What did our team read this year? We are glad you asked!

The work we do at the Alliance for Innovation and Infrastructure very much revolves around public policy, innovative ideas, infrastructure topics, and related fields. In our personal lives, however, we sometimes venture down different avenues. We think this helps sharpen our strengthens and broaden our perspective on issues. Sometimes we just read for fun! We asked the team what they were reading this year, and here are a select few book recommendations:


  • Termination Shock, by Neal Stephenson

  • Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How it Changed America, by John M. Barry

  • Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values, by Robert M. Pirsig

  • Founding Brothers, by Joseph Ellis

  • • Crime and Punishment, by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

  • Agincourt: The King; the Campaign; the Battle, by Juliet Barker

  • • Every Day by the Sun: A Memoir of the Faulkners of Mississippi, by Dean Faulkner Wells

  • • The Paris Architect: A WWII Novel, by Charles Belfoure

  • After You Believe: Why Christian Character Matters, by N.T. Wright

  • The Judge’s List, by John Grisham

  • Risk: A User’s Guide, by Gen. Stanley McChrystal and Anna Butrico

  • Grant, by Ron Chernow

  • No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention, by Reed Hastings and Erin Meyer

  • The Passenger, by Cormac McCarthy


While our team was busy reading this year, a few additional books were in the works. Professor and writer, Dr. Victoria Rubin, penned a book published this year entitled Misinformation and Disinformation, Detecting Fakes with the Eye and AI, in which she cites Aii director of public policy (this writer). In a chapter discussing artificial intelligence, Rubin directs readers to an essay titled The Trolley Problem and Self-Driving Cars published by the Foundation for Economic Education. That article explores the intersection of transportation, innovative technology, and ethics, applying the age-old trolley problem to autonomous vehicles.

More recently, I had the privilege of representing Aii in a long-form interview that will form a portion of a book chapter to be released in the coming months. That work uses public policy as a lens to view social and political issues. From a transportation, energy, and infrastructure standpoint, we offer insights into solving public policy challenges without creating new negative externalities.

Finally, it may have been published a year ago, but the 2021 book Mended Wings is a fitting conclusion to this post. In it, the story of 10 purple-heart-receiving helicopter pilots from the Vietnam War are recounted. One of those stories features Aii board member and chairman, Chris Kilgore. Chris is a focus within Mended Wings’s chapter three while he was also present for the events which unfolded in chapter 10. If you are looking for book recommendations as you start your new year, you will be hard pressed to pick up a more vivid account of harrowing and inspiring stories.


Written by Benjamin Dierker, Director of Public Policy


The Alliance for Innovation and Infrastructure (Aii) is an independent, national research and educational organization. An innovative think tank, Aii explores the intersection of economics, law, and public policy in the areas of climate, damage prevention, energy, infrastructure, innovation, technology, and transportation.