Best non-fiction books of 2022
Behind the links are sometimes but not always my longer reviews. The list is (mostly) in the order I read them. Here goes:
Markus Friedrich, The Jesuits: A History.
Barbara Bloemink, Florine Stettheimer: A Biography.
Anna Keay, The Restless Republic: Britain Without a Crown.
Caroline Elkins, Legacy of Violence: A History of the British Empire.
Richard Overy, Blood and Ruins: The Last Imperial War, 1931-1945.
Mancur Olson, reprinted new edition of The Rise and Decline of Nations: Economic Growth, Stagflation, and Social Rigidities.
The Malcolm Gladwell audiobook Miracle and Wonder: Conversations with Paul Simon.
Tyler Cowen and Daniel Gross, Talent: How to Identify Energizers, Creators, and Winners Around the World.
Mark Koyama and Jared Rubin, How the World Became Rich: The Historical Origins of Economic Growth.
Katherine Rundell, Super-Infinite: The Transformations of John Donne.
Anthony Beevor, Russia: Revolution and Civil War, 1917-1921.
Kevin Kelly, Vanishing Asia, three volumes, expensive, mostly photos, worth it.
Richard R. Reeves, Of Boys and Men. One of America’s biggest problems.
Andrea Wulf, Magnificent Rebels: The First Romantics and the Invention of the Self. A+ academic gossip, so to speak.
Pekka Hämäläinen, Indigenous Continent: The Epic Contest for North America.
Johann Peter Eckermann, Conversations with Goethe. The new translation, much better than the old.
Julia Voss, Hilma af Klint: A Biography.
Hayek: A Life, 1899-1950, by Bruce Caldwell & Hansjoerg Klausinger.
I don’t think I can pick a favorite this year! But maybe the Kevin Kelly and the Catherine Rundell books, if I had to say? And please keep in mind this is a meritocratic list, not based on any quotas or any attempt at “balance.” These were the best books!
I will be issuing an addendum at the very end of the year, since I will be reading more between now and 2023.