What Books Changed Your Mind in 2006?

I chronicled my favorite business-y books of 2006 on my business-y blog.
Here’s the political books:
Whose Freedom?: The Battle for America’s Most Important Idea by George Lakoff. Lakoff is a Berkeley linguist best known for introducing the concept of ‘framing’ into political discussion. You also know it as ‘marketing’. His most accessible book is Don’t Think of an Elephant where he details the cognitive differences between conservative and progressive/liberal politics. In Whose Freedom he takes apart the concept of ‘freedom’ – an underpinning of the US Constitution – and then shows where we all agree – and where you can use/abuse the concept for your own political gain. Sometimes dry but never dull. –
The New American Militarism: How Americans Are Seduced by War by Andrew Bacevich. This book is amazing. Written by a military historian trying to reconcile his experience in Vietnam up through the Reagan years and into our current Project for the New American Century. Is American society inherently war-mongering? Why are US citizens so easily seduced into war and carnage? Bacevich runs through American military history from colonization to Baghdad and shows the common threads, warnings and themes that allow US citizens to fail to fully challenge military engagement. Not a partisan book at all. Bacevich tears apart illusions from both side of the aisle and illustrates the rehabilitation of the military post-Vietnam. I was born right after the last helicopter left so I really didn’t ‘get’ much of this context until after reading this book.
Exception to the Rulers by Amy Goodman and David Goodman. The host of the only independently produced news show in the US (and her brother) are back with a stunning collection of stories and examples to explain exactly why we are all in this handbasket together.
Armed Madhouse by Greg Palast. Ex-pat journalist Palast rakes the muck with a scarring investigation into nearly every pie the US has its finger in right now. You won’t believe why the US is really in Iraq.
The United States v George Bush et al. by Elizabeth de la Vega. A former federal prosecutor writes a hypothetical indictment [full text of indictment] and conspiracy trial against our dear leaders. I’d love to produce a staged version of this. Searing.
An Ordinary Person’s Guide to Empire by Arundhati Roy book. Novelist and activist Arundahti Roy is a great antidote to Thomas Friedman’s ‘India is coming to eat you.’ Roy remains a compelling voice for human rights and common sense as globalization continues our race to the bottom. Sad, angry and persuasive.

4 thoughts on “What Books Changed Your Mind in 2006?

  1. Maryam Webster

    Ah Andy, I miss the pic of you and Astroboy at the toppa’da blog. It was the most political statement you’ve ever made….then and again, look who’s talkin’ 😉 Though, good Goddess, how the hell did you stuff him in pantyhose and get him to blow a kiss in your Flickr roll? Such a cutie-pie! (the cat, too)

  2. JB

    Erm…probably Freakonomics. I can’t think of anything else particularly non-fiction that I’ve actually finished reading… Who Owns Britain is on the go, but it’s awful big…

  3. james.delnort

    Hi Andy! Long time to see. I’m glad to see you’re still present on the net.
    Hmm, the latest book that got me fired up is:
    Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong

    Makes fast reading. Get it. Oh, by the way.. I’ve blogrolled you at my site (yes, I’m back to blogging) http://www.HomoSay.com. Drop by and add your two cents sometime. See you then, if not sooner. =]

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