The Almanac of American Politics
by Michael Barone and Chuck McCutcheon
by Eugene Burdick
The Rational Public
by Benjamin I Page and Robert Y Shapiro
Fire on the Prairie: Harold Washington, Chicago Politics, and the Roots of the Obama Presidency
by Gary Rivlin
The Emerging Republican Majority
by Kevin P Phillips
American statistician Andrew Gelman, professor of statistics and political science at Columbia University and author of Red State, Blue State, Rich State, Poor State explains the (often surprising) realities of how Americans vote.
Who are the men and women in black robes who sit on America’s highest judicial bench? Legal correspondent Dahlia Lithwick recommends the best books on the Supreme Court justices of the United States.
by Bernard Bailyn
Empires of the Atlantic World
by JH Elliott
Atlas of the Transatlantic Slave Trade
by David Eltis and David Richardson
The British Atlantic World, 1500-1800
by David Armitage and Michael J Braddick (editors)
Soundings in Atlantic History
by Bernard Bailyn (editor)
Harvard professor and Pulitzer prize-winning historian Bernard Bailyn recommends reading on three centuries of empire, conflict and slave trading between the Americas, Europe and Africa
The Islamic scholar and commentator tells us what it means to be Muslim and Western, and explains how mainstream views get trapped between noisy extremism and a sensation-seeking media
The author of Groove Interrupted transports us to the world of Fats Domino and Professor Longhair, and tells us how (and where) to sample the city’s unique music culture
Fast, violent and with a passionately political history, hockey is the sport that defines Canada. The sports columnist tells us how this came to be, and why hockey, still a thrilling spectacle, has also become more dangerous to play. He picks the best books on ice hockey.
Civic Ideals: Conflicting Visions of Citizenship in U.S. History
by Rogers M. Smith
At America's Gates: Chinese Immigration during the Exclusion Era, 1882-1943
by Erika Lee
Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America
by Mae M. Ngai
Lift Every Voice: The NAACP and the Making of the Civil Rights Movement
by Patricia Sullivan
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness
by Michelle Alexander
Kenneth W. Mack, the Lawrence D. Biele Professor of Law at Harvard University, discusses the warring ideals of egalitarianism and exclusion at the heart of US politics and law, from the founding of the nation up to the present day.
The American economy has been driven by waves of technological change and the successful adoption of ideas from elsewhere. The author of Land of Promise tells us how it happened, and what history teaches us about the way ahead
The writer dubbed “LA’s number one muckraker” peels away the phoney baloney to tell us about power, pollution and pulp fiction in the City of Angels.
It’s not the first period in history that American society has suffered from a crisis of inequality. Former labour secretary, Robert Reich, recommends books to help us understand the response of previous generations to the same kinds of challenges we now face.
The job of the intelligence services is to understand others and help leaders act more wisely, says the author of a new history of the FBI. There’s a balance to be struck between liberty and security but when the CIA and FBI do not harmonise their intelligence missions, people die.
The historian tells us how French condescension towards America goes back to the 18th century, but more recent antagonisms can be traced to the Second World War
Modern America is a story of expanding frontiers, says bestselling author Simon Winchester. He tells us about five novels that shed light on the social history of his adopted homeland, from the late 19th century to the Great Depression.
Vegas tugs on the imagination like few other places. A sin city journalist tells us about innocent beginnings, muckraking and mobsters, and how Vegas has changed through boom and bust
The changing relationship between China and America will be one of the defining foreign policy issues of our times. To understand its dynamic, says sinologist Orville Schell, we must take account of China’s lingering sense of victimhood.
There’s a lot more to the story of colonists and Native Americans than the tale of the first Thanksgiving taught in school, says history professor Colin Calloway.
History professor and co-editor of Dissent magazine, Michael Kazin, looks back at US leftist movements from abolitionism to Vietnam to see where OWS came from and what it can learn from the past.
The anthropologist tells us about books that give voice to low-wage migrant labourers and explains the mutual dependence of slums and “urban glamour zones”
The author of the Tales of the City novel series, Armistead Maupin, tells us about San Francisco’s spirit of place, and the books that best capture the city’s sense of possibility and noirish feel. He recommends the best novels set in San Francisco.
If you were starting from scratch, no one would design a healthcare system like America’s. The health economist tells us how it evolved and what needs to change. He picks the best books on US healthcare reform.
The author of Bright Lights, Big City, Jay McInerney, tells us what changed after 9/11 and which books best capture the ambition, romance and creativity of New York. He chooses his list of “essential New York novels”
‘The authors of these five books are people who came to New York for freedom – not so they could get rich, but so they could be free to pursue their interests and live their lives the way they wanted.’ New Yorker par excellence Fran Lebowitz recommends the writers who best capture her immutably mutable city.
Amy Waldman reported on the aftermath of 9/11 for the New York Times, but when it came to writing a book about it, she wrote a novel. The Submission was hailed as one of the best novels to come out of the tragedy, including by the Financial Times. Here, she chooses some of the best literature inspired by 9/11, including novels, a memoir and a book of poetry.
The historian reflects on the past 60 years of American involvement in Egypt and tells us, after the Arab Spring, what may make the coming years different
The US has repeatedly misdiagnosed the war in Afghanistan. Former soldier, Andrew Exum, tells us about flawed policy, unhappy outcomes and what could and should have been different.
The educationalist tells us about her experience as head of Washington DC’s public school system and explains how poorly performing children, and institutions, can be helped to improve
The author of the acclaimed noir novels Black Water Rising and The Cutting Season, Attica Locke, tells us about stories of freed slaves, oil barons and gangsters on the run – books that capture the outlaw spirit of her home state.
In the last of our series of interviews on American progressivism, the mayor of Los Angeles chooses five novels and biographies that provide lessons from the past and show what a democratic society should aspire to be
The veteran Middle East correspondent gives us his tips for the best reading about the US-led invasion and occupation, and explains why the West shouldn’t have intervened in Iraq in the first place
The prominent left wing blogger tells us what books have shaped his worldview. He explains why America needs to wake up to the forces preventing change, and better understand the root causes of its political deadlock
In 2011, two years before his death, Pulitzer Prize winning novelist Oscar Hijuelos told us about books that evoke the land of his parents, from a noirish take on contemporary Havana to the cabaret scene of pre-Castro Cuba
The former union boss shares his reading list for American progressives, and tells us what makes a good leader and how it takes only a few committed people to bring change
The novelist Hari Kunzru explains his fascination with the Mojave desert – a mysterious, forgotten place full of secret military sites where the silence feels like a physical weight on one’s ears
Political scientist Patricio Navia discusses how the identity of Latin America is inextricably bound up with its colonial history, why Latin American voters elect left-wing leaders, and how social inclusion is necessary for Latin America to realise its full potential
In the latest instalment of our series on American progressivism, the environmental advocate and human rights activist tells us why the age of Obama will really only begin after the president has left office
From magical realism to political upheaval, John King, Professor Emeritus at Warwick University, recommends five essential works of Latin American fiction – and reveals what Jorge Luis Borges was like in person.
The author and economist argues that the West is in decline, the U.S. faces structural unemployment, and authoritarian states like China are in many ways better positioned to deal with financial busts
The New Yorker’s Ben Greenman selects books that get closer to the heart and history of the city. Street interviews, personal reflections and political struggles reveal NYC’s vibrant but troubled past.
The former FBI Chief Negotiator says that negotiators need to come across as non-threatening and non-judgmental. And active listening isn’t just something you use in a hostage situation; it’s important in everyday life, too
U.S. government adviser and Dean of the American University School of Public Affairs leads a book-bound tour that takes us from the Bacardi dynasty in Cuba to American military interventions in Central America
Professor James Dunkerley at Queen Mary’s, University of London, says that ‘Latin America’ is a term that only dates from the 1830s. He chooses five books that illuminate the cultural and political history of the continent.
Is lobbying always a bad thing? Or can it be used to effect social change? Washington insider Mark Bloomfield gives a lobbyist’s perspective. He picks the best books on lobbying.
McCrum looks at three stages of evolution in the English language. The first British, the second American and then the third – the globish stage – the one in which English is used as international default position
The former Rio de Janeiro bureau chief for the New York Times, Larry Rohter, discusses five books that explore the strain of tragedy lurking just beneath Brazil’s ‘happy’ image.
Finding meaning in life is not the same as finding happiness, argues Canadian philosopher Paul Thagard. He picks the best books on the meaning of life.
The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America since 1945
by George H Nash
American Conservatism in the Age of Enterprise 1865-1910
by Robert Green McCloskey
by Kim Phillips-Fein
by Peter Steinfels
The Redhunter: A Novel Based on the Life of Senator Joe McCarthy
by William F Buckley Jr
From immediate post-war battles against the New Deal to the rise of the neoconservative movement, Washington Post columnist and Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, E J Dionne traces the growth of conservatism in America
Award-winning writer Tom Piazza explains his fascination with New Orleans. He recommends the five books that best represent the history and culture of the city (pre- and post-Katrina).