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13 Books to Add to Your 2019 Reading List

The new year is here, so why not start it off right with a new book?

Here are 13 books that our friends at The Heritage Foundation think should read in 2019.

Current Affairs

1) “Ghettocide: A True Story of Murder in America” by Jill Leovy

The liberal Left continue to push their radical agenda against American values. The good news is there is a solution. Find out more >>

Have you ever wondered why children and young men get shot in America’s inner cities, but no one seems to treat it like the national crisis it is? Or why our national media has meltdowns over things like melting polar caps-–or suburban schools getting shot up-–but don’t have that sustained reaction over inner-city murders?

Read New York Times-bestselling book, “Ghettocide: A True Story of Murder in America,” by Jill Leovy for a new lens onto why murder happens in our cities–and how the epidemic of killing might yet be stopped. This eye-opening book broke this reviewer’s heart. It also gave me hope to see that–through conservative policies–we could turn this unacceptable situation around and bring peace, law, order, and prosperity to our nation’s cities.

Marie Fishpaw is the director of Domestic Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation’s Institute for Family, Community, and Opportunity.

2) “The Closing of the Liberal Mind: How Groupthink and Intolerance Define the Left” by Kim R. Holmes

Remember the days when free speech, tolerance, and individual rights were championed by American liberals? The liberals of the 1960s championed freedom of expression. Today they promote speech codes and trigger warnings. How did a movement built on open-mindedness become just the opposite?

In his book, “The Closing of the Liberal Mind,” author, historian, policy expert, and current executive vice president of The Heritage Foundation Kim Holmes takes up that question as he masterfully mixes intellectual history with an analysis of contemporary politics. Though Holmes himself is a policy expert, you don’t have to be to enjoy and profit from his book.

Genevieve Wood is a leading voice for The Heritage Foundation as a senior adviser and spokesperson.

3) “Chemical Slavery: Understanding Addiction and Stopping the Drug Epidemic” by Robert L. DuPont, MD

“Chemical Slavery: Understanding Addiction and Stopping the Drug Epidemic” by Robert L. DuPont, MD is a scholarly and encyclopedic discussion of the causes and treatment of addiction. The author, a graduate of Harvard Medical School, has spent his 50-year career as a psychiatrist in the field of addiction medicine, and has spoken at The Heritage Foundation on drug policy on several occasions.

DuPont worked for the DC Department of Corrections and the DC Narcotics Treatment Administration. The first director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, DuPont was also the second White House drug czar, serving under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. He now is a clinical professor of psychiatry at the Georgetown University School of Medicine, and president of the Institute for Behavior and Health, where he continues his commitment to addressing addiction.

Paul J. Larkin Jr. is the John, Barbara and Victoria Rumpel senior legal research fellow at the Institute for Constitutional Government at The Heritage Foundation.


4) Grant” by Ron Chernow

At 959 pages, Ron Chernow’s latest, “Grant,” requires commitment. Maybe not like learning Mandarin Chinese, but close. For those who choose to take up the challenge, it’s worth it.

For me, what I knew about Ulysses S. Grant stopped with Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox Court House. Chernow picks up the story through Grant’s presidency, and along the way, corrects a lot of misconceptions and fills in the blanks.

For example, unknown to me was the huge role Grant played in eliminating the Klu Klux Klan which ravaged the South in the 1870s. Chernow also corrects the record on corruption and scandal in the Grant administration, pointing out that Grant was never personally involved. Chernow forthrightly takes on the topic of Grant and alcohol, persuasively making the case that Grant was a classic alcoholic, who by sheer determination, overcame his addiction.

If you still aren’t convinced, there are reports that Steven Spielberg and Leonardo DiCaprio are involved in bringing “Grant” to the movie screen. By reading the book, you will fully appreciate the film.

Thomas Spoehr serves as the director of the Center for National Defense at The Heritage Foundation.

5) “Churchill: Walking with Destiny” by Andrew Roberts

Andrew Roberts’ “Churchill: Walking with Destiny” is fun to read, and brings the greatness of Winston Churchill to life. Churchill’s unique personality comes across vividly throughout the book, as does his sparkling wit, and rib-tickling sense of a good wisecrack. “Walking with destiny” alludes to the great man’s belief, ever since he was a young boy, that he would one day save Britain from an invasion by a foreign power.

Patrick Tyrrell is a research coordinator in The Heritage Foundation’s Center for International Trade and Economics.

6) “Testament of Youth” by Vera Brittain

If you’re looking for a good cry, pick up Vera Brittain’s “Testament of Youth”–a haunting account of World War I, as seen through the eyes of a young English woman who served as a nurse in France, Malta, and England while keeping up lively correspondences with her brother, fiancée, and three male friends, all of whom served on the front lines.

Brittain’s vivid descriptions of life amid war will stay long with you, and while you may not agree with all her answers (Brittain ultimately becomes a pacifist), she raises thought-provoking questions about how war changes us, and our world. We’re now more than a hundred years past the start of World War I, but it’s undeniable impact on our modern mindset makes this war one we should continue studying.

Katrina Trinko is the director and managing editor of The Daily Signal.

7) Leaving Cloud 9: The True Story of a Life Resurrected from the Ashes of Poverty, Trauma, and Mental Illness” by Ericka Andersen

“Leaving Cloud 9” by Ericka Andersen is a gripping story about life’s challenges and overcoming the odds. It’s a book you won’t want to put down–with vivid details about the struggles of a troubled boy who became a caring and loving husband and father. In a confusing world in search of good news, Andersen gives us hope with a book about family, religion, and love.