People's History of America by Howard Zinn
Hegemony & Survival: American's Quest for Global Dominance by Noam Chomsky
Both are great and present some thoughtful, alternative views on politics and widely accepted social theories and models. However, do not make the unfortunate mistake I made this past month and read them at the same time. It's very depressing and demoralizing when taken in a one-two punch.
Can I move to Australia now?
I think I have to go and watch 'Sound of Music' to pep myself up again.