Book cover of Secret City: The Hidden History of Gay Washington by James Kirchick
History

Secret City: The Hidden History of Gay Washington 

Washington, D.C., has always been a city of secrets. Few have been more dramatic than the ones revealed in James Kirchick’s Secret City.

For decades, the specter of homosexuality haunted Washington. The mere suggestion that a person might be gay destroyed reputations, ended careers, and ruined lives. At the height of the Cold War, fear of homosexuality became intertwined with the growing threat of international communism, leading to a purge of gay men and lesbians from the federal government. […Learn More]

Book cover of The Great Experiment: Why Diverse Democracies Fall Apart and How They Can Endure by Yascha Mounk
International & World Politics

The Great Experiment: Why Diverse Democracies Fall Apart and How They Can Endure 

From one of our sharpest and most important political thinkers, a brilliant big-picture vision of the greatest challenge of our time—how to bridge the bitter divides within diverse democracies enough for them to remain stable and functional

Some democracies are highly homogeneous. Others have long maintained a brutal racial or religious hierarchy, with some groups dominating and exploiting others. Never in history has a democracy succeeded in being both diverse and equal, treating members of many different ethnic or religious groups fairly. […Learn More]

Book cover of The Lies that Bind: Rethinking Identity by Kwame Anthony Appiah

The Lies that Bind: Rethinking Identity

From the best-selling author of Cosmopolitanism comes this revealing exploration of how the collective identities that shape our polarized world are riddled with contradiction.

Who do you think you are? That’s a question bound up in another: What do you think you are? Gender. Religion. Race. Nationality. Class. Culture. Such affiliations give contours to our sense of self, and shape our polarized world. Yet the collective identities they spawn are riddled with contradictions, and cratered with falsehoods. […Learn More]

The Narrow Corridor States, Societies, and the Fate of Liberty by Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson
International & World Politics

The Narrow Corridor: States, Societies, and the Fate of Liberty

From the authors of the international bestseller Why Nations Fail, a crucial new big-picture framework that answers the question of how liberty flourishes in some states but falls to authoritarianism or anarchy in others—and explains how it can continue to thrive despite new threats.
In Why Nations Fail, Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson argued that countries rise and fall based not on culture, geography, or chance, but on the power of their institutions. In their new book, they build a new theory about liberty and how to achieve it, drawing a wealth of evidence from both current affairs and disparate threads of world history.   […Learn More]

Politics & Government

The Aristocracy of Talent: How Meritocracy Made the Modern World

Meritocracy: the idea that people should be advanced according to their talents rather than their birth. While this initially seemed like a novel concept, by the end of the twentieth century it had become the world’s ruling ideology. How did this happen, and why is meritocracy now under attack from both right and left? […Learn More]

Asia

The Billionaire Raj: A Journey Through India’s New Gilded Age

A colorful and revealing portrait of the rise of India’s new billionaire class in a radically unequal society

India is the world’s largest democracy, with more than one billion people and an economy expanding faster than China’s. But the rewards of this growth have been far from evenly shared, and the country’s top 1% now own nearly 60% of its wealth. In megacities like Mumbai, where half the population live in slums, the extraordinary riches of India’s new dynasties echo the Vanderbilts and Rockefellers of America’s Gilded Age, funneling profits from huge conglomerates into lifestyles of conspicuous consumption.  […Learn More]

Book cover of Humankind: A Hopeful History by Rutger Bregman
Health and Psychology

Humankind: A Hopeful History

If there is one belief that has united the left and the right, psychologists and philosophers, ancient thinkers and modern ones, it is the tacit assumption that humans are bad. It’s a notion that drives newspaper headlines and guides the laws that shape our lives. From Machiavelli to Hobbes, Freud to Pinker, the roots of this belief have sunk deep into Western thought. Human beings, we’re taught, are by nature selfish and governed primarily by self-interest.  […Learn More]

Politics & Government

The Revolt of the Public and the Crisis of Authority in the New Millennium

In the words of economist and scholar Arnold Kling, Martin Gurri saw it coming. Technology has categorically reversed the information balance of power between the public and the elites who manage the great hierarchical institutions of the industrial age government, political parties, the media.
The Revolt of the Public tells the story of how insurgencies, enabled by digital devices and a vast information sphere, have mobilized millions of ordinary people around the world. […Learn More]