“City of Lies” by Ramita Navai. Ramita is a bit of a Social Justice Warrior, traveling the world and telling you what's wrong with it. Tehran, Iran was seen through that lens. Still, very interesting vignettes that point out a lot of the hypocrisy and contradictions, as any outside culture would look to "outsiders". Definitely worth the read, if you like cultural travel books.
F.A. Hayek pointed out in Road to Serfdom that Marxist socialism and fascism had similar roots. He wrote: "There is a great deal of truth in the often heard statement that Fascism and Nazism are a sort of middle-class socialism-only that in Italy and Germany the supporters of these new movements were economically hardly a middle class any longer. It was to a large extent a revolt of a new under-privileged class against the labor aristocracy which the industrial labor movement had created. There can be little doubt that no single economic factor has contributed more to help these movements than the envy of the unsuccessful professional man, the university trained engineer or lawyer, and of the "white collared proletariat" in general, of the engine driver or compositor and other members of the strongest trade unions whose income was many times theirs. Nor can there be much doubt that in terms of money income the average member of the rank and file of the Nazi movement in its early years was poorer than the average trade unionist or member of the older socialist party-a circumstance which only gained poignancy from the fact that the former had often seen better days and were frequently still living in surroundings which were the result of this past."
The Girl with Seven Names: A North Korean Defector’s Story, is a really good book about a spoiled girl (with 2 more names than I have), from North Korea, who selfishly and irresponsibly escapes from North Korea, and gets astonishingly lucky in the whole process. Then creates a better life for herself, convinces her family to leave, and burns down any opportunity for them to stay or go back to the oppressive regime.
While it is a bit of a narcissists tale of suffering, we were all narcissists at her age. And despite her being brash (not thinking ahead) and suffering consequences for her recklessness (including to those around her), it is still wonderfully eye opening to see North Korea, Korean culture, and the world through the eyes of a teenage girl, who slowly learns how lucky she has been (though the bigger hardships of those around her). And where would the world be, if there were at least some silly/brash kids risking everything to have a better life?
The Jungle". Teddy Roosevelt had immediately put a team of government inspectors on it, and they concluded in the Neill-Reynolds Report that the book was, "intentionally misleading and false", "willful and deliberate misrepresentations of fact", and "utter absurdity". Now it was the Progressive era, so the truth doesn't matter as much as the opportunity to regulate, so Teddy suppressed the release of the report to the public and used the book (by an author he had dismissed as a "crackpot"), as an excuse to create more federal government (the Pure Food and Drug Act, and the Meat Inspection Act), which later became the FDA. While the book and its ideas were completely debunked at the time, it's still taught in schools (Marxist re-education camp) today.
This was the start of what we called crony capitalism and the explosion of corruption: once the fed had control over things like this, you could pay-off the correct politicians to get past inspections, or guarantee your competition did not, which resulted in consolidation (reduced competition, and higher prices).
Capital in the 21st Century (a play on Marx’s Das Kapital). Economically, the study/book was crap: politically, it was gold. It told the left leaning and their media what they wanted to hear. So it made the NYT best seller list in Fan Fiction, and everyone talked about it. It was peer reviewed and debunked in spades, but not before the gullible gobbled it up as a tasty plate of confirmation bias. Nom nom.
"Win Bigly" is hit or miss. It's very interesting/enlightening on analyzing how persuasion of the public (or individuals) works: a fairly cynical analysis of humans willingness to gobble down confirmation bias. (From a mile high view). And he touches on negotiations. Scott had predicted Trump would win early (based on his powers of persuasion) and he explains why. He's not necessarily a fan of Trump... (he voted left in most prior elections)... but this book is filled with where he thinks Trump is dead on-target with some of his distractions and persuasion efforts, and that can be a hard read for some (even if the point is about persuasion, not likability/morality/positions).