Robert Dallek ~ Franklin D Roosevelt: a political life (2016)
The title says everything you need to know about Roosevelt. Everything that he did was filtered through a meticulous political calculation. Sometimes the outcome was gruesome and unconscionable such as his denial of a haven for European Jews and the pandering to Southern racists for support. Other times he was noble and did dramatically good things. A very good read.
Robert Gewarth ~ Hitler’s Hangman: the life of Heydrich (2011)
If Roosevelt was nuanced Heydrich absolutely wasn’t. He was the personification of SS evil. He even looked like an SS model. The novel HHhH has Heydrich as Himmler’s brains, which he probably was. Why read it? I suppose it gives a feeling of moral superiority and is part of European history but otherwise it’s probably one for geeks. Well written.
Ian Goldin and Mike Mariathasan ~ The Butterfly Defect: How globalization creates system risks and what to do about it (2014)
If you want you firmest beliefs challenged and shredded before your very eyes read this. Try this:
“The transfer of live birds and animals by airfreight and ships, however, means that these pathogens can now travel faster and farther than before and do not have to rely on the long-distance migration of birds. In short, modern technologies significantly heighten the risk of global pandemics.”
Globalization is fully discussed and it’s an important read. Short sharply focused chapters help too.