Winners Take All; The Elite Charade of Changing the World by Anand Giridharadas. Knopf. A look at philanthropy, capitalism, and inequality to ascertain who owns what.
Red Flags; Why XI’s China Is in Jeopardy by George Magnus. Yale University Press. China has become a large and confident world power but it also faces several challenges: debt, rising expectations amongst middle income Chinese, the currency and an aging population.
The Embattled Vote in America; From the Founding to the Present by Allan Lichtman. Harvard University Press. The right to vote has both expanded and contracted over time, depending on political circumstances, and politicians have often purposefully stuck out after distinct classes of voters. Women, for example; more recently ex-cons.
Democracy’s Detectives; The Economics of Investigative Journalism by James Hamilton. Harvard University Press. Investigative journalism holds governments and private institutions accountable to the public. It works amazingly well.
Rage for Order; The British Empire and the Origins of International Law, 1800 to 1850 by Lauren Benton & Lisa Ford. Harvard University Press. Authors trace the origins of international law back to the law of empires, and particularly Britain’s sprawling efforts to fashion an imperial constitution.
The Invention of the Passport; Surveillance, Citizenship and the State by John Torpey. Cambridge University Press, paper. The passport became essential to controlling movement in the contemporary world. It has made individuals dependent on the states’ authority to move about.
Billionaires and Stealth Politics by Benjamin Page, et al. University of Chicago Press. Paper. After fiery campaign rhetoric and promises to the working class, President Trump’s language changed. And then there was the revelation that rather than a self-made millionaire, Trump had gotten “start-up capital” from his rich father.
Winners Take All; The Elite Charade of Changing the World by Anand Giridharadas. Knopf. A look at philanthropy, capitalism and inequalities designed by the well-off.
Currency Statecraft; Monetary Rivalry and Geopolitical Ambition by Benjamin Cohen. University of Chicago Press. Paper. When national currencies begin to be used to settle trade transactions, they provide an opportunity for what Cohen calls currency statecraft.
Disenfranchising Democracy; Constructing the Electorate in the United States, the United Kingdom, and France by David Bateman. Cambridge University Press. Paper. The removal of property and taxpaying qualifications to vote was accomplished by the disenfranchisement of African American men, for example. The “electorate” has been altered to create majorities.
Every Man a King; A Short, Colorful History of American Populists by Chris Stirewalt. Twelve. American populism has generally been home to quite an assortment of characters, kooks, cranks and sometime charlatans.