Social Distance Reads
Books Recommended by FPA Board Members
By Bill White
A remarkable story of fiscal heroes who imposed clear limits on the use of federal debt,
limits that for two centuries were part of an unwritten constitution. Those national
leaders borrowed only for extraordinary purposes and relied on well-defined budget
practices to balance federal spending and revenues. With insights gained from original
scholarship and an unusual breadth of experience in finance and government, Bill White
distills practical lessons from the nation's five previous spikes in debt. An entertaining
and objective guide for people trying to make sense of fiscal policy today.
By Douglas Brinkley
In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing, the award-winning
historian and bestselling author takes a fresh look at the space program, President John
F. Kennedy’s inspiring challenge, and America’s race to the moon.
by Erik Larson
“Every time Churchill took to the airwaves it was as if he were injecting adrenalinesoaked courage directly into the British people ... Larson tells the story of how that feat
was accomplished ... Fresh, fast and deeply moving.” The New York Times
By Peter Frankpan
A major reassessment of world history, The Silk Roads is a dazzling exploration of the
forces that have driven the rise and fall of empires, determined the flow of ideas and
goods and are now heralding a new dawn in international affairs.
By Peter Frankpan
For centuries, fame and fortune were to be found in the West – in the New World of the
Americas. Today, it is the East which calls out to those in search of riches and
adventure. Sweeping right across Central Asia and deep into China and India, a region
that once took center stage is again rising to dominate global politics, commerce and
By Bruno Maçães
In Belt and Road: A Chinese World Order, Bruno Maçães discusses the contours and
possibilities of China's Belt and Road Initiative, an expansive project that explicitly seeks
to reconfigure the contemporary global economy with socioeconomic and geopolitical
implications for each of the countries involved.
By Graham Allison
In Destined for War, Graham Allison masterfully blends history and current events to
explain the timeless machinery of Thucydides's Trap—and to explore the painful steps
that might prevent disaster today. Are China and the United States heading toward
a war neither wants?
By William Dalrymple
Dalrymple describes how the East India Co. became a ruthless colonizing power that
built British power across South Asia.
By Jung Chang
The lives of the three Song sisters–the subjects of Jung Chang’s spirited new book–are
more than worthy of an operatic plot. Born between 1888 and 1898, the twilight of
imperial China, all three went on to play dominant roles in 20th-century Chinese life, on
the extremes of the political spectrum.
By Ashlee Vance
Veteran technology journalist Ashlee Vance offers an unvarnished look into the
remarkable life of one of the most daring entrepreneurs of our time.
By Kate Murphy
Murphy explains in an often humorous way why we’re not listening, what it’s doing to us,
and how we can reverse the trend.
By Claude Manceron
Four volumes on the French Revolution, starting with Twilight of the Old Order, in
which the Revolution is chronicled through short diary-like sketches of the day-by-day
life of famous individuals; an unusual and effective way to recount history.
By Joseph Ellis
A deeply insightful examination of the relevance of Jefferson's, Madison's, and Adams'
views on some of the most divisive issues in American politics and society today.
By Sandra Day O’Connor
In this remarkable memoire, Sandra Day O’Connor explores the law, her life as a
Supreme Court Justice, and how the Court has evolved and continues to function, grow,
and change as an American institution.