Some argue there is no necessary connection between the rejection of traditional religious ideas and the evolution of democracy but that's wrong, argues the eminent historian. He chooses books that give as full as possible a picture of the Enlightenment in all its dimensions.
He came from a politically active family, but renounced politics to become a philosopher. Or did he? Melissa Lane chooses the best books to help us understand Plato.
Europe should be run for all Europeans and not just the French and German banks, argues the author of European Spring, Philippe Legrain. He chooses four excellent books on Europe and one relevant to any country in the throes of xenophobia.
In contrast to Eastern Europe, the 1989 protests in China did not lead to the overthrow of the Communist Party. But if China’s leaders chose the right course on the night of June 4th, 1989, why are they still frightened to come to terms with it?
Racism is not innate but emerges under special conditions, says the King's College professor and author of the sweeping history Racisms: From the Crusades to the Twentieth Century. He chooses five books that inspired him.
Bruce Chatwin, author of In Patagonia and The Songlines, reinvented travel literature. Nicholas Shakespeare, his biographer, lifts the lid on a complex life and selects five books that influenced Chatwin’s work.
Popular culture shapes our fantasies, our expectations and our beliefs about what is real, argues Susan Bordo. She picks five books that shed light on popular culture, including the notion of the 'pseudo-event.'
Good writing about visual experience allows us to see things we otherwise wouldn't, says Rachel Cohen. The author of Bernard Berenson: A Life in the Picture Trade picks some of her own favourite books about art.
It's abstract and not everyone's cup of tea but, in many ways, inescapable. Cambridge University philosopher Tim Crane introduces the best books on metaphysics.
Their language indicates they originated in India, but the music they play is world music. Some will tell your fortune but they don't believe in supernatural powers. Yaron Matras recommends the best books and dispels some common myths about Gypsies.