Best political books of 2010
There have been plenty of political titles this year – from the left and the right. But which were best?
It's getting to be that time of year, the time when newspaper and magazine book editors turn up on radio and TV to talk about the "best books" of the year. I've got my first such show coming up next week – a discussion of the year's best political books on Minnesota Public Radio.
So I sat down to make my list of 2010 political books. There've been a lot, that's for sure. There have been high-profile tell-alls like "Game Change" by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin and "The Politician" by Andrew Young. There have been the inevitable analyses of Obama ("The Bridge" by David Remnick, "The Promise" by Jonathan Alter, and "Young Mr. Obama" by Edward McClelland).
There have also been a truckload of memoirs ("Courage and Consequence" by Karl Rove, "Going Rogue" by Sarah Palin, "White House Diary" by Jimmy Carter, "A Journey" by Tony Blair, "Spoken from the Heart" by Laura Bush, "No Apology" by Mitt Romney, with George W. Bush's "Decision Points" still to come) and biographies ("Jimmy Carter" by Julian E. Zelizer, "Lyndon B. Johnson," by Charles Peters, "Joe Biden" by Jules Witcover, and "A Complicated Man: The Life of Bill Clinton as Told by Those Who Knew Him" by Michael Takiff due out later this month).
Of course there were some close examinations of the 2008 economic meltdown and the US government's intervention at the time of the crisis ("Too Big to Fail," by Andrew Sorkin, "On the Brink" by Henry M. Paulson, and "Freefall" by Joseph E. Stiglitz).
And then I'm also remembering a grab bag full of miscellaneous titles like "Winner-Take-All Politics" by Jacob S. Hecker and Paul Pierson, "Herding Donkeys" by Ari Berman, "Our Patchwork Nation" by Dante Chinni, and "Lies the Government Told You" by Andrew P. Napolitano.
But what else? What am I missing? What has been "the best" of writing about politics in 2010? This is your chance to get your choices heard.
And then – here's a bonus question: What are the best political books of all time? I can guess five that might show up on the lists of many US readers: "All the King's Men" by Robert Penn Warren, "Advise and Consent" by Allen Drury, "Lincoln" by Gore Vidal, "Boys on the Bus" by Timothy Crouse, and "The Power Broker" by Robert A. Caro.
But what else? What's on your list?
Marjorie Kehe is the Monitor's book editor.