Bill Lockyer served in a distinguished political career as the former California State Treasurer and former Attorney General of California. He served in the legislature for over twenty-five years – more than half of that time was spent in the senate. As a lover of the law, he also found a passion for historical non-fiction and the lessons that it can teach us today.
“After all, as George Santayana said, ‘Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it,’” says Bill Lockyer. “I think that’s true in politics, in the law, and in life. I’m fascinated by the patterns of the past and the lessons that we can glean from them. With everything that’s going on in the world, I think we could all use a little historical perspective to help us make sense of things.”
The books on his recommendation list are from multiple decades and comprise a sort of “greatest hits” list, Lockyer informs us.
Bill Lockyer’s Recommendation for a Good History of Economics Read
“Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies, is one of the all-time classics for a reason,” says Lockyer, long-time non-fiction enthusiast. At its core, it’s exploring the answer to why economics developed so unevenly around the world.
The author, Jared Diamond, published the book in 1997 and it quickly became a New York Times bestseller and a Pulitzer Prize Winner. In the book, he hypothesizes that the arc of human history drastically shifted under the pressure of geographic, biological, and environmental factors, creating the superpowers that still rule the world today.
“If you love non-fiction, this is not really an original recommendation,” admits Bill Lockyer. But it’s a fantastic read and completely worth your time if you haven’t read it yet.”
A Perfect Read if You Love Teddy Roosevelt Says Bill Lockyer
The Imperial Cruise: A Secret History of Empire and War takes a closer look at Teddy Roosevelt’s time in office and explores the dark side of American foreign policy.
“It almost reads like a thriller,” enthuses Lockyer. “This is a truly thorough examination of the development of foreign policy through the lens of racism and how it affected every aspect of the growth of our nation.” Bill Lockyer calls it a “must-read.”
Bill Lockyer Loves This Examination of Homelessness in America
Golden Gates: Fighting for Housing in America explores the question, “Why are there so many homeless people in America?”
“As a country, we were built on the belief that everyone deserves a shot at the American dream. This a look at what happens when that dream is unobtainable. It’s a discussion about the systemic problems that promote homelessness in our country – and it’s an examination of how we can fix this growing epidemic,” says Lockyer.