My 2021 Reading List Review
This year I reduced my reading schedule to 40 books. I was able to read several books that had been on my list for many years. Here is my 2021 reading list on Good Reads. https://www.goodreads.com/user_challenges/25070879
The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion
by Jonathan Haidt
Drawing on his twenty-five years of groundbreaking research on moral psychology, social psychologist Jonathan Haidt shows how moral judgments arise not from reason but from gut feelings. He shows why liberals, conservatives, and libertarians have such different intuitions about right and wrong, and he shows why each side is actually right about many of its central concerns.
In this subtle yet accessible book, Haidt gives you the key to understanding the miracle of human cooperation, as well as the curse of our eternal divisions and conflicts. If you’re ready to trade in anger for understanding, read The Righteous Mind.
The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956: An Experiment in Literary Investigation
by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
“Best Nonfiction Book of the 20th Century” (Time)
“It is impossible to name a book that had a greater effect on the political and moral consciousness of the late 20th century.” (David Remnick, The New Yorker)
The Nobel Prize winner’s towering masterpiece of world literature, the searing record of four decades of terror and oppression, in one abridged volume (authorized by the author). Features a new foreword by Anne Applebaum.
Drawing on his own experiences before, during, and after his 11 years of incarceration and exile, on evidence provided by more than 200 fellow prisoners, and on Soviet archives, Solzhenitsyn reveals with torrential narrative and dramatic power the entire apparatus of Soviet repression, the state within the state that once ruled all-powerfully with its creation by Lenin in 1918. Through truly Shakespearean portraits of its victims – this man, that woman, that child – we encounter the secret police operations, the labor camps and prisons, the uprooting or extermination of whole populations, the “welcome” that awaited Russian soldiers who had been German prisoners of war. Yet we also witness astounding moral courage, the incorruptibility with which the occasional individual or a few scattered groups, all defenseless, endured brutality and degradation. And Solzhenitsyn’s genius has transmuted this grisly indictment into a literary miracle.
“The greatest and most powerful single indictment of a political regime ever leveled in modern times.” (George F. Kennan)
“Solzhenitsyn’s masterpiece…. The Gulag Archipelago helped create the world we live in today.” (Anne Applebaum, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Gulag: A History, from the foreword)
Liftoff: Elon Musk and the Desperate Early Days That Launched SpaceX
by Eric Berger
The dramatic inside story of the first four historic flights that launched SpaceX – and Elon Musk – from a shaky startup into the world’s leading edge rocket company.
In 2006, SpaceX – a brand-new venture with fewer than 200 employees – rolled its first, single-engine rocket onto a launch pad at Kwajalein Atoll. After a groundbreaking launch from the middle of the Pacific Ocean, the Falcon 1 rocket designed by Elon Musk’s engineers rose in the air for approximately 30 seconds. Then, its engine flamed out and the rocket crashed back into the ocean.
When he founded SpaceX, Elon Musk had only budgeted for three launches. After two more failed flight tests, and with only one Falcon 1 rocket left in its factory, SpaceX decided to try one last, dramatic launch. Over eight weeks, engineers worked furiously to prepare this final rocket. If it crashed and burned, so would SpaceX. In September 2008, SpaceX’s last chance for success lifted off…and accelerated like a dream, soaring into orbit flawlessly.
That success would launch a miraculous decade for the company, in which SpaceX grew from building a single-engine rocket to one with a staggering 27 engines, created two different spacecrafts and mastered reusable-rocket descents using mobile drone ships on the open seas. But these achievements would not have been possible without SpaceX’s first four flight tests.
Drawing on unparalleled access and exclusive interviews with dozens of former and current employees – engineers, designers, mechanics and executives, including Elon Musk – Eric Berger tells the complete story of this foundational generation that transformed SpaceX into the world’s leading space company.
Economic Facts and Fallacies
by Thomas Sowell
Economic Facts and Fallacies exposes some of the most popular fallacies about economic issues-and does so in a lively manner and without requiring any prior knowledge of economics by the reader. These include many beliefs widely disseminated in the media and by politicians, such as mistaken ideas about urban problems, income differences, male-female economic differences, as well as economics fallacies about academia, about race, and about Third World countries.
One of the themes of Economic Facts and Fallacies is that fallacies are not simply crazy ideas but in fact have a certain plausibility that gives them their staying power-and makes careful examination of their flaws both necessary and important, as well as sometimes humorous. Written in the easy-to-follow style of the author’s Basic Economics, this latest book is able to go into greater depth, with real world examples, on specific issues.