Has any book published this year had a more appropriate title? Everything is going wrong. You don’t have to buy Peter Turchin’s eccentric theory that history moves in 50-year cycles to find his analysis of the chaos of our present moment compelling. He argues that extreme wealth inequality and “elite overproduction” (when there aren’t enough high-status jobs for all the people who expect them) are plunging society into disorder and violence. Fascinating stuff — albeit not a book to cheer you up over the Christmas hols.