Best Political Books – Understand the world we live in

There certainly isn’t a shortage of political books, especially as there is always so much to learn. With each new president, there are new challenges, new experiences, and new things to be discussed with the masses. Whether you’re looking for more information into a particular party or you want to read opinionated pieces on the current state of the union, there’s certainly a novel for everyone.

Politics can frequently be challenging to follow, especially if you don’t tune into the news every day. However, many find that there isn’t an excuse for not being up to date about the current state of their country, which is where these books come into play.

We recommend finding an assortment of the best political books that are partisan – both sides – and non-partisan. With this, you can differentiate between what is factual and what is based solely on opinion. With a more diversified understanding of how politics works and what it means to represent a particular party (or none at all), you can make more well-informed decisions.

As a voter, it is not only your right but also your responsibility to choose a representative that you believe will do the best for your nation. However, without knowing much about politics, it cannot be effortless. The vast knowledge brought to you by experts can open your mind and bring you into new realms that you never knew existed.

The variety of political books on the market will appease any reader’s appetite, as you can find factual accounts from past presidents, candid memoirs from people who served under the heads of state, and more.

We also recommend titles that talk about current and relevant issues, such as immigration, gender, and race, to get a clearer understanding of where the country stands. Not to mention, plenty of these books are filled with historical factoids to teach you more about the development of the nation and what has made it what it is today.

There is much more to the best political books than to be coffee table reads for guests. With these, you can become a better citizen with all of the information you are bound to take in on every page.

Best Political Books

Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media

Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media

Few technical books and a bit of everything. The following books are currently sitting on my bedside table: "The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy", "Predictable Revenue", "Manufacturing Consent", "Agile Application Security". "Oauth In Action", "Serious Cryptography".
Louis Nyffenegger
Founder/PentesterLab
Master of the Senate: The Years of Lyndon Johnson III

Master of the Senate: The Years of Lyndon Johnson III

My favorite bio I've read for my upcoming book.
Robert Greene
Author
Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

I loved Goodwin’s Team of Rivals and highly recommend this one too.
Bill Gates
CEO/Microsoft
Don’t Think of an Elephant!: Know Your Values and Frame the Debate — The Essential Guide for Progressives

Don’t Think of an Elephant!: Know Your Values and Frame the Debate — The Essential Guide for Progressives

These two books are the two best books of political thinking and theater from both the left and the right. Regardless of ideologies, both are experts in influencing and leading public perception through image and words. It actually matters whether we’re talking about illegal immigrants or undocumented workers, or whether we describe the problem as climate change or global warming. Strategists need to understand the power of language and framing–it doesn’t matter how right you are, if you lose this battle it can be impossible to rally people to your cause. Read both these books.
Ryan Holiday
Founder/Brass Check
The Revolt of The Public and the Crisis of Authority in the New Millennium

The Revolt of The Public and the Crisis of Authority in the New Millennium

All over the world, elite institutions from governments to media to academia are losing their authority and monopoly control of information to dynamic amateurs and the broader public. This book, until now only in samizdat (and Kindle) form, has been my #1 handout for the last several years to anyone seeking to understand this unfolding shift in power from hierarchies to networks in the age of the Internet.
Marc Andreessen
Co-Founder/Andreessen Horowitz
Perilous Interventions: The Security Council and the Politics of Chaos

Perilous Interventions: The Security Council and the Politics of Chaos

This is an outstanding book on the side effects of interventionism, written in extremely elegant prose and with maximal clarity. It documents how people find arguments couched in moralistic terms to intervene in complex systems they don't understand.

These interventions trigger endless chains of unintended consequences --consequences for the victims, but none for the interventionistas, allowing them to repeat the mistake again and again. Puri, as an insider, outlines the principles and legal mechanisms, then runs through the events of the past few years since the Iraq invasion; each one of his chapters are models of concision, presenting the story of Ukraine, Syria, Lybia, and Yemen, among others, as standalone briefings to the uninitiated. It was high time that somebody in international affairs has approached the problem of "iatrogenics", i.e. harm done by the healer.

This book should be mandatory reading to every student and practitioner of foreign affairs.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Flaneur
The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines

The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines

Very few people have sounded more important alarms about our climate future, and very few people have paid a higher price for doing so. Michael Mann is a hero, and this book is a remarkable account of the science and politics of the defining issue of our time.
Bill McKibben
Founder/350.org
The Storm Before the Storm: The Beginning of the End of the Roman Republic

The Storm Before the Storm: The Beginning of the End of the Roman Republic

My list would be (besides the ones I mentioned in answer to the previous question) both business & Fiction/Sci-Fi and ones I personally found helpful to myself. The business books explain just exactly how business, work & investing are in reality & how to think properly & differentiate yourself. On the non-business side, a mix of History & classic fiction to understand people, philosophy to make sense of life and Science fiction to picture what the future could be like (not always utopian).

Marvin Liao
Partner/500 Startups
Moral Man and Immoral Society: A Study in Ethics and Politics

Moral Man and Immoral Society: A Study in Ethics and Politics

I love him. He’s one of my favorite philosophers.
Barack Obama
Former USA President
On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century

On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century

Please read this book. So smart, so timely.
George Saunders
Author
Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Explain Everything About the World

Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Explain Everything About the World

Depending on your interest and goals, if you are like me and always looking for the trends in the big picture then I highly recommend being an active contrarian reader. Read what no one else is reading. Your goal is to think outside the box. To look at the world and ask “why hasn’t this been solved?” And that gives you a roadmap as to what opportunities may exist for your entrepreneurial efforts. So to that, here’s a snapshot, in no particular order, of what might help you push your intellectual boundaries:

  • Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah
  • 23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism by Ha-Joon Chang
  • Postcapitalism: A Guide to Our Future by Paul Mason
  • Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty
  • Who Gets What--And Why: The New Economics of Matchmaking and Market Design by Alvin E. Roth
  • The Political Economy of Participatory Economics by Michael Albert and Robin Hahnel
  • The Zero Marginal Cost Society: The Internet of Things, the Collaborative Commons, and the Eclipse of Capitalism by Jeremy Rifkin
  • Why America Misunderstands the World by Paul R. Pillar
  • A Theory of Justice by John Rawls
  • Prisoners of Geography by Tim Marshall
Lucas Morales
Founder & CEO/Zeall.us
Eleanor Roosevelt, Vol. 1: 1884-1933

Eleanor Roosevelt, Vol. 1: 1884-1933

The prospects Eleanor Roosevelt faced when she entered the White House were not good. First Ladies hadn’t done anything in decades besides party planning and a few of her predecessors had had nervous breakdowns. She wanted to do something different. This is a book about her political and social acumen–her ability to turn a meaningless position into a powerful platform for change and influence. I read this book and came away so impressed. We can learn a lot.
Ryan Holiday
Founder/Brass Check
Win Bigly: Persuasion in a World Where Facts Don't Matter

Win Bigly: Persuasion in a World Where Facts Don’t Matter

This one’s going to be controversial. Adams, the creator of Dilbert, was one of the first commentators to come out and predict that Trump would win the 2016 presidential election. How’d he do that? By viewing the world through his Persuasion Filter. This reframing of how humans interact, the world works, and why Trump won was fascinating. It’s already starting to influence the way that I write. Check it out.
Aaron Watson
CEO/PiperCreative
The New Tsar: The Rise and Reign of Vladimir Putin

The New Tsar: The Rise and Reign of Vladimir Putin

With Russia fever at Defcon 2, I’ve made it about half-ways through the biography The New Tsar: The Rise and Reign of Vladimir Putin. It’s a great refresher on post-WWII history, the cold war, KGB, but above all, on the forces present in Russia.

There are many lines to draw between Russia’s struggles after the fall of Communism with the fundamental political theories of Fukuyama (Origins of Political Order / Political Order And Political Decay). When taken together, they lend an all the more human and sympathetic story to why things played out the way they did. While still appreciating just how immense the level of brokenness, corruption, and brutality that journey has brought with it.

David Heinemeier Hansson
Co-Founder/Basecamp
The Sovereign Individual: Mastering the Transition to the Information Age

The Sovereign Individual: Mastering the Transition to the Information Age

The Joy of Not Working (Zelinkski), Flash Foresight (Burrus), The Art of Worldly Wisdom (Gracian), Sapiens (Yuval), The End of Jobs (Pearson), Deep Work (Newport), Sovereign Individual (Davidson), The Fourth Economy (Davison) & The Monk & the Riddle (Komisar). Every single one of these books completely changed how I looked at everything in the world & literally pushed my life in a new direction. They were Paradigm Shifting as they say. (hate that word but it really was a Paradigm Shift for me).
Marvin Liao
Partner/500 Startups
The Road to Unfreedom: Russia, Europe, America

The Road to Unfreedom: Russia, Europe, America

A brilliant and disturbing analysis, which should be read by anyone wishing to understand the political crisis currently engulfing the world.
Yuval Noah Harari
Historian
The Broken Ladder: How Inequality Affects the Way We Think, Live, and Die

The Broken Ladder: How Inequality Affects the Way We Think, Live, and Die

As 2018 draws to a close, I’m continuing a favorite tradition of mine and sharing my year-end lists. It gives me a moment to pause and reflect on the year through the books I found most thought-provoking, inspiring, or just plain loved. It also gives me a chance to highlight talented authors – some who are household names and others who you may not have heard of before. Here’s my best of 2018 list.
Barack Obama
Former USA President
The Madhouse Effect: How Climate Change Denial Is Threatening Our Planet, Destroying Our Politics, and Driving Us Crazy

The Madhouse Effect: How Climate Change Denial Is Threatening Our Planet, Destroying Our Politics, and Driving Us Crazy

For centuries, powerful forces of greed have tried to hide the truth, but that doesn't change reality--the earth is round and climate change is very real. The Madhouse Effect brilliantly dissects the climate denial industry, empowering all of us to see the facts and take action before it's too late.
Leonardo DiCaprio
Oscar Winning Actor
The Fifth Risk

The Fifth Risk

Saturation reporting, conceptual thinking of a high order, a rich sense of humor, and talent to burn.
Tom Wolfe
Author
In an Uncertain World: Tough Choices from Wall Street to Washington

In an Uncertain World: Tough Choices from Wall Street to Washington

As Secretary of the Treasury, Bob Rubin ranked with the best. This drama-packed account of his years on the job should be read by all who are interested in what happens when politics and economics intersect.
Warren Buffett
CEO/Berkshire-Hathaway

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