap of blaming both parties, when the main thing wrong with the Democrats is that they let Republicans play them for suckers -- a problem exacerbated by the middle-of-the-roaders who keep legitimizing the right, but it's deeper than that: in a system where success depends on chasing money, the Democrats who are most successful are most easily estranged from their constituents. In that, the main difference between the parties isn't their common ideology, but how they shape that message to be palatable by their voters. No idea whether Lofgren gets this, but at least he's started to notice that the collateral damage is getting close to home.

Mike Lofgren: The Deep State: The Fall of the Constitution and the Rise of a Shadow Government (2016, Viking): Previously wrote The Party Is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless, and the Middle Class Got Shafted (2012) -- no idea whether he's someone who can be trusted politically, but in a nutshell that sounds like the story of our times. Leaving aside the Republicans for the moment, one thing that has made Democrats so useless is how readily Clinton in 1993 and Obama in 2009 abandoned a great many of their campaign promises as soon as they had to face with Washington's entrenched bureaucracies -- more or less what Lofgren calls "the deep state." This especially seems to be the case with security and treasury, where new advisory jobs always seem to go to old hands. But I suspect the extraordinary influence of lobbyists and donors -- not technically part of the state, but perhaps promiscuously intertwined with it -- is at least as large. And one can throw in big media (mainstream and otherwise) which are always vigilant to police what politicians can think and say.

Fredrik Logevall: Embers of War: The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America's Vietnam (2012, Random House): Huge (864 pp.) history of the French war, ending in defeat in 1954, to reassert imperialist control over Vietnam, a war the US supported and continued for another 21 years. Author has written about Vietnam before: Choosing War: The Lost Chance for Peace and the Escalation of War in Vietnam (1999; paperback, 2001, University of California Press), and The Origins of the Vietnam War (paperback, 2001, Longman). In the former, Logevall argues that the war could have been negotiated away in 1963-65, but that US leaders chose to bet on war instead. We all know how that worked out (or should: the right has veered toward senescence here, as elsewhere).

Steven Lomazow/Eric Fettmann: FDR's Deadly Secret (2010, Public Affairs): Medical sleuthing, argues that Roosevelt suffered from an undiagnosed metastatic skin cancer (melanoma) that spread to his brain and killed him.

Bjorn Lomborg: Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist's Guide to Global Warming (2007, Knopf): Lomborg's pushed his skeptical line on environmental issues long and hard, with this just the latest of a series of books. Admits global warming is real, but plays down its probable effects, while arguing that what effects that do exist can be compensated for more cheaply than it would cost to fix the root carbon problem. While I tend to be skeptical myself, I've never found his arguments all that convincing. Indeed, while it's fairly easy to cast doubts on the global warming climate models, most critics overshoot, winding up with arguments that are less credible still. One critic that looks somewhat plausible is Roy Spencer: Climate Confusion: How Global Warming Hysteria Leads to Bad Science, Pandering Politicians and Misguided Policies that Hurt the Poor. A pro-Lomborg book is Nigel Lawson: An Appeal to Reason: A Cool Look at Global Warming.

Mark London/Brian Kelly: The Last Forest: The Amazon in the Age of Globalization (2007, Random House): Dispatches from the world's largest tropical forest, fast disappearing as it's chewed up to support the local and world economy.

Phillip Longman: Best Care Anywhere: Why VA Health Care Is Better Than Yours (paperback, 2007, PoliPoint Press): The basic reason is that it's not a private sector institution with a lot of interests at cross purposes with its prime goal of providing quality health care to veterans. It helps that the vets are in the system for the long haul. Probably also helps that the VA is not part of the DOD, where graft is a way of life. That the VA fares so well in comparisons with private systems should put a quick end to all those anti-socialized medicine arguments.

Richard C Longworth: Caught in the Middle: America's Heartland in the Age of Globalism (2007, Bloomsbury): Looks at how free trade and capital flows effect the midwest. Not pretty, and doesn't seem to be very sympathetic.

Erik Loomis: Out of Sight: The Long and Disturbing Story of Corporations Outsourcing Catastrophe (2015, New Press): With the ability to move workplaces to anywhere in the world, you get a "race to the bottom" where economic incentives tend to favor the lowest standards of regulation, including pollution controls and health and safety standards for workers. The result, predictably, is a rash of disasters (the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory outside Dhaka, Bangladesh in 2013 is one example cited). Of course, this only gets worse as unions and their political allies are weakened.

Ian Haney López: Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class (2014, Oxford University Press): For obvious examples, recall the presidential campaigns of Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and George Bush (the "Willie Horton" one, not that the other was much better), then think of what else those elections delivered. López previously wrote White by Law: The Legal Construction of Race.

Allen Lowe: That Devilin' Tune: A Jazz History, 1900-1950 (paperback, 1999, Music and Arts Program of America).

Keith Lowe: Savage Continent: Europe in the Aftermath of World War II (2012, St Martin's Press): Focuses on the turmoil Europe suffered after the defeat of the Third Reich -- the massive destruction, the displaced people, the more/less punitive (or sometimes just inept) occupations (especially the Soviets in eastern Europe), the struggles between partisans and collaborators, etc. Quite a few books have started to focus on this, perhaps because way too many policy people had such a rosy view of occupation going into Iraq in 2003.

Roger Lowenstein: While America Aged: How Pension Debts Ruined General Motors, Stopped the NYC Subways, Bankrupted San Diego, and Loom as the Next Financial Crisis (2008, Penguin): Former WSJ journalist looks into the pension mess. I'm reluctant to blame this either on too many people getting too old or on excessively liberal benefits, but it does show how changing economic dynamics catch up with people. One of Lowenstein's previous books is When Genius Failed: The Rise and Fall of Long-Term Capital Management.

Roger Lowenstein: The End of Wall Street (2010, Penguin): Bloomberg columnist, has several big finance books to his credit; tries to pull the big picture together. His experience with financial disasters includes a book on LTCM: When Genius Failed: The Rise and Fall of Long-Term Capital Management and Origins of the Crash: The Great Bubble and Its Undoing. [Apr. 6]

Adam B Lowther: Americans and Asymmetric Conflict: Lebanon, Somalia, and Afghanistan (2007, ABC-CLIO): Air Force Institute analyst.

David Loyn: In Afghanistan: Two Hundred Years of British, Russian and American Occupation (2009, Palgrave Macmillan): Short book (288 pp) for the range, but occupations often look alike. Nice company.

Edward Luce: The Retreat of Western Liberalism (2017, Atlantic Monthly Press): British political writer, has covered both Washington and New Delhi for Financial Times. No relation to Henry Luce, but you get the feeling he'd like to occupy a similar perch, but where Henry proclaimed "the American century," Edward bemoans its eclipse, lamenting both the decline of western power in the world and the erosion of Democratic norms in the west. At first blush, this all has a whiff of "white man's burden" to it. Not sure if that's fair, but one should note that the assault on liberal democracy in America and elsewhere comes almost exclusively from entrenched elites whose "populist" pitch is purely cynical.

Harold S Luft: Total Cure: The Antidote to the Health Care Crisis (2008, Harvard University Press): Pushes something called "SecureChoice," which looks like single-payer for big ticket items (e.g., hospital stays) with CDHC for small change and a small cut thrown to the insurance companies as PIs (payment intermediaries).

Meizhu Lui/Barbara Robles/Betsy Leondar-Wright/Rose Brewer/Rebecca Adamson [United for a Fair Economy]: The Color of Wealth: The Story Behind the U.S. Racial Wealth Divide (paperback, 2006, New Press): Well, the color is white, especially compared to black, with the wealth split far more extreme than the income split. Also looks at Asians, Latinos, and Natives in the US. Also important here is Thomas M Shapiro: The Hidden Cost of Being African American: Now Wealth Perpetuates Inequality, which among other things points out the disadvantage blacks have in building home equity.

Timothy W Luke/Ben Agger, eds: A Journal of No Illusions: Telos, Paul Piccone, and the Americanization of Critical Theory (paperback, 2011, Telos Press): I knew Piccone very well, joining him (and Telos) when he moved from Buffalo to St. Louis, and he had a deep impact on my thinking, mostly forcing me to be more critical of everything, not least of him and his volcanic eruptions of deep thoughts and profanity. A dozen essays, Russell Jacoby and Robert D'Amico the only names familiar from my days, figure this to be the authorized story. Also: Confronting the Crisis: Writings of Paul Piccone (2008, Telos Press), which at 396 pp. is probably far short of his collected works, but I always wondered why such a know-it-all never bothered to pull it all together into a signature book.

Cody Lundin: When All Hell Breaks Loose (paperback, 2007, Gibbs Smith): A survival guide of some sort, predicated on the notion that our world is going to hell. Not sure whether it helps, but most survival guides give you plenty of reason to try to never have to use them.

Frank Luntz, Words That Work: It's Not What You Say, It's What People Hear (Hyperion). Legendary GOP wordsmith, which may make this into something of a primary source.

Frank I Luntz: What Americans Really Want . . . Really: The Truth About Our Hopes, Dreams, and Fears (2009, Hyperion): Republican pollster, strategist, weasel worder -- previous book: Words That Work: It's Not What You Say, It's What People Hear. Could be a useful book if he manages to explain what really drives people to the right as opposed to the mostly idiotic ideologies they find once they get there.

Edward N Luttwak: Virtual American Empire: War, Faith, and Power (paperback, 2009, Transaction): Essay collection from a military theorist who once wrote something called Coup D'État: A Practical Handbook, and has lately turned into one of the more obnoxious op-ed warmongers around. [Although he seems to have turned against Afghanistan.]

Edward N Luttwak: The Rise of China vs. the Logic of Strategy (2012, Belknap Press): Security strategist, best known for writing the manual on how to stage a Coup D'Etat, engages in the favorite parlor game of US security strategists: imagining China's out to top the US as the world's most bloated military power. Needless to say, he focuses much on Sun Tsu.

Loren D Lybarger, Identity and Religion in Palestine: The Struggle Between Islamism and Secularism in the Occupied Territories (2007-03, Princeton University Press).

Mark Lynas: Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet (2008, National Geographic): Celsius, so 10.8 degrees Fahrenheit. Book plots changes projected with global warming one degree per chapter. Author has been around this block before, with High Tide: The Truth About Our Climate Crisis.

Marc Lynch: Voices of the New Arab Public: Iraq, Al-Jazeera, and Middle East Politics Today (paperback, 2007, Columbia University Press): Author does a good job of covering Arabic media, blogging as Abu Aardvark.

Marc Lynch: The Arab Uprising: The Unfinished Revolutions of the New Middle East (2012, Public Affairs): After a rash of quickies last year, the books on the uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, and throughout the Arab world are starting to appear in earnest. Could try for a list, but they're still a bit scattered. Lynch has a longstanding understanding of the region, plus has some contacts with US diplomatic sources (given more play in the blurb than I suspect they're worth).

Marc Lynch: The New Arab Wars: Uprisings and Anarchy in the Middle East (2016, PublicAffairs): Wrote The Arab Uprising: The Unfinished Revolutions of the New Middle East (2012), a more hopeful title but in case after case popular uprisings have given way to civil war, as the ancien regimes have violently clung to power, as jihadists have come to the fore, and as foreign governments (notably the US) have interfered to advance poorly understood interests.

Timothy J Lynch/Robert S Singh: After Bush: The Case for Continuity in American Foreign Policy (2008, Cambridge University Press): Hard to believe this isn't a joke.

Barry C Lynn: End of the Line: The Rise and Coming Fall of the Global Corporation (2005, Doubleday; paperback, 2006, Crown Business)

Barry C Lynn: Cornered: The New Monopoly Capitalism and the Economics of Destruction (2010, Wiley): Argues that the most dangerous trend in American business is the persistent move towards greater monopoly power. I think he's basically right here, and that this may be an important book. Author previously wrote End of the Line: The Rise and Coming Fall of the Global Corporation, which I have on my shelf but unfortunately haven't gotten to.

Barry W Lynn: Piety & Politics: The Right-Wing Assault on Religious Freedom (paperback, 2007, Three Rivers Press): Author is a minister in the United Church of Christ, concerned both about the politics and theology of the right-wing rush to make this a Christian Nation whether we like it or not.

Joanne Lynn: Sick To Death and Not Going to Take It Anymore!: Reforming Health Care for the Last Years of Life (2004, University of California Press)

Peter Maass: Crude World: The Violent Twilight of Oil (2009, Knopf): There is no doubt but that the world is going to run out of oil sooner or later. The world economy grew almost linearly with the extraction of oil, so its decline seems inevitable as well. This can happen more or less violently, but if the oil industry itself is any indication, the future looks pretty bleak.

John R MacArthur: The Outrageous Barriers to Democracy in America: Or, Why a Progressive Presidency is Impossible (paperback, 2012, Melville House): Written after Obama had nearly finished his first term but before his reelection, it's clear that the author didn't consider his first term progressive -- well, neither did I. Also early enough to include a blurb by George McGovern, who knows a few things about what can happen to a smart and fundamentally decent human being when he dares run for president. And while running is bad enough, one recalls how both Clinton and Obama abandoned issues they ran on almost the instant they entered the White House. MacArthur's previous books include The Selling of "Free Trade": NAFTA, Washington, and the Subversion of American Democracy (2000).

Diarmaid MacCulloch: Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years (2010, Viking): Huge (1184 pp), sweeping history, most notably tries to extend the history of Christianity back 1000 years before Jesus. Author previously specialized in The Reformation, especially in England where he has books on Edward VI and Thomas Cranmer, as well as something more general on the Tudors.

Giles MacDonogh: After the Reich: The Brutal History of the Allied Occupation (2007, Basic Books): 656 pages. A deeper look into the final weeks of WWII and the subsequent occupation of Germany, including the forced transfers of Germans from Eastern Europe. This stuff rarely gets looked at, probably because no one wants to offer sympathy that might be seen as balancing or lightening Germany's own crimes. However, the tendency to sweep such issues from memory allowed Americans to remember their occupation of Germany (and Japan) as more enlightened, setting a precedent for Iraq. Tony Judt covered this ground briefly in Postwar.

Jonathan Macey: The Death of Corporate Reputation: How Integrity Has Been Destroyed on Wall Street (2013, FT Press): When you hire a banker to manage your money, he is supposed to work for you, to serve your interest. When he uses your money to buy his bank's toxic securities, he's taken your trust and used it to screw you. That, in a nutshell, is what banks have turned into since the "greed is good" age took over. Sure, mostly they screw other people, but as that becomes habitual it ceases to matter to them who they screw, or how. And the more they've gotten away with it, the more they do it: one of Macey's big points is the SEC, created to stop securities fraud, "got captured," becoming "toothless."

Neil MacFarquhar: The Media Relations Department of Hizbollah Wishes You a Happy Birthday: Unexpected Encounters in the Changing Middle East (2009, Public Affairs): Around the Middle East, talking to plain folks, humoring the self-important powers, looking for change, thankful for whatever he finds.

G Calvin Mackenzie/Robert Weisbrot: The Liberal Hour: Washington and the Politics of Change in the 1960s (2008, Penguin Press): An overview history of the Kennedy and Johnson administrations in the 1960s. I think this fills in a slot in Penguin's multi-volume US history.

Sandra Mackey: Mirror of the Arab World: Lebanon in Conflict (2008, WW Norton): Journalist, author of quite a few books on the modern Middle East, including at least one previous one Lebanon. They've never quite struck me as all that promising, but I suppose they're better than nothing. At this point I can't point to a single really good general history of Lebanon -- Robert Fisk's Pity the Nation: The Abduction of Lebanon sets a high standard for 1982-89.

Mark MacKinnon: The New Cold War: Revolutions, Rigged Elections, and Pipeline Politics in the Former Soviet Union (2007, Carroll & Graf): This covers the upheavals and conflicts on Russia's periphery (especially Georgia and the Ukraine), with various degrees of influence and interference by both the US and Russia. Unlike the continuing stream of hysterical books promoting renewed cold war conflicts with Russia and China, this is about something already started.

Margaret Macmillan: Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World (paperback, 2003, Random House): History of the post-WWI negotiations, six months that didn't change the world nearly enough. Interesting subject, although I've always felt Arno J Mayer was the historian to read on it. Macmillan also wrote Nixon and Mao: The Week That Changed the World (originally Nixon in China with same subtitle). The consistency in subtitles is striking.

Margaret MacMillan: Dangerous Games: The Uses and Abuses of History (2009, Modern Library): A short (208 pp.) book on how to lie with history, or how others have lied. A perennial favorite topic.

Myra MacPherson: All Governments Lie: The Life and Times of Rebel Journalist IF Stone (paperbck, 2008, Scribner): I grew up on Stone, subscribing to his weekly after devouring his collection, In a Time of Torment.

Shane J Maddock: Nuclear Apartheid: The Quest for American Nuclear Supremacy From World War II to the Present (2010, University of North Carolina Press): Title phrase came from an Indian diplomat, offering a rare glimpse of how US policy looks to an outsider. There is much truth to it, and still is as the US scolds other countries for attempting to acquire nukes while refusing to relinquish its own useless stockpiles.

Shane J Maddock: Nuclear Apartheid: The Quest for American Atomic Supremacy From World War II to the Present (2010, University of North Carolina Press): I'd be tempted to complain about the title, but it came from an Indian diplomat disgruntled over US attempts to prevent proliferation to countries like India. American nuclear dominance was a goal established by Gen. Groves from the start, at the heart of every move we've made. Moreover, no one but America ever forgets that the US is the only nation to have actually used nuclear weapons.

Rachel Maddow: Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power (2012, Crown): Some sort of critique of the American military: overfunded, underregulated, possessing its own lobbying force allowing it to set direction relatively free of political concerns. Picturing this as simple "drift" seems too passive, as is the idea that correcting the "unmooring" solves the problem.

Charles M Madigan: Destiny Calling: How the People Elected Barack Obama (2009, Ivan R Dee): Looks like this tries to move the election dynamics back to the grass roots, which would be a lot more refreshing and hopeful than, e.g., David Plouffe's The Audacity to Win.

David Madland: Hollowed Out: Why the Economy Doesn't Work Without a Strong Middle Class (paperback, 2015, University of California Press): It shouldn't be hard to make this point. The US economy grew at robust rates from 1945-70 when strong unions were able to capture a fair share of productivity gains, raising the working class to a middle class standard of living. Since then growth rates fell, unions were busted, virtually all productivity gains went to business, and a series of asset bubbles and busts combined with financialization led to a vast increase in inequality, hollowing out the middle class. I don't know whether Madland has a solution. Thomas Geoghegan does, in Only One Thing Can Save Us: Why America Needs a New Kind of Labor Movement (2014, New Press).

Benjamin Madley: An American Genocide: The United States and the California Indian Catastrophe, 1846-1873 (2016, Yale University Press): There is evidence that the population of Native Americans was reduced by as much as 90% from pre-Columbian levels to the end of the 19th century, and it's not much of a stretch to call that genocide. This book deals with just one narrow front, in California where the native population dropped from about 150,000 to 30,000 in the years covered -- roughly the period of California's Gold Rush. On the same subject: Brendan C Lindsay: Murder State: California's Native American Genocide, 1846-1873 (paperback, 2015, University of Nebraska Press). Related: John Mack Faragher: Eternity Street: Violence and Justice in Frontier Los Angeles (2016, WW Norton).

Jeff Madrick: The Case for Big Government (2008; paperback, 2010, Princeton University Press): Former New York Times economics columnist pushes back on the right's anti-government mantra. Previously wrote The End of Affluence: The Causes and Consequences of America's Economic Dilemma (1995, perhaps a bit prematurely); Why Economies Grow: The Forces That Shape Prosperity and How to Get Them Working Again (2002), and Taking America: How We Got From the First Hostile Takeover to Megamergers, Corporate Raiding and Scandal (2003). I'm sure he can make a case for government; less sure about the poison adjective big.

Jeff Madrick: Age of Greed: The Triumph of Finance and the Decline of America, 1970 to the Present (2011, Knopf): Former New York Times columnist, has a pile of books at least some expressing doubts about where the US economy was headed before it fell into that chasm, tries his hand at a deeper and broader history, at least one deep and broad enough not to have forgotten Ivan Boesky.

Jeff Madrick: Seven Bad Ideas: How Mainstream Economists Have Damaged the World (2014, Knopf): Author of one of the best historical context books on the recent crash -- Age of Greed: The Triumph of Finance and the Decline of America, 1970 to the Present (2011, Knopf) -- broadens his critique to include a number of key ideas in economics. The ideas range from established zombies to key insights that are often misunderstood and misapplied (like Adam Smith's "invisible hand"). Some economists, like Alan Blinder, were not amused.

James Mahaffey: Atomic Awakening: A New Look at the History and Future of Nuclear Power (2009, Pegasus): Another effort to bootstrap the nuclear power industry -- clean, safe, you know the drill.

James Mahaffey: Atomic Accidents: A History of Nuclear Meltdowns and Disasters: From the Ozark Mountains to Fukushima (2014; paperback, 2015, Pegasus): A survey of an important problem, although the author previously wrote a book proselytizing a brilliant future for the nuclear power industry -- Atomic Awakening: A New Look at the History and Future of Nuclear Power (2009, Pegasus) -- and sometimes he seems a little glib here: e.g., Chapter 3: A Bit of Trouble in the Great White North; Chapter 6: In Nuclear Research Even the Goof-ups are Fascinating; Chapter 8: The Military Almost Never Lost a Nuclear Weapon. Fukushima Daiichi is at least called a tragedy, although you wonder whether he felt that for Japan or for the industry.

Maggie Mahar: Money-Driven Medicine: The Real Reason Health Care Costs So Much (2006, Collins): Well, that's my theory too, good for 480 pages here. Mahar is a financial journalist, author of Bull: A History of the Boom and Bust, 1982-2004.

Maggie Mahar: Money-Driven Medicine: The Real Reason Health Care Costs So Much (2006, Harper Business): Finance journalist, previously wrote a book about the stock market called Bull!, follows the money trail in health care, reportedly sparing no one.

Dale Maharidge: Someplace Like America: Tales From the New Great Depression (2011, University of California Press): Photographs by Michael S Williamson. Starts back in the 1980s -- when GM had 618,000 employees and WalMart 23,000 -- and details the deliberate destruction of the middle class in America. Author previously wrote And Their Children After Them: The Legacy of Let Us Now Praise Famous Men: James Agee, Walker Evans, and the Rise and Fall of Cotton in the South; Journey to Nowhere: The Saga of the New Underclass; Denison, Iowa: Searching for the Soul of America Through the Secrets of a Midwest Town; and Heartland.

Pauline Maier: Ratification: The People Debate the Constitution, 1787-1788 (2010, Simon & Schuster): Despite veneration of the Founding Fathers, I suspect that most Tea Partiers, had they known anything about the subject, would have sided with the anti-federalists against ratifying the U.S. Constitution. Don't know whether that had any effect on Maier -- one of the leading historians of the period -- or whether she was just interested in the selling and resistance to such a fundamental political change, as opposed to the much better known story of how the Constitution was framed.

Norman Mailer: On God: An Uncommon Conversation (2007, Random House): With Michael Lennon, presumably asking the questions Mailer responds to. Poked through this a bit and found it idiosyncratic and interesting. I read quite a bit of his stuff long ago -- mostly but not quite all nonfiction -- but it's been a long while.

Hooman Majd: The Ayatollah Begs to Differ: The Paradox of Modern Iran (2008, Doubleday): Another report on daily life in modern Iran. Probably useful if you're trying to follow the elections. Less so if you're just looking for places to bomb.

Hooman Majd: The Ayatollah's Democracy: An Iranian Challenge (2010, WW Norton): Specifically on Iran's disputed 2009 elections, which officially elected Ahmadinejad to a second term as Iran's president despite charges of fraud, widespread demonstrations, and a serious political challenge to Grand Ayatollah Khomeini's rule. The author was conspicuous on US television during the election controversy, and quite partisan. Previously wrote: The Ayatollah Begs to Differ: The Paradox of Modern Iran (2008).

Geert Mak: In Europe: Travels Through the Twentieth Century (2007, Pantheon): Big (896 pages) survey of European cities, filling in historical background.

Saree Makdisi: Palestine Inside Out: An Everyday Occupation (2008, WW Norton): Focuses on the little things of the occupation, the things that affect Palestinians every day.

Ussama Makdisi: Faith Misplaced: The Broken Promise of U.S.-Arab Relations: 1820-2008 (2010, Public Affairs): One of several recent long histories of the US in the Middle East, probably more solid on the early period which the author covered in more detail in Artillery of Heaven: American Missionaries and the Failed Conversion of the Middle East (2008; paperback, 2009, Cornell University Press).

William Maley: The Afghanistan Wars (2002; second ed, paperback, Palgrave Macmillan 2009)

Kenan Malik: From Fatwa to Jihad: The Rushdie Affair and Its Aftermath (2010, Melville House)

Michelle Malkin: Culture of Corruption: Obama and His Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks, and Cronies (2009, Regnery Press): Chart-topping bestseller, which raises the question: why didn't anyone use this title when Bush was president? I mean, other than that it would have been impossible to squeeze it all into 256 pages. I especially love the bit about Michelle Obama and Joe Biden being "nepotism beneficiaries."

Sebastian Mallaby: More Money Than God: Hedge Funds and the Making of a New Elite (2010; paperback, 2011, Penguin Books): Big book on hedge funds, starts with the originators and tries to cover the field, taking a positive view and covering the "heroes" when the "villains" have become all the more noteworthy. Probably useful for all this history, even if the ethics seem a little shaky.

Paula Mallea: The War on Drugs: A Failed Experiment (paperback, 2014, Dundum)

Sean L Malloy: Atomic Tragedy: Henry L. Stimson and the Decision to Use the Bomb Against Japan (2008, Cornell University Press): Secretary of War during WWII, Stimson was one of the more thoughtful people deeply involved in the whole affair, so should make an interesting prism for examining what did and did not happen.

Mahmood Mamdani: Good Muslim, Bad Muslim: America, the Cold War, and the Roots of Terror (2004, Pantheon Books).

Mahmood Mamdani: Saviors and Survivors: Darfur, Politics, and the War on Terror (2009, Pantheon): This will likely move to the forefront of our understanding of the Darfur crisis -- both what it is and what interests various groups have in making it out to be. Mamdani has written both about Rwanda (When Victims Become Killers: Colonialism, Nativism, and the Genocide in Rwanda) and one of the better books on political Islam (Good Muslim, Bad Muslim: America, the Cold War, and the Roots of Terror).

Mahmoud Mamdani: Saviors and Survivors: Darfur, Politics, and the War on Terror (2009; paperback, 2010, Doubleday): A critical look at the poorly understood, frantically politicized violence in Darfur, the northwest corner of Sudan. Mamdani wrote one of the smartest books around about the war on terror: Good Muslim, Bad Muslim: America, the Cold War, and the Roots of Terror, and has also written on the genocide in Rwanda. Probably the one book to read on Darfur -- the only reason I didn't jump all over it was that I had previously read Gérard Prunier: Darfur: A 21st Century Genocide which I figured covered all I really needed to know.

Howard Mandel: Miles, Ornette, Cecil: Jazz Beyond Jazz (2008. Routledge): Davis, Coleman, Taylor; important musicians, an interesting sequence in that they substantially overlap but peeled off on different tangents. More interested in Taylor, personally, although he's the odd player out in one regard: the only one of the three not to experiment in fusion.

Michael Mandelbaum: The Frugal Superpower: America's Global Leadership in a Cash-Strapped Era (2010, Public Affairs): He must be thinking ahead, because as far as I know no one (other than cranks like the late Chalmers Johnson) can imagine the "Indispensable Nation" forced to live on a budget.

Benoit Mandelbrot/Richard L Hudson: The (Mis)Behavior of Markets: A Fractal View of Risk, Ruin & Reward (2004; paperback, 2006, Basic Books): Mandelbrot wrote the book on fractals in 1983, The Fractal Geometry of Nature. This is his second book on applying fractal theory to finance, after 1997's Fractals and Scaling in Finance. Predates the recent crisis, but has various past crises to work with -- the main effect a critique of conventional models of risk.

Jerry Mander: The Capitalism Papers: Fatal Flaws of an Obsolete System (paperback, 2013, Counterpoint): Former advertising executive, wrote Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television in 1977, In the Absence of the Sacred: The Failure of Technology & the Survival of the Indian Nations in 1992, and cowrote with Edward Goldsmith The Case Against the Global Economy: And a Turn Toward the Local in 1997. In the post-Cold War period the suggestion that capitalism is obsolete is rank heresy, but it isn't so hard to see that a system dependent on infinite growth cannot be indefinitely sustained, or that the way we practice capitalism -- where the rich make up for their inability to grow adequately by hollowing out everyone else -- leaves much to be desired.

Farhad Manjoo: True Enough: Learning to Live in a Post-Fact Society (2008, Wiley): Explores the question of what passes for truth these days -- "truthiness" is the oft-cited Stephen Colbert term for it. Philosophers have long had a critique of the subjective construction of truth; now it looks like even sociologists and journalists can measure its subjectivity.

Charles C Mann: 1491: New Relevations of the Americas Before Columbus (2006; paperback, 2007, Vintage Books).

Charles C Mann: 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created (2011, Knopf): Previously wrote 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, which surveyed what little is known about American Indian history before 1492. This focuses on the exchanges between old and new worlds once regular contact was established, such as Europe's discovery of potatoes and tomatoes, and the introduction to the "new world" of smallpox, gunpowder, and slavery: truly an intercourse that profoundly changed both worlds.

Charles C Mann: 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created (2011, Knopf; paperback, 2012, Vintage):

Geoff Mann: Disassembly Required: A Field Guide to Actually Existing Capitalism (paperback, 2013, AK Press): Short book (160 pp), reprising economic theory from Marx to Gramsci, looking at capitalism as a self-destructive as well as productive engine, and expecting the worst.

James Mann: Rise of the Vulcans: The History of Bush's War Cabinet (paperback, 2004, Penguin).

James Mann: The China Fantasy: How Our Leaders Explain Away Chinese Repression (Viking): There is a lot of nonsense written on China these days, and this is probably some, but Mann's The Rise of the Vulcans is a useful, albeit far from adequately critical, book.

James Mann: The Rebellion of Ronald Reagan: A History of the End of the Cold War (2009, Viking): Author of Rise of the Vulcans: The History of Bush's War Cabinet, a useful, not especially partisan collective biography of Cheney, Powell, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Rice, and a few others who did so much damage. This one strikes me as kind of creepy, although I doubt that it strays very far from the history James Carroll recounted in House of War: The Pentagon and the Disastrous Rise of American Power. Reagan's "rebellion" was more of a cognitive lapse -- his anticommunism was more viscerally personal and less militaristic than that of the neoconservatives who gained so much political traction under him. I don't see his role in "ending" the cold war as much credit given how hard he worked to exacerbate it.

James Mann: The Obamians: The Struggle Inside the White House to Redefine American Power (2012, Viking): Wrote a book about the Bush administration which was less inside story than useful background (Rise of the Vulcans: The History of Bush's War Cabinet). This suggests less coherence, which is likely true, especially as one tries to fathom the depths of the military-security state and how intractable it seems -- not that it helps that Obama doesn't have a coherent view in the first place.

Thomas E Mann/Norman J Ornstein: It's Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the New Politics of Extremism (2012, Basic Books): The US Constitution predates the development of political parties, assuming that a delicate balance of powers would lead reasonable men to compromise. This system has failed several times, notably over the issue of slavery leading to the 1861-65 Civil War, and is failing again, as the Republicans have combined a winner-takes-all view of tactics with an ideology that argues that anything government does is likely to be bad so there is no downside to obstructing a government led by their enemies. Previously wrote The Broken Branch: How Congress Is Failing America and How to Get It Back on Track (2006; paperback, 2008, Oxford University Press).

Thomas E Mann/Norman J Ornstein: It's Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the New Plitics of Extremism (2012; paperback, 2013, Basic Books):

Thomas E Mann/Norman J Ornstein: It's Even Worse Than It Looks Was: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the New Politics of Extremism (2012; rev ed, paperback, 2016, Basic Books)

Patrick Manning: Migration in World History (2nd edition, paperback, 2012, Taylor & Francis).

Richard Manning: Against the Grain: How Agriculture Has Hijacked Civilization (paperback, 2005, North Point Press).

Richard Manning: Rewilding the West: Restoration in a Prairie Landscape (paperback, 2011, University of California Press): Author of the marvelous Grassland: The History, Biology, Politics and Promise of the American Prairie (paperback, 1997, Penguin) returns with a book on a project to create an "American Serengeti" where a large chunk of Montana is rewilded replete with buffalo, wolves, elk, grizzly, much as it was when Lewis and Clark first traipsed through it a scant two hundred years ago.

Zeev Maoz, Defending the Holy Land: A Critical Analysis of Israel's Security and Foreign Policy (2006-04, University of Michigan Press).

Manning Marable: Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention (2011, Viking): Major new biography, reportedly ten years in the works. Marable, who died a few days before this book was released, has over a dozen books on African-American history and politics, most recently Beyond Boundaries: The Manning Marable Reader (2010; paperback, 2011, Paradigm), going back through Black Liberation in Conservative America (paperback, 1999, South End) to W.E.B. DuBois: Black Radical Democrat (paperback, 1986, Twayne).

David Maraniss: Barack Obama: The Story (2012, Simon & Schuster): Big bio (672 pp.) that doesn't get very far: he leaves off with Obama still in his 20s, leaving plenty of room for future volumes, a project I've seen likened to Robert A Caro's still-unfinished LBJ series, expecting him to spend most of his career digging up trivia about Obama and his family.

Peter Marber: Seeing the Elephant: Understanding Globalization from Trunk to Tail (2009, Wiley): Pro-globalization tome, replete with "bold suggestions on how America reassert its historic leadership in the new global arena."

Jules Marchal: Lord Leverhulme's Ghosts: Colonial Exploitation in the Congo (2008, Verso): Relatively short (256 pages) book on King Leopold's murderous program, set up by British entrepreneur Lord Leverhulme, of forced labor to extract rubber wealth from the Congo. Introduction by Adam Hochschild, whose King Leopold's Ghost covers at least some of this story. It seems to me that one could expand this to cover the whole era of Belgian control, and expand it further backwards into the slave trade and forwards through Mobuto to start to get a sense of how severely the Congo has been wracked by its encounter with Europe. [June 9]

Amy Dockser Marcus, Jerusalem 1913: The Origins of the Arab-Israeli Conflict (2007, Penguin).

Greil Marcus, The Shape of Things to Come: Prophecy and the American Voice (Farrar, Straus and Giroux).

Stephen A Marglin: The Dismal Science: How Thinking Like an Economist Undermines Community (2008, Harvard University Press): The core idea makes sense, and can be plumbed for further insights (not sure about 376 pages worth). Clearly, economics has its place and its limits, and framing that is something that needs to be done. What I'm less clear about is community, which, being a creature of my locale and time, I don't take to be an unalloyed good.

Eric S Margolis: War at the Top of the World: The Struggle for Afghanistan, Kashmir and Tibet (revised ed, paperback, 2002, Routledge)

Eric S Margolis: American Raj: America and the Muslim World (2008; paperback, 2009, Key Porter): The implication is not only that the US has superseded Britain not only in its imperial function but in its structure. Author previously wrote War at the Top of the World: The Struggle for Afghanistan, Kashmir and Tibet, which has been through a couple of editions.

Lisa Margonelli: Oil on the Brain: Petroleum's Long, Strange Trip to Your Tank (2007; paperback, 2008, Random House).

Joseph Marguilies, Guantánamo and the Abuse of Presidential Power (Simon & Schuster).

Harry Markopolos: No One Would Listen: A True Financial Thriller (2010, Wiley): The Bernie Madoff story, as told by the whistleblower who brought the case before a somnambulant SEC.

John Marks: Reasons to Believe: One Man's Journey Among the Evangelicals and the Faith He Left Behind (2008, Ecco): Journalist account, went searching for evangelicals and found some, toyed with joining but ultimately didn't. Sounds sympathetic but skeptical, a reasonable stance.

Stephen Marks: Confessions of a Political Hitman: My Secret Life of Scandal, Corruption, Hypocrisy and Dirty Attacks That Decide Who Gets Elected (and Who Doesn't) (2008, Sourcebooks): Republican operative, worked for the likes of Jesse Helms and Jeb Bush. Sounds like a sleaze bag, which no doubt helps his credibility.

Theodore R Marmor: The Politics Of Medicare (2nd edition, paperback, 2000, Transaction)

TR Marmor: Fads, Fallacies and Foolishness in Medical Care Management and Policy (2007, World Scientific)

Mike Marqusee: If I Am Not for Myself: Journey of an Anti-Zionist Jew (2008, Verso): American-born journalist, based in UK, has previously written on Bob Dylan, Muhammad Ali, and cricket. Traces his family history leading to his leftist turn against Zionism. This follows other notable anti-Zionist books: Michel Warschawski: Toward an Open Tomb: The Crisis of Israeli Society; Joel Kovel: Overcoming Zionism: Creating a Single Democratic State in Israel/Palestine.

Pilar Marrero: Killing the American Dream: How Anti-Immigration Extremists Are Destroying the Nation (2012, St Martin's Press).

John Marriott/Mika Minio Paluello: The Oil Road: Journeys From the Caspian Sea to the City of London (2012; paperback, 2013, Verso)

Wynton Marsalis/Geoffrey Ward: Moving to Higher Ground: How Jazz Can Change Your Life (2008, Random House): Sounds like a self-help book, which doesn't sound like a very good idea. Marsalis certainly knows much about jazz history, and is a capable and entertaining educator, but he also has some blind spots and limitations -- there is a lot more to jazz than he admits, and his art suffers accordingly. Ward is a "with" credit here. He wrote the Ken Burns books, so he's dealt with Marsalis before.

William Marsden: Stupid to the Last Drop: How Alberta Is Bringing Environmental Armageddon to Canada (And Doesn't Seem to Care) (2007, Knopf Canada): This is about oil shale, which Canada has an awful lot of, which looks really yummy in a world that is otherwise starving for oil, but which is hell to extract, and not likely to get much better, like, ever. [Paperback September 30]

William Marsden: Fools Rule: Inside the Failed Politics of Climate Change (2011, Knopf Canada; paperback, 2012, Vintage Canada): Canadian journalist, so good chance this focuses more on Canadian politics than on riper targets in the US, not that the anti-science opposition in both countries isn't driven by the same oil and coal companies. Author previously wrote a book on oil shale: Stupid to the Last Drop: How Alberta Is Bringing Environmental Armageddon to Canada (and Doesn't Seem to Care).

David Marsh: The Euro: The Battle for the New Global Currency (paperback, 2011, Yale University Press): The background on how the Euro came about, and why it's not working out so well. Revised and updated from some previous book, possibly Marsh's 2010 The Euro: The Politics of the New Global Currency. Also related: Johan van Overtveldt: The End of the Euro: The Uneasy Future of the European Union (2011, Agate B2).

Chris Martenson: The Crash Course: The Unsustainable Future of Our Economy, Energy, and Environment (2011, Wiley): Peak oil, of course, and peak damn-near-everything else, plus the notion of tipping points, suggest that the economic collapse may differ from previous recessions not just because we're treating it with uncommon stupidity -- there may be insurmountable structural problems beneath the usual cycles. I think there's some truth to this.

Isaac Martin: Rich People's Movements: Grassroots Campaigns to Untax the One Percent (2013, Oxford University Press): That would be the Tea Party, the best irate mob money can buy, which gave an air of faux populism to some of the most extremely reactionary ideas of the last few decades, struggling above all against the idea that the government should serve the people who elected it. Title here reminds one of the Frances Fox Piven/Richard A Cloward classic, Poor People's Movements: Why They Succeed, How They Fail (1977; paperback, 1978, Vintage Books).

Mike Martin: An Intimate War: An Oral History of the Helmand Conflict, 1978-2012 (2014, Oxford University Press): Author was attached to British forces occupying Helmand in 2006 -- a Pashtun province on the southern border of Afghanistan, also the locale for Rajiv Chandrasekaran: Little America: The War Within the War for Afghanistan (2012, Knopf) -- but speaks Pashto and was able to record the bewildered thoughts of the locals, as well as the equally confused thinking of the occupiers. The levels of misunderstanding here should give anyone pause. Noteworthy here that he extends his coverage of the conflict to include both Soviet and US/UK forces, occupations with more than a little in common.

Richard Martin: Super-Fuel: Thorium, the Green Energy Source for the Future (2012, Palgrave Macmillan): Tries to make the case for nuclear power plants fueled by thorium instead of uranium. Thorium is at least as plentiful as uranium. It is radioactive, but less so than uranium, which makes it a more expensive fuel, but also safer -- both in the reactor and as waste -- and has less proliferation risk. India has done the most work toward commercializing thorium power plants, and expects to get 30% of its electricity from thorium by 2050. Looks like the book greatly exaggerates its prospects.

William Martin, ed: What Liberals Believe: Thousands of Quotes on Why America Needs to Be Rescued from Greedy Corporations, Homophobes, Racists, Imperialists, Xenophobes, and Religious Extremists (paperback, 2008, Skyhorse): Comes to 768 pages. Possibly useful as a reference, but sampling Amazon's page scans isn't all that inspirational. Only really good quote on abortion was by Barbara Ehrenreich, not what you'd call an MOR liberal. On the other hand, a look at the index shows that Ehrenreich is quoted on 35 pages -- more than Martin Luther King Jr (30), more than John F Kennedy (27); second only to Bill Moyers (52). Karl Marx got one quote, same as Groucho -- but then so did Trent Lott and Rush Limbaugh.

Mark A Martinez: The Myth of the Free Market: The Role of the State in a Capitalist Economy (paperback, 2009, Kumarian Press): I don't know how exactly he goes about this, but any degree of observation will tell you that free markets exist only in theory. Real markets are shrouded in monopolies, information asymmetry, and all sorts of gamesmanship, all of which lead to lots of problems, including complete breakdowns.

Jamie Maslin: Iranian Rappers and Persian Porn: A Hitchhiker's Adventures in the New Iran (2009, Skyhorse): Sounds like a good idea to me, but I'd bet that Iranians don't hold a candle to good ole American porn, much less American rap. Still, good to see that Iran isn't as monolithic as caricatured. On the other hand, I can't say that porn and rap have ever had much political impact, even here.

Matt Mason: The Pirate's Dilemma: How Youth Culture Is Reinventing Capitalism (2008, Free Press): Business manifesto, finding opportunities for innovation on the fringes of intellectual property law.

Paul Mason: Meltdown: The End of the Age of Greed (paperback, 2009, Verso): Economics editor at BBC Newsnight, good for a view outside of the usual US self-focus.

Paul Mason: Postcapitalism: A Guide to Our Future (2016, Farrar Straus and Giroux): Argues that capitalism will change in the near future, mutating into something new, shifting the economy away from its basis on "markets, wages, and private ownership." He adds, "This is the first time in human history in which, equipped with an understanding of what is happening around us, we can predict and shape the future." I have no idea how he works this out, but I started thinking about "post-capitalism" back in the 1990s. In my case the initial insight was the realization that it is possible to engineer economic systems and thereby consciously direct development instead of waiting for the invisible hand to lead us around. I also realized that the infinite growth required by capitalism must sooner or later give way to ecological limits. These appear to be common themes, but of course the devil's in the details. I would reject, for instance, Hayek's rule that all planning leads to tyranny, but I don't think you can just hand-wave that; there's too much history to the contrary.

Douglas S Massey/Jorge Durand/Nolan J Malone: Beyond Smoke and Mirrors: Mexican Immigration in an Era of Economic Integration (paperback, 2003, Russell Sage Foundation).

Douglas S Massey, ed: New Faces in New Places: The Changing Geography of American Immigration (2008, Russell Sage Foundation).

Tom Mast: Over a Barrel: A Simple Guide to the Oil Shortage (2005, Hayden): Short (128 page) primer, probably too basic at this point, unless you're not up on the subject.

Robert Matheu/Brian J Bowe, eds: Creem: America's Only Rock 'N' Roll Magazine (2007, Collins): Coffee-table book culled from the 1969-88 Detroit-based rock rag. My impression is that it's long on trashy features but short on criticism. I read it for the reviews, and would have written for it if Lester Bangs hadn't quit too soon. Afterwards it wasn't the same.

Jack Matlock: Superpower Illusions: How Myths and False Ideologies Led America Astray -- and How to Return to Reality (2010, Yale University Press): US ambassador to Soviet Union 1987-91, presumably belongs to the realist camp. Seems to focus on how ideological blinders messed up the post-Soviet transition -- as Robert Gates shows, we never have managed to clear house of the clueless cold warrior crowd.

Michaelangelo Matos: The Underground Is Massive: How Electronic Dance Music Conquered America (2015, Dey Street Books): The one critic I try to follow regularly for his insights into techno or electronica or EDM or whatever you call it -- I still remain blissfully ignorant of the distinctions between the dozen or so subgenres my favorite Detroit-area record store uses. So I grabbed this as soon as it came out, and some day hope to get around to it.

Jason Mattera: Obama Zombies: How the Liberal Machine Brainwashed My Generation (2010, Threshold Editions): Bet you didn't realize that "in 2008, Barack Obama lobotomized a generation." The Liberal Machine? Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, YouTube. A nice case of transference, but not as amusing as John Gibson's How the Left Swiftboated America: The Liberal Media Conspiracy to Make You Think George Bush Was the Worst President in History.

Mark Matthews: Lost Years: Bush, Sharon and Failure in the Middle East (2007, Nation Books): Covers much the same ground as Charles Enderlin's The Lost Years. (Looks like the book got cut out. Amazon has it for $5.99.)

Kevin Mattson: Rebels All!: A Short History of the Conservative Mind in Postwar America (2008, Rutgers University Press): Argues that the new right picked up and ran with the bad manners of the 1960s new left. Not sure what that proves, or even suggets. Mattson has a bunch of books: Upton Sinclair and the Other American Century; Intellectuals in Action: The Origins of the New Left and Radical Liberalism, 1945-1970; When America Was Great: The Fighting Faith of Postwar Liberalism. The latter appears to be the one closest to his heart.

Gary May: Bending Toward Justice: The Voting Rights Act and the Transformation of American Democracy (2013, Basic Books): An important story in the civil rights movement: why voting mattered, how bitterly white supremacists fought it, how their violence turned much of the nation against them, resulting in a landmark law the Supreme Court has just gone out of its way to gut.

Arno Mayer: Ploughshares Into Swords: From Zionism to Israel (2008, Verso): One of the great historians of our times. His Why Did the Heavens Not Darken? The "Final Solution" in History showed his ability to freshly contextualize things you thought you already knew all too well -- just one example is his characterization of the two World Wars as "the 30 Years War of the 20th Century." That's what I expect here -- the title itself is a powerful start.

Arno Mayer: The Persistence of the Old Regime: Europe to the Great War (1981; paperback, 2010, Verso): Part of a series reprinting prominent Marxist historical works. Mayer's classic works on the post-WWI settlement date from 1959 (Political Origins of the New Diplomacy) and 1967 (Politics and Diplomacy of Peacemaking), so this works backward, fleshing out his sketchy Dynamics of Counter-Revolution in Europe, 1870-1956. I've read most of the above plus Why Did the Heavens Not Darken? and Plowshares Into Swords but had missed this one.

Jane Mayer: The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned Into a War on American Ideals (2008, Doubleday): Another book on the chic torture clique in and near the White House. I recoil a bit at the contrast to "American ideals" given the shoddy record self-appointed Real Americans have established. This has gotten some press -- Mayer writes for New Yorker, and this promises to be one of the more definitive books on the subject. She previously wrote Strange Justice: The Selling of Clarence Thomas. < p('mayer-dark'); ?>

Jane Mayer: Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right (2016, Doubleday): Give a guy a billion dollars and all of a sudden he thinks he can recruit some politicians and hoodwink the public into voting fot them. It's really just a case of extraordinary hubris, a sense of self-appointed privilege combined with utter disdain for democracy. Take the Kochs, for instance -- Mayer has already reported on them in The New Yorker, and they seem to account for a big chunk of this book, but they are hardly alone. As I recall, Newt Gingrich blamed his loss to Mitt Romney in 2012 to only having one billionaire backer vs. five for Romney. In this state of corruption, sometimes a handful of voters can shape history, maybe even prevent democracy from working to the benefit of the majority.

Jane Mayer: Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionairse Behind the Rise of the Radical Right (2016; paperback, 2017, Anchor): To assess the disaster of the 2016 elections, it is not only important to look at the shortcomings of the Democrats -- start with Thomas Frank: Listen, Liberal before you move on to Jonathan Allen/Arnie Parnes: Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton's Doomed Campaign -- but also at what made the Republicans so effective, mostly a huge clandestine political machine only marginally connected to the RNC and/or the Trump Campaign, largely funded by the Koch Bros. and their fellow travelers. This is the best book on the latter, and the paperback as an "I told you so" afterword. Still, Mayer's excavation of these misanthropes has only barely begun.

Rick Mayes: Universal Coverage: The Elusive Quest for National Health Insurance (paperback, 2005, University of Michigan Press)

Micheline Maynard: The Selling of the American Economy: How Foreign Companies Are Remaking the American Dream (2009, Broadway Business): Foreign-owned companies located in the US were something of a scandal in the 1980s when a buying spree was fueled by the growing US trade gap. You didn't hear much about them in the following two decades, but they amount to a bigger slice of the American pie than ever before. This focuses on Tata, Haier, Airbus, and Toyota, and doesn't look to be negative about the changes. One of the ironies is that foreign companies, accustomed to markets with higher wages and much stronger safety nets, often turn out to be more generous employers than American companies, and they don't seem to be at a competitive disadvantage for doing so.

Mark Mazower: No Enchanted Palace: The End of Empire and the Ideological Origins of the United Nations (2009, Princeton University Press): One of several new books on the founding of the UN. The idealism behind the UN is frequently touted, but one wonders about the range of thought going into it.

Mark Mazzetti: The CIA, a Secret Army, and a War at the Ends of the Earth (2013, Penguin Press): Book cover has a helicopter but it's really the drone that has transformed the CIA's mission from gathering and analyzing "intelligence" to a rogue organization of assassins.

Mariana Mazzucato: The Entrepreneurial State: Debunking Public vs. Private Sector Myths (paperback, 2013, Anthem): Two myths seem especially prevalent today: that public investment only comes at the expense of private investment, and that that's a bad thing. I can think of others, but that's not necessarily the point here: she seems to be focusing on technology and business subsidies governments give out that are ultimately snapped up by private sector investors -- an obvious case in point is support of "green energy" sectors like wind and solar (efforts so hated by the oil-bound Kochs).

Jane McAlevey: Raising Expectations (and Raising Hell): My Decade Fighting for the Labor Movement (paperback, 2014, Verso): Trying to revive the American labor movement, from the front lines, by a (relatively) successful labor organizer.

Patricia A McAnany/Norman Yoffee, eds: Questioning Collapse: Human Resilience, Ecological Vulnerability, and the Aftermath of Empire (paperback, 2009, Cambridge University Press): A collection of papers casting aspersions on Jared Diamond's book, Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed (2004) -- the sort of big theme comparative study that begs specialists to nitpick, especially once it hits the bestseller list.

Leslie McCall: The Undeserving Rich: American Beliefs About Inequality, Opportunity, and Redistribution (paperback, 2013, Cambridge University Press): Research on a topic I can only speculate about. My impression is that throughout most of US history Americans were quick to condemn the rich, at least in bad times, but over the last 30-40 years that populist reaction has diminished -- at least partly due to the success the Cold War has had in characterizing and championing capitalism as freedom. On the other hand, the rich have taken advantage of this free pass, and are ripe for revulsion once again.

Andrew C McCarthy: The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America (2010, Encounter Books): "The real threat to the United States is not terrorism. The real threat is Islamism, whose sophisticated forces have collaborated with the American Left not only to undermine U.S. national security but also to shred the fabric of American constitutional democracy -- freedom and individual liberty. . . . a harrowing account of how the global Islamist movement's jihad involves far more than terrorist attacks, and how it has found the ideal partner in President Barack Obama, whose Islamist sympathies run deep." That's connecting three dots -- Islamism, the left, and Obama -- that are awfully distant from each other.

Laton McCartney: Teapot Dome Scandal: How Big Oil Bought the Harding White House and Tried to Steal the Country (2008, Random House): One of the all-time big scandals, perhaps relevant today for what it says about the oil industry's deep roots in politics and for the Republicans' laissez-faire take on greed, or maybe just because it's a juicy story. The early days of a boom cycle that went bust big time -- perhaps another lesson.

Jennifer Hooper McCarty/Tim Foecke: What Really Sank the Titanic: New Forensic Discoveries (2008; paperback, 2009, Citadel): A technical mystery revisited.

Nolan McCarty/Keith T Poole/Howard Rosenthal: Polarized America: The Dance of Ideology and Unequal Riches (2006; paperback, 2008, MIT Press): Three political scientists chart the polarization of the two-party system and tie it to increasing inequality.

Robert W McChesney: The Political Economy of Media: Enduring Issues, Emerging Dilemmas (paperback, 2008, Monthly Review Press): Author of many more books on political control of media -- e.g., Communication Revolution: Critical Junctures and the Future of Media; The Problem of the Media: US Communication Politics in the Twenty-First Century; Rich Media, Poor Democracy: Communication Politics in Dubious Times; Corporate Media and the Threat to Democracy; with John Nichols, Tragedy & Farce: How the American Media d Sell Wars, Spin Elections, and Destroy Democracy. Also related: Eric Klinenberg: Fighting for Air: The Battle to Control America's Media.

Robert W McChesney/John Nichols: The Death and Life of American Journalism: The Media Revolution That Will Begin the World Again (2010, Nation Books): An Amazon ranter: "They insist that intelligent journalism will soon come to an end when the NYTimes goes belly-up." Looks to me like the NYTimes has become an example of the death of intelligent journalism. On the other hand, depending on corporations for basic info necessary for democracy has never worked very well. The authors have some ideas to move on, which probably don't involve the ranter's charge that they want a government-run Pravda.

Robert W McChesney: Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism Is Turning the Internet Against Democracy (2013, New Press): The internet cuts both ways, opening up previously unimagined amounts of information, allowing extraordinarily wide participation, but also a tempting target of control, especially for the rich media empires and their political allies. So it's hard to overstate how important the struggle over control is. Relevant here: Rebecca MacKinnon: Consent of the Networked: The Worldwide Struggle for Internet Freedom (2012; paperback, 2013, Basic Books).

Robert W McChesney: Blowing the Roof Off the Twenty-First Century: Media, Politics, and the Struggle for Post-Capitalist Democracy (2014, Monthly Review Press): Professor of communications, media critic, has a pile of books, mostly on how media in America is perverted by corporate control, and the ill effect that has on democracy.

Robert W McChesney/John Nichols: People Get Ready: The Fight Against a Jobless Economy and a Citizenless Democracy (2016, Nation Books): A major thrust of business in recent years has been to eliminate the cost of jobs by employing new technology, which (along with shipping jobs overseas) has allowed profits to soar while weakening workers. The authors have separately and together written many books on media control and workers' political struggles, and every year gives them more fodder to write about.

Scott McClellan: What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and What's Wrong With Washington (2008, Public Affairs): Former Bush mouthpiece opens up a little wider than anyone expected. I've seen this described as "scathing" -- find that hard to believe, but it's hit a nerve, as shown by this 1-star Amazon reader review: "McClellan and Rumsfeld are the primary reasons why Bush's approval rating is as low as it is. They were awful communicators." So Bush's only problem is that he's misunderstood, undone by his own inept PR flacks. Strange thing is they were so highly regarded for so long.

Gavan McCormack: Target North Korea: Pushing North Korea to the Brink of Nuclear Catastrophe (paperback, 2004, Nation Books).

Alfred W McCoy: Policing America's Empire: The United States, the Philippines, and the Rise of the Surveillance State (2009, University of Wisconsin Press): Big book (672 pp) on the US experience in the Philippines, starting with 1898 and the counterinsurgency from then to 1913 then returning periodically as the Philippines required further imperial policing, with side glances at what all that meant for democracy at home. Author has also written: The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade; A Question of Torture: CIA Interrogation, From the Cold War to the War on Terror.

Alfred W McCoy/Francisco A Scarano, eds: Colonial Crucible: Empire in the Making of the Modern American State (paperback, 2009, University of Wisconsin Press): Scattered papers, many on the Philippines and Cuba, where the US first got used to the idea and perils of empire, with occasional nods toward Iraq.

Duff McDonald: Last Man Standing: The Ascent of Jamie Dimon and JPMorgan Chase (2009, Simon & Schuster): Suck this up: Dimon is "a dedicated family man whose uncanny facility with numbers and tireless work ethic are complemented by fierce loyalty and an unrelenting aversion to office politics [ . . . ] the only man in finance today who can be called an American hero." Dimon's been in the news much lately. Few things soured me on Obama more than the day Obama talked about what a "savvy businessman" Dimon is.

Lawrence G McDonald/Patrick Robinson: A Colossal Failure of Common Sense: The Inside Story of the Collapse of Lehman Brothers (2009, Crown): Significant because the Lehman bankruptcy was the single most traumatic event of the financial collapse of 2008. Insiders might know something about that, but most of what happened lies elsewhere, including the political decision to let Lehman collapse. A lot of inside stories are coming out, including: Joseph Tibman: The Murder of Lehman Brothers: An Insider's Look at the Global Meltdown, and Andrew Ross Sorkin: Too Big to Fail: The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial System---and Themselves.

William McDonough/Michael Braungart: Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things (paperback, 2002, North Point Press): Book on design, aiming at "eco-effectiveness" -- whatever that is. There are a bunch of innovative high-tech save-the-world design books floating around, hard to gauge.

William McDonough/Michael Braungart: The Upcycle: Beyond Sustainability, Designing for Abundance (paperback, 2013, North Point Press): An architect and a chemist, previously wrote Cradle to Cradle: Remking the Way We Make Things (2002), an engineering ethic that not only dispenses with planned obsolence but goes much farther.

Harold McGee: Keys to Good Cooking: A Guide to the Best of Foods and Recipes (2010, Penguin): Author of On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen, the first book to make a thorough survey of the science of cooking -- a book I'd say everyone should own. (I read the original when it came out in 1984 and own the revised edition from 2004.) No recipes. Just a lot of condensed expertise, basic rules of thumb.

Suzanne McGee: Chasing Goldman Sachs: How the Masters of the Universe Melted Wall Street Down . . . and Why They'll Take Us to the Brink Again (2010, Crown Business): I don't doubt it. The bank books keep rolling out.

Paul McGeough: Kill Khalid: The Failed Mossad Assassination of Khalid Mishal and the Rise of Hamas (2009, New Press): Starts with an event in 1997 seen as backfiring against Israel and promoting Hamas to prominence. Not sure why this vs. the 1996 assassination of "The Engineer" which led to Hamas retaliation that is generally regarded as tipping Israel's elections from Peres to Netanyahu, with disastrous results for the Oslo Peace Process.

Michael McGerr: A Fierce Discontent: The Rise and Fall of the Progressive Movement in America, 1870-1920 (paperback, 2005, Oxford University Press): A broad history of progressive movements during the first gilded age.

Joe McGinniss: The Rogue: Searching for the Real Sarah Palin (2011, Crown): Veteran journalist, wrote a book about Nixon's 1968 campaign, and later wrote a book about Alaska, so why not? Famously got on his subject's nerves by moving next door to her. Presumably dug up some dirt on her, rather than going for her more obvious political problems.

Lisa McGirr: Suburban Warriors: The Origins of the New American Right (new edition, paperback, 2002, Princeton University Press): Orange County, CA, is the prototypical case, not just Republican or conservative but downright militant about it. One thing that clearly emerges from such places is the sense that each atomic household is on its own, distinct from and not responsible for any other. That's the intuition that the politics of responsibility thread is drawn from. Similarly, the isolation allows such thoughts to be developed with little risk of reality checking -- another trademark of the new American right.

George McGovern and William R. Polk, Out of Iraq: A Practical Plan for Withdrawal Now (Simon & Schuster, paperback). Read the Harpers excerpt. Better than I expected.

Chris McGowan/Ricardo Pessanha: The Brazilian Sound: Samba, Bossa Nova, and the Popular Music of Brazil (revised edition, paperback, 2008, Temple University Press): New edition of one of the more highly regarded surveys of Brazilian music. The sort of thing I ought to be reading to improve my spotty knowledge of one of the most important music scenes in the world.

Seamus McGraw: The End of the Country: Dispatches From the Frack Zone (paperback, 2012, Random House): We're working through a cycle where as we deplete relatively easy oil and gas resources, we try to tap into more difficult resources with more advanced technology. One such is gas trapped in narrow seams of shale: only recently it's become possible to drill into those seams then horizontally to open up more of the seam; then a toxic chemicals is pumped into the well and an explosion set off, driving the chemicals to fracture the rock and release more gas (this is called "hydrofracturing" or "fracking"). This book focuses on Pennsylvania, where pretty much everything that could go wrong with this technology has gone wrong.

Bill McKibben, Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future (Times Books): Possibly an important book, but not one I'm looking forward to. His The End of Nature did manage to convince me about global warming even though I had been pretty skeptical before, but it also annoyed me much in the process. The subject here is an important one: sustainable economy. He has some grasp of the problem, which itself is a rare accomplishment. But his solutions are likely to be annoying -- e.g., from an Amazon review: "Wow, makes me want to move to Vermont and become an organic farmer."

Bill McKibben: Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet (2010, Times Books): I don't much care for McKibben's imagery in trying to peddle his global warming alerts. That was the weakest part of his early -- pathbreaking, really -- book on the subject, The End of Nature, and his pitch here is that the planet we've changed is so far removed from the one we inherited that it shouldn't even be called Earth anymore. On the other hand, as he gets more successful, he seems to be getting more upbeat.

Bill McKibben: The Bill McKibben Reader: Pieces From an Active Life (paperback, 2008, Holt): A grabbag of 44 essays written over 25 years. The only McKibben I've read, at least in book form, is The End of Nature, which made some headway toward convincing me about global warming if not necessarily the title concept, but I have a couple more waiting for me on the shelf, like the recent Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future, but not the activist Fight Global Warming Now: The Handbook for Taking Action in Your Community. McKibben has also recently edited the lengthy American Earth: Environmetal Writing Since Thoreau. He's turning into a reputable brand name.

Bill McKibben: Oil and Honey: The Education of an Unlikely Activist (2013, Times Books): Author of one of the early books on global warming -- The End of Nature (1989) -- and many other books, writes about how he was increasingly drawn into political action, including leading protests against the Keystone XL pipeline. One step along the way was his activist manual: Fight Global Warming Now: The Handbook for Taking Action in Your Community (paperback, 2007, St. Martin's Griffin)

Bethany McLean/Joe Nocera: All the Devils Are Here: The Hidden History of the Financial Crisis (2010, Portfolio): Business writers finally weigh in. McLean wrote The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron. Hard to imagine how much of this was still hidden by the time this book came out.

Nancy McLean: Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right's Stealth Plan for America (2017, Viking): This traces the Koch political machine back to the ideas of an Nobel prize-winning economist, James McGill Buchanan (1919-2013), a president of the Mont Pelerin Society, distinguished senior fellow at the Cato Institute, and professor at George Mason U. -- although the reality has more to do with the Kochs' money than with Buchanan's ideas (which included the book Why I, Too, Am Not a Conservative: The Normative Vision of Classical Liberalism). Should be an interesting book (in my queue, anyway).

Sean McMeekin: The Ottoman Endgame: War, Revolution, and the Making of the Modern Middle East, 1908-1923 (2015, Penguin): The old adage is "history is written by the victors" -- a rule which has served to distort and largely bury one of the major stories of the early 20th century: the destruction of the Ottoman Empire. Even David Fromkin's brilliant A Peace to End All Peace: Creating the Modern Middle East, 1914-1922 skips over the revolt of the Young Turks and the two Balkan Wars that set the stage for the Ottoman entry into the Great War, which has the effect of making much of what the Ottoman triumvirate did during the war seem nonsensical (and possibly insane). McMeekin attempts to correct this partly by starting earlier, but also by researching deeper into newly opened Ottoman and Russian archives. But also, I suspect, because history has finally shown the Anglo-French "victory" to be hollow and bitter indeed.

Tracie McMillan: The American Way of Eating: Undercover at Walmart, Applebee's, Farm Fields and the Dinner Table (2012, Scribner): Author worked in the fields of California, at Walmart in the produce isle, and in the kitchen at Applebee's, and got a sense of how we treat food these days, and as such how we treat ourselves.

Larry McMurtry: Books: A Memoir (2008, Simon & Schuster): Memoirs of a small-town Texas bookseller, who writes novels and movies on the side.

JR McNeill: Something New Under the Sun: An Environmental History of the Twentieth-Century World (paperback, 2001, WW Norton): Fairly systematic overview of what we've done to the environment since 1900. I picked up a copy of this a couple of years back. Still haven't gotten to it; still want to.

John McPhee: Silk Parachute (2010; paperback, 2011, Farrar Straus and Giroux): essay collection.

James McPherson: The War That Forged a Nation: Why the Civil War Still Matters (2015, Oxford University Press): Far and away the bloodiest conflict in American history -- the last real war fought in American soil -- and not always remembered as the triumph for justice all American wars are meant to teach. The afterwar (what us northerners call Reconstruction) certainly divided political life for another century only to be if not re-fought at least re-litigated in the 1960s. Since then the legacy has become stranger, so it would be interesting to get McPherson's take. By the way, while he has wound up writing many books on military aspects of the war, the first book I remember him for was The Negro's Civil War: How American Negroes Felt and Acted During the War for the Union (1965).

John McWhorter: All About the Beat: Why Hip-Hop Can't Save Black America (2008, Gotham): Of course it can't, but with plaudits from Shelby Steele and Stanley Crouch one might easily be tempted to believe the opposite. McWhorter has written several books on language which look interesting (e.g., Word on the Street: Debunking the Myth of "Pure" Standard English), and several books on black culture and politics which don't (e.g., Doing Our Own Thing: The Degeneration of Language and Music and Why We Should, Like, Care).

James E McWilliams: Just Food: Where Locavores Get It Wrong and How We Can Truly Eat Responsibly (2009, Little Brown): Some backlash against the local foods movement, basically arguing that industrial agriculture isn't that bad -- at least that it has some useful economies of scale, and that there's some upside to genetic engineering.

Donella H Meadows/Jorgen Randers/Dennis L Meadows: Limits to Growth: The 30-Year Update (paperback, 2004, Chelsea Green): 30th anniversary update of the 1972 Club of Rome report. Where the original report was a warning of finite limits ahead which would derail growth, this one argues that we've already overshot those limits. An important piece of model-building in trying to get a grasp on what we are doing to ourselves, never mind the planet or its nature.

Bryan Mealer: All Things Must Fight to Live: Stories of War and Deliverance in Congo (2008, Bloomsbury): Reporting from the Congo, a war nobody hears about, that quietly towers over just about every conflict of the last several decades, not nearly as recognized as Rwanda or Darfur. Other books (more or less): Georges Nzongola-Ntalaja: The Congo: From Leopold to Kabila: A People's History; Thomas Turner: The Congo Wars: Conflict, Myth and Reality; John F Clark, ed.: The African Stakes of the Congo War; Michela Wrong: In the Footsteps of Mr. Kurtz: Living on the Brink of Disaster in Mobutu's Congo; Jeffrey Tayler: Facing the Congo: A Modern-Day Journey Into the Heart of Darkness; Robert B Edgerton: The Troubled Heart of Africa: A History of the Congo.

John J Mearsheimer/Stephen M Walt: The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy (2007, Farrar Straus and Giroux): Stirred up a storm of controversy when it came out, mostly from the Israel lobby. Shouldn't have been much of a surprise. It's hard to reconcile anything resembling a realist foreign policy with Israel off in some sort of weird fantasyland. [Paperback September 2]

John J Mearsheimer: Why Leaders Lie: The Truth About Lying in International Politics (2011, Oxford University Press): Short book (160 pp), only so far you can push the analysis when you're a realist; i.e., someone who believes that lying is OK when you get away with it, not so good when you don't.

David Mechanic, ed: Policy Challenges in Modern Health Care (paperback, 2005, Rutgers University Press)

David Mechanic: The Truth About Health Care: Why Reform Is Not Working in America (2006, Rutgers University Press).

Steven G Medema: The Hesitant Hand: Taming Self-Interest in the History of Economic Ideas (2009, Princeton University Press): Adam Smith has been so subsumed under his "invisible hand" concept that the idea has taken a life of its own. Not really sure what Medema does with it, but it should be clear that while markets produce efficient results under ideal conditions, their real world leaves much to be desired. Medema has a bunch of books on history of economic thought, including a couple specifically on Ronald Coase, who I associate with blind faith in markets.

Betsy Medsger: The Burglary: The Discovery of J. Edgar Hoover's Secret FBI (2014, Knopf): The inside story of a small group of people who broke into an FBI office in Media, PA, and collected and leaked secret files about FBI operations aimed at harrassing the civil rights and antiwar movements. Hoover had used his extraordinary power base to blackmail presidents as well as to further his reactionary political goals, a secret program that couldn't survive exposure -- so this burglary was the beginning of the end of his reputation and reign of terror.

Andrew Meier: Black Earth: A Journey Through Russia After the Fall (paperback, 2005, WW Norton).

Jeffrey Melnick: 9/11 Culture (paperback, 2009, Wiley-Blackwell): Attempts to work out the reflections and resonances of the 9/11 attacks on the popular arts. Lots there to chew through, although now I think we over-indulged, aiding a political agenda intent on making the world worse than it was. My own thought from the very beginning was how do you contain this. Then Black Hawk Down came out.

Stephen L Melton: The Clausewitz Delusion: How the American Army Screwed Up the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (A Way Forward) (2009, MBI): On the faculty at Leavenworth's Command and General Staff College, which is why he sees his job as finding "a way forward." Otherwise, he's pretty effective at showing how nothing the Army is doing these days in Iraq and Afghanistan or pretty much anywhere else has a chance of working. Phrasing this as an argument with Clausewitz is rather obscure, perhaps to obfuscate the core point that the US Army has no worthwhile role in the modern world.

Louis Menand: The Marketplace of Ideas: Reform and Resistance in the American University (2010, WW Norton): Short (176 pp) book on the state of the university, including a chapter on "Why Do Professors All Think Alike?"

Stephanie Mencimer, Blocking the Courthouse Door: How the Republican Party and Its Corporate Allies Are Taking Away Your Right to Sue (2006-12, Simon & Schuster).

Peter Menzel: Hungry Planet: What the World Eats (paperback, 2007, Ten Speed Press): A photojournalist -- Faith D'Aliuso looks to be the writer, although her credit gets buried -- romping around the planet, checking out what different people eat. Co-author of Material World: A Global Family Portrait, a picture book of households around the world, and Man Eating Bugs: The Art and Science of Eating Insects.

Giulio Meotti: A New Shoah: The Untold Story of Israel's Victims of Terrorism (2010, Encounter Books): Chronicles the long, sad story of Palestinian violence against Israelis -- attacks that have claimed 1700 lives and injured 10,000 people. Don't know whether it also notes that during the same period Israel has killed more than ten times as many Palestinians, injured many more, incarcerated many thousands, tortured many of them, driven nearly a million into exile, and enforced a regime where even nominal citizens of Israel are severely discriminated against. I'm sure those 1700 deaths have stories worth remembering, but it's a huge stretch to liken them to the six million victims of the Nazi Judeocide.

Martin Meredith: Mugabe: Power, Plunder, and the Struggle for Zimbabwe's Future (paperback, 2007, Public Affairs): Basic political biography, from the author of the near-encyclopedic The Fate of Africa: A History of Fifty Years of Independence. Another book on Zimbabwe: Peter Godwin: When a Crocodile Eats the Sun: A Memoir of Africa.

Martin Meredith: Diamonds, Gold, and War: The British, the Boers, and the Making of South Africa (2007, Public Affairs): Big (608 pages) book on the makings of colonial South Africa, with the discovery of diamonds in 1871 playing a particularly large role, followed by the Boer War and independence. Meredith has also written Mugabe: Power, Plunder, and the Struggle for Zimbabwe's Future, recently in paperback; also: The Fate of Africa: A History of Fifty Years of Independence.

Davis Merritt: Knightfall: Knight Ridder and How the Erosion of Newspaper Journalism Is Putting Democracy at Risk (2005, AMACOM).

Giles Merritt: Slippery Slope: Europe's Troubled Future (2016, Oxford University Press)

Suzanne Mettler: The Submerged State: How Invisible Government Policies Undermine American Democracy (paperback, 2011, University of Chicago Press): Argues that one reason so many people are so confused about how government works is that policies and programs are often designed to be opaque, either to favor special interests or to undermine more general ones. She also wrote Dividing Citizens: Gender and Federalism in New Deal Public Policy, and Soldiers to Citizens: The G.I. Bill and the Making of the Greatest Generation.

Suzanne Mettler: Degrees of Inequality: How the Politics of Higher Education Sabotaged the American Dream (2014, Basic Books): Until the 1970s public support of higher education tended to make American society and economy more equitable, but that has since changed. Personally, I think education has long been overrated, especially as a panacea, but lately it's higher costs and mountains of debt have turned into a cruel trap. The real roots of inequality are political, and the very suggestion that you can compensate for that by raising an educated caste is itself part of the problem -- maybe even one that prefigured the political shift?

Dick Meyer: Why We Hate Us: American Discontent in the New Millennium (2008, Crown): Not a bad idea for a book, but easy to go wrong with. Is he going for how some Americans hate other Americans? Or is he trying to make a case that Americans (in general) hate themselves? The former is relatively trivial; the latter is a stretch into psychologizing. Reviewer praise, ranging from Thomas Oliphant to Thomas Edsall, isn't reassuring.

GJ Meyer: The Borgias: The Hidden History (2013, Bantam): Of interest mostly, I suspect, if you've followed Neil Jordan's TV series and want to fill in some details, although it looks like this book takes some unexpected turns. Also available, and perhaps more conventional: Christopher Hibbert: The Borgias and Their Enemies: 1431-1919 (2008; paperback, 2009, Mariner Books).

Karl E Meyer: The Dust of Empire: The Race for Mastery in the Asian Heartland (paperback, 2004, Public Affairs).

Karl E Meyer/Shareen Blair Brysac: Kingmakers: The Invention of the Modern Middle East (2008, WW Norton): Authors of Tournament of Shadows: The Great Game and the Race for Empire in Central Asia, a 1999 book I bought back when it was still an intellectual curiosity and never got around to reading. Another sweeping history of (mostly English) imperial adventures in the Middle East.

Istvan Meszaros: The Structural Crisis of Capital (paperback, 2010, Monthly Review Press): A Marxist take on the current state of the economy, by a Yugoslav philosopher still optimistic over the prospects for socialism.

Walter Benn Michaels: The Trouble With Diversity: How We Learned to Love Identity and Ignore Inequality (paperback, 2007, Holt Paperbacks): I gather that the argument here is that efforts to promote tolerance of diversity box everyone up into identity groups, dulling and distracting our sense of cross-group commonalities, especially class. Don't know where he goes with this -- reviews suggest nowhere -- but it strikes me as a critique of how aimless liberalism wound up trivializing itself even as fundamental problems, like inequality, were growing. One could also delve deeper into the whole focus on identity and what psychological needs it satisfies.

Adam Michaelson: The Foreclosure of America: The Inside Story of the Rise and Fall of Countrywide Home Loans, the Mortgage Crisis, and the Default of the American Dream (2009, Berkley): The subprime mortage meltdown, as told by a Senior VP of Marketing at Countrywide, the nation's largest subprime racketeer. Many reviewers claim that it's shallow and self-serving.

John Micklethwait/Adrian Wooldridge: God Is Back: How the Global Revival of Faith Is Changing the World (2009, Penguin Press): Authors write for The Economist, where they celebrate the capitalist world with just enough British distance to be palatable. Best known for The Right Nation: Conservative Power in America, one of those books about how the right has become the "party of ideas" in America. (The book is currently available at a remainder discount at Amazon.) Other tomes include: The Witch Doctors: What Management Gurus Are Saying, Why It Matters, and How to Make Sense of It (1997); A Future Perfect: The Challenge and Hidden Promise of Globalization (2001); and The Company: A Short History of a Revolutionary Idea. They're about the only writers around gullible enough to see the spread of fanatical religion as progress.

John Micklethwait/Adrian Wooldridge: The Fourth Revolution: The Global Race to Reinvent the State (2014, Penguin): Journalists for The Economist, they've written upbeat books on globalization (A Future Perfect: The Challenge and Hidden Promise of Globalization), conservatism (The Right Nation: Conservative Power in America, and fundamentalism (God Is Back: How the Global Revival of Faith Is Changing the World). Their new riff is that the future belongs to the elites that are most effectively to usurp the power of the state. In this, they're more impressed by Singapore and China than the US, where the rich are trying to destroy democracy lest it ever yield to the masses.

Paul Midler: Poorly Made in China: An Insider's Account of the China Production Game (2009; paperback, 2011, Wiley): Comes out at a time when we've seen a rash of scandals about Chinese manufacturing quality lapses. Seems to me likely to be a phase, but I don't doubt that there are real reasons that will take considerable effort to overcome.

J William Middendorf II: A Glorious Disaster: Barry Goldwater's Presidential Campaign and the Origins of the Conservative Movement (2006; paperback, 2008, Basic Books): A memoir by an insider.

China Miéville: October: The Story of the Russian Revolution (2017, Verso)

Branko Milanovic: The Haves and the Have-Nots: A Brief and Idiosyncratic History of Global Inequality (2010, Basic Books): Within nations, between nations, around the world, up and down through history, even ventures into fiction.

Branko Milanovic: Global Inequality: A New Approach for the Age of Globalization (2016, Belknap Press): Looks at inequality in a global context, finding that while inequality has been increasing within nations (especially the US), it has been falling among/between nations -- in large part because large developing nations like China and India have been promoting middle class incomes at the same time the US has been destroying them. A follow up to the author's The Haves and the Have-Notes: A Brief and Idiosyncratic History of Global Inequality (2010).

Dana Milbank: Tears of a Clown: Glenn Beck and the Tea Bagging of America (2010, Doubleday): A portrait of the broadcaster/book entrepreneur as "a sad, troubled, and dangerous extremist crackpot who is validating and feeding paranoid delusions of millions of Americans" (as an Amazon reviewer puts it). Looks to be more melodramatic than Alexander Zaitchik's competing book: Common Nonsense: Glenn Beck and the Triumph of Ignorance.

Steven H Miles, MD, Oath Betrayed: Torture, Medical Complicity, and the War on Terror (Random House).

Murray Milgate/Shannon C Stimson: After Adam Smith: A Century of Transformation in Politics and Political Economy (2009, Princeton University Press): Intellectual history on the evolution of economic thought in the hundred years following Adam Smith -- i.e., the 19th century.

Aaron David Miller: The Much Too Promised Land: America's Elusive Search for Arab-Israeli Peace (2008, Bantam): Miller has some sort of insider status allowing him to focus on America's role, which may or may not be useful in trying to sort out the many things that have gone wrong.

Aaron David Miller: The Much Too Promised Land: America's Elusive Search for Arab-Israeli Peace (2008; paperback, 2008, Bantam): Peace Process insider dirt/recrimination/regrets.

Aaron David Miller: The End of Greatness: Why America Can't Have (and Doesn't Want) Another Great President (2014, St Martin's Press): Washington on the cover. His most striking trait was a desire to be seen as disinterested, a leader who only sees to the public interest, never to his personal one. Needless to say, such people are scarce today, not so much because they don't exist as because they don't promote themselves in the manner of would-be presidents. On the other hand, there are great egos who would dispute this thesis, notably Donald Trump, who hope to lead a nation to its greatness, doing all manner of great things. For such cases, I can imagine two books: one explaining why they will fail, the other why what they sought was never desirable in the first place. I doubt that Miller has written either.

Ivan J Miller: Balanced Choice: A Common Sense Cure for the US Health Care Systems (paperback, 2006, Author House): sort of a single-payer base with wildly diverging copays depending on provider choices.

Kenneth R Miller: Only a Theory: Evolution and the Battle for America's Soul (2008, Viking): I suppose he's right, but the anti-Darwin stance strikes me as so silly it's hard to take it seriously. (Even though I just saw a bit on Steve Colbert where he complimented the Kansas Board of Education as the only one seeing eye-to-eye with him on some variant of this.) Author previously wrote Finding Darwin's God: A Scientist's Search for Common Ground Between God and Evolution.

Mark Crispin Miller, ed: Loser Take All: Election Fraud and The Subversion of Democracy, 2000-2008 (paperback, 2008, Ig): I haven't paid much attention to the various stolen election arguments, which Miller has contributed much to, but this at least is short and convenient and covers a bunch of ground.

Matthew Miller: The 2% Solution: Fixing America's Problems in Ways Liberals and Conservatives Can Love (paperback, 2005, Perseus)

Matt Miller: The Tyranny of Dead Ideas: Letting Go of the Old Ways of Thinking to Unleash a New Prosperity (2009, Times Books): As Matthew Miller wrote a book called The Two Percent Solution: Fixing America's Problems in Ways Liberals and Conservatives Can Love, one of those big idea books that looks too good to be true. It's not so much that one can't come up with simple, sensible fixes -- schools and health care could easily be better and cheaper at the same time, as indeed almost everyone else in the world manages to do. It's just that these relatively technical issues get wrapped up in the real things conservatives and their opponents fight over -- like equality.

Steven P Miller: Billy Graham and the Rise of the Republican South (2009, University of Pennsylvania Press): Graham emerged during my childhood as America's most prominent spokesman for generic christianity and parlayed that into a career of hobnobbing with presidents -- Nixon was his triumph, but the Bushes both have Billy Graham stories in their press kits. Graham managed to get throught he civil rights era without being associated with either side -- a slick move that helped Republicans suck up the white south without getting tarred by segregationist violence -- and he was always useful promoting American wars abroad. I grew up thinking him a fraud from the beginning, and found more reasons to despise him over the years. No one has done more to muddy the separation of church and state. No one has done more to turn christianity into a venal career strategy -- useful and never inconvenient for politicians.

T Christian Miller, Blood Money: A Story of Wasted Billions, Lost Lives and Corporate Greed in Iraq (Little, Brown).

Ian Millhiser: Injustices: The Supreme Court's History of Comforting the Comfortable and Afflicting the Afflicted (2015, Nation Books): Reminds us that throughout history the Supreme Court has more often than not been an entrenched conservative activist -- it is only thanks to Franklin Roosevelt (and a few successors, with Nixon starting the revanchist return) that we have been fortunate enough to have grown up with a Court that actually expanded human rights. Of course, the recent growth of the conservative cabal has given the author more to complain about. Indeed, the subtitle could well be the Roberts' Court's motto.

Nick B Mills: Karzai: The Failing American Intervention and the Struggle for Afghanistan (2007, John Wiley & Sons)

David Milne: America's Rasputin: Walt Rostow and the Vietnam War (2008, Hill & Wang): Title's a low blow, but that's where you have to swing to connect. The more I read about the Vietnam War, the deeper it sinks in just how pervasive a force Rostow was. He was lurking everywhere. Any time anyone had a brief glance of sanity, he was there to rub it out.

Giles Milton: Paradise Lost: Smyrna, 1922 (2008, Basic Books): The end of the war between Greece and Turkey, where the British egged Greece into invading Turkey, and the debacle resulted in the triumph of Mustafa Kemal's nationalist forces and the forced expulsion of virtually all Greeks from Turkey. Reading Taner Akçam's book (A Shameful Act: The Armenian Genocide and the Question of Turkish Responsibility) has left me wanting to know more about the Turkish-Greek population transfer in and after the war. This is a part of the story, but looks like it's been juiced up to focus on one side. Curious choice of title, too. One more general book on the transfer is Renée Hirschon, ed: Crossing the Aegean: An Appraisal of the 1923 Compulsory Population Exchange Between Greece and Turkey. Of course, there were plenty of atrocities before 1923, and not just by the Turks. (Hirschon also wrote Heirs of the Greek Catastrophe: The Social Life of Asia Minor Refugees in Piraeus.)

Craig Miner: Kansas: The History of the Sunflower State, 1854-2000 (paperback, 2005, University Press of Kansas): Wichita State history professor, taught there in my day and still around, has a pile of books on Kansas history, this the most general one. Should probably pick it up for reference some time. But I do recall that we had to spend Fifth Grade doing state history. Fifth grade sucked.

Hyman P Minsky: Stabilizing an Unstable Economy (2008, McGraw-Hill).

Bill Minutaglio/W Michael Smith: Molly Ivins: A Rebel Life (2009, Public Affairs): A biography of the late, much missed columnist. Evidently also a Broadway play, and no doubt a movie some day. All the better to keep recycling some marvelous quotes, and a spirit that was more than America, let alone Texas, deserved.

Philip Mirowski: Never Let a Serious Crisis Go to Waste: How Neoliberalism Survived the Financial Meltdown (2013, Verso): As I recall, there was a fleeting instant during the early days of the meltdown when at least a few people started to wonder whether there wasn't something seriously flawed in capitalism -- at least our recent, highly financialized version of it -- at the root of the crisis. But it turned out to be nothing like the air of revolution kicked up by the 1930s: no sooner than the banks got bailed out their apologists reverted to the party line.

Lawrence Mishel/Jared Bernstein/Sylvia Allegretto: The State of Working America, 2006/2007 (10th edition, paperback, 2006, ILR Press): From Economic Policy Institute, updated every other year since 1988. Basic data. Bernstein is an economist I have read.

Lawrence Mishel/Jared Bernstein/Heidi Shierholz: The State of Working America, 2008-2009 (paperback, 2009, Cornell University Press): From the Economic Policy Institute, 440 pages of sobering data, revised (most likely downward) from their previous The State of Working America, 2006-2007.

Pankaj Mishra: Temptations of the West: How to Be Modern in India, Pakistan, Tibet, and Beyond (paperback, 2007, Picador): Travel reporting on the influence of the west on south and central Asia.

Pankaj Mishra: From the Ruins of Empire: The Intellectuals Who Remade Asia (2012, Farrar Straus and Giroux): Focuses on Jamal al-Din al-Afghani (from Iran, despite his assumed name), Rabindranath Tagore (India), and Liang Qichao (China), figures who became prominent around 1900, which is to say well before the major anti-imperialist successes following WWII. I know a fair amount about al-Afghani, who's been given wildly erratic interpretations depending on which axe which writer wanted to sharpen. Ultimately, while such early reactions (at once modernist and reactionary) to European imperialism are interesting, I suspect they are fleeting as later generations learned more about both their enemies and themselves. Mishra has several books poking at this beast; most recently, Temptations of the West: How to Be Modern in India, Pakistan, Tibet, and Beyond (2007).

Pankaj Mishra: Age of Anger: A History of the Present (2017, Farrar Straus and Giroux): Mishra has written several books on how various Asian intellectuals reacted to modernism, especially given how Europeans presented it wrapped up in self-serving imperialism -- a much trickier subject than figuring out why so many westerners are so full of rage as their world of myth slips out of any illusion of their control. Nor would he ever stop at the West, unlike chroniclers of "populism," because he knows anger circles the world, taking all sorts of form.

Andrea Mitchell, Talking Back . . . to Presidents, Dictators, and Assorted Scoundrels (2006-12, Penguin, paperback). Too bad Sleeping With the Devil has already been used.

Brian Patrick Mitchell, 8 Ways to Run the Country: A New and Revealing Look at Left and Right (2006-11, Greenwood).

Greg Mitchell: So Wrong for So Long: How the Press, the Pundits -- and the President -- Failed in Iraq (paperback, 2008, Union Square Press): Editor of Editor & Publisher, writes a good blog called Pressing Issues. You know the basic story. This just sorts the details out in good form for reference.

Timothy Mitchell: Carbon Democracy: Political Power in the Age of Oil (2011; paperback, 2013, Verso)

Steven Mithen: After the Ice: A Global Human History 20,000-5,000 BC (paperback, 2006, Harvard University Press): Looks to be a fairly definitive book on archaeological sites from the period. Mithen has a number of books scratching out clues from scant archaeological evidence, most recently The Singing Neandethals: The Origins of Music, Language, Mind and Body.

Sharon Moalem, Survival of the Sickest: A Medical Maverick Discovers Why We Need Disease (2007-02, Harper Collins).

David Model: State of Darkness: US Complicity in Genocides Since 1945 (paperback, 2008, AuthorHouse): Author counts and documents eight genocides since 1945 that the US has been involved in, or perhaps largely responsible for. Less "a problem from hell" (as Samantha Power put it) than a policy for hell. Model has been down this road before; e.g., his previous book, Lying for Empire: How to Commit War Crimes With a Straight Face.

Benjamin Moffitt: The Global Rise of Populism: Performance, Political Style, and Representation (2016, Stanford University Press)

Natalia Molina: How Race Is Made in America: Immigration, Citizenship, and the Historical Power of Racial Scripts (2014, University of California Press): Examines Mexican immigrants from 1924-65, a period when legal immigration from Mexico was largely prohibited.

Paul Molyneaux, Swimming in Circles: Aquaculture and the End of Wild Oceans (Thunder's Mouth Press): General survey of aquaculture business, a major recent/future frontier in the domination of nature and the artificialization of everything else.

George Monbiot: How Did We Get Into This Mess? Politics, Equality, Nature (2016, Verso): British journalist, has written about science (degree in Zoology), climate change, and all sorts of political matters, which gives him a broad view of the "mess" of our times. This one's an essay collection, columns written 2007-15, that illustrate his title rather than exploring it systematically. Still, I did track down the title piece, which indicts neoliberalism traced back to the Mont Pelerin Society in 1947.

Ingrid Monson: Freedom Sounds: Civil Rights Call Out to Jazz and Africa (paperback, 2010, Oxford University Press)

Tom Moon: 1,000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die (paperback, 2008, Workman): Big list book, part of a series like 1,000 Places to See Before You Die that that I haven't paid any attention to, figuring I'm so short on time the effort would be hopeless, and not particularly enjoying the reminder. Actually, 1,000 recordings is relatively doable: I'd be surprised if I'm not already more than halfway there, unless the classical shit gets totally out of hand. There's also a rival 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die, edited by Robert Dimery, which is older but only in hard cover, assembled by a committee of critics I've never heard of, and is much more rock-centric.

Mark Monmonier: Coast Lines: How Mapmakers Frame the World and Chart Environmental Change (2008, University of Chicago Press): Geography book, explores facets of mapping coast lines, from history to present concerns such as environmental factors. Author previously wrote: From Squaw Tit to Whorehouse Meadow: How Maps Name and Inflame; Spying with Maps: Surveillance Technologies and the Future of Privacy; Bushmanders and Bullwinkles: How Politicians Manipulate Electronic Maps and Census Data to Win Elections; Air Apparent: How Meteorologists Learned to Map, Predict, and Dramatize Weather; Cartographies of Danger: Mapping Hazards in America; Mapping It Out: Expository Cartography for the Humanities and Social Sciences; and the ever popular How to Lie With Maps.

Chris Mooney, The Republican War on Science (Basic Books, paperback).

Chris Mooney/Sheril Kirshenbaum: Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future (2009, Basic Books): Mooney previously wrote The Republican War on Science, experience that gives him a leg up here. I'm not so much worried about scientific illiteracy per sé as the loss of any sort of scientific bent on the part of vast segments of the populace.

Chris Mooney: The Republican Brain: The Science of Why They Don't Believe in Science (2012, Wiley): A delicious title, but I doubt he can deliver the goods, and not just because brains don't seem to be the operative organ governing Republicans. By all accounts, his first book (The Republican War on Science) was spot on, but he's gotten sloppier as he's gotten more aggravated.

Nan Mooney: (Not) Keeping Up With Our Parents: The Decline of the Professional Middle Class (2008, Beacon Press): Probably the most normal thing in the world, at least if you're American, is to think that each generation makes progress moving up the proverbial Dream ladder. Still, I know a lot of people who are old enough to take retirement seriously but are still dependent on their parents for support -- especially true with middle class professionals, who did well for themselves before many conspired to kick the ladders out that might have allowed other people to advance.

Andrew Moore/Philip Levine: Detroit Disassembled (2010, Damiani/Akron Art Museum): Short (136 pp), expensive coffee table photography book, with photos by Moore and text by Levine. Detroit has become such a symbol for urban collapse that this seems skimpy. Moore has another book, Russia: Beyond Utopia.

Lisa Jean Moore: Sperm Counts: Overcome by Man's Most Precious Fluid (2007, NYU Press): Everything you ever (or never) wanted to know.

Michael Moore: Dude, Where's My Country? ().

Michael Moore: Mike's Election Guide 2008 (paperback, 2008, Grand Central Publishing): A straightforward book, but still feels weird. Moore is a mainstream celebrity, but still is regarded as fringe political, so you never quite know whether his endorsements of relatively mild-mannered Democrats helps or hurts.

Michael Moore: Here Comes Trouble: Stories From My Life (2011, Grand Central Publishing): Memoir, focusing on vignettes rather than trying to connect the dots.

Mike Moore: Twilight War: The Folly of US Space Dominance (2008, Independent Institute): The best book I've seen on the folly of attempting to militarize space is Chalmer Johnson's Nemesis. This covers the subject in much more detail, but the basic arguments are the same: satellites provide essential peaceful services, and are easily wrecked by war, which means any space-based conflict will make us much worse off.

Barbara Moran: The Day We Lost the H-Bomb: Cold War, Hot Nukes, and the Worst Nuclear Weapons Disaster in History (2010, Presidio Press): That would be 1966, when a USAF B-2 bomber crashed off the coast of Spain, losing four H-bombs.

Michael Morell: The Great War of Our Time: The CIA's Fight Against Terrorism -- From Al Qa'ida to ISIS (2015, Twelve)

Bethany Moreton: To Serve God and Wal-Mart: The Making of Christian Free Enterprise (2009, Harvard University Press): Places Wal-Mart in the framework of right-wing Christian movement -- don't know how far it does into other businesses, but there is room to explore how Wal-Mart can get away with its business practices.

Bethany Moreton: To Serve God and Wal-Mart: The Making of Christian Free Enterprise (2009; paperback, 2010, Harvard University Press): Not the first writer to recognize religion as the opiate of the masses, but a detailed case study showing that there's more to Wal-Mart than smart inventory management, shopping for cheap goods in China, and busting unions.

Gretchen Morgenson/Joshua Rosner: Reckless Endangerment: How Outsized Ambition, Greed, and Corruption Led to Economic Armageddon (2011, Times books): Pulitzer-winning New York Times business columnist rehashes the same old story, "character-rich and definitive in its analysis," traits you need when you're this late to the party.

Evgeny Morozov: The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom (2011, Public Affairs): Bravely battling "cyberutopians" -- those who foolishly think something good might come out of the Internet: nothing like beating up strawmen to show off your intellectual brawn.

Benny Morris: Righteous Victims: A History of the Zionist-Arab Conflict, 1881-1999 (paperback, 2001, Vintage Books).

Benny Morris: 1948: A History of the First Arab-Israeli War (2008, Yale University Press): Morris did much of the first pass of serious research on the Palestinian refugee crisis coming out of Israel's 1948 War for Independence, and wrote a good general history, Righteous Victims: A History of the Zionist-Arab Conflict, 1881-1999. He's also turned into a rabid racist, applauding the expulsions that tactful Israeli politicians have long tried to sweep under the rug.

Benny Morris: One State, Two States: Resolving the Israel/Palestine Conflict (2009, Yale University Press): A history of various speculations and proposals to resolve the Israel-Palestine conflict. Morris was a respectable historian who did much to document the expulsions and massacres during Israeli's 1948 War of Independence, but he later turned into an extreme apologist for Ehud Barak and an advocate of further transfers. This comes through quickly in the first few pages of the book.

Charles R Morris: The Trillion Dollar Meltdown: Easy Money, High Rollers, and the Great Credit Crash (2008, Public Affairs): It's the economy, stupid.

Charles R Morris: The Trillion Dollar Meltdown: Easy Money, High Rollers, and the Great Credit Crash (2008, Public Affairs): This looks like the basic background brief on the current and coming economic crisis. I ordered Kevin Phillips' Bad Money instead, but this book is getting a lot of attention.

Charles R Morris: The Two Trillion Dollar Meltdown: Easy Money, High Rollers, and the Great Credit Crash (2008; revised, paperback, 2009, Public Affairs): One of the first really useful books out on the subprime mortgage crisis and how the contagion was likely to spread. And as such, instantly out of date. Hence the revision, which includes bumping the title up -- originally The Trillion Dollar Meltdown.

Charles R Morris: The Sages: Warren Buffett, George Soros, Paul Volcker, and the Maelstrom of Markets (2009, Public Affairs): Author of one of the better books on the crash, The Trillion Dollar Meltdown (doubling the tab for the paperback edition). I'm rather tired of putting finance people on pedestals, although these three are a bit off the beaten path. Still, two of them are primarily known for the basest of reasons: obscene riches.

Dick Morris/Eileen McGann: Catastrophe: How Obama, Congress, and the Special Interests Are Transforming . . . a Slump Into a Crash, Freedom Into Socialism, and a Disaster Into a Catastrophe . . . and How to Fight Back (2009, Harper): Hysterical nonsense, but it's already shot to the top of the bestseller list, as have the last couple of eruptions from these two (Fleeced is newly out in paperback, and Outrage is somewhere on the shelves -- the subtitles are equally long-winded and ridiculous).

Ian Morris: Why the West Rules -- For Now: The Patterns of History, and What They Reveal About the Future (2010, Farrar Straus and Giroux): Big (768 pp) book, claims to cover 50,000 years of history plus at least some slice of the future, puzzling out mankind's pecking order as if that's what the great game is all about.

Ian Morris: War: What's It Good For? (2014, Farrar Straus and Giroux): Edwin Starr could answer that in far less than these 512 pages: "absolutely nothing." Morris likes to jump all over the place, as in his previous Why the West Rules -- For Now: The Patterns of History, and What They Reveal About the Future, but his bottom line seems to be "war made the state, and the state made peace." I'm tempted to add: but only after making war unbearable, and even now way too many people haven't learned the lesson.

Greg Mortensen: Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace . . . One School at a Time (paperback, 2007, Penguin Books)

Greg Mortensen: Stones Into Schools: Promoting Peace With Books, Not Bombs, in Afghanistan and Pakistan (2009, Viking): One-time mountaineer, saw a need and starting building schools in rural Pakistan, leading to the book, Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace . . . One School at a Time. This updates the story, including a massive earthquake and the political upheaval of the Taliban. I've always been leery about charitable efforts inside US war zones because they inevitably mix up the messages, although I don't doubt that what he's doing there is more appreciated than Richard Holbrooke's contribution.

Ian Mortimer: The Time Traveler's Guide to Medieval England: A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century (2008, Bodley Head; 2009, Touchstone): A friendly synopsis of a century in a backwater corner of Europe, something we're only vaguely familiar with.

Walter Mosley: What Next: A Memoir Toward World Peace (2003, Black Classic Press).

Walter Mosley: Twelve Steps Toward Political Revelation (paperback, 2011, Nation Books): Novelist, mostly mysteries, briefly sketches out some thoughts on politics drawing on 12-step programs.

Matthew Moten, ed: Between War and Peace: How America Ends Its Wars (2011, Free Press): Various writers on various wars, starting with Yorktown and winding up with Iraq (by Andrew Bacevich) -- nothing in Afghanistan. It's always been easier to get into a war than to get out, partly because the imagination of what you wanted at the start rarely squares with the reality you're left with at the end. One chapter is called "The Cold War: Ending by Inadvertence" but like many of these wars (Korea is the most obvious example) it didn't really end even when the other side stopped fighting (and in the Cold War case dissolved). Maybe the title admits that for the US peace isn't even imaginable: there's only war and states "between."

Hiroshi Motomura: Americans in Waiting: The Lost Story of Immigration and Citizenship in the United States (paperback, 2007, Oxford University Press).

Hiroshi Motomura: Immigration Outside the Law (2014, Oxford University Press).

Markos Moulitsas: American Taliban: How War, Sex, Sin, and Power Bind Jihadists and the Radical Right (paperback, 2010, Polipoint Press): Easy to see the temptation, but strikes me that comparing the new right-wing fringe to the Taliban is going to result in some sort of cognitive mishmash that in the end won't do anyone any good.

Bill Moyers: Moyers on Democracy (2008, Doubleday): One of the few prominent White House aides to have gone on to a more notable and more useful post-political career -- Scott McClellan should take note, especially given that Moyers had to disseminate plenty of official lies in his time.

Ray Moynihan/Alan Cassels: Selling Sickness: How the World's Biggest Pharmaceutical Companies Are Turning Us All Into Patients (paperback, 2006, Nation Books): Focuses on drugs in search of patients, advertising to sell people on sicknesses they didn't realize they had. Like most overtreating treatises, the truth is hard to determine with so much money on the table.

Dambisa Moyo: How the West Was Lost: Fifty Years of Economic Folly -- and the Stark Choices Ahead (2011, Farrar Straus and Giroux): Cover shows a $100 bill with a portrait of Mao in the middle. Moyo, originally from Zambia, previously wrote Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working and How There Is a Better Way for Africa (2009; paperback, 2010, Farrar Straus and Giroux), which can't be immediately dismissed as a conservative excuse, but does look like she likes to be provocative. This strikes me as little else.

Marwan Muasher: The Arab Center: The Promise of Moderation (2008, Yale University Press): Author is a Jordanian diplomat, long practiced at walking the straight and narrow line. By their very nature, moderates have a weak hand to argue. By readily going half way, they comfort the extremes without satisfying them -- the US, in particular, insists on moderation without giving moderates any heed.

John Mueller, Overblown: How Politicians and the Terrorism Industry Inflate National Security Threats, and Why We Believe Them (Free Press): Certainly the threat of terrorism is overblown, at least compared to many other threats. Why is a more complicated question, and it's not clear how insightful this is on that score. I'm also disinclined to ignore the threat of terrorism because I regard it as symptomatic of deeper problems, like the arrogance and injustice of US foreign policy.

John Mueller: Atomic Obsession: Nuclear Alarmism from Hiroshima to Al-Qaeda (2009, Oxford University Press): No doubt there's been some hysteria worth debunking, especially along the lines of Condoleezza Rice's mushroom cloud quip, but there's also plenty of room for serious concern about atomic weapons. The bit I most worry about is the effort to preserve the practice of conventional warfare in an age when such war should be as unthinkable as nuclear holocaust. Author previously wrote Overblown: How Politicians and the Terrorism Industry Inflate National Security Threats, and Why We Believe Them.

Rudolph Mueller: As Sick As It Gets: The Shocking Reality of America's Healthcare, A Diagnosis and Treatment Plan (2001, Olin Frederick)

Siddhartha Mukherjee: The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer (2010; paperback, 2011, Scribner): Big (608 pp.) book, won a Pulitzer, by an oncologist who brings his patients in for a view as well as recalling the history -- mostly medical research and treatment since that's what we know the most about.

Sendhil Mullainathan/Eldar Shafir: Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much (2013, Times Books): A piece on behavioral economics, answering much with little: "scarcity creates a similar psychology for everyone struggling to manage with less than they need." Of course, without scarcity there would be no economics, which is a big part of the reason businesses and economists work so hard to enforce scarcity. Also why so much changes when you imagine a transition to post-scarcity conditions. I doubt the authors will go there, but they should give you lots of reasons why you should.

Jan-Werner Müller: What Is Populism? (2016, University of Pennsylvania Press)

Jerry Z Muller: Capitalism and the Jews (2010, Princeton University Press): Tries hard to walk a straight and narrow path of praising Jews for their numerous contributions to capitalism without falling into the usual anti-semitic traps. Then, of course, there was Marx and his followers, and many others who added noise to the equation.

Richard A Muller: Physics for Future Presidents: The Science Behind the Headlines (2008, WW Norton): Probably even more useful for citizens wanting to sanity check those future presidents. I think it's obvious that some basic understanding of science is essential for getting any sort of grasp on contemporary issues.

Wolfgang Munchau: The Meltdown Years: The Unfolding of the Global Economic Crisis (2009, McGraw-Hill)

Paul Muolo/Mathew Padilla: Chain of Blame: How Wall Street Caused the Mortgage and Credit Crisis (2008, Wiley): Two journalists track down the chain of responsibility for the subprime mortgage meltdown. Looks like the leader in the race to cash in, already joined by: Edward M Gramlich: Subprime Mortgages: America's Latest Boom and Bust; Robert J Shiller: The Subprime Solution: How Today's Global Financial Crisis Happened, and What to Do About It; Mark Zandi: Financial Shock: A 360° Look at the Subprime Mortgage Implosion, and How to Avoid the Next Financial Crisis; Richard Bitner: Confessions of a Subprime Lender: An Insider's Tale of Greed, Fraud, and Ignorance. I don't think Dean Baker has a book out yet, but he's been on top of the crisis from before anyone else knew it was happening.

Joshua Muravchik: Making David Into Goliath: How the World Turned Against Israel (2014, Encounter Books): Author notes that as late as 1967 Americans and Europeans overwhelmingly favored Israel in its conflict with the Arabs, but the tide of public opinion in the west has markedly turned against Israel. I doubt the author attributes this shift to the "facts on the ground" Israel has so assiduously constructed -- the occupation, the settlements, the failure to resolve the world's largest and most persistent refugee crisis, the denial of basic civil rights to Palestinians, Israel's periodic bombing of neighboring countries, the growing power of an increasingly racist right-wing. Rather, he looks at the public relations battle, how Israeli Hasbara has been countered in various forums (especially among the democratic left, which he accuses of a new "leftist orthodoxy in which class struggle was supplanted by noble struggles of people of color").

Cullen Murphy, Are We Rome? The Fall of an Empire and the Fate of America (Houghton Mifflin): I figure this to be a forced analogy, but could be an amusing parlor game, and I have a lot of room (but not a lot of motivation) to learn more about Rome.

Cullen Murphy: Are We Rome? The Fall of an Empire and the Fate of America (2007, Houghton Mifflin): Comparisons, seems like a stretch to me, but I could stand to learn more about Rome.

Cullen Murphy: God's Jury: The Inquisition and the Making of the Modern World (2012, Houghton Mifflin): Murphy dates the Inquisition as an official process to 1231 and tracks it for nearly 700 years, but also points out that many more recent processes share its essential features -- McCarthyism is one that occurs to me, and the burgeoning US security state continues in its wake. Murphy is a "big picture" historian, as shown by his previous book, Are We Rome? The Fall of an Empire and the Fate of America.

Pat Murphy: Plan C: Community Survival Strategies for Peak Oil and Climate Change (paperback, 2008, New Society).

Charles Murray: Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010 (2012, Crown Forum): The last major racist in US social science, evidently starting to worry that white people are divided into rich and poor, and that this might threaten their racial solidarity against you know who. There is, of course, a problem at the root of this, but the only solution you get from racial solidarity is a state like Mississippi, which is no solution at all.

Pervez Musharraf, In the Line of Fire (Free Press). Politicians' books normally sink to the bottom list, but politicians don't normally hawk their books on the Daily Show, where he didn't come off as an American lackey.

Greg Muttitt: Fuel on the Fire: Oil and Politics in Occupied Iraq (2012, Free Press): The invasion and occupation of Iraq may or may not have been about oil -- like many things, depends on who you ask, and how candid they are -- but the oil is there, and the demand to book it, produce it, and market it is here. We know, for instance, from Steve Coll's Private Empire, that Exxon expected it would take ten years before they could move in and book oil properties, and that has proven about right, and that's just one example of what should be many.

Greg Muttitt: Fuel on the Fire: Oil and Politics in Occupied Iraq (2012, Free Press): Denials to the contrary, oil was always a big subtext of the US decision to invade Iraq -- how could it have been otherwise when Bush and Cheney were so steeped in the oil industry culture? It's played out more slowly than those who carried "no war for oil" placards, or for that matter the rosy-eyed warmongers in the Bush administration, ever imagined, but ten years later most of the big western oil companies are doing business in Iraq, and booking reserves that have become increasingly hard to find anywhere else. So it's good that someone's finally pulling this history together. And, by the way, the oil companies made out on both ends: early on knocking Iraqi oil out of the market caused shortages and higher prices, and later the companies got those reserves.

David N Myers: Between Jew and Arab: The Lost Voice of Simon Rawidowicz (2008, Brandeis): Rawidowicz died in 1957, having established himself as a notable scholar and written some essays critical of the Zionists' failure to protect Arabs during the 1947-49 war, a source not only of future conflict but of the deep-seated moral crisis within Zionism.

Steven Lee Myers: The New Tsar: The Rise and Reign of Vladimir Putin (2015, Knopf; paperback, 2016, Vintage Books)

Thant Myint-U, The River of Lost Footsteps: Histories of Burma (2006; paperback, 2008, Farrar Straus and Giroux).

Azhar Hassan Nadeem: Pakistan: The Political Economy of Lawlessness (2002, Oxford University Press)

Ralph Nader: "Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!" (2009, Seven Stories Press): Fiction, probably not compelling as literature, more like a disguised political tract, and for that matter one fluffed up to 736 pp. Wouldn't mention it but I'm not sure he's wrong. Moreover, I don't like the odds.

Ralph Nader: Getting Steamed to Overcome Corporatism: Build It Together to Win (paperback, 2011, Common Courage Press): Don't know whether he's running for president again, but it doesn't to hedge your bets with a campaign book. And I'm sure it was a hell of a lot easier to write than anything Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich brokered. Even has some value if he doesn't run.

Ralph Nader: The Seventeen Solutions: Bold Ideas for Our American Future (paperback, 2012, Harper): Laundry list includes: reforming the tax system, making out communities more self-reliant, reclaiming science and technology for the people, protecting the family, getting corporations off welfare, creating national charters for corporations, reducing our bloated military budget, organizing congressional watchdog groups, enlisting the enlightened super-rich. I think I could do better than that, but probably wouldn't have thought of that last one. Previously wrote The Seventeen Traditions (2007), so has something about that number.

Ralph Nader: Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State (2014, Nation Books): Given how extensively the "grass roots" right has been underwritten by the same corporations Nader decries, I have to question the wisdom of any such "alliance" -- even when left and right may agree on a point, such as the TARP bailout slush fund, all the two sides can conceivably do is to block something particularly foul. What they can't do is to create something that would work fairly, because the right is fundamentally set on destruction of the public sphere. Still, if obstruction is the sole goal -- as in keeping Obama from bombing Syria, or allowing the NSA to spy on all Americans -- sure, there's some potential there.

Moisés Naím: The End of Power: From Boardrooms to Battlefields and Churches to States, Why Being in Charge Isn't What It Used to Be (2013, Basic Books): Every tyrant ultimately depends on willing and competent obedience, and the author detects various trends that make such obedience harder to come by. Jonathan Schell seemed to be turned into this notion when he write The Unconquerable World: Power, Nonviolence, and the Will of the People (2003, Metropolitan), but he neither explained it well enough nor drew many implications from the insight.

VS Naipaul: Among the Believers: An Islamic Journey (1982; 2001, Peter Smith).

Malcolm Nance: An End to Al Qaeda: Destroying Bin Laden's Jihad and Restoring America's Honor (2010, St Martin's Press): Author is certainly right that the way to undermine Al Qaeda is to marginalize it in the Muslim world, and the way to do that is to back away from America's hostile stance within that world. His view of Obama as a credible spokesman leans on wishful thinking, as is his notion that Americans can continue to operate in that world under a reformed image.

Loretta Napoleoni: Rogue Economics: Capitalism's New Reality (2008, Seven Stories Press): Economist/journalist, previously wrote Terror Incorporated: Tracing the Dollars Behind the Terror Networks, and seems to specialize in clandestine finance, money laundering, etc.

Loretta Napoleoni: Maonomics: Why Chinese Communists Make Better Capitalists Than We Do (2011; paperback, 2012, Seven Stories Press): Previously wrote Rogue Economics: Capitalism's New Reality (2008), and ups the snark quotient here. Certainly is the case that China's economic growth has outpaced ever corner of the capitalist world for at least the last decade.

Sylvia Nasar: Grand Pursuit: The Story of Economic Genius (2011, Simon & Schuster): A survey of major economic thinkers. Not sure how many could be called geniuses, although some can. She previously wrote A Beautiful Mind about John Nash, a tighter focus that was converted into a successful movie. Maybe Ken Burns can find some old photos of Marx and Engels and Mayhew and Dickens and make something of this.

David B Nash/Neil L Goldfarb, eds: Quality Solution: The Stakeholder's Guide to Improving Health Care (paperback, 2006, Jones & Bartlett)

Gary B Nash: The Unknown American Revolution: The Unruly Birth of Democracy and the Struggle to Create America (2005; paperback, 2006, Penguin Books): More of a bottom-up take on the American Revolution, covering Indians, slaves, anonymous mobs, and bystanders.

Gary B Nash/Graham Russell Geo Hodges: Friends of Liberty: A Tale of Three Patriots, Two Revolutions, and the Betrayal that Divided a Nation: Thomas Jefferson, Thaddeus Kosciuszko, and Agrippa Hull (2008, Basic Books): Freedom and slavery, seen from three views of the American revolution -- the betrayal, of course, was Jefferson's.

Omar Nasiri: Inside the Global Jihad: My Life With Al Qaeda: A Spy's Story (2006; paperback, 2008, Perseus): European subtitle: How I Infiltrated Al Qaeda and Was Abandoned by Western Intelligence. Reportedly offers a good sense of Al Qaeda's culture and politics during the 1990s.

Vali Nasr, The Shia Revival: How Conflicts Within Islam Will Shape the Future (WW Norton).

Vali Nasr: Forces of Fortune: The Rise of the New Muslim Middle Class and What It Will Mean for Our World (2009, Free Press): Uh, more petit bourgeoisie? Bothers me a bit that his prime example is Abu Dhabi, about as representative of the Middle East as Las Vegas is of America.

Vali Nasr: The Dispensable Nation: American Foreign Policy in Retreat (2013, Doubleday): Bloomberg Review columnist, former advisor to Richard Holbrooke, author of The Shia Revival: How Conflicts Within Islam Will Shape the Future and Forces of Fortune: The Rise of the New Muslim Middle Class and What It Will Mean for Our World, trying to position himself as a forecaster, has managed to posit this as "a wake up call" rather than a done deal. Seems a little glib to me: the US remains crazy-dangerous, and is almost oblivious to world opinion, even in the relatively sane hands of Obama, as opposed to the nutters he beat along the way. [April 23]

Peter Navarro: Crouching Tiger: What China's Militarism Means for the World (2015, Prometheus Books): Another Trump "economic adviser," the only one with any academic credentials, which as this book shows means zilch. Trump has a whole range of complaints about China ranging from currency manipulation to short-changing on patent rents. But Navarro sees something different: a mirror image of the US expanding its economic grasp into Asia under a cloak of the threat/promise of military power. The implication is that if the US ever backs down, China will pounce -- certainly not that China's military was built as a defense against intimidation from the world's sole superpower." Navarro previously co-wrote (with Greg Autry): Death by China: Confronting the Dragon -- A Global Call to Action (2011, Pearson Press). Chinese-American conflict has become a staple, both for business writers and empire strategists; e.g.: Thomas J Christensen: The China Challenge: Shaping the Choices of a Rising Power (2015, WW Norton); Thomas Finger: The New Great Game: China and South and Central Asia in the Era of Reform (paperback, 2016, Stanford University Press); Aaron L Friedberg: A Contest for Supremacy: China, America, and the Struggle for Mastery in Asia (paperback, 2012, WW Norton); Lyle J Goldstein: Meeting China Halfway: How to Diffuse the Emerging US-China Rivalry (2015, Georgetown University Press); Robert Haddick: Fire on the Water: China, America, and the Future of the Pacific (2014, Naval Institue Press); Bill Hayton: The South China Sea: The Struggle for Power in Asia (paperback, 2015, Yale University Press); Anja Manuel: This Brave New World: India, China and the United States (2016, Simon & Schuster); Liu Minglu: The China Dream: Great Power Thinking and Strategic Posture in the Post-American Era (2015, CN Times Books); Henry M Paulson Jr: Dealing With China: An Insider Unmasks the New Economic Superpower (2015, Twelve); Michael Pillsbury, The Hundred-Year Marathon: China's Secret Strategy to Replace America as the Global Superpower (paperback, 2016, St Martin's Griffin); also, one I've mentioned before: Robert D Kaplan: Asia's Cauldron: The South China Sea and the End of a Stable Pacific (2014; paperback, 2015, Random House); and one I somehow didn't mention, Henry Kissinger: On China (2011; paperback, 2012, Penguin Books).

Vicente Navarro: The Politics of Health Policy: The US Reforms, 1980-1994 (1994, Wiley)

Shuja Nawaz: Crossed Swords: Pakistan, Its Army, and the Wars Within (2008, Oxford University