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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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