As the world becomes increasingly polarized and complex, understanding political systems and their impact on society has become more important than ever. If you’re looking to delve into the world of politics and expand your knowledge, these are the best books on politics to read in 2023.
1. “How Democracies Die” by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt
As democracy around the world faces unprecedented challenges, this book provides a roadmap to understanding how democracies can fall apart and what we can do to save them. Through analysis of historical and contemporary examples, the authors argue that democracies die slowly but surely, not in sudden overthrows. They explore the importance of norms and institutions in protecting democracies and how their erosion can lead to authoritarianism.
2. “Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men” by Caroline Criado Perez
This book exposes the gender data gap – the fact that much of the world is built around data that reflects a male default. The author argues that this bias is evident in everything from medical research to technology, and has serious consequences for women’s lives. This book illuminates the ways in which gender bias can perpetuate inequalities and provides a powerful call to action for change.
3. “The War on Normal People” by Andrew Yang
In this thought-provoking book, presidential candidate Andrew Yang outlines his vision for a post-work society and the role of a universal basic income in ensuring economic security for all. Yang argues that automation and other technological advances are rapidly changing the nature of work and leaving many people behind. He presents a compelling case for why we need a new social contract that ensures everyone can benefit from the gains of technology.
4. “Talking to Strangers” by Malcolm Gladwell
This book takes a deep dive into the assumptions we make about strangers and how they can lead to miscommunication and conflict. Gladwell explores a range of case studies, from a spy who fooled the CIA to a police officer who misunderstood a young Black man, to reveal how our default to trust or distrust can lead to disastrous consequences. This insightful book sheds light on the importance of empathy and understanding in moving forward together as a society.
5. “The Authoritarian Personality” by Theodor Adorno, Else Frenkel-Brunswick, Daniel Levinson, and Nevitt Sanford
Originally published in 1950, this classic work of social psychology is as relevant today as it was when it was first written. The authors explore the personality traits and attitudes that predispose people towards authoritarianism and provide insights into the ways in which authoritarianism can take hold. They argue that maintaining democratic norms and values is crucial in preventing the rise of authoritarianism.
These books represent a wide range of perspectives on politics and society, each with its own unique insights into the challenges we face. Whether you’re interested in the erosion of democratic norms, the gender data gap, the future of work, the importance of empathy, or the roots of authoritarianism, these books provide a roadmap for navigating our complex political landscape in 2023 and beyond.