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* Influence by Cialdini - great overview of the psychology of human motivation and influence. You'll get the inside dirt on a lot of sales and marketing tricks.

* Seeing like a State by James Scott - a good political history with lots of insight into many conventions in our modern society, such as even last names, were created to make society manageable by a central government.

* Europe and the Europeans by Barzini - the closest thing I have found to being a time traveler, skipping between different places and times in Europe from 1920 to the 1970's.

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