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Recommended Reads: History and Current Affairs

Recommended Reads: History and Current Affairs

Get a look into the big pictures of the past and of recent history, and even glimpse the coming future with this selection of great reads.


Michael Wolff

We are taken once again inside the Trump presidency in this follow up to Fire and Fury. In Siege, Michael Wolff tells us the story of a presidency that is under fire from almost every side. He paints a portrait of a president like no other, one blind to his peril, and surrounded by enemies — in such close distance, some are even members of his own administration.

Why Nations Fail

Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson

Backed up with fifteen years worth of original research, Acemoglu and Robinson present us with a new theory of political economy relevant to our present's big questions. They conclusively show that it is man-made political and economic institutions that underlie economic success (or lack of it.) Drawing evidence throughout history, the Roman Empire, the Mayan city-states, medieval Venice, and more — Why Nations Fail will change the way we see and understand the world.

The Future is Asian

Parag Khanna

Just as the world was Europeanized and Americanized these last two centuries, it is being Asianized now in the 21st century — and it's even bigger than you think. It spans from Saudi Arabia to Japan, Russia to Australia, Turkey to Indonesia, representing 40 percent of global GDP. It is then important to understand Asia with its confident new wave of growth led by younger societies, leaders putting aside territorial disputes to make way for integration, and infrastructure investments as the platform for the next generation of digital innovation. The Future is Asian shows us an accurate picture of what this Asian century will look like.


Yuval Noah Harari

Integrating history and science, renowned historian Dr. Yuval Noah Harari presents us with a narrative of humanity's creation and evolution — one that begins about 700, 000 years ago with the appearance of modern cognition. By looking from this past, Dr. Harari compels us to look ahead as humans, over the last few decades, have begun to bend laws of natural selection — acquiring the ability to design not just the world, but also ourselves. Featuring photographs, maps, and illustrations, we will ask where this ability will lead us, and what we want to become.

The Dictator's Handbook

Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Alastair Smith

It started from a single assertion: Leaders do whatever keeps them in power. In The Dictator's Handbook, Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Alastair Smith show us that democracy is just a convenient fiction. Governments are only different in the number of essential supporters and the size of this group determines almost everything about politics — what leaders can get away with, and what life or misery under them is like. This book does not paint a pretty picture, but it may just be a truthful one.


James M. Scott

75 years ago, one of the fiercest urban battles in World War II raged on for a whole month between February 3, 1945 to March 3, 1945 and this was the Battle of Manila. This battle to liberate the city resulted in its catastrophic destruction, severe losses and brutalization of its civilian population. Drawing from war-crimes testimony, after-action reports, and survivor interviews, James M. Scott recounts these heartbreaking chapters of Pacific War History.


Jared Diamond

Jared Diamond reveals how successful nations recover from crises while adopting selective changes throughout history. From the transformations of Germany and Austria after World War Two, to a murderous coup or countercoup in Chile and Indonesia and more.

The Silk Roads

Peter Frankopan

It stretches from eastern Europe and sweeps right across Central Asia deep into China and India — the East calls for those in search of adventure and riches. Along the Silk Roads flowed ideas, goods, disease and death. Civilization began in this true center of the earth, where the world's great religions were born and took root, where empires were won and lost. The Silk Roads are rising again and Peter Frankopan presents us this major reassessment of world history.

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