The World As It Is; A Memoir of the Obama White House by Ben Rhodes. Speechwriter, deputy national security advisor and ultimately a close collaborator, Rhodes traveled with the former President, briefing him as he thought about that world and Barack Obama.
The Heart of the City; Creating Vibrant Downtowns for a New Century by Alexander Garvin. Island Press, paper. An advocate of a mix of uses – people, businesses, institutions, and government functions.
The Magic of Old Tractors by Ian Johnston. New Holland Publishing, paper. Will be of interest to former Iowans. Some antiques, all in color.
Austerity When It Works and When It Doesn’t by Alberto Alesina, et al. Princeton University Press. It can trigger downward growth spirals and become self-defeating. Budget deficits need to be tackled more aggressively; the pump often needs priming.
The Golden Rhinoceros; Histories of the African Middle Ages by François-Xavier Fauvelle. Princeton University Press. From the birth of Islam in the seventh century to the voyages of discovery by Europeans, Africa was the center of a vibrant exchange economy.
Presidents of War by Michael Beschloss. Crown. The saga of the Presidents who waged America’s wars.
Genesis; The Deep Origin of Societies by E.O. Wilson. Liveright Press. The six important evolutionary transitions that led to human society.
Dark Commerce; How a New Illicit Economy Is Threatening Our Future by Louise Shelley. Princeton University Press. A comprehensive look at the world of illicit trade.
Empty Planet; The Shock of Global Population Decline by Darrell Bricker & John Ibbitson. Random House Crown. A provocative argument: global populations will soon begin to decline, reshaping the social, political, and economic landscape.
The Schoolhouse Gate by Justin Driver. Vintage, paper Breyer’s book is both engaging and alarming. He upholds the rights of public school students, recently undermined by recent Supreme Court decision.
Radio; Making Waves n Sound by Alasdair Pinkerton. Reaktion Books. Now in its third century, the technology seems startlingly modern. It flourishes, despite the internet and other social media.
Goliath; How Monopolies Secretly Took Over the World by Matt Stoller. Simon & Schuster. How concentrated financial power and consumerism transformed U.S. politics; thus the emergence of populism and authoritarianism.