The Economist: Big Book Index

From the Economist:

Ten books to tell you what’s really going on:

The season’s ranking of political bestsellers illuminates some of the western world’s deeper fears. History’s colonial overhang, the perils of globalisation, America’s chronic financial incontinence, modern morality, hyper-judgmental Christians, hypocritical liberals and angry British envoys who wear red socks. Everything but the kitchen sink, really.

1. The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century.
By Thomas L. Friedman
Farrar, Straus and Giroux; 496 pages; $16. Penguin/Allen Lane; £14

Tom Friedman, New York Times columnist and three-time winner of the Pulitzer prize, uses pen and peripateticism to stock up on frequent-flier points and explain how globalisation just made the world smaller. Winner of the inaugural FT Goldman Sachs business book of the year award.

Click to buy from

2. Empire of Debt: The Rise of an Epic Financial Crisis.
By Bill Bonner and Addison Wiggin.
John Wiley; 370 pages; $18.45 and £11.89

How deficit spending, gluttonous consumption and military adventurism, they say, will bring America to its knees. By the duo who brought you Financial Reckoning Day.

Click to buy from

3. Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything.
By Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner.
William Morrow; 256 pages; $14.11. Penguin/Allen Lane; £12

A book that educates, surprises and amuses. Perfect if you want to know why Roe v Wade reduced crime, whether sumo wrestling is fixed and why drug dealers prefer living with their mothers.

Click to buy from

4. Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln.
By Doris Kearns Goodwin.
Simon & Schuster; 944 pages; $22.41

How Lincoln won over his fiercest opponents, and appointed them to the cabinet.

Click to buy from

5. Our Endangered Values: America’s Moral Crisis.
By Jimmy Carter.
Simon & Schuster; 224 pages; $15

Even the former president worries about the domination of the Christian right.

Click to buy from

6. The Woman at the Washington Zo Writings on Politics, Family, And Fate.
By Marjorie Williams.
PublicAffairs; 384 pages; $17.79

Long-time Washington Post writer on Barbara Bush, Capitol Hill and facing death.

Click to buy from

7. DC Confidential.
By Christopher Meyer.
Weidenfeld & Nicolson; 288 pages; £12

Former British ambassador to Washington is breathless on the Beltway. An easy read.

Click to buy from

8. The Great War for Civilisation: The Conquest of the Middle East.
By Robert Fisk.
Knopf; 1,366 pages; $26.40.4th Estate; £15

Skip the analysis, but read through to the end. As a reporter, Robert Fisk is peerless.

Click to buy from

9. Do As I Say (Not As I Do): Profiles in Liberal Hypocrisy.
By Peter Schweizer.
Doubleday; 272 pages; $15.61

How left-leaning liberals, or at least 11 of them, don’t practise what they preach.

Click to buy from

10. Not Quite the Diplomat: Home Truths About World Affairs.
By Chris Patten.
Penguin/Allen Lane; 304 pages; £12

Retired British politician on the Conservative party, Europe and American neo-cons.

Click to buy from