Juan B. Dufour's recommended readings:
Books on Economics
Economics in One Lesson
by Henry Hazlitt. With over a million copies sold, Economics in One Lesson is an essential guide to the basics of economic theory. A fundamental influence on modern libertarianism, Hazlitt defends capitalism and the free market from economic myths that persist to this day.
Free to Choose: A Personal Statement
by Milton Friedman and Rose Friedman. The international bestseller on the extent to which personal freedom has been eroded by government regulations and agencies while personal prosperity has been undermined by government spending and economic controls.
Economic Facts and Fallacies
by Thomas Sowell. In this lively primer, Thomas Sowell exposes some of the most popular fallacies about economic issues, including many that are widely disseminated in the media and by politicians.
Basic Economics: A Common Sense Guide to the Economy
by Thomas Sowell. Basic Economics, which has now been translated into six languages and has additional material online, remains true to its core principle: that the fundamental facts and principles of economics do not require jargon, graphs, or equations and can be learned in a relaxed and even enjoyable way.
The Undercover Economist
by Tim Harford. “The economy [isn’t] a bunch of rather dull statistics with names like GDP (gross domestic product),” notes Tim Harford, columnist and regular guest on NPR’s Marketplace, “economics is about who gets what and why.” In this acclaimed and riveting book -- part exposé, part user’s manual -- the astute and entertaining columnist from the Financial Times demystifies the ways in which money works in the world. From why the coffee in your cup costs so much to why efficiency is not necessarily the answer to ensuring a fair society, from improving health care to curing crosstown traffic–all the dirty little secrets of dollars and cents are delightfully revealed by The Undercover Economist.
The Armchair Economist
by Steven E. Landsburg. Why are seat belts deadly? Why do celebrity endorsements sell products? Why are failed executives paid so much? Who should bear the cost of oil spills? Do government deficits matter? How is workplace safety bad for workers? What’s wrong with the local foods movement? Which rich people can’t be taxed? Why is rising unemployment sometimes good? Why do women pay more at the dry cleaner? Why is life full of disappointments? Whether these are nagging questions you’ve always had, or ones you never even thought to ask, this new edition of The Armchair Economist turns the eternal ideas of economic theory into concrete answers that you can use to navigate the challenges of contemporary life.
by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner. Levitt and co-author Stephen J. Dubner show that economics is, at root, the study of incentives: how people get what they want, or need, especially when other people want or need the same thing. In Freakonomics, they explore the hidden side of...well, everything. The inner working of a crack gang...the truth about real-estate agents...the secrets of the Klu Klux Klan. What unites all these stories is a belief that the modern world is even more intriguing than we think. All it takes is a new way of looking, and Freakonomics will redefine the way we view the modern world.
The Robots Are Coming!: The Future of Jobs in the Age of Automation
by Andrés Oppenheimer. Staying true to his trademark journalistic approach, Andrés Oppenheimer takes his readers on yet another journey, this time across the globe, in a thought-provoking search to understand what the future holds for today's jobs in the foreseeable age of automation.
The Climate Casino: Risk, Uncertainty, and Economics for a Warming World
by William D Nordhaus. Bringing together all the important issues surrounding the climate debate, Nordhaus describes the science, economics, and politics involved -- and the steps necessary to reduce the perils of global warming. Using language accessible to any concerned citizen and taking care to present different points of view fairly, he discusses the problem from start to finish: from the beginning, where warming originates in our personal energy use, to the end, where societies employ regulations or taxes or subsidies to slow the emissions of gases responsible for climate change.
Books on Politics
How to Destroy America in Three Easy Steps
by Ben Shapiro. A growing number of Americans want to tear down what it’s taken us 250 years to build -- and they’ll start by canceling our shared history, ideals, and culture.
Books on Philosophy
Philosophy Through Film
by Mary M. Litch. In Philosophy through Film, Amy Karofsky and Mary M. Litch use recently released, well-received films to explore answers to classic questions in philosophy in an approachable yet philosophically rigorous manner. Each chapter incorporates one or more films to examine one longstanding philosophical question or problem and assess some of the best solutions that have been offered to it. The authors fully integrate the films into their discussion of the issues, using them to help students become familiar with key topics in all major areas of Western philosophy and master the techniques of philosophical argumentation.
God: The Failed Hypothesis
by Victor J. Stenger. This book contends that, if God exists, some evidence for this existence should be detectable by scientific means, especially considering the central role that God is alleged to play in the operation of the universe and the lives of humans. Treating the traditional God concept, as conventionally presented in the Judeo-Christian and Islamic traditions, like any other scientific hypothesis, physicist Stenger examines all of the claims made for God's existence. After evaluating all the scientific evidence, Stenger concludes that beyond a reasonable doubt the universe and life appear exactly as we might expect if there were no God.
god is not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything
by Christopher Hitchens. With a close and erudite reading of the major religious texts, he documents the ways in which religion is a man-made wish, a cause of dangerous sexual repression, and a distortion of our origins in the cosmos. With eloquent clarity, Hitchens frames the argument for a more secular life based on science and reason, in which hell is replaced by the Hubble Telescope's view of the universe, and Moses and the burning bush give way to the beauty of the double helix.
The God Delusion
by Richard Dawkins. A preeminent scientist -- and the world's most prominent atheist -- asserts the irrationality of belief in God and the grievous harm religion has inflicted on society, from the Crusades to 9/11. With rigor and wit, Dawkins examines God in all his forms, from the sex-obsessed tyrant of the Old Testament to the more benign (but still illogical) Celestial Watchmaker favored by some Enlightenment thinkers. He eviscerates the major arguments for religion and demonstrates the supreme improbability of a supreme being. He shows how religion fuels war, foments bigotry, and abuses children, buttressing his points with historical and contemporary evidence. The God Delusion makes a compelling case that belief in God is not just wrong but potentially deadly. It also offers exhilarating insight into the advantages of atheism to the individual and society, not the least of which is a clearer, truer appreciation of the universe's wonders than any faith could ever muster.
Letters from an Astrophysicist
by Neil deGrasse Tyson. Tyson invites us to go behind the scenes of his public fame by revealing his correspondence with people across the globe who have sought him out in search of answers. In this hand-picked collection of 101 letters, Tyson draws upon cosmic perspectives to address a vast array of questions about science, faith, philosophy, life, and of course, Pluto.