Nonfiction books of the year, 2020

1. Joseph Henrich, The WEIRDest People in the World. Analysis of human culture that is broad, deep, and bold. In a functioning academic world, graduate students in many social science disciplines would be mining this book for dissertation topics. My review could not do it justice.

2. Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay, Cynical Theories. A must-read on the intellectual foundations of the Woke movement. My review suggests ways it might have been better executed.

3. Kevin Davies, Editing Humanity. Tells the stories of the scientists involved in the discovery and development of the gene editing technology known as CRISPR, two of whom were awarded a Nobel Prize in chemistry the week that the book came out. The book is history of science reported with maximum melodrama, which makes for an entertaining and informative read.

4. Robert P. Saldin and Steven M. Teles, Never Trump. A look at the way that conservative intellectuals agonized over Mr. Trump. My review shows where I agree with them and where I part company.

5. Peter Zeihan, Disunited Nations. Zeihan has strong opinions about the way that demographics and resources affect the way nations operate in the world. As my review says, I find his opinions very provocative, even though he does not subject them to rigorous testing the way Henrich does his ideas.