Cover

Bill Clinton Said You Must Read These Books

In celebration of National Book Lovers Day (August 8), former President Bill Clinton posted 12 book recommendations on Facebook. Arranged in no particular order, these reading suggestions are some of the finest examples of social, historical and political documentation. No matter what industry you may be in, you must check out the books that the 42nd president had read.

 

Captions courtesy of Amazon Editorial Reviews. 

 

1. Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI, by David Grann

 

Killers of the Flower Moon

Via Amazon

 

In the 1920s, the Osage found themselves in a unique position among Native Americans tribes. As other tribal lands were parceled out in an effort by the government to encourage dissolution and assimilation of both lands and culture, the Osage negotiated to maintain the mineral rights for their corner of Oklahoma, creating a kind of “underground reservation.” It proved a savvy move; soon countless oil rigs punctured the dusty landscape, making the Osage very rich. And that’s when they started dying.

 

 

2. Empire of Cotton: A Global History, by Sven Beckert by Sven Beckert

 

Via Slate

Via Slate

 

The empire of cotton was, from the beginning, a fulcrum of constant global struggle between slaves and planters, merchants and statesmen, workers and factory owners. Sven Beckert makes clear how these forces ushered in the world of modern capitalism, including the vast wealth and disturbing inequalities that are with us today.

In a remarkably brief period, European entrepreneurs and powerful politicians recast the world’s most significant manufacturing industry, combining imperial expansion and slave labor with new machines and wage workers to make and remake global capitalism. The result is a book as unsettling as it is enlightening: a book that brilliantly weaves together the story of cotton with how the present global world came to exist.

 

3. House of Spies, by Daniel Silva

 

Via Amazon

Via Amazon

 

Four months after the deadliest attack on the American homeland since 9/11, terrorists leave a trail of carnage through London’s glittering West End. The attack is a brilliant feat of planning and secrecy, but with one loose thread. 

The thread leads Gabriel Allon and his team of operatives to the south of France and to the gilded doorstep of Jean-Luc Martel and Olivia Watson. A beautiful former British fashion model, Olivia pretends not to know that the true source of Martel’s enormous wealth is drugs. And Martel, likewise, turns a blind eye to the fact he is doing business with a man whose objective is the very destruction of the West. Together, under Gabriel’s skilled hand, they will become an unlikely pair of heroes in the global war on terror.

 

4. A Great Reckoning: Chief Inspector Gamache Novel, by Louise Penny

 

cover

Via Goodreads

 

When an intricate old map is found stuffed into the walls of the bistro in Three Pines, it at first seems no more than a curiosity. But the closer the villagers look, the stranger it becomes.

Given to Armand Gamache as a gift the first day of his new job, the map eventually leads him to shattering secrets. To an old friend and older adversary. It leads the former Chief of Homicide for the Sûreté du Québec to places even he is afraid to go. But must.

 

5. The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements, by Eric Hoffer

 

Cover

Via Amazon

 

The famous bestseller with “concise insight into what drives the mind of the fanatic and the dynamics of a mass movement” (Wall St. Journal) by Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient Eric Hoffer, The True Believer is a landmark in the field of social psychology, and even more relevant today than ever before in history. Called a “brilliant and original inquiry” and “a genuine contribution to our social thought” by Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., The True Believer is mandatory reading for anyone interested in the machinations by which an individual becomes a fanatic.

 

6. Yitzhak Rabin: Soldier, Leader, Statesman, by Itamar Rabinovich

 

Via Goodreads

Via Goodreads

 

More than two decades have passed since prime minister Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination in 1995, yet he remains an unusually intriguing and admired modern leader. A native-born Israeli, Rabin became an inextricable part of his nation’s pre-state history and subsequent evolution. This revealing account of his life, character, and contributions draws not only on original research but also on the author’s recollections as one of Rabin’s closest aides.

 

7. Boys in the Trees: A Memoir, by Carly Simon

 

Cover

Via Amazon

 

The memoir recalls a childhood enriched by music and culture, but also one shrouded in secrets that would eventually tear her family apart. Simon brilliantly captures moments of creative inspiration, the sparks of songs, and the stories behind writing “Anticipation” and “We Have No Secrets” among many others. Romantic entanglements with some of the most famous men of the day fueled her confessional lyrics, as well as the unraveling of her storybook marriage to James Taylor.

 

8. How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia, by Mohsin Hamid 

 

Via Goodreads

Via Goodreads

 

The astonishing and riveting tale of a man’s journey from impoverished rural boy to corporate tycoon, it steals its shape from the business self-help books devoured by ambitious youths all over “rising Asia.” It follows its nameless hero to the sprawling metropolis where he begins to amass an empire built on that most fluid, and increasingly scarce, of goods: water. Yet his heart remains set on something else, on the pretty girl whose star rises along with his, their paths crossing and recrossing, a lifelong affair sparked and snuffed and sparked again by the forces that careen their fates along.

9. Blindsided: The True Story of One Man’s Crusade Against Chemical Giant DuPont for a Boy with No Eyes, by Jim Ferraro

 

Via Amazon

Via Amazon

 

In 1996, an unprecedented decade-long courtroom battle was waged in Florida to help bring justice and hope to the family of a young boy born with no eyes after his mother was doused outside of a local u-pick farm by a chemical fungicide believed to have caused his birth defect and the birth defects of many other children. 

 

It was a battle that nearly everyone but attorney Jim Ferraro deemed unwinnable. After all, it involved one of the world’s most powerful industrial giants. In the process, it was a fight that changed the landscape of tort law forever. Before it was over Castillo-vs-DuPont would go down in history as the first and one of the most important cases of its kind, setting precedent and also sparking a crucial debate over the questionable use of what is known as the “junk-science defense.”

 

10. Gratitude, by Oliver Sacks

 

Via Amazon

Via Amaozn

 

No writer has succeeded in capturing the medical and human drama of illness as honestly and as eloquently as Oliver Sacks.  

During the last few months of his life, he wrote a set of essays in which he movingly explored his feelings about completing a life and coming to terms with his own death. 

“It is the fate of every human being,” Sacks writes, “to be a unique individual, to find his own path, to live his own life, to die his own death.”

Together, these four essays form an ode to the uniqueness of each human being and to gratitude for the gift of life.

11. Warnings: Finding Cassandras to Stop Catastrophes, by Richard A. Clarke and R.P. Eddy

 

Via HarperCollins

Via HarperCollins

 

In Greek mythology Cassandra foresaw calamities, but was cursed by the gods to be ignored. Modern-day Cassandras clearly predicted the disasters of Katrina, Fukushima, the Great Recession, the rise of ISIS, and many more. Like the mythological Cassandra, they were ignored. There are others right now warning of impending disasters, but how do we know which warnings are likely to be right?

12. High Noon: The Hollywood Blacklist and the Making of an American Classic, by Glenn Frankel

 

Amazon

Via Amazon

 

In this book, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Frankel tells the story of the making of a great American Western, exploring how Carl Foreman’s concept of High Noon evolved from idea to first draft to final script, taking on allegorical weight. Both the classic film and its turbulent political times emerge newly illuminated.

 

Feature image courtesy of Carolyn Kaster / AP

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave