Monday, May 8, 2017

Heroes of Empire by Edward Berenson

This book's full title is Heroes of Empire, Five Charismatic men and the Conquest of Africa. These men might have been heroes to the Western world, but wreaked hardship and violence on African people. It would seem to be the press that made them heroes. They and their country men seem to think that they were bringing civilization to native peoples. I doubt of the native peoples thought that.

On this site of Rorotoko Edward Berenson talks about his book and why he wrote it. The side Questia gives a synopsis of this book plus and excerpt. There is an actual book review by Michael Clinton onWorld History Connected. He talks about the fact that this book has begun to appear on the syllabi of graduate and upper-level undergraduate courses on European imperialism. Rachel K. Bright gives a review of this book on Project Muse. She starts off my talking about how the popular press turned African adventurers into national heroes.

Edward Berenson is a Professor of History at New York University. Here they give a bio of him and the books he has written including the Heroes of Empire. There is an interview with Edward Berenson on YouTube by the Oxford Press. There is another interview of Edward Berenson on the Criterion Collection called the Politics of History.

An index of the books I have reviewed are on my website at Books. I have three blogs. The first talks only about specific stocks and is called Investment Talk . The second one contains information on mostly investing and is called Investing Economics Mostly. My last blog is for my book reviews and it is called Non-Fiction Mostly. Follow me on Twitter.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The Mystery of Capital by Hernando De Soto

This book's full title is The Mystery of Capital: Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else. Hernando De Soto has an interesting and unique world view. I am a capitalist, but I do not believe that clear property rights are the complete answer to capitalism.

That said he is probably right that the US took off because millions of people got land. In South America only the rich had title to land. This must have made a great difference. It would also certainly change the lives of people in shanty towns if they were given the rights to the land they occupy. I think one big thing is the rule of law. I think that you need to rule of law for capitalism to function properly.

If you go here you can read the book as a PDF. If you do not wish to read the book, you can read a shorter version by Hernando De Soto at the International Monetary fund site. Or you can read a shorter article by Hernando De Soto and William Conerly at Foundation for Economic Education.

There are also good reviews at Good Reads. Some are critical but lots praise his book. I agree that an enforceable property right is not the total answer to getting capitalism to work. There is a long and thoughtful review of this book at Mises Organization. To get the review by Gabriel Calzada Alvarez, you have to click on the PDF below "Get This Book/Digital Text" message. Matthew J. Rosenberg writes a short and interesting review at Council of Foreign Affairs.

Hernando De Soto speaks as the president of Institute for Liberty and Democracy. Hernando De Soto speaks at the The Cato Institute. He starts to speak at 4:20 minutes into the video.

An index of the books I have reviewed are on my website at Books. I have three blogs. The first talks only about specific stocks and is called Investment Talk . The second one contains information on mostly investing and is called Investing Economics Mostly. My last blog is for my book reviews and it is called Non-Fiction Mostly. Follow me on Twitter.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Islamic Exceptionalism by Shadi Hamid

This book's full title is Islamic Exceptionalism: How the Struggle over Islam is Reshaping the World. It seems like the word exceptionalism is just meaning that Islam is different and especially different from Christianity. .There is a long split between Muslims and the Sunni fraction has never forgotten that Mohammed' Grandson was killed and left to rot after the battle of Karbala.

There is an article by Shadi Hamid in The Atlantic that goes over the history of the Muslims. Mostly this good got a good reception on Good Reads. However, some reviewers were critical. This review is basically an interview of Shadi Hamid by Isaac Chotiner.

Shadi Hamid speaks at Brookings Instituion. Shadi Hamid starts speaking at 5:38 into the video. At the same place there is also a video of a discussion between Shadi Hamid and Leon Wieseltier. There is another video at Middle East Institute. Here there are introductions by Sumaiya Hamdani. Shadi Hamid starts talking at 4:30 followed by a talk by Hassan Mneimneh at 18:27 minutes and then one by Nathan Brown at 28.43 into the video. He is followed by a panel discussion at 42:20 and then audience participation. At another talk Shadi Hamid is introduced by Warren Hoge at International Peace Institute . Shadi Hamid starts talking at 4:15. The above are quite long videos, but there is a short video (around 13 minutes) with Shadi Hamid talking.

An index of the books I have reviewed are on my website at Books. I have three blogs. The first talks only about specific stocks and is called Investment Talk . The second one contains information on mostly investing and is called Investing Economics Mostly. My last blog is for my book reviews and it is called Non-Fiction Mostly. Follow me on Twitter.

Friday, March 31, 2017

The Return of History by Jennifer Welsh

This book's full title is The Return of History, Conflict, Migration and Geopolitics in the Twenty-First Century. This is another book answering Francis Fukuyams's book entitled The End of History and the Last Man. She basically gives an analysis of our current world and to her it is not pretty.

There are good reviews on Good Reads. A lot loved her book, but there are also some very good critical reviews that are worth reading. Doug Saunders writes a long and interesting review at the The Globe and Mail on this book. There is also a good review by David MacDuff at the Canadian International Council site.

There is aTVO interview of Jennifer Welsh on The Agenda with Steve Paikin. Jennifer Welsh talks about The Return of Inequality in this YouTube clip. She is part of the Massey Lectures and you can hear part or all of them at this site.

An index of the books I have reviewed are on my website at Books. I have three blogs. The first talks only about specific stocks and is called Investment Talk . The second one contains information on mostly investing and is called Investing Economics Mostly. My last blog is for my book reviews and it is called Non-Fiction Mostly. Follow me on Twitter.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

The Upright Thinkers by Leonard Mlodinow

This book's full title is The Upright Thinkers, The Human Journey from Living in Trees to Understanding the Cosmos. This is an absolutely wonderful book. .It is not long and it is in paperback, but one of the best books I have read about humans in a very long time. It is also a book about science.

There are some good reviews on Good Reads . I would give the book 5 stars but few give it that many. However, lots give it a 4 star rating. There are a few reviews at the bottom of this Amazon page. Interestingly there are six and all but one give this book 5 stars. There is an interesting review of this book and Bill Nye's Unstoppable by Rose Eveleth in the New York Times. She is reviewing these books as audio books. She thinks that Leonard Mlodinow reading style is awful. She is not the only reviewer to say this. Others that reviewed his book in audio format did not like his reading either. This last review is also an interesting one by Brian Clegg on Pop Science Books BlogSpot.

There is a short tell us about your book question from Booklandia to the author. There is an hour long talk by Leonard Mlodinow is at Google. There is also a talk by Leonard Mlodinow at Google on his recent book called Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior.

An index of the books I have reviewed are on my website at Books. I have three blogs. The first talks only about specific stocks and is called Investment Talk . The second one contains information on mostly investing and is called Investing Economics Mostly. My last blog is for my book reviews and it is called Non-Fiction Mostly. Follow me on Twitter.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Tribe by Sebastian Junger

This book's full title is Tribe, on Homecoming and Belonging. I found the book's writing rather uneven. Some parts are thoughtful and some parts are not.

He has an awful view of current American society. He talks about a society that is that is separating on all sorts of lines, not only racial, but by age, religion and wealth. He talks about Americans having contempt for each other and opening reviling each other. He feels Americans are focused on how different they are from each other rather than on the things that could unite them.

Of course, the above is not all he talks about. The book is mainly about how people come together in bad times to help each other. He talks about people wanting to feel necessary. I agree that there are problems in modern society about people feeling isolated. However, I do not think that needs to happen. People can form their own communities. You can read a blurb about this book on Hachette Book Group. Sebastian Junger has his own web site.

This site of Good Reads has a variety of reviews. Some reviewers agree with Junger and some reviewers are critical of this book and its attitudes. Matthew Crawford in his review talks more about Junger's movies than this book but this is still a good review in the New York Times There is a really good review by Ann Marlowe on Tablet Mag. She takes aim at Junger's praise of tribalism and how it comes in all colors.

There is a video on Junger's site. You need to scroll down in the site to find the videos. In this video Sebastian Junger is interviewed by Jeffrey Brown. There is also an interview on Conversations with Great Minds about why he wrote this book. There is a long (over an hour long) talk by Sabastian Junger at First Parish Bedford Massachusetts Unitarian Universalist. He starts about 5:18 minutes into the video.

An index of the books I have reviewed are on my website at Books. I have three blogs. The first talks only about specific stocks and is called Investment Talk . The second one contains information on mostly investing and is called Investing Economics Mostly. My last blog is for my book reviews and it is called Non-Fiction Mostly. Follow me on Twitter.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Russia by Martin Sixsmith

This book's full title is Russian, a 1,000 Year Chronicle of the Wild East. .This is a well-written and very readable book on Russia. The author is a journalist and it shows. I know some of Russian history, especially recent history, so this is why I was attracted to this book. He talks about Russia always having autocratic tendencies and I did understand that.

Whatever the west thinks of Putin, I think that is it quite obvious that most Russians seem to like him. They want to be a great power again and seem to feel that Putin will do this. I think that the jury is still out on that. The book tries to give you an insight as to why the Russians like Putin.

There are, of course, some very good reviews of this book on Good Reads. Mostly they like the book but some complain and reasonably complain that most of the book is on the more recent history. This is probably understandable as the author is a journalist. There is a very interesting review by Mary Dejevsky on the Independent comparing this book the Rodric Braithwaite's book on Afghanistan. There is a short but interesting review on Kirkus Reviews.

This book is presented in many 13 minutes episodes on YouTube. There is an audio tape on You Tube giving a bibliography of Martin Sixsmith. There are some interviews with Martin Sixsmith, but they are very short, less than 3 minutes, with commercials beginning that are almost as long. Most of the interviews are about the film Philomena for which he wrote the story. There is an interesting one on Philomena with Steve Coogan and Martin Sixsmith. In the film Steve Coogan plays Martin Sixsmith. The interview is here. Martin Sixsmith gives a talk at AMBA, Association of MBAs Golden Awards and Gala Dinner in 2017.

An index of the books I have reviewed are on my website at Books. I have three blogs. The first talks only about specific stocks and is called Investment Talk . The second one contains information on mostly investing and is called Investing Economics Mostly. My last blog is for my book reviews and it is called Non-Fiction Mostly. Follow me on Twitter.