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PS Commentators' Best Reads in 2019

In addition to fictional explorations of identity and powerful works of oral history, this year's list of not-to-miss books also includes a number of ambitious critiques of modern political economy and economics. With a new decade approaching, we are reminded that there are many ways to come to understand the world – none of which can claim priority over the others.

With a new year – and a new decade – approaching, Project Syndicate commentators list some of the books that had a lasting impact on their thinking in 2019. From engaging perspectives on economics and political science to groundbreaking novels and old tales of exploration, readers of all tastes should find something of interest in this year’s selections.

Yuen Yuen Ang

Siddhartha Mukherjee, The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, Scribner, 2010.

It is hard to imagine that cancer could have anything to do with marketing, and yet Siddhartha Mukherjee of Columbia University shows us how it does. In one chapter, “A Moon Shot for Cancer,” he reveals how a few individuals successfully whipped up a national campaign to eradicate the disease, even though there were in fact no sure cures. For anyone seeking to understand public opinion and communications in American politics (and in democracies more broadly), this book is an essential – and fascinating – read.

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