With the election over but the new Congress not yet in office; with the UN vote over but the inspectors not yet back on the ground; now seems like a good time to step back and take a longer view, look at the bigger picture. Perhaps that's why Josh Chafetz and Matthew Yglesias both have new reading lists up: recommended works in political theory and political philosophy. I'll recommend 'em both without further comment-- after all, the point is to start reading books, not to keep reading commentary about commentary about lists of books! On that note, I'm turning my computer off for the rest of the day.
UPDATE: See the follow-ups, amendments, and additions from Kieran Healey, Chris Bertram, Armed Liberal, Pejman Pundit, and ther irrepressible Chris Sciabarra. (For what it's worth, my opinion is that Josh's list should precede Matthew's and Kieran's, and that the others include a number of excellent and interesting books which aren't nearly so fundamental as the ones on these three lists.)
This is a nice exchange among scholar-bloggers. Chris Sciabarra is a maverick professor of philosophy. Kieran-- whom I know, just a little, from our shared time in the Woodrow Wilson Society of Fellows at Princeton-- is a professor of sociology. Chris Bertram is a professor of philosophy. Matthew is a Harvard undergrad philosophy major; Josh is an Oxford political theory grad student. Pejman is, I think, a practicing lawyer (?) but his autobio is filled with enough paeans to the University of Chicago (where he got two degrees) as to show a scholar's temperment. (Armed Liberal doesn't, as far as I can tell, have an online autobio, presumably for privacy reasons.)
Why don't I join in further? Two reasons. 1) I just don't have that much to add to Josh's, Matthew's, and Kieran's lists. 2) It seems too much like work! Between syllabus construction and helping to put together the U of C's epic political theory general exam reading list, I do this sort of thing too often as it is...