As a convenience to my readers, I’m listing all 36 nonfiction books reviewed in this blog in 2017. They’re arranged alphabetically by the authors’ last names. Each title is followed by a link to its review.
Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes – Why Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 election
Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire by Kurt Andersen – Conspiracy theories, fake news, and other delusions in American history
Troublemakers: Silicon Valley’s Coming of Age by Leslie Berlin – The people who put Silicon Valley on the map
Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man’s Fight for Justice by Bill Browder – A true story of high finance and murder in Putin’s Russia
The Givers: Wealth, Power, and Philanthropy in a New Gilded Age by David Callahan – Is philanthropy good for America?
Requiem for the American Dream: The 10 Principles of Concentration of Wealth & Power by Noam Chomsky – Noam Chomsky on the concentration of wealth and its consequences
Warnings: Finding Cassandras to Stop Catastrophes by Richard A. Clarke and R. P. Eddy – Richard A. Clarke asks, can we avoid a dystopian future?
Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond – Why is economic development so uneven around the world?
Thinking Machines: The Quest for Artificial Intelligence and Where It’s Taking Us Next by Luke Dormehl – Will robots run amok?
The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner by Daniel Ellsberg – Daniel Ellsberg’s dramatic second act
The Woman Who Smashed Codes: A True Story of Love, Spies, and the Unlikely Heroine Who Outwitted America’s Enemies by Jason Fagone – The woman codebreaker who caught gangsters and Nazi spies
Megatech: Technology in 2050 edited by Daniel Franklin – Surveying the future of technology in the mid-21st century
Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann – The case that helped put the FBI on the map
Devil’s Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, and the Storming of the Presidency by Joshua Green – How Steve Bannon sold the alt-right to Donald Trump and made history
Collusion: Secret Meetings, Dirty Money, and How Russia Helped Donald Trump Win by Luke Harding and The Steele Dossier: Trump Intelligence Allegations by Christopher Steele – Collusion exposed, but is there more? Is Donald Trump a Russian agent?
A World in Disarray: American Foreign Policy and the Crisis of the Old Order by Richard A. Haass – American foreign policy in a “nonpolar” world
Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right by Arlie Russell Hochschild – What Trump voters believe: a Berkeley sociologist goes to the source
Beyond the Messy Truth: How We Came Apart, How We Come Together by Van Jones – Van Jones’ messy truth about the Democratic and Republican Parties
Caesar’s Last Breath: Decoding the Secrets of the Air Around Us by Sam Kean – An eye-opening book about air
The True Flag: Theodore Roosevelt, Mark Twain, and the Birth of the American Empire by Stephen Kinzer – The origins of the American empire
Black Edge: Inside Information, Dirty Money, and the Quest to Bring Down the Most Wanted Man on Wall Street by Sheelah Kolhatkar – Hedge funds, insider trading, and the most wanted man on Wall Street
Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America by Nancy MacLean – Historical perspective on “the vast Right-Wing conspiracy”
One Nation Under Gods: A New American History by Peter Manseau – America’s surprising religious history in a highly readable book
The Far Away Brothers: Two Young Migrants and the Making of an American Life by Lauren Markham – “Illegal immigrants” come to life in this sensitive personal account
The One Device: The Secret History of the iPhone by Brian Merchant – The iPhone: the world’s most profitable product?
The Beautiful Country and the Middle Kingdom: America and China, 1776 to the Present by John Pomfret – A revealing history of U.S.-China relations
The Lost City of the Monkey God: A True Story by Douglas Preston – The true story of a lost city in Central America
Hedy’s Folly: The Life and Breakthrough Inventions of Hedy Lamarr, the Most Beautiful Woman in the World, by Richard Rhodes – The astonishing story of Hedy Lamarr, Hollywood star and inventor
Survivor Café: The Legacy of Trauma and the Labyrinth of Memory by Elizabeth Rosner – The Holocaust, mass trauma, inherited PTSD, and genetics
A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived: The Human Story Retold Through Our Genes by Adam Rutherford – Debunking the popular myths about genetics
Against the Grain: A Deep History of the Earliest States by James C. Scott – This book will challenge everything you know about ancient history
Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries by Kory Stamper – A very funny book about words, grammar, and dictionaries
The Upstarts: How Uber, Airbnb, and the Killer Companies of the New Silicon Valley Are Changing the World by Brad Stone – Uber, Airbnb, and the sharing economy
The Driver in the Driverless Car: How Our Technology Choices Will Create the Future by Vivek Wadwa and Alex Salkever – An authoritative look at technology’s potential
The Imagineers of War: The Untold Story of DARPA, the Pentagon Agency That Changed the World by Sharon Weinberger – DARPA: inventors of Agent Orange, the M16, GPS, and the Internet
I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life by Ed Yong – The microbes within us, good and bad