Book: The Shock Doctrine.

Naomi Klein's The Shock Doctrine is a fascinating and disturbing analysis of political events over the last 30-40 years. More specifically, the book connects the move to more "free markets" in various countries, particularly through pressure from groups like the IMF, to disasters of various sorts, randomly occurring and otherwise. The underlying thread is the use of disasters to institute policies (privatization, outsourcing, etc.) to transfer wealth from the public at large to private interests, in the name of "democracy" and "freedom", but in reality anything but. It's also a pretty heavy blast at the recently-deceased uber-capitalist Milton Friedman.

It's a compelling lens to view these various events through, and I was surprised and impressed by the amount of research that went into this. Having said all that, it's one of those books that will either support your existing world view (in which case it does provide some new insights), or be dismissed as so much socialist, leftist propaganda and whining. No middle ground here.