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35* NON-FICTION "CLASSICS" TO UNDERSTAND POLITICS, ECONOMICS & SOCIETY

CRB 22 NY "CRB 22"
The list author says: "A little more than 35 because of multiple suggestions from single authors."
The Present Age
The Present Age
"This book, written to critique the enthusiasm of the revolutions of 1848, is a prescient description of a society that is consumed with spectacle."
The American Political Tradition: And the Men Who Made it
The American Political Tradition: And the Men Who Made it
"Hofstadter is probably the clearest advocate for the liberal elite view of American History."
The Managed Heart: Commercialization of Human Feeling, Twentieth Anniversary Edition, With a New Afterword
The Managed Heart: Commercialization of Human Feeling, Twentieth Anniversary Edition, With a New Afterword
"Hochschild examines the commodification of feeling in the modern service economy.  We no longer just sell time and labor, but their personalities and intimacy as well."
Exit, Voice, and Loyalty: Responses to Decline in Firms, Organizations, and States
Exit, Voice, and Loyalty: Responses to Decline in Firms, Organizations, and States
"Hirschman looks at how individuals respond to the decline of organizations.  When will they buckle down and reform and when will they flee sinking ships?"
Ill Fares the Land
Ill Fares the Land
"Better than reading it, watch his courageous 2-hour lecture in the advanced stages of Lou GehrigÂ’s disease about the need for social justice."
Nations and Nationalism, Second Edition (New Perspectives on the Past)
Nations and Nationalism, Second Edition (New Perspectives on the Past)
"Why nationalism is a progressive as well as primordial thing.  Sets nationalism in the context of our recent developments.   The classic in the field."
Obedience to Authority: An Experimental View (Perennial Classics)
Obedience to Authority: An Experimental View (Perennial Classics)
"The social psychology of authoritarianism about the famous experiments at Yale.  Why do people follow unjust authority figures?"
Politics, Economics, and Welfare: Planning and Politico-Economic Systems Resolved Into Basic Processes
Politics, Economics, and Welfare: Planning and Politico-Economic Systems Resolved Into Basic Processes
"How do we make social decisions?  A good description of different ways of organizing and coordinating human activities with many applications."
The Parable of the Tribes: The Problem of Power in Social Evolution
The Parable of the Tribes: The Problem of Power in Social Evolution
"A meditation on the problem of power using anthropological studies of primitive organizations and an extension to how we should live in the modern world."
Ideology and Organization in Communist China- New Enlarged Edition
Ideology and Organization in Communist China- New Enlarged Edition
"A brilliant job of showing how ideological beliefs and organizational forms interacted and presented a nuanced understanding of how supposedly ideological regimes really operated."
The Vocation Lectures (Hackett Classics)
The Vocation Lectures (Hackett Classics)
"Originally presented as lectures to students at the end of WWI, these essays tell us why we should care about politics and objectivity and how to balance passion and perspective.  Politics is the slow boring of hard boards."
The Rise and Decline of Nations: Economic Growth, Stagflation, and Social Rigidities
The Rise and Decline of Nations: Economic Growth, Stagflation, and Social Rigidities
"The collective action problem applied to modern political economy."
On Violence (Harvest Book)
On Violence (Harvest Book)
"This essay made one of the most important points in looking at politics, the use of force is a demonstration of the loss of power."
Lombard Street A Description of the Money Market
Lombard Street A Description of the Money Market
"There is little about modern finance, economics, and economic policy that could not be distilled from BagehotÂ’s description of the City of London in the 19th century."
Civilization and its Discontents
Civilization and its Discontents
"FreudÂ’s ideas applied to social analysis.  I would argue that Freud and Marx are the two most influential thinkers of the past two centuries, but I think people tend to dismiss Freud because of his obsession with sex, etc."
The Sociological Imagination
The Sociological Imagination
"This is the best book about why academic research is important.  I wish more people who read it internalized MillsÂ’ points and avoided the caricatures of poor research detailed within"
Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business
Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business
"How the desire for amusement corrupts our most important institutions including politics, religion, journalism, and education."
The Great Transformation: The Political and Economic Origins of Our Time
The Great Transformation: The Political and Economic Origins of Our Time
"An interesting account of the rise of capitalism and market society and the ideas surrounding these changes, but I think more important as a reminder of the international level of domestic institutions."
The Strange Career of Jim Crow
The Strange Career of Jim Crow
"MLK, Jr. said this was the political bible of the Civil Rights movement.  I agree.  I think this is the best meditation of the problems of America with racism."
The Theory Of Business Enterprise
The Theory Of Business Enterprise
"I think the THEORY OF THE LEISURE CLASS is overrated, I think these works of Veblen, criticizing the organization of corporations and their impact on society and democracy hold up better."
Private Power and American Democracy
Private Power and American Democracy
"A forgotten classic."
The Federalist Papers
The Federalist Papers
"If you really want to know what the founders meant when they wrote the Constitution, this is the first stop."
Essays in Persuasion
Essays in Persuasion
"It is a good remember of how the international economy changes how we have to think about our individual and political decisions as well as hoists many bad ideas on their own petard."
The March of Folly: From Troy to Vietnam
The March of Folly: From Troy to Vietnam
"Why smart people do really stupid things a history of several episodes in American and World history"
The Reason Why: The Story of the Fatal Charge of the Light Brigade
The Reason Why: The Story of the Fatal Charge of the Light Brigade
"Halberstam said Woodham-SmithÂ’s book was his favorite and an inspiration for the BEST AND BRIGHTEST."
The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements (Perennial Classics)
The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements (Perennial Classics)
"Hoffer wrote an incisive description of the crowd and herd mentality. Hoffer presented a conservative critique of modern mass society worthy of Burke.  Eisenhower called this the most important book of the 1950s."
A Preface to Politics: (Timeless Classic Books)
A Preface to Politics: (Timeless Classic Books)
"The man who coined the term “stereo-type”  provides an elitist, though liberal (in the old sense of the word), view of democracy and what can be achieved through public/political means."
Political Order in Changing Societies (The Henry L. Stimson Lectures Series)
Political Order in Changing Societies (The Henry L. Stimson Lectures Series)
"A conservative looks at the developing world.  This is, to me, the best conservative criticism of liberal ideas."
The Folklore of Capitalism
The Folklore of Capitalism
"Why we need big government and why the myths of the market are just that."
TVA and the Grass Roots: A Study of Politics and Organization
TVA and the Grass Roots: A Study of Politics and Organization
"TVA  shows why government plans can go awry and the emptiness of “grassroots” rhetoric.  The skewering of “astro-turfing.”"
The Semisovereign People: A Realist's View of Democracy in America
The Semisovereign People: A Realist's View of Democracy in America
"How do interest groups influence the political process and why do the choirs of democracy sing with an upper class accent?  The original student of the Smoot-Hawley Tariff gives a critical view of modern American Democracy."
Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte
Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte
"In about ten places in this short volume, Marx is bloody brilliant in his analysis of politics, politicians, etc. even if you care nothing about Marxism or Historical Materialism."
The Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters of George Orwell - 4 Volume Set
The Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters of George Orwell - 4 Volume Set
"Orwell got the five “isms” of the mid-century – Fascism, Socialism (inclusive of Communism), Imperialism, Capitalism, and Nationalism – spot on.  He is probably the best political essay writer of all times."
The Old Regime and the French Revolution
The Old Regime and the French Revolution
"This is a better than Democracy in America and more relevant to the America we have, not the America we would like to be."
The Education of Henry Adams: An Autobiography (Oxford World's Classics)
The Education of Henry Adams: An Autobiography (Oxford World's Classics)
"In his sardonic, ironic voice Adams gives his take on America during the transition from a pre-industrial to an industrial society."
The Age of Reform
The Age of Reform
"The AGE OF REFORM is the slightly longer form of his essay about the paranoid style in American politics."