I was sick this last week. The good news is that when I'm sick, I get to do a bit of reading because that's pretty much all I could do.
The first book I read was The Forgotten Man by Amity Shlaes. It's a somewhat rambling, but interesting history of The Great Depression told from a very anti-FDR point of view. The story she tells is one of how incessant and inconsistent meddling (starting with Hoover) brought about great uncertainty which made it impossible for the economy to recover. In her narrative, it wasn't until FDR signaled his willingness to work with business again in 1940 in order to win the war that the country was finally able to recover. These arguments are similar to those put forth by some modern economists and the book does serve as a useful counterweight to the prevailing theory that FDR was a saint and a hero and that things would've been even worse without his bold and visionary actions.
However, I don't recommend this book. Not because there's anything wrong with it or it's poorly written. The problem is that Conservatives and Libertarians probably won't find enough new in its pages to make it worth the effort to read while those more to the Left will likely reject its narrative out-of-hand. For those independents who haven't yet formed a strong opinion and want to learn more, then perhaps The Forgotten Man is a useful addition to their reading lists.
Much the same could be said for the second book I read this week: Liberty and Tyranny by Mark Levin. It won't change anybody's mind about anything either. Unlike Shlaes book, this one is a much easier read - very direct and concise. I'm still quite surprised that it became a New York Times and Amazon bestseller (I bought it out of curiosity because of its popularity). I'm now wondering if everybody else bought it just because it was a bestseller. In other words, I don't recommend this book either.
I'm currently working on A Conflict of Visions by Thomas Sowell. So far this is a really, really good book. Indeed, it has a shot at becoming my number 2 all time favorite (number 1 is The Fatal Conceit). I'll post again sometime after I've finished it.