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Democracy & Technology Blog Good books of 2005

Of the many good books I read this year, here are a few of the standouts:
The Silicon Eye – by George Gilder
Our Discovery colleague tells the 40-year story of how four eclectic geniuses and two Silicon Valley legends combined to create a technology revolution in digital imaging and cameras.
The Bottomless Well – by Peter Huber and Mark Mills
A true genius of our time, Huber and his colleague Mills transcend the energy debate with lots of data, even more big thinking, and quick writing.
A Different Universe – by Robert Laughlin
A fun, contrarian, and courageous twist on conventional physics by the winner of the 1998 physics Nobel.
Mao: The Unknown Story – by Jung Chang and Jon Halliday
A devastating new biography of last century’s most ruthless and prolific murderer.
(I may extend this list, but I’m running out of the house…)
Some of the best magazine writing of the year was done in The New York Times Magazine by Michael Lewis of Liar’s Poker and Moneyball fame. He wrote the single best story about post-Katrina New Orleans that I’ve read, and he recently penned a long but fun article on the unorthodox Texas Tech football team that shows how this one-time Solomon Brothers bond trader turned author has also now become America’s best sports writer. Lewis expertly combines vivid portraits of people with abstract, structural analysis of the arena, whether that arena is baseball, a bond pit, or a flooded city, often overturning the conventional wisdom. He consistently does all this with humor, humanity, and a lively, quick pen.
Happy New Year. Best wishes for a great 2006,
-Bret Swanson

Bret Swanson

Bret Swanson is a Senior Fellow at Seattle's Discovery Institute, where he researches technology and economics and contributes to the Disco-Tech blog. He is currently writing a book on the abundance of the world economy, focusing on the Chinese boom and developing a new concept linking economics and information theory. Swanson writes frequently for the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal on topics ranging from broadband communications to monetary policy.