As Christmas is not so very far off, here are some books I have read recently which I warmly recommend as presents...
Paul Chase - Culture Wars and Moral Panics: The story of alcohol and society
CPL Training, is a proud defender of drinking and the pub trade. His new book is a comprehensive history of the temperance lobby from its religious inception to its makeover as a 'public health' movement ('from clerics to medics' as he puts it). Although the story is told chronologically, Culture Wars and Moral Panic is much more than a historical account. Chase looks at the issue from various different academic perspectives and his analysis of, for example, the disease theory of alcoholism and minimum pricing, is incisive. I'm familiar with much of the territory covered in this book, but I still learned a lot. For my money, it's the best book on the topic that has yet been published.
Jamie Bartlett - The Dark Net: Inside the Digital Underground
Nick Cater - The Lucky Country and the Rise of an Australian Ruling Class
Dominic Frisby - Life After the State
Virginia Berridge - Demons: Our changing attitudes to alcohol, tobacco and drugs
James Allan - Democracy in Decline: Steps in the wrong direction
Michael McFadden - Tobacconacht: the anti-smoking endgame
Bryan Caplan - The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why democracies choose bad policies
Jean-Francoise Revel - Last Exit to Utopia: The survival of socialism in a post-Soviet era
Plus, here are some freebies that you might enjoy...
Petr Skrabanek - The Death of Humane Medicine and the Rise of Coercive Healthism
I have mentioned the late, great Dr Skrabanek a few times on this blog. He had a column in The Lancet in the days before scepticism was banished from that journal. The Death of Humane Medicine is his last and finest book; a lament for the death of liberalism in the world of public health which was ahead of its time.
Simon Clark - Diary of a Political Campaign
Ralph Harris and Arthur Seldon - Advertising in a Free Society
You should also read Jamie Whyte's brilliant Quack Policy, also an IEA publication.