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The Best Books of 2001

Breaking the Deadlock: The 2000 Election, the Constitution and the CourtsBreaking the Deadlock: The 2000 Election, the Constitution and the Courts by Richard A. Posner
Princeton University Press 266 pgs.

Whether you accept Richard A. Posner's version of events and his analysis may ultimately depend on who you voted for in November 2000. That said, Posner's look at the election that wouldn't end is penetrating and insightful and unlike many other authors, he actually bothers to throw his two cents into the debate on how to avoid future struggles over the highest office in the United States.

Read our full review here

Pearl Harbor BetrayedPearl Harbor Betrayed by Michael Gannon
Henry Holt 339 pgs.

The debate over whether FDR knew an attack on Pearl Harbor was coming will probably rage as long as their are people willing to believe that the official version of history is filled with holes. Michael Gannon takes on those who believe that the attack was allowed to proceed unopposed by Roosevelt so that America would be drawn into a war with Japan and the rest of the Axis powers.

Read our full review here

The Bridge at No Gun Ri: A Hidden Nightmare from the Korean WarThe Bridge at No Gun Ri: A Hidden Nightmare from the Korean War by Charles J. Hanley, Sang-Hun Choe and Martha Mendoza
Henry Holt, 284 pgs.
American soldiers usually serve as the saviors of people and nations, but as the authors point out, sometimes a nation trying to do good ends up committing the most heinous evils. An expanded version of a Pulitzer Prize winning 1999 series by a team of Associated Press reporters, The Bridge at No Gun Ri tells the story of American soldiers tasked with defending South Korea in 1950 and the refugees they were there ostensibly to protect. Instead, some gunned down untold numbers of their charges thanks to a combination of racism, incompetence and fear.

Read our full review here

The Skeptical Environmentalist: Measuring the Real State of the WorldThe Skeptical Environmentalist: Measuring the Real State of the World by Bjorn Lomborg
Cambridge University Press, 515 pages
Bjorn Lomborg proved in 2001 that breaking away from the herd can get you in real trouble. A soft-left former card carrying member of Greenpeace, Lomborg set out to prove Julian Simon's optimistic view of the Earth and its passengers as wrong. Instead, the Danish professor confirmed what Simon had said for decades: the Earth isn't dying, humanity isn't at the edge of collapse and things are getting better.

Read our full review here

The CorrectionsThe Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 568 pgs.
There's a lot to hate in The Corrections, especially if you're a social conservative. That said, Franzen's novel on the American family also happened to be one the best written efforts of the year and lived up to the hype that proceeded it. Although most people know Franzen as the man who spurned Oprah Winfrey, we at ESR suspect that in the future he'll be held in the same regard as other eminent American novelists.

Read our full review here

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