Books We Like

Since we’re book-learnin’ folk, here are some that different group members like.  Add yours in comments and I’ll put them here with links to .


The Political Brain: The Role of Emotion in Politics   – Why do we vote how we do? (DavidG)The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion, By Jonathan Haidt (Bruce)
Freedom’s Power  – Brilliant statement of Liberalism’s principles (DavidG)
It’s Even Worse Than It Looks – Ornstein and Mann diagnose main cause of Washington dysfunction.
The New Jim Crow:  Powerful, eye-opening, controversial expose of the racial impact of mass incarceration policy and the war on drugs.  (DavidG)
California:  America’s High-Stakes Experiment   (DavidG)

Finance/Econ Policy

The Ascent of Money – Nial Ferguson on history of global finance (JimW)
The Two-Trillion Dollar Meltdown – Why the financial crash happened (DavidG).

Foreign policy

Making Globalization Work  – By a former World Bank and USG official who is very pro-globalization.  (DavidG)
The Means of Reproduction: Sex, Power, and the Future of the World – The importance of female equality to economic/social development in poor countries.  (DavidG)


Why I am a Catholic   A defense of Catholicism by Gary Wills, noted historian and Vatican critic.  Or, What Jesus Meant, by same guy..  (DavidG)


The Radicalism of the American Revolution  (DavidG)
The Invention of Peace: Reflections on War and International Order (FredW)


Do you have any suggestions?  Put in comments. .


The House of the Spirits, Isabella Allende.


A Canticle For Liebowitz (DavidG’s favorite of all time)
The Left Hand of Darkness  (DavidG)

The Uplift War, by David Brin.




11 responses

  1. Please add Nial Ferguson, THE ASCENT OF MONEY

  2. I’d like to suggest one of the better books on Political Populism..”The Populist Moment” by Lawrence Goodwyn. How the Populist movements of the 1890’s are like the current movements of today, i.e. Occupy Wall Street, etc.

  3. Carl Sagan’s last book – Billion & Billions: Thoughts on Life and Death at the Brink of the Millennium
    Essays on astronomy, religion and science, abortion, the environment, Gettysburg, etc.

  4. James H. Zimmerman | Reply

    What about using the books reviewed regularly in NY Review of Books and TLS (Times Literary Supplement)? Many of them are very worthwhile and we could use the review as a lead in to the topic.

  5. Everyone has their own favorite books. It is a good idea to choose books which were written recently. The majority of the books I read haven’t appeared on a best sellers list. Perhaps people in the book could be chosen one each week, to give a synopsis of a favorite work. Something similar could be done each week with favorite quotes. I’ll see you next Jan. 12. deuel

  6. James H. Zimmerman | Reply

    I myself get most of my reading from the “New Books” section of the Library. Maybe we could do something with some of those books.

  7. James H. Zimmerman | Reply

    Since we have some defenses of Catholicism, and presumably of Jesus by Garry Wills, what about some recent books by Hitchens, Sam Harris, and Richard Dawkins?

  8. Jim: I haven’t read any of the new atheist books. Do you have a preference? Harris?

  9. One I could recommend is Reza Aslan, Infidel, although it’s not really about atheism but the life of Christ.
    I would think Dawkins would be worth reading, although I haven’t read it myself. And watching Dawkins, Hitchens, Harris, etc. on You Tube is interesting.

  10. The Guru Papers: Masks of Authoritarian Power, by Joel Kramer and Diana Alstad.

    I liked this book. It’s easy to read and it makes a lot of sense. Here is a description from Amazon:

    “The book unmasks authoritarianism in such areas as relationships, cults, 12-step groups, religion, and contemporary morality. The authors show why people give up their power, and how others get and maintain it.”

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