Randy Shaw, Generation Priced Out: Who Gets to Live in the New Urban America. A YIMBY book, with good historical material on San Francisco, Los Angeles, and other locales involved in the struggle to build more.
Conor Daugherty, Golden Gates: Fighting for Housing in America. Coming out in February, this is a very good book about the YIMBY movement and its struggles, with a focus on contemporary California, written by a NYT correspondent.
Jennifer Delton, The Industrialists: How the National Association of Manufacturers Shaped American Capitalism. Why don’t more books fit this model: take one topic and explain it well?
Economists, Photographs by Mariana Cook, edited with an introduction by Robert M. Solow. Self-recommending. Interestingly, I recall an old University of Chicago calendar of economist photographs, still buried in my office somewhere, with pictures of Frank Hyneman Knight, Francis Ysidro Edgeworth, and others. At least in terms of personality types, as might be revealed through photographs, the older collection seems to me far more diverse. Or is the homogenization instead only in terms of photograph poses?
Michael E. O’Hanlon, The Senkaku Paradox: Risking Great Power War Over Small Stakes. A very useful practical book about what options a U.S. government would have — short of full war — to deal with international grabs by China or Russia. There should be thirty more books on this topic (#ProgressStudies).
Christopher Caldwell, The Age of Entitlement: America Since the Sixties. This is both a very old thesis, but these days quite new, namely the claim that 1965 and the Civil Rights movement created a “new constitution” for America, at variance with the old, and the two constitutions have been at war with each other ever since. It will be one of the influential books “on the Right” this year, I already linked to this Park MacDougald review of the book.
Robert H. Frank, Under the Influence: Putting Peer Pressure to Work. From the Princeton University Press catalog: “Psychologists have long understood that social environments profoundly shape our behavior, sometimes for the better, often for the worse. But social influence is a two-way street—our environments are themselves products of our behavior. Under the Influence explains how to unlock the latent power of social context. It reveals how our environments encourage smoking, bullying, tax cheating, sexual predation, problem drinking, and wasteful energy use. We are building bigger houses, driving heavier cars, and engaging in a host of other activities that threaten the planet—mainly because that’s what friends and neighbors do.”