Books on Big Ideas

Books that tackle the impossible, the invisible, the ineffable, and the complicated—and will change how you understand our world.

big ideas

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Just give everyone money.

That’s the big idea that animates my first book, titled—well—Give People Money. It examines the idea of a universal basic income, wherein the government would write a check to every living citizen, no strings attached. It looks at UBI as a historical artifact, a global intellectual trend, and a technocratic policy proposal, and uses it to examine what we have, why we have it, and how we could do better.

In reporting and writing it, I often turned for inspiration to other big-ideas books, ones that tackle the impossible, the invisible, the ineffable, and the complicated—and changed how I understood our world. Here are seven recommendations. Click on the book covers to read my thoughts about each one.


Featured image: Decorwithme/Shutterstock.com; Author Photo: © Annie Lowrey

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About ANNIE LOWREY

ANNIE LOWREY is a contributing editor for The Atlantic. A former writer for the New York Times, the New York Times Magazine, and Slate, among other publications, she is a frequent guest on CNN, MSNBC, and NPR. Lowrey lives in Washington, DC.