The 15 best nonfiction books of 2021

Stephen L. Carter
Bloomberg Opinion

For the past several years I have been putting together a list of that year’s best nonfiction, with special attention to books that taught me things I didn’t know. This has been an exceptional year for serious books; perhaps being locked down is good for creativity. Never have I had such trouble winnowing my list to 15. Nevertheless, here are my picks, all highly recommended, presented in random order — as usual, no tyranny of the alphabet! — and concluding with my choice for best nonfiction book of the year.

Already a subscriber? Sign In

Subscribe to keep reading

Get unlimited digital access for only $1 for 3 months
Subscribe Now