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“The Ezra Klein Show” explores ideas with some of today’s most dynamic thinkers. We cover politics, culture, history, philosophy, psychology, technology and more. The topics are wide-ranging, but every episode ends with Ezra asking his guest (or guests) to recommend a few books that have shaped their thinking. Below is a list of all the books recommended on the show, in reverse-chronological order.

Listen to and follow “The Ezra Klein Show” on Apple, Spotify, Google or wherever you get your podcasts.

The Freeing of the American Mind (June 15, 2021)

  • “Tristes Tropiques” by Claude Lévi-Strauss

  • “Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945” by Tony Judt

  • “Chance and Circumstance: Twenty Years With Cage and Cunningham” by Carolyn Brown

Sam Altman on the A.I. Revolution, Trillionaires and the Future of Political Power (June 11, 2021)

  • “Crystal Nights” by Greg Egan

  • “The Last Question” by Isaac Asimov

  • “The Gentle Seduction” by Marc Stiegler

Employers Are Begging for Workers. Maybe That’s a Good Thing. (June 8, 2021)

  • “Halfway Home” by Reuben Miller

  • “Root Shock” by Mindy Fullilove

  • “Poorly Understood” by Mark Rank, Lawrence Eppard and Heather Bullock

If ‘All Models Are Wrong,’ Why Do We Give Them So Much Power? (June 4, 2021)

  • “What to Expect When You’re Expecting Robots” by Julie Shah and Laura Major

  • “Finite and Infinite Games” by James P. Carse

  • “How to Do Nothing” by Jenny Odell

Obama Explains How America Went From ‘Yes We Can’ to ‘MAGA’ (June 1, 2021)

Violent Crime Is Spiking. Do Liberals Have an Answer? (May 21, 2021)

  • “Ghettoside” by Jill Leovy

  • “Becoming Ms. Burton” by Susan Burton

  • “The Condemnation of Blackness” by Khalil Gibran Muhammad

The Spectacle of the G.O.P.’s Shrinking Tent (May 18, 2021)

  • “Bring the War Home: The White Power Movement and Paramilitary America” by Kathleen Belew

  • “Gods of the Upper Air: How a Circle of Renegade Anthropologists Reinvented Race, Sex and Gender in the Twentieth Century” by Charles King

  • “The Fire Is Upon Us: James Baldwin, William F. Buckley Jr. and the Debate Over Race in America” by Nicholas Buccola

Status Games, Polyamory and the Merits of Meritocracy (May 14, 2021)

  • “Tolstoy: A Russian Life” by Rosamund Bartlett

  • “Pessoa: A Biography” by Richard Zenith

  • “Augustine of Hippo” by Peter Brown

Michael Lewis Is Asking the Right Question (May 11, 2021)

  • “Klara and the Sun” by Kazuo Ishiguro

  • “Young Men and Fire” by Norman McLean

  • “Furious Hours” by Casey Cep

Elizabeth Warren on What We Get Wrong About Inequality (May 7, 2021)

  • “Heart of Fire” by Mazie Hirono

  • “Before the Coffee Gets Cold” by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

  • “John Rain” series by Barry Eisler

How to Have Better Conversations About Hard Things (May 4, 2021)

  • “Death in Mud Lick” by Eric Eyre

  • “Crying in H Mart” by Michelle Zauner

  • “The Secret to Superhuman Strength” by Alison Bechdel

How Chuck Schumer Plans to Win Over Trump Voters (April 30, 2021)

  • “Grant” by Ron Chernow

  • “Freedom” by William Safire

  • “The Power Broker” by Robert Caro

Shame, Safety and Moving Beyond Cancel Culture (April 27, 2021)

Noam Chomsky on Anarchism, Human Nature and Joe Biden (April 23, 2021)

  • “The Last of the Just” by Andre Schwarz-Bart

  • “All God’s Dangers: The Life of Nate Shaw” by Theodore Rosengarten

  • Selected essays by Ahad Ha’am

That Anxiety You’re Feeling? It’s a Habit You Can Unlearn. (April 20, 2021)

  • “The Art of Racing in the Rain” by Garth Stein

  • “Barbarian Days” by William Finnegan

  • “The Underground Railroad” by Colson Whitehead

Why Adults Lose the ‘Beginner’s Mind’ (April 16, 2021)

  • “Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak

  • “Mary Poppins in the Park” by P.L. Travers

  • “The Children of Green Knowe” by L.M. Boston

Your Success Probably Didn’t Come From Merit Alone (April 13, 2021)

  • “Minor Feelings” by Cathy Park Hong

  • “Fearing the Black Body” by Sabrina Strings

  • “The Chosen” by Jerome Karabel

  • “Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry” by Mildred Taylor

Did the Boomers Ruin America? A Debate. (April 6, 2021)

  • “The Culture of Narcissism” by Christopher Lasch

  • “Can’t Even” by Anne Helen Petersen

  • “Goodnight Moon” by Margaret Wise Brown

  • “A Tale of Two Utopias” by Paul Berman

  • “Coming of Age on Zoloft” by Katherine Sharpe

  • “A Book of Americans” by Stephen Vincent Benét

Humanity’s Awesome, Terrifying Takeover of Evolution (April 2, 2021)

  • “The Bully Pulpit” by Doris Kearns Goodwin

  • “The Moviegoer” by Walker Percy

  • “The Eighth Day of Creation” by Horace Freeland Judson

  • “Winnie the Pooh” by A.A. Milne

The Author Behind ‘Arrival’ Doesn’t Fear A.I. ‘Look at How We Treat Animals.’ (March 30, 2021)

  • “Creation” by Steve Grand

  • “CivilWarLand in Bad Decline” by George Saunders

  • “A Visit From the Goon Squad” by Jennifer Egan

  • “On Fragile Waves” by Lily Yu

  • “Pilgrim at Tinker Creek” by Annie Dillard

A Top G.O.P. Pollster on Trump 2024, QAnon and What Republicans Really Want (March 26, 2021)

  • “Grand New Party” by Ross Douthat and Reihan Salam

  • “Resonate” by Nancy Duarte

  • “Dragons Love Tacos” by Adam Rubin

Andrew Cuomo and the Performance of Power (March 19, 2021)

  • “The House of Mirth” by Edith Wharton

  • “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” by Betty Smith

  • “Another Brooklyn” by Jacqueline Woodson

  • “My Ántonia” by Willa Cather

  • “Then We Came to the End” by Joshua Ferris

  • “All the King’s Men” by Robert Penn Warren

  • “Unbought and Unbossed” by Shirley Chisholm

  • “The Elephant and the Bad Baby” by Elfrida Vipont

  • “The Church Mouse” by Graham Oakley

  • “Tar Beach” by Faith Ringgold

  • “The Highway Rat” by Julia Donaldson

  • “The Complete 8-Book Ramona Collection” by Beverly Cleary

  • “When You Reach Me” by Rebecca Stead

  • “The Watsons Go to Birmingham — 1963” by Christopher Paul Curtis

Mark Bittman Cooked Everything. Now He Wants to Change Everything. (March 16, 2021)

  • “Classic Indian Cooking” by Julie Sahni

  • “How to Cook Everything Vegetarian” by Mark Bittman

  • “Lord Emsworth” by P.G. Wodehouse

  • “The New Book of Middle Eastern Food” by Claudia Roden

  • “The Old World Kitchen: The Rich Tradition of European Peasant Cooking” by Elisabeth Luard

  • “The Optimist’s Telescope” by Bina Venkataraman

  • “The Wuggie Norple Story” by Daniel Manus Pinkwater and Tomie dePaola

How America’s Covid-19 Nightmare Ends (March 12, 2021)

  • “LikeWar” by P.W. Singer and Emerson T. Brooking

  • “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” by Malcolm X and Alex Haley

  • “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle

What Does Toxic Stress Do to Children? (March 9, 2021)

  • “Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers” by Robert Sapolsky

  • “The Emotional Life of the Toddler” by Alicia Lieberman

  • “The Woman Behind the New Deal” by Kirstin Downey

  • “The Runaway Bunny” by Margaret Wise Brown

Stop. Breathe. We Can’t Keep Working Like This. (March 5, 2021)

  • “Technics and Civilization” by Lewis Mumford

  • “Five Things We Need to Know About Technological Change” by Neil Postman

  • “Andrew Henry’s Meadow” by Doris Burn

What a More Responsible Republican Party Would Look Like (March 2, 2021)

  • “The Great Debate” by Yuval Levin

  • “The Upside-Down Constitution” by Michael S. Greve

  • “Popular Crime” by Bill James

  • “The Chronicles of Narnia” by C.S. Lewis

The Texas Crisis Could Become Everyone’s Crisis (Feb. 26, 2021)

  • “Short Circuiting Policy” by Leah Stokes

  • “The Lorax” by Dr. Seuss

  • “Under a White Sky” by Elizabeth Kolbert

  • “The Ministry for the Future” by Kim Stanley Robinson

A Radical Proposal for True Democracy (Feb. 23, 2021)

  • “Liquid Reign” by Tim Reutemann

  • “The Three Musketeers” by Alexandre Dumas

  • “The Principles of Representative Government” by Bernard Manin

  • Mortelle Adèle series

What It Means to Be Kind in a Cruel World (Feb. 19, 2021)

  • “Red Cavalry” by Isaac Babel

  • “Stamped From the Beginning” by Ibram X. Kendi

  • “Dispatches” by Michael Herr

  • “Patriotic Gore” by Edmund Wilson

  • “In Love With the World” by Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche

  • “Loving; Living; Party Going” by Henry Green

  • “Scrambled Eggs & Whiskey” by Hayden Carruth

  • “Tropic of Squalor” by Mary Carr

  • “They Lift Their Wings to Cry” by Brooks Haxton

  • “The Hundred Dresses” by Eleanor Estes and Louis Slobodkin

  • “Caps for Sale” by Esphyr Slobodkina

What ‘Drained-Pool’ Politics Costs America (Feb. 16, 2021)

  • “Parable of the Sower” by Octavia E. Butler

  • “The Color of Law” by Richard Rothstein

  • “The Word Collector” by Peter H. Reynolds

The Senate Is Making a Mockery of Itself (Feb. 12, 2021)

  • “Double Indemnity” by James Cain

  • “Master of the Senate” by Robert Caro

  • “The Sum of Us” by Heather McGhee

  • “Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak

Should We Dim the Sun? Will We Even Have a Choice? (Feb. 9, 2021)

  • “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald

  • “The Complete Stories of Franz Kafka”

  • “The Song of the Dodo” by David Quammen

  • “Global Warming (The Complete Briefing)” by John Houghton

  • “Cosmicomics” by Italo Calvino

  • “The Phantom Tollbooth” by Norton Juster

  • “Charlotte’s Web” by E.B. White

An Appalled Republican Considers the Future of the G.O.P. (Feb. 5, 2021)

  • “On Empire, Liberty, and Reform: Speeches and Letters” by Edmund Burke

  • “Reflections on the Revolution in France” by Edmund Burke

  • “The American Crisis” by Thomas Paine

  • “The Rights of Man” by Thomas Paine

  • “Conservatism: An Invitation to the Great Tradition” by Roger Scruton

  • “Freedom From the Market: America’s Fight to Liberate Itself From the Grip of the Invisible Hand” by Mike Konczal

  • “Social Democratic Capitalism” by Lane Kenworthy

  • “The Upswing” by Robert Putnam with Shaylyn Romney Garrett

To Understand This Era, You Need to Think in Systems (Feb. 2, 2021)

What’s Happening to Our Economy Is Like a Natural Disaster (Jan. 29, 2021)

  • “Laundry Files” series by Charlie Stross

  • “Merchant Princes” series by Charlie Stross

  • “The Price of Peace” by Zachary Carter

The Man With the Plan to Beat the Pandemic (Jan. 26, 2021)

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