Best non-fiction books of 2022

Behind the links are sometimes but not always my longer reviews.  The list is (mostly) in the order I read them.  Here goes:

Markus Friedrich, The Jesuits: A History.

Barbara Bloemink, Florine Stettheimer: A Biography.

Anna Keay, The Restless Republic: Britain Without a Crown.

Caroline Elkins, Legacy of Violence: A History of the British Empire.

Richard Overy, Blood and Ruins: The Last Imperial War, 1931-1945.

Mark Bergen, Like, Comment, Subscribe: How YouTube Conquered the World.

Julie Phillips, The Baby on the Fire Escape: Creativity, Motherhood, and the Mind-Baby Problem.

Mancur Olson, reprinted new edition of The Rise and Decline of Nations: Economic Growth, Stagflation, and Social Rigidities.

The Malcolm Gladwell audiobook Miracle and Wonder: Conversations with Paul Simon.

Tyler Cowen and Daniel Gross, Talent: How to Identify Energizers, Creators, and Winners Around the World.

Mark Koyama and Jared Rubin, How the World Became Rich: The Historical Origins of Economic Growth.

Katherine Rundell, Super-Infinite: The Transformations of John Donne.

Anthony Beevor, Russia: Revolution and Civil War, 1917-1921.

William C. Kirby, Empires of Ideas: Creating the Modern University from Germany to America to China.

Peter Loftus, The Messenger: Moderna, the Vaccine, and the Business Gamble That Changed the World.

Kevin Kelly, Vanishing Asia, three volumes, expensive, mostly photos, worth it.

Richard R. Reeves, Of Boys and Men.  One of America’s biggest problems.

Andrea Wulf, Magnificent Rebels: The First Romantics and the Invention of the Self.  A+ academic gossip, so to speak.

Pekka Hämäläinen, Indigenous Continent: The Epic Contest for North America.

Johann Peter Eckermann, Conversations with Goethe.  The new translation, much better than the old.

Julia Voss, Hilma af Klint: A Biography.

Hayek: A Life, 1899-1950, by Bruce Caldwell & Hansjoerg Klausinger.

John Higgs, Love and Let Die: Bond, the Beatles, and the British Psyche.

Garett Jones, The Culture Transplant: How Migrants Make the Economies They Move to a Lot Like the Ones They Left.

I don’t think I can pick a favorite this year!  But maybe the Kevin Kelly and the Catherine Rundell books, if I had to say?  And please keep in mind this is a meritocratic list, not based on any quotas or any attempt at “balance.”  These were the best books!

I will be issuing an addendum at the very end of the year, since I will be reading more between now and 2023.

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