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25 Best Nonfiction Books of All Time According to Ben Shapiro

Updated: Aug 31, 2023

Have you read any of these books and what are your thoughts on them?

In this article, we’ll delve into a handpicked list of 25 phenomenal nonfiction books that have left an indelible mark on Ben Shapiro.

I’ll provide a short summary on the book and a quote from it.

Affiliate Disclaimer: This post features Amazon affiliate links, which means I may earn a small commission if you make a purchase through these links.

In "Ball Four," Jim Bouton takes readers behind the scenes of professional baseball, offering an unfiltered and honest look at the sport. This tell-all memoir provides a candid perspective on the players' lives, the challenges they face, and the intricacies of the game itself.

“I think we are all better off looking across at someone, rather than up. Sheldon Kopp, the author and psychologist, wrote, “There are no great men. If you have a hero, look again: you have diminished yourself in some way.”― Jim Bouton, Ball Four

In this collection of essays, the late David Foster Wallace delves into the world of tennis. Combining his signature wit and insight, Wallace explores the nuances of the sport, the psychology of players, and the parallels between tennis and life.

“Genius is not replicable. Inspiration, though, is contagious, and multiform – and even just to see, close up, power and aggression made vulnerable to beauty is to feel inspired and (in a fleeting, mortal way) reconciled.”― John Jeremiah Sullivan, String Theory: David Foster Wallace on Tennis by David Foster Wallace

"Economics in One Lesson" offers a clear and accessible guide to economic principles. It emphasizes the importance of looking beyond immediate effects and considering long-term consequences in economic decision-making.

“..either immediately or ultimately every dollar of government spending must be raised through a dollar of taxation. Once we look at the matter. In this way, the supposed miracles of government spending will appear in another light.”― Henry Hazlitt, Economics in One Lesson: The Shortest & Surest Way to Understand Basic Economics

Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein explore the concept of "nudging" as a way to guide individuals toward better choices. The book examines how small changes in the presentation of options can influence decision-making in various aspects of life.

“you want to nudge people into socially desirable behavior, do not, by any means, let them know that their current actions are better than the social norm.”― Richard H. Thaler, Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness

James Surowiecki delves into the power of collective intelligence and the idea that diverse groups often make better decisions than individuals. He discusses examples from various fields, demonstrating how crowdsourcing can lead to accurate predictions and insights.

“Diversity and independence are important because the best collective decisions are the product of disagreement and contest, not consensus or compromise.”― James Surowiecki, The Wisdom of Crowds

J. D. Vance's memoir offers a personal and poignant exploration of the challenges faced by working-class families in America's Rust Belt. Through his own experiences, Vance addresses the complexities of poverty, addiction, and cultural identity.

“What separates the successful from the unsuccessful are the expectations that they had for their own lives. Yet the message of the right is increasingly: It’s not your fault that you’re a loser; it’s the government’s fault.”― J.D. Vance, Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis

Thomas Sowell's comprehensive book on economics breaks down complex concepts into understandable terms. He covers topics such as supply and demand, government intervention, and international trade, providing readers with a solid foundation in economic principles.

“Unfortunately, the real minimum wage is always zero, regardless of the laws, and that is the wage that many workers receive in the wake of the creation or escalation of a government-mandated minimum wage, because they lose their jobs or fail to find jobs when they enter the labor force. Making it illegal to pay less than a given amount does not make a worker’s productivity worth that amount—and, if it is not, that worker is unlikely to be employed.”― Thomas Sowell, Basic Economics: A Citizen's Guide to the Economy

On Amazon

In this thought-provoking collection of essays, Thomas Sowell challenges prevailing stereotypes and explores the historical roots of cultural and economic disparities among different racial groups.

“When people are presented with the alternatives of hating themselves for their failure or hating others for their success, they seldom choose to hate themselves.”― Thomas Sowell, Black Rednecks & White Liberals

"Ghosts of Manila" examines the intense rivalry between boxing legends Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier. Mark Kram provides a detailed account of their epic battles in the ring and the impact their feud had on both men's lives.

“Ali was a lonesome king, as all kings soon are without treasure to dispense.”― Mark Kram, Ghosts of Manila: The Fateful Blood Feud Between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier

Ed Morrissey explores the political landscape and identifies a key demographic of voters that can influence presidential elections. He offers insights into how conservatives can connect with these voters and effectively communicate their message.

“More than three years ago, the hopes and delusions of the Republican Party collapsed in a shocking defeat that few on the Right saw coming. And I had a ringside seat at the disaster.”― Ed Morrissey, Going Red: The Two Million Voters Who Will Elect the Next President--and How Conservatives Can Win Them

George Gilder presents a compelling argument about the role of knowledge in driving economic growth and innovation. He discusses how information theory can reshape our understanding of capitalism and its impact on the global economy.

“Far from being greedy, America’s leading entrepreneurs—with some exceptions—display discipline and self-control, hard work and austerity, excelling those found in any college of social work, Washington think tank, or congregation of bishops.”― George Gilder, Knowledge and Power: The Information Theory of Capitalism and How it is Revolutionizing our World

In "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity," James Fitzjames Stephen explores the principles of liberalism and their implications for society. He critically examines concepts of individual rights, social equality, and the role of government in upholding these values.

“Originality consists in thinking for yourself, not in thinking differently from other people.”― James Fitzjames Stephen, Liberty, Equality, Fraternity

Paul Johnson's sweeping history of the 20th century provides a comprehensive overview of the major political, social, and technological changes that shaped the modern world. From the Roaring Twenties to the fall of the Berlin Wall, Johnson captures the essence of each era.

“A Stalin functionary admitted, "Innocent people were arrested: naturally - otherwise no one would be frightened. If people, he said, were arrested only for specific misdemeanours, all the others would feel safe and so become ripe for treason.”― Paul Johnson, Modern Times : A History of the World from the 1920s to the Year 2000

Mitchell G. Bard's book offers a comprehensive guide to the complex Arab-Israeli conflict. Through an examination of historical events and misconceptions, Bard aims to provide a balanced understanding of the issues at the heart of the conflict.

A.J. Langguth's "Patriots" delves into the lives and motivations of the key figures who played a pivotal role in sparking the American Revolution. Through detailed portraits, Langguth brings to life the individuals who shaped the birth of a nation.

“You will reply politely, ‘You are all absolute idiots. Philadelphia is an uninteresting little town, open on all sides; its port was already blockaded; it was made famous, God knows why, because Congress resided there; that’s what this famous city really is; and, by the way, we’ll undoubtedly take it back sooner or later.’ ” When”― A.J. Langguth, Patriots

Rabbi David Fohrman offers a thought-provoking exploration of biblical stories, delving into the moral and psychological dimensions of well-known narratives. He provides fresh insights into the characters of Adam, Eve, Cain, Abel, and others.

“God acted to create a world so that there would be other beings existing besides Himself, beings upon whom He could bestow goodness. In short, God created the world because goodness demanded it.”― David Fohrman, The Beast That Crouches At The Door

"The Insanity Defense" compiles Woody Allen's humorous and insightful essays, short stories, and observations on a range of topics. Allen's distinctive wit shines through as he reflects on life, relationships, and the absurdities of the human condition.

“Interestingly, according to modern astronomers, space is finite. This is a very comforting thought-particularly for people who can never remember where they have left things.”― Woody Allen, The Insanity Defense: The Complete Prose

Roger Kimball examines the cultural shifts of the 1960s and their lasting impact on American society. From the rise of counterculture to the influence of radical ideologies, Kimball offers an insightful analysis of the era's transformative events.

“We -- the industrialized, technologized world -- have never been richer. And yet to an extraordinary extent we in the West continue to inhabit a moral and cultural universe shaped by the hedonistic imperatives and radical ideals of the Sixties. Culturally, morally the world we inhabit is increasingly a trash world: addicted to sensation, besieged everywhere by the cacophonous, mind-numbing din of rock music, saturated with pornography, in thrall to the lowest common denominator wherever questions of taste, manners or intellectual delicacy are concerned. Marwick was right: 'The cultural revolution, in short, had continuous, uninterrupted, and lasting consequences'.”― Roger Kimball, The Long March: How the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s Changed America

Jonathan Gottschall immerses himself in the world of mixed martial arts to explore the human fascination with violence and combat. Drawing on history and science, he investigates the primal instincts that drive our interest in fighting.

“At my local big-box bookstore, the gun nut, muscle head, and martial arts magazines are all shelved together in what I call the “masculine anxiety” section.”― Jonathan Gottschall, The Professor in the Cage: Why Men Fight and Why We Like to Watch

Robert D. Kaplan delves into the relationship between geography and global politics. He examines how geographical factors influence the behavior of nations, shape alliances, and predict future conflicts.

“As Napoleon said, to know a nation's geography is to know its foreign policy”― Robert D. Kaplan, The Revenge Of Geography: What the Map Tells Us About Coming Conflicts and the Battle Against Fate

Barry Latzer's book provides a comprehensive analysis of the rise and fall of violent crime in the United States. He explores the social, economic, and political factors that contributed to shifts in crime rates over the decades.

“If you ignore levels, and just look at rates of change, crime rates in Canada track those in the United States to an astonishing degree. How can that be? If demographics or jobs were the main driving force, maybe, but they are not…”― Barry Latzer, The Rise and Fall of Violent Crime in America

George Gilder challenges conventional economic wisdom by examining the relationship between money, innovation, and economic growth. He offers a fresh perspective on the role of technology and entrepreneurship in shaping economic outcomes.

“If the government controls, guarantees, channels, or directs investment, it is not capitalism. Pivotal to the investment process is interest rates. For entrepreneurs to control capital, interest rates must reflect its real cost rather than merely the cost of printing money. Otherwise the money printers will dominate investment.”― George Gilder, The Scandal of Money: Why Wall Street Recovers but the Economy Never Does

In "The Source," James A. Michener takes readers on a historical journey through the origins of the Jewish faith. Through the stories of generations of characters, Michener explores the history of the Jewish people and their struggles.

“The dead are dead but they rely on us to fulfill their hopes.”― James A. Michener, Steve Berry, The Source

Heather Mac Donald addresses the current debates surrounding policing and crime rates. She challenges prevailing narratives and argues that the push for reform has led to unintended consequences that negatively impact public safety.

“Go to any police-and-community meeting in Brooklyn, the Bronx, or Harlem, and you will hear pleas such as the following: Teens are congregating on my stoop; can you please arrest them? SUVs are driving down the street at night with their stereos blaring; can’t you do something? People have been barbecuing on the pedestrian islands of Broadway; that’s illegal! The targets of these complaints may be black and Hispanic, but the people making the complaints, themselves black and Hispanic, don’t care. They just want orderly streets.”― Heather Mac Donald, The War on Cops: How the New Attack on Law and Order Makes Everyone Less Safe

"The Whites" by Richard Price (writing under the pseudonym Harry Brandt) is a gripping crime novel that follows a New York City police detective haunted by an unsolved murder case. The novel explores themes of justice, obsession, and the complexities of the criminal justice system.

“He had the kind of droopy eyes that suggested he had never recovered from the exhausting experience of being born.”― Richard Price, The Whites


If you enjoyed these book recommendations, check out more similar list on my on my blog —


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