Best Nonfiction of 2020
In 2020, the year of endless doomscrolling (and doom-reading), it is sometimes easy to despair. Through that lens, the theme that encapsulates the best nonfiction books of the year is “ending”: The end of the human epoch via global warming. The end of privacy via invasive tech. The end of our country via autocracy, oligarchy, racism and white supremacy, and economic inequality. The final end of the universe. But there is also a less cynical thread running through these books: they can represent turning points. These books inform us, they give us the sometimes-uncomfortable knowledge necessary to understand our past, inform our present, and actively create our future.
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