Ben S. Bernanke, Timothy F. Geithner, and Henry M. Paulson, editors, with Nellie Liang. First Responders: Inside the U.S. Strategy For Fighting the 2007-2009 Global Financial Crisis. Too many people will judge this volume by its editors, for better or worse. In reality, almost everything here is by other people, and well-informed ones too. This is one of the best comprehensive books on the crisis, and it is usefully organized by topic (“Crisis-Era Housing Programs,” or say Jason Furman on fiscal policy). I haven’t read through the whole thing, but there is a good chance this is the best overall volume on the response to the crisis, though again I suspect opinions on the book will follow whatever opinions the reviewers have of the editors.
Justin Marozzi, Islamic Empires: Fifteen Cities that Define a Civilization. Did the Islamic Middle East invent the notion of a truly splendid city? This book makes the case for yes, starting with 7th century Mecca, moving to Damascus, Baghdad, and Cordoba, and finishing in 21st century Doha, “City of Pearls.”
Todd S. Purdum, Something Wonderful: Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Broadway Revolution. Of course the music is worth learning about, but this volume is also a splendid take on managerial teamwork in a duo.
Greta Thunberg, No One is Too Small to Make a Difference. Some of her speeches, transcribed. Call me crazy, but I think of her and Donald Trump as the two great orators of our generation, regardless of what you think of their content.
Vicky Pryce, Women vs. Capitalism: Why We Can’t Have It All in a Free Market Economy. Compared to what, I am inclined to ask? Still, if you are looking for a readable book on how and why capitalism does not lead to gender equality, this is now the place to go.
Matthew D. Adler’s Measuring Social Welfare: An Introduction is a very good take on its chosen topic.