278 Books Recommended By Fareed Zakaria On His Gps News Show

The Professor and the Madman, a Tale of Murder, Insanity and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary by Simon Winchester

Book of the week – August 11, 2019
Democracies and Dictatorship in Europe: From the Ancien Regime to the Present Day Shari Berman's

Book of the week – July 28, 2019
The Guarded Gate: Bigotry, Eugenics and the Law That Kept Two Generations of Jews, Italians and European Immigrants Out of America.

Book of the week – July 21, 2019
Leadership Doris Kearns Goodwin

Book of the week – July 14, 2019

Book of the week – June 30, 2019

For a book recommendation, this week, I’ll turn to my special guest, House Speaker and voracious reader, Nancy Pelosi.

PELOSI: So I sent two books. One was The Island of the Day Before, which is a novel, and the other one is Longitude, about how finally longitude was able to be determined and maintained on a ship in the salty seas and the rest of that.

If that doesn’t really turn you on, for a complete change of total pace of one thing I was reading recently was something called Circe, which is about Greek mythology. So that’s to get your mind off of your day job. (http://transcripts.cnn.com)
​June 16, 2019


Book of the week – June 2, 2019

Guest Book Recommendation – Nancy Pelosi

Guest Book Recommendation – Nancy Pelosi

Guest Book Recommendation – Nancy Pelosi

Guest Autrhor – June 9, 2019

Guest book – May 26, 2019

Guest book – May 26, 2019

Guest book – Admiral William H. McRaven – May 26, 2019

Book of the week – May 19, 2019
The Death of Truth: Michiko Kakutani: book cover

The Death of Truth by Michiko Kakutani

This week’s book of the week is “The Death of Truth” by Michiko Kakutani. We all see that truth and facts have become endangered species, but we’re not really aware of why and when it happened. It didn’t start with Trump, argues Kakutani in this rich, erudite book. She brilliantly explains the cultural and political forces that brought us to our current sorry condition — a must read.

The Hundred-Year Marathon: Michael Pillsbury: book cover

The Hundred-Year Marathon by Michael Pillsbury

Michael, pleasure to have you on. I have to say I also really enjoyed your book. It’s called “A Hundred Year Marathon,” and I very much advocate people read it because it’s a very thoughtful book about what China might — you know, what Chinese intentions are in this longer term.

21 Lessons for the 21st Century: Yuval Noah Harari: 2018: book cover

21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari (2018)

My book of the week is Yuval Harari’s book, “21 Lessons.” If you liked “Sapiens” or “Homo Deus,” you will enjoy this wide-ranging, speculative look at the world today and where it is going — fascinating big think.
December 9


This is a powerful, well-written book about perhaps the most deeply disturbing phenomenon in America today, the way that fantasy has eclipsed fact in our politics and culture. If you want to understand why this has happened, read this essential book.
November 4


I read this while preparing for my interview last week. For all those intrigued by Macron, a fascinating figure on the world stage, this is the best book on him and his effort to make France great again.
November 18


21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari (2018)

My book of the week is Yuval Harari’s book, “21 Lessons.” If you liked “Sapiens” or “Homo Deus,” you will enjoy this wide-ranging, speculative look at the world today and where it is going — fascinating big think.
December 9


If you’ve noticed that people seem to be voting more on the basis of their cultural identity than economic ones, this book explains that deep and powerful trend better than any other I have read — really brilliant work. 
December 16


Jonathan Haidt has written a fantastic book, “The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation For Failure,” along with Greg Lukianoff.
September 9


Fear: Trump in the White House by Bob Woodward (Guest)

ZAKARIA: When I read the book, what I’m struck by is the degree of chaos that you describe. All of which centers around a president who seems, you know, somewhat impulsive to listen to the person who last talked to him. He pits his advisers against each other almost deliberately. How much of that is normal?
September 16


Fukuyama is one of America’s leading thinkers and this book is a highly intelligent account of how identity politics developed, from Plato to the “MeToo” movement. But it is also an urgent argument on how to use identity as a unifying force, not a divisive one.
September 30


Capitalism In America : A History by Alan Greenspan, Adrian Wooldridge

This impressive book by the former Fed chairman and a brilliant journalist takes the reader through the history of the American economy, ending with some provocative thoughts about America’s declining productivity, declining risk-taking, declining entrepreneurship, declining dynamism.
October 14

September 2


Seven Brief Lessons on Physics

The Order of Time

ZAKARIA: My next guest is a brilliant scientist and an excellent writer. Those are two things that rarely go together. You may have read the physicist Carlo Rovelli’s last book, it was called “Seven Brief Lessons on Physics.” I recommended it to you here on GPS, saying it was insightful and intelligent. Rovelli writes with elegance and clarity.

Now he’s outdone himself. His new book takes on a crucial subject. It’s called “The Order of Time.” Ready to have your mind blown?
September 2


Uncivil Agreement : How Politics Became Our Identity by ​Lilliana Mason

Book of the week

There are many books now explaining why Americans are so divided. This slender academic treatise strikes me as the most persuasive. It points out that our political identity has now been fused with our social identity. If you tell me who you voted for, I can tell you where you live, shop, eat and pray. That turns out to produce extreme polarization and gridlock.

Other Book mentioned 


The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson
The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson

Book of the week

My book of the week is Helen Simonson’s “The Summer Before the War.” This is a gentle sweet novel that describes how a small town in England reacts to its first female teacher on the eve of the first World War. If you like “Downton Abby,” you will love this little jewel of a book.*

August 5​

Factfulness: Ten Reasons Why You Are Wrong About the World and Things Are Better Than We Think by Hans Rosling

Book of the week

My book of the week is “Factfulness: Ten Reasons Why You Are Wrong About the World and Things Are Better Than We Think.”

The title and subtitle say it all. It’s a fact-filled book with great charts that will teach you more than thousands of pages of prose. The lead author, the late Hans Rosling, was a “GPS” favorite. He did a wonderful segment for us years ago. *

July 29

The China Mission : George Marshall's Unfinished War, 1945-1947: Daniel Kurtz-Phelan: book cover

Book of the week

My book of the week is “The China Mission” by Daniel Kurtz-Phelan. We think foreign policy has become partisan today, but this superb book reminds us that the debate over who lost China, as it went Communist in 1949, was ferocious, even engulfing the most admired man in America at the time, General George Marshall.

The portrait of Marshall, who was sent on a mission to China, is, by itself, worth the price of the book. His decency and rectitude is so impressive — he refused to write his memoirs because he thought that would be improperly profiting from government service — that he stands like an ancient Roman statue in today’s Washington. *

July 15

Our Towns : A 100,000-Mile Journey into the Heart of America by James Fallows, Deborah FallowsOur Towns : A 100,000-Mile Journey into the Heart of America by James Fallows, Deborah Fallows

Book of the week​

My book of the week is Jim and Deborah Fallows’ book “Our Towns: A 100,000 Mile Journey Into the Heart of America.” Tom Friedman said in a recent column, “If you want to be an optimist about America, stand on your head. The country looks so much better from the bottom up.”

Well, that’s exactly what the married writers Deb and Jim Fallows did. They took off in their single-engine plane and looked at America’s small towns, its people, its heart. And what they found was a surprising amount of dynamism and optimism. If you are grim about America these days, read this book.*

July 1

East of Eden by John Steinbeck ​

Book of the week

My book of the week is a classic. John Steinbeck’s “East of Eden.”

If you’re looking for a big fat book of fiction for the summer as I was, try this one. It is to my mind the book that best illustrates the idea of the great American novel. A rich saga of families moving westward on a vast, unformed continent making a new life and a new nation. *

June 24

American Immigration: A Very Short Introduction by David Gerber

Book of the week​

My book of the week is “American Immigration: A Very Short Introduction” by David Gerber. It falls to a British scholar to write this balanced, intelligent and well-written primer on a controversial topic. He succeeds admirably, highlighting the contributions of immigration to America but also noting the downsides, which are largely focused on illegal immigration. In the midst of all the noise on this topic, if you want clarity, read this very short book.*

June 17


Book of the week

My book of the week is David Christian’s “The Origin Story.” I first came across David Christian because I would work out to his fantastic lectures on big history. Yes, I know, very nerdy behavior. This is the book version. Basically, it is the history of the universe from the Big Bang to now in a few 100 pages. If you read one book this year, make it this one. It is the most powerful example of interdisciplinary scholarship that I know of.  *

May 27

Goodbye, Columbus ​by Philip Roth

Book of the week​

My book of the week is Philip Roth’s “Goodbye, Columbus.” Roth, who died last week, was, to my mind, the most important American novelist of the last half century. In 2006 the New York Times did a survey of the best of American fiction of the prior 25 years and six of Philip Roth’s books received multiple votes from prominent critics. This is his debut, a collection of short stories written when he was 26 years old that won the National Book Award in 1960.*

May 13


Book of the week

This week’s book is “Us Versus Them: The Failure of Globalism.” Ian Bremmer is a card-carrying globalist, but he is clear- eyed in this book about the shortcomings and failures of global capitalism. In a short series of essays, he intelligently sketches out the problem and possible paths forward.

May 6


Book of the week​

This week’s book is Chris Hughes’ “Fair Shot: Rethinking Inequality and How We Earn.” Earlier on the show Hughes told us the story of how he became a half-billionaire and described the winner-takes-all economy in which we live. “Fair Shot” is his take on how to stop runaway inequality. But it does not read like most wonky books. It’s personal, intelligent, very well-written and moves along briskly. Do get this short, fascinating brief.

April 22


Book of the week

Before I tell you the correct answer, let me recommend a book. This week, it’s a classic. Mortimer Adler’s “How to Read a Book.”

This 1940 extended essay explains not just why we should read books, but how we should read them. It will help you get the most out of books, but also make you understand how to learn, comprehend and analyze any written material. It’s masterfully done.

April 15

Post-Truth by Lee McIntyre

Book of the week​

My book of the week is “Post-Truth” by Lee McIntyre. This is a slender volume from MIT’s Essential Knowledge series that looks at one of the most disturbing trends of our time, the increasing dismissal of science, evidence, fact and truth itself. The author gives us an intelligent account of why it’s happened and a compelling reminder that we should all fight against this dangerous, nihilistic idea.


The Death of Democracy by Benjamin Carter Hett (2018)

My book of the week is Benjamin Carter Hett’s “The Death of Democracy: Hitler’s Rise to Power and the Downfall of the Weimar Republic.” People forget that Weimar Germany was probably the world’s most advanced country. How we went from there to the Nazis is a fascinating story that Hett tells, and it does have real lessons for today about the elites who either assisted or were complacent as Hitler destroyed German democracy. 
April 8

The Ordinary Virtues: Moral Order in a Divided World by Michael Ignatieff

My book of the week is “The Ordinary Virtues: Moral Order in a Divided World” by Michael Ignatieff, a philosopher and former Canadian politician.

Ignatieff asks a simple question, is globalization bringing us together or tearing us apart?

He answers it by taking us around the world from Bosnia to Brazil, South Africa to Myanmar. The result is a fascinating and deeply engaging book. 
April 1

Five Days in London: May 1940 by John Lukac

My book of the week is John Lukacs “Five Days in London: May 1940.” If you watched “Dunkirk” or “Darkest Hour” and you want more, this is a short, compelling case that Adolf Hitler almost conquered Europe in May 1940, with France of the verge of defeat, Britain alone with virtually its entire army surrounded by Nazi forces on the French coast. But one man fought back and turned the tide — riveting reading. 
March 11​


How to Think by Alan Jacobs

My book of the week is “How to Think” by Alan Jacobs. “We suffer from a settled determination not to think,” writes the author. But he is determined to rouse us out of our intellectual laziness and brilliantly and wisely shows us why and how to think well. This book is a revelation and a pleasure. It is one of the most original books I have encountered in a long while. Run, don’t walk, to get it.
March 4​


My book of the week is Michael Waldman’s “The Second Amendment: A Biography,” a fascinating biography of one line, the one line that is at the heart of America’s gun debate. Waldman makes us realize just how ambiguous and uncertain the second amendment’s meaning has been for most of American history. 
February 25​


Trumpocracy by David Frum

My book of the week is David Frum’s “Trumpocracy.” Yes, this is an anti-Trump book, but it is written by a diehard conservative whose objections to Trump at core are not about his politics and policies, some of which the author agrees with, nor about his bad manners and vulgarity; it is about the way Donald Trump is eroding democratic norms in the world’s oldest constitutional republic. The chapter on economic corruption, “Plunder,” is worth the price of the book. 
February 18


How Democracies Die by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt.

My book of the week is “How Democracies Die” by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt. This is not another diatribe against Donald Trump though there is some of that. It’s mainly a smart and deeply informed book about the ways in which democracy is being undermined in dozens of countries around the world and in ways that are perfectly legal.

The authors remind us that what sustains democracy is not just constitutions and laws but norms and behavior. If leaders act in thoroughly undemocratic ways, democracy, over time, will collapse. 
February 11


White Working Class by Joan Williams

My book of the week is “White Working Class” by Joan Williams, a very smart, caustic book that tries to understand the dynamic behind Donald Trump’s legions of supporters. The author tries to explain to America’s elites why the working class resents them, professionals, who tell them how to live, work, get educated, eat, dress and behave. It’s tough love for a group that generally doesn’t get much pushback. 
February 4

More Money Than God: Hedge Funds and the Making of a New Elite by Sebastian Mallaby
Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer by Tracy Kidder
Museums Matter: In Praise of the Encyclopedic Museum by James Cuno
My Long Trip Home: A Family Memoir by Mark Whitaker
My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel by Ari Shavit
National Insecurity: American Leadership in an Age of Fear by David Rothkopf
Numbers Rule Your World : The Hidden Influence of Probability and Statistics on Everything You Do by Kaiser Fung
To End a War by Richard Holbrooke
One Minute to Midnight: Kennedy, Khrushchev, and Castro on the Brink of Nuclear War by Michael Dobbs
One Nation Under Contract: The Outsourcing of American Power and the Future of Foreign Policy by Allison Stanger
Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen
Pakistan: Between Mosque and Military by Hussain Haqqani
Panic: The Story of Modern Financial Insanity by Michael Lewis
Paper Promises: Debt Money and the New World Order by Philip Coggan
Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else by Chrystia Freeland
Postcards From Tomorrow Square by James Fallows
Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg
Power Rules: How Common Sense Can Rescue American Foreign Policy by Les Gelb
Presidential Leadership and the Creation of the American Era by Joseph Nye
Red Ink: Inside the High-Stakes Politics of the Federal Budget by David Wessel
Reimagining India by McKinsey & Company
Republic Lost How Money Corrupts Congress and A Plan to Stop It by Lawrence Lessig
Reset: Iran Turkey and America’s Future by Steven Kinsler
Return of a King: The Battle for Afghanistan by William Dalrymple
Scoop by Evelyn Waugh
Secrecy: The American Experience by Daniel Patrick Moynihan
Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work by Matthew B. Crawford
Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East by Michael Oren
Sleepless in Hollywood: Tales from the New Abnormal in the Movie Business by Lynda Obst
Strange Rebels: 1979 and the Birth of the 21st Century by Christian Caryl
Strange Stones: Dispatches from East and West by Peter Hessler
Strategic Vision: America and the Crisis of Global Power by Zbigniew Brzezinski
Stress Test: Reflections on Financial Crises by Timothy Geithner
Stringer: A Reporter’s Journey in the Congo by Anjan Sundaram
SuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance by Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

On China by Henry Kissinger


The Evolution of God by Robert Wright
Superfusion: How China and America Became One Economy and Why the World’s Prosperity Depends on It by Zachary Karabell
Superpower?: The Amazing Race between China’s Hare and India’s Tortoise by Raghav Bahl
Talibanistan: Negotiating the Borders Between Terror, Politics, and Religion by Peter Bergen
Temptations of Power: Islamists and Illiberal Democracy in a New Middle East by Shadi Hamid
That Used to Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back by Tom Friedman and Michael Mandelbaum
The Accidental Guerilla: Fighting Small Wars In The Midst Of A Big One by David Kilcullen
The Accidental Superpower: The Next Generation of American Preeminence and the Coming Global Disorder by Peter Zeihan
The Age of Edison: Electric Light and the Invention of Modern America by Ernest Freeberg
The Age of the Unthinkable by Joshua Cooper Ramo
The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age by Reid Hoffman, Ben Casnocha, Chris Yeh
The Annals of Unsolved Crime by Edward Jay Epstein
The Ayatollah Begs to Differ: The Paradox of Modern Iran by Hooman Majd
The Ayatollah’s Democracy by Hooman Majd
The Benefit And The Burden Tax Reform Why We Need It And What It Will Take by Bruce Bartlett
The Best Advice I Ever Got: Lessons from Extraordinary Lives by Katie Couric
The Best Things in Life: A Guide to What Really Matters by Thomas Hurka
The Bin Ladens: An Arabian Family in the American Century by Steve Coll
The Birth of Plenty: How the Prosperity of the Modern World was Created by William Bernstein
The Book of Joe by Jonathan Tropper
The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries are Failing and What Can Be Done About It by Paul Collier
The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama by David Remnick


The Dictator’s Handbook: Why Bad Behavior is Almost Always Good Politics by Bruce Bueno de Mesquita (2011)

For eighteen years, Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Alastair Smith have been part of a team revolutionizing the study of politics by turning conventional wisdom on its head. They start from a single assertion: Leaders do whatever keeps them in power. They don’t care about the “national interest”—or even their subjects—unless they have to. This clever and accessible book shows that the difference between tyrants and democrats is just a convenient fiction. Governments do not differ in kind but only in the number of essential supporters, or backs that need scratching. The size of this group determines almost everything about politics: what leaders can get away with, and the quality of life or misery under them. The picture the authors paint is not pretty. But it just may be the truth, which is a good starting point for anyone seeking to improve human governance.


The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution by Francis Fukuyama (2011)
Virtually all human societies were once organized tribally, yet over time most developed new political institutions which included a central state that could keep the peace and uniform laws that applied to all citizens. Some went on to create governments that were accountable to their constituents. We take these institutions for granted, but they are absent or are unable to perform in many of today’s developing countries—with often disastrous consequences for the rest of the world


The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion by Jonathan Haidt (2012)
Why can’t our political leaders work together as threats loom and problems mount? Why do people so readily assume the worst about the motives of their fellow citizens? In The Righteous Mind, social psychologist Jonathan Haidt explores the origins of our divisions and points the way forward to mutual understanding.


Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman (2011)
In the highly anticipated Thinking, Fast and Slow, Kahneman takes us on a groundbreaking tour of the mind and explains the two systems that drive the way we think. System 1 is fast, intuitive, and emotional; System 2 is slower, more deliberative, and more logical. Kahneman exposes the extraordinary capabilities—and also the faults and biases—of fast thinking, and reveals the pervasive influence of intuitive impressions on our thoughts and behavior…


The Story of the Jews (1000 BCE – 1492)

The Story of the Jews (1492-1900)

Truman by David McCullough (1992)
The Pulitzer Prize–winning biography of Harry S. Truman, whose presidency included momentous events from the atomic bombing of Japan to the outbreak of the Cold War and the Korean War, told by America’s beloved and distinguished historian

Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography (1993)


War Made New by Max Boot


The Future of Freedom: Illiberal Democracy at Home and Abroad Book by Fareed Zakaria : book cover

​The Future of Freedom by
Fareed Zakaria
The Post-American World (9780393062359): Fareed Zakaria: Book Cover

The Post-American World by
Fareed Zakaria
In Defense of a Liberal Education: Fareed Zakaria: 9781442389762: Book Cover

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