Second Top Ten Books to Read


In a previous post, I created a “Top Ten Books to Read” that consisted of the ten books that I would recommended reading. Below are the books ranked 11-20 in alphabetical order.

Title: Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America
Author David Hackett Fisher
Scope: 4 stars
Readability: 4 stars
My personal rating: 5 stars

Topic of Book

Fisher argues that American culture is made up from four regional cultures, each originating from migration from Britain at distinct times and from distinct sub-regions within Britain.

Title: Creating the Twentieth Century: Technical Innovations of 1867-1914 and Their Lasting Impact
Author: Vaclav Smil
Scope: 4.5 stars
Readability: 4 stars
My personal rating: 5 stars

Topic of book

Technological innovation during the late 19th Century, with particular focus on energy, materials and transportation.

Title: Cultural Evolution: People’s Motivations are Changing, and Reshaping the World
Author: Ronald F. Inglehart
Scope: 4 stars
Readability: 4 stars
My personal rating: 4.5 stars

Topic of Book

Inglehart uses international survey data to explore the connection between security, economic prosperity and values.

Title: The Dictator’s Handbook: Why Bad Behavior is Almost Always Good Politics
Author: Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Alastair Smith
Scope: 4 stars
Readability: 4 stars
My personal rating: 5 stars

Topic of Book

This book is the best that has ever been written about how authoritarian leaders stay in power.

Title: Escape from Rome: The Failure of Empire and the Road to Prosperity
Author: Walter Scheidel
Scope: 4.5 stars
Readability: 4 stars
My personal rating: 5 stars

Topic of Book

Scheidel argues that the fall of the Roman Empire and the failure of any following nations to establish control over the European continent had a powerful positive effect on European development.

Title: Human Societies: An Intro to Macrosociology
Author: Patrick Nolan & Gerhard Lenski
Scope: 5 stars
Readability: 3 stars
My personal rating: 5 stars

Topic of Book

Lenski builds a theory that explains the development and transformation of human societies.

Title: Migrations and Cultures: A World View
Author: Thomas Sowell
Scope: 4 stars
Readability: 3 stars
My personal rating: 5 stars

Topic of Book

Sowell examines the role of culture, migration, social capital and economic development.

Title: Origins: How the Earth Made Us
Author: Lewis Dartnell
Scope: 4.5 stars
Readability: 5 stars
My personal rating: 5 stars

Topic of Book

The impact of geology, particularly plate tectonics, on human history.

Title: Replenishing the Earth: The Settler Revolution and the Rise of the Angloworld
Author: James Belich
Scope: 4 stars
Readability: 3.5 stars
My personal rating: 5 stars

Topic of Book

Belich describes the “Settler Revolution” as the British settle the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. He draws comparison with similar settler European settler movements during the period.

Title: Why the West Rules – for Now: The Patterns of History and What They Reveal About the Future
Author: Ian Morris
Scope: 4.5 stars
Readability: 4 stars
My personal rating: 5 stars

Topic of Book

Morris tries to understand humanity’s long-term development, particularly comparing the development of the West compared to the East.

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