With Christmas fast approaching, here are some books published this year that IPA staff members think would be great presents:
The Road to Somewhere: The Populist Revolt and the Future of Politics by David Goodhart
David Goodhart’s The Road to Somewhere: The Populist Revolt and the Future of Politics is the best analysis of the meaning and consequences of Brexit and Donald Trump. The book’s central argument is simple – politicians are completely out of touch with the views of their constituents.
Climate Change: The Facts 2017 edited by Dr Jennifer Marohasy
Scientific, economic and cultural views on the global obsession with global warming; the reasons for hysteria in the media, why it’s warming less than they say and not necessarily because of CO2, and why remedial policies are damaging human prosperity beyond even official estimates of potential costs of warming.
Dr Bella d’Abrera
The Road to Little Dribbling: More Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson
Bill Bryson’s first travel book in 15 years is an irreverent look at the British and their idiosyncrasies. But, at the same time, Bryson is full of admiration for them. It made me laugh out loud, but also slightly homesick.
What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton
Hillary Rodham Clinton’s explanation, in her own words, for why she lost the 2016 US presidential election. A genuinely fascinating insight, if an utterly tiresome read, into the mind of the embodiment of political establishment. Sad!
The Strange Death of Europe by Douglas Murray
In this thought-provoking book Murray argues that Europe has lost its mojo, its sense of self, its purpose and identity. And yet at the same time Europe is welcoming people from other cultures on a mass scalebut ultimately failing to integrate them.
Dr Darcy Allen
Applied Mainline Economics by Matthew D. Mitchell and Peter J. Boettke
Applied Mainline Economics traces a line of economic thought that has spanned over 200 years—including the spontaneous order of Friedrich Hayek to the public choice theory of James Buchanan—and links those ideas to tackling real public policy issues.
The New Philistines by Sohrab Ahmari
The New Philistines by Sohrab Ahmari is an enjoyable polemic about modern art that will give people who suspect the culture of the West is self-immolating new vindication. It makes very good points about the influence of identity politics into contemporary art.
Anti-Piketty: Capital for the 21st Century edited by Jean-Philippe Delsol, Nicolas Lecaussin & Emmanuel Martin
The perfect gift for those sick of the ‘inequality’ nonsense. In this edited volume from the great Cato Institute preeminent economists tear to shreds Thomas Piketty’s now infamous Capital in the Twenty-First Century on evidential and logical grounds.
Understanding Trump by Newt Gingrich
Former Republican Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich shares what he learned from being with Trump on the campaign trail, election and the opening few months of his presidency. He expertly outlines the key ideas underpinning Trump and ‘Trumpism’: anti-left, anti-stupid, anti-political correctness, and pro-American.
Not for the Faint-hearted by Kevin Rudd
Weighing in at 674 pages, the title is an adequate description of this autobiographical account of the making of Australia’s 26th Prime Minister. The book ends before Kevin Rudd even takes office, so if you were hoping for the author’s response to Julia Gillard’s My Story, you should probably just wait for the second volume.
A must-read insight into the cultural and economic malaise gripping middle America, where once-proud communities are engulfed by chronic unemployment, welfare dependency and utter despair. A New York Times bestseller and a book that makes Trump’s victory seem inevitable.
Definitely Democracy: Stories from the Long Road to Freedom by Condoleezza Rice
Former US Secretary of State Condeleezza Rice gives a thoughtful personal account of her work promoting democracy all over the world. She marvels at its extraordinary growth throughout the world but talks at length about the challenges in making it work.
The Rise of the Outsiders: How Mainstream Politics Lost Its Way by Steve Richards:
An analysis of changes in politics and political parties across the western world. However, what makes this book interesting isn’t the charting of new parties and candidates across the western world but the analysis of the failings of the established parties that allowed them to bloom. As a former Guardian and BBC journalist, Richards raises some points that you may not agree with, but his diagnosis of the symptoms, rather than the outcome as so many other books are doing, makes for interesting reading.
Shattered by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes.
Two Democrat-supporting journalists embedded themselves in the Clinton campaign so they could write an insider account of her historic victory, but ended up with a brutal assessment of just how poor Hillary was as a candidate and how terribly her staff stuffed it up.
The House of Government: A Saga of the Russian Revolution by Yuri Slezkine
Released for the 100 year anniversary of the October Revolution, Berkeley historian Yuri Slezkine’s 1,100 page The House of Government chronicles the lives of elite Bolsheviks and their families from their early days of revolutionary awakening and the overthrow of the Tsar, through to their children’s loss of faith. Successfully mimicking Tolstoy’s War and Peace, Slezkine argues that the Bolsheviks were “millenarian sectarians preparing for the apocalypse” rather than ideologues.
One of my favourite writers, the acclaimed Eric Metaxas – who has previously written bestselling works on Dietrich Bonhoeffer and William Wilberforce – turns his attention to Martin Luther who 500 years ago this year kick-started the Protestant Reformation and whose monumental faith, Metaxas controversially argues, gave birth to the ideas of faith, virtue and freedom that today lie at the heart of Western Civilisation.