Cipolla, Carlo, An Economic History of World Population
Diamond, Jared, Guns, Germs, and Steel.
Fascinating book with a sweeping scope postulating and providing evidence that the spread of civilization was most rapid in the hemispheric band of temperate climate and large east-west land masses for the movement of seeds and people. These conditions facilitated the most rapid spread of agricultural developments, animals, trade, germs, immunities, language, and technology. A little stridency in motive shows through at the beginning and end, but the book is so thought-provoking and memorable that it's easy to be grateful that someone had the incentive to think so broadly. Review by Brad DeLong.
Engerman, Stanley, (ed.), The Terms of Labor: Slavery, Serfdom, and Free Labor (Making of Modern Freedom)
The cuneiform inscription in the Liberty Fund logo is the earliest-known written appearance of the word "freedom" (amagi), or "liberty." It is taken from a clay document written about 2300 B.C. in the Sumerian city-state of Lagash.