WashPost's Top 50 Nonfiction Books of 2014 Include Hillary, Panetta, Gates

The Washington Post has already declared the Best Books of 2014, with five weeks left to go. As usual, a pile of liberal favorites, like Capital by French socialist Thomas Piketty were on the list. There was one surprising result: the Post's Top 50 Nonfiction Books has three Obama-cabinet memoirs on the list, including the doorstop by presidential candidate Hillary Clinton:

DUTY By Robert Gates

Gates sorts through the anger, frustration, sadness and guilt he held inside during his tenure. He slams Congress for gridlock and Obama for adopting an Afghanistan strategy the president himself expected to fail. — Greg Jaffe

HARD CHOICES by Hillary Clinton

Clinton gives a clear and at times riveting account of her years as secretary of state. But the memoir includes very few agreements signed or policies brought to fruition. — David Ignatius    

WORTHY FIGHTS by Leon Panetta

Panetta’s personality as a scrappy, profane, devout, Italian-American mensch comes through in this memoir of his years as CIA director and defense secretary. — D. I.

Other liberal books included one on The Birth of the Pill, Forcing the Spring about the big push for "gay marriage," Rick Perlstein's sleazy book on Reagan, and John Dean's latest book on Nixon and Watergate, a perpetual Post staple.

The un-surprising result is the Post honoring its own employees by handing out "Best Book" honors like a bonus in their compensation package:

[Steven] Levingston — The Post’s nonfiction book editor— explores an 1889 murder in which a young female accomplice claimed she was hypnotized into committing the crime, sparking a Paris sensation and an impassioned debate over the power of suggestion.

...[Brigid] Schulte, a Washington Post reporter, uses her own harried-working-mom life as the jumping-off point for her book on the plague of business that afflicts us and what we can do about it.

...By day, Ruben Castaneda was an ambitious young reporter for The Washington Post. By night, he made the round of drug slingers on S Street, buying crack and sinking deeper into addiction. Castaneda — who eventually devoted himself to recovery with the same energy he’d brought to chasing highs — tells a gritty and utterly convincing street-level portrait of the 1990s.

...[Peter] Finn, The Post’s national security editor, and Couvée have created an intellectual thriller out of the release and reception of Pasternak’s Dr. Zhivago.

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