American Theocracy : The Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil, and Borrowed Money in the 21st Century by Kevin Phillips. If you’re not already depressed about America’s future, this book will hit you with a triple whammy: The Iraq invasion was all about oil, not terrorism. Fundamentalist religion is having an ever-growing influence US foreign policy. And the federal deficit is going to sink our kids if it doesn’t sink us first. Well-documented and well-reasoned, which makes it even more depressing.
The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron by Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind. Great background for the ongoing Enron trials. The Oscar-nominated documentary is out on DVD if you haven’t got time for the book.
Recent favorites on the US military:
The Fall of Baghdad by John Lee Anderson. Even-handed and extremely well written.
The Mission: Waging War and Keeping Peace with America’s Military by Dana Priest. Written in 2003, a must-read if you want to understand the modern role of the US miliary around the world.