* Thinking Fast and Slow - study after study shows that we exhibit so, so many cognitive biases, as our minds take shortcuts. there are some things you can do to recognize and mitigate these biases.
* Imagined Communities - the notion of a "nation" is only 300 years old and has no objective basis, only the fact that a group of people agree that it is a thing.
The Penguin History of Europe series is great for this, especially The Pursuit Of Glory, which details the time when states switched from being based on their king, to states being based on a 'unified set of people', i.e., an imagined community.
There's also the amazing Vanished Kingdoms: The History of Half-Forgotten Europe, which is a bunch of essays, one on a forgotten European kingdom that ceased to exist, and no-one claims it as their heritage. It shows you how easily your identity of a citizen of a state can get lost and forgotten - your great-grandparents may have seen themselves as Etrurians, but that state is gone and now you think of yourself as an Italian, but nothing much changed about your family
The Lombards, Saxons, Franks, Magyars, Mongols and many, many others would disagree. And the Khmer, Mon, Viet and Tai.
> Overall it is worth reading Imagined Communities because of its purported cultural significance. But much of it is so garbled and unclear I’m not sure what people are taking from it, aside from the proposition that the modern nation-state was invented in the last few centuries due to modernity. In the end the book is kind of a long tautology.
Azar Gat’s Nations is a far superior book.
Risk Savvy by Gerd Gigerenzer
> Basically, Gat is refuting a modernist view, which has arguably gone from being revisionist to normative, that the concept and execution of a nation is a historically contingent construction of early modern Europe, and more precisely Revolutionary France of the 1790s.