Friday, November 02, 2007

Books I will one day read

This weekend I am heading to the warm and sunny Oregon Coast where at the very least I suspect I will get into the new Larry Sabato book. While there I will do my best not to buy any books. Were I to do so, here are a few candidates.

Day of Empire - Amy Chua. I quite liked her prior book about how globalization and Westernization can exacerbate dormant ethnic tensions. That one generated a lot of heat, and I suspect her new one will as well. In it she argues that empires grow and prosper as they are tolerant and assimilationist and then contract as they become intolerant. This argument appears to similar to the one advanced by Henry Kamen in Empire, How Spain Became A World Power.

What Hath God Wrought - The Transformation of America 1815-1848 by Daniel Walker Howe. This is part of the decades long effort to complete the Oxford History of the United States, which includes the classic Battle Cry of Freedom. That alone is enough to convince me to get it, as the other volumes have been excellent. Jill Lepore writes in the New Yorker about how this volume argues against another book that was meant to fill the 1815 to 1848 space in the collection.

Arsenals of Folly: The Making of the Nuclear Arms Race by Richard Rhodes. This is a follow up to his earlier books including the Making of the Atomic Bomb, which I still consider the best work of non-fiction that I have ever read. This one looks more political in nature, but I can't wait for it.

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