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January 27, 2015

"Changing Climates of History"

Interesting look at recent work by prominent historians on the role of climate in history.

For the most part, these five senior historians use climate change to discuss economic and political history. Unexpected climate shifts, or brief climate shocks, brought crop failure, hunger, unrest—these arguments appear time and again in these five books. In particular, climate shifts help explain economic distress and political violence.

January 20, 2015

"Sorry, liberals, Scandinavian countries aren’t utopias"

Kyle Smith reviews The Almost Nearly Perfect People: Behind the Myth of the Scandinavian Utopia.

Smith's conclusion is consistent with other work I've seen: even if Scandinavians really were terrifically happy, they are key features of their societies that wouldn't transfer well to other countries, particularly the U.S.

December 09, 2014


Professor Peter Gordon smacks Martha Nussbaum a little and has some kind words for Adam Smith and Bruce Yandle's new book, Bootleggers and Baptists

Here's yet another application of the theory: "‘Bootleggers’ and ‘Baptists’ Agree on Energy".

December 07, 2014

"Bruce Springsteen: By the Book"

What The Boss reads.

December 01, 2014

"The History and Danger of Administrative Law"

Powerful argument from Philip Hamburger, Maurice and Hilda Friedman Professor of Law at Columbia Law. It's a condensed version of his book, published earlier this year, Is Administrative Law Unlawful?

(Adrian Vermeule, John H. Watson Professor of Law at Harvard,  vigorously disagrees.)


November 18, 2014

"10 Books About Happiness Summarized In One Sentence Each"

I like Business Insider's "one sentence" summaries. They seem to be a time-saver.

October 23, 2014

"Why Are Publishers Giving Away Bestselling Books for Free?"

I'm giving BookBub a try. So far, it seems worth some clicks.

August 21, 2014

"Strongest Possible Endorsement"

Review of new book, Dear Committee Members, ". . . an epistolary novel consisting entirely of fictionalized letters of recommendation penned by professor Jason Fitger (failed novelist, failed husband, successful misanthrope)."

August 17, 2014

"The 12 Best Books The Marine Corps Wants Its Leaders To Read"

I've only read two (and seen the movie of one). Except for the Thomas Friedman, they all look worthwhile.

August 15, 2014

"A Political History of SF"

An extended argument that the best science fiction is so-called "hard" SF, which is exactly what I think.

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Shelfari: Book reviews on your book blog