James K. Galbraith, The Predator State: How Conservatives Abandoned the Free Market and Why Liberals Should Too. Title say it all. Nice summary of current issues swirling around financial and crisis of the market (the real issue as I see it). Easy to read with many points to debate--or at least consider.
I recommend checking out www.voxeu.org for easy to read explanations of hard to read research. One that I enjoyed is Nathan Nunn's "Historical Origin's of Africa's Underdevelopment" available at http://www.voxeu.org/index.php?q=node/779.
The published paper is: "Historical Legacies: A Model Linking Africa's Past to its Current Underdevelopment," Journal of Development Economics, Vol. 83, No. 1, May 2007, pp. 157-175, available here: http://www.economics.harvard.edu/faculty/nunn/files/legacy_jde.pdf.
Harold James, The End of Globalization: Lessons from the Great Depression. Princeton University Press, 2001.
Things fall apart, the center cannot hold. I'm thinking a lot these days about parallels between our current problems and those of the 1930s. James is not an easy read, but a rewarding one in terms of insights. If time is short, the introduction and conclusion are worth the candle for sure.