There’s still deadlock in Washington over the merits of the debt ceiling and deficit reduction ... as the August 2 deadline set by the Treasury looms, not to mention Congress’s sacred summer recess.

Perhaps there’s a bit of deadlock on the list of top political titles, too, as several veteran titles return (David Mamet, Fareed Zakaria, Eric Greitens) while only a handful make the cut.

Of those, we have an examination of the political / emotional debris of the Vietnam War from two journalists in the Kalb family — Marvin and Deborah; Glenn Carle’s new memoir, “The Interrogator,” chronicles his role as a CIA spy compelled (as part of the “surge”) to serve at one of the the agency’s infamous blacksite locations ... and what happened next; and Jacques Gansler, a professor as well as a corporate senior vp, offers his prescription for a robust American defense industry for this new century — much of it sounds similar to the goals of former defense secretary Robert Gates (moving away from overly-costly projects and excessive spending) and the president (the optimal setting for such an industry would be a nation with sound international relations and a healthy economy). But certainly, with Gansler’s distinct experience, there may be no one better to explain it all in detail. A bit wonky? Perhaps, but then again, this is Washington, a city that lives and breathes wonkiness every single day.

And last but not least, economics professor Tyler Cowen (he teaches at George Mason University) offers his take on the economic crisis, the fragile recovery and the “Great Recession” which often doesn’t feel as though it’s truly past. He takes both Republicans and Democrats to task for their plans to buoy the economy, and explains the underlying cause of a crisis that has been decades in the making — a technological plateau. What that all means, well, you need to read the book, which is sure to generate some lively conversation.


Political Bestsellers — July 17, 2011

[click on author’s name to be routed to Book World’s review]

1. SEAL Team Six: Memoirs of an Elite Navy SEAL Sniper

(St. Martin’s, $26.99). By Howard E. Wasdin & Stephen Templin

2. Reckless Endangerment: How Outsized Ambition, Greed, and Corruption Led to Economic Armageddon

(Times, $30). By Gretchen Morgenson & Joshua Rosner

3. Demonic: How the Liberal Mob Is Endangering America

(Crown Forum, $28.99). By Ann Coulter

4. Return to Prosperity: How America Can Regain Its Economic Superpower Status

(Threshold, $27). By Arthur B. Laffer & Stephen Moore

5 . On China (Penguin Press, $36)

By Henry Kissinger

6. The Miracle of Freedom: 7 Tipping Points That Saved the World

(Shadow Mountain, $28.99). By Chris Stewart & Ted Stewart

7. Democracy’s Arsenal: Creating a Twenty-First-Century Defense Industry (MIT, $45). By Jacques S. Gansler

8. The Storm of War: A New History of the Second World War

(Harper, $29.99). By Andrew Roberts

9. The Interrogator: An Education

(Nation, $26.99). By Glenn L. Carle

10. Haunting Legacy: Vietnam and the American Presidency fromFord to Obama

(Brookings, $29.95). By Marvin Kalb & Deborah Kalb

11. The Secret Knowledge: One the Dismantling of American Culture (Sentinel, $27.95). By David Mamet

12. The Post-American World: Release 2.0

(Norton, $26.95). By Fareed Zakaria

13. The Heart and the Fist: The Education of a Humanitarian, the Making of a Navy SEAL

(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $27). By Eric Greitens

14. The Great Stagnation: How America Ate All the Low-Hanging Fruit of Modern History, Got Sick, and Will (Eventually) Feel Better

(Dutton, $12.95). By Tyler Cowen

15. Area 51: An Uncensored History of America's Top Secret Military Base

(Little, Brown, $27.99). By Annie Jacobsen

Drawn from Book World’s bestseller data supplied by Nielsen BookScan for the week ending July 10, 2011 (culled from the top 50 titles sold). The chart may not be reproduced without permission from Nielsen BookScan. Copyright © 2011