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robeiae
09-30-2006, 09:03 PM
I thought a nice thread about recently read books on political theory and current events might be apropos.

I just finished Why Most Things Fail: Evolution, Extinction and Economics (http://www.amazon.com/Why-Most-Things-Fail-Extinction/dp/0375424059/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_k2a_3_txt/002-1594867-4796847?ie=UTF8) by Paul Ormerod.

It is a look at economics from a kind of biological point of view. The underlying premise is that most things, nay all things, fail.

And the conclusion does a wonderful job of tying in the consequences of this premise to the viability, or lack thereof, of state economic planning.

What have you read, recently?

MacAllister
09-30-2006, 09:25 PM
And oldie-but-goodie:

Free Speech for Me, but Not For Thee (http://www.amazon.com/Free-Speech-Me-But-Thee-Relentlessly/dp/006019006X): How the American Left and Right Relentlessly Censor Each Other, Nat Hentoff

English Dave
10-01-2006, 11:13 PM
What have you read, recently?
Dean Koontz. I don't remember the name of the book. Or the characters.

But I think the message was that sometimes thick books still don't last a long haul flight.




I've just noticed this forum has been renamed Current Events and Political Theory.

Thanks Jenna.

sellthepharm
10-05-2006, 01:11 AM
Crighton's State of Fear.

Interesting read.

BottomlessCup
10-05-2006, 08:28 AM
Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies (http://www.amazon.com/Guns-Germs-Steel-Fates-Societies/dp/0393317552/sr=8-1/qid=1160022313/ref=pd_bbs_1/002-4954436-3728812?ie=UTF8&s=books) by Jared Diamond.

It's a look at why some civilizations flourished (and flourish still) while others stumble and get their butts kicked. For a heavy topic, it's very readable and very interesting.

Nicholas S.H.J.M Woodhouse
10-05-2006, 06:34 PM
rob - i read his butterfly economics last year.
i was going through a second law of thermodynamics phase...i still am...

brianm
10-11-2006, 06:19 PM
One of the books I'm currently reading is something I found at a thrift store. It is the "Civil War in Pictures" by Fletcher Pratt. He uses original news articles and drawings with additional narration he wrote to tie together the articles to tell the story. I find the language and style of writing in the articles particularly interesting.

Kate Thornton
10-11-2006, 07:04 PM
The Wizards of Langley: Inside The CIA's Directorate of Science and Technology by Jeffrey T. Richelson

I've read most of Jeff's books - he's a phenomenol researcher.

robeiae
10-11-2006, 07:33 PM
rob - i read his butterfly economics last year.
i was going through a second law of thermodynamics phase...i still am...Butterfly Economics is excellent, indeed. If you want to get really excited (or really confused), read The Invention of Capitalism by Michael Perelman.

Unique
12-16-2006, 04:15 PM
I've just started, 'Is Democracy Possible Here?' (http://tinyurl.com/ycd7s7), by Ronald Dworkin.

He laments the quality of political debate in America and hopes to encourage his readers to argue the issues, not the "demeanor and body language" of the candidates. (Rather like what we hope to achieve here) He also states there is common ground but no one is looking for it.

The first paragraph hooked me: "American politics are in an appalling state. We disagree, fiercely, about almost everything. We disagree about terror and security, social justice, religion in politics, who is fit to be a judge, and what democracy is. These are not civil disagreements: each side has no respect for the other. We are no longer partners in self-government; our politics are rather a form of war."

"The 2004 presidential election was sickeningly divisive."
I agree wholeheartedly. It was sickening. That's why I'm here in CE of AW.

I don't expect it to be dry - he likens some of our recent televised debates to contact sports. He uses words big enough to please Robeiae and small enough to please me. I'll let you know if I learn anything. ;)

Tiger
12-16-2006, 04:26 PM
"More Guns, Less Crime" by John Lott--also a social-theorizing economist. I also recently read "State of Fear."

I think I'll be processing data for the next lunar cycle or two.

Whoops, this thread is a bit long in the tooth, no?

Unique
12-16-2006, 04:33 PM
I think it gets overlooked stuck up here at the top. Also, since it's to discuss books we've read - some of those books have really big words....it takes a while to finish one. ;)

robeiae
01-02-2007, 01:30 AM
I finally finished The Iraq Study Group Report. Awfully written, woefully researched, questionably theorized.

I was going to blog about all of it's flaws, but that's just too much of a chore.

William Haskins
01-02-2007, 01:32 AM
such reports are little more than weather vanes.

robeiae
03-18-2007, 03:37 AM
I'm working on The White Man's Burden (http://www.amazon.com/White-Mans-Burden-Efforts-Little/dp/1594200378), Why the West's Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good by William Easterly.

So far, it's fascinating. Easterly is a hell of an economist and this book bears that out.

Bravo
03-18-2007, 05:42 AM
I'm working on The White Man's Burden (http://www.amazon.com/White-Mans-Burden-Efforts-Little/dp/1594200378), Why the West's Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good by William Easterly.

So far, it's fascinating. Easterly is a hell of an economist and this book bears that out.

ive been meaning to read more of that.

what i read was damn good.

glad you like it rob.

let's compare notes later on. :)

Unique
03-30-2007, 05:09 PM
Crashing the Gate (http://tinyurl.com/3bqkv9)

The Supreme Court (http://tinyurl.com/2sb6ab)

Both are excellent - easy to read and understand.

Jeffery Rosen makes history come alive in The Supreme Court. Highly recommended if you love the law and history

dclary
03-30-2007, 09:30 PM
I finally finished The Iraq Study Group Report. Awfully written, woefully researched, questionably theorized.

I was going to blog about all of it's flaws, but that's just too much of a chore.


it's s/b its

robeiae
04-15-2007, 02:30 AM
Okay, now I'm into this:

Finding George Orwell in Burma (http://www.amazon.com/Finding-George-Orwell-Burma-Larkin/dp/1594200521) by Emma Larkin.

Fifty pages in and it's already a favorite of mine in the "travelogue" genre. I'l stick on the shelf, next to Balkan Ghosts (http://www.amazon.com/Balkan-Ghosts-Journey-Through-History/dp/0679749810) and Forgotten Fatherland: The Search for Elizabeth Nietzsche (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Forgotten-Fatherland-Search-Elisabeth-Nietzsche/dp/0374157596/ref=sr_1_10/026-8560068-0678826?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1176589739&sr=1-10), when I'm done.

robeiae
02-10-2008, 08:51 PM
Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism by Ha-Joon Chang (http://www.amazon.com/Bad-Samaritans-Secret-History-Capitalism/dp/1596913991)

Pretty good, so far. Chang engages in a good deal of long-term speculation that raises some interesting ideas. Ultimately, however, I think he's gonna fall flat on his face. We'll see...

But for those hard-core leftists out there, it's a must read. Good ammo.

LaceWing
06-10-2008, 10:10 AM
Okay, books are great for deep analysis. But for current current events, I'd like to mention these websites.

http://www.dailysource.org./ has become my preferred first stop for news and editorials online. The page on media problems explains what this non-profit news source is trying to fix: a poorly informed public.

http://www.3quarksdaily.com/ is chock full of culture and science and arts, enough to buzz every corner of your brain on any given day. It reminds me of what the prize for getting politics right is: quality of life, some of which is cerebral. Or it just replenishes one's fortitude before returning to the political fray.

talkwrite
08-28-2008, 07:39 PM
The World is Flat by Thomas L. Freidman

benbradley
08-30-2008, 07:17 AM
Copy/pasting what I wrote elsewhere the other day, because it's easier. The book's a year old, but that's still younger than this thread:

I've only read the first 34 pages of Super Cunchers (http://www.amazon.com/Super-Crunchers-Thinking-Numbers-Smart/dp/0553805401) (by Ian Ayers, 2007, looks like the paperback is about to come out), but I find it interesting enough to post about here. The subtitle "Why thinking-by-numbers is the new way to be smart" is a bit misleading (unless you're getting a degree in statistics or economics). It's about how big companies use huge amounts of consumer data to predict what we'll buy and how much we'll pay for it. Those companies use the info to their advantage, but there are also companies started up to provide the consumer with such info. The book tells of the origins of faircast.com as a site that tells you whether an airline ticket's price is likely to go up or down. It's based on data from historical ticket prices to current things like fuel costs and weather.

Okay, there's a lot more, but that's just in the first 34 pages...

robeiae
04-11-2009, 02:25 AM
I'm reading House of Cards (http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl/9780385528269.html) by William D. Cohan, right now. It's about the financial market collapse, starting with Bear-Stearns in March of last year.

Very detailed, very insightful, so far. And he does an excellent job--imo--of explaining some of the more difficult financial vehicles and concepts in this. Also, everyone--from the government to the leadership of the firms--is coming across looking like an @ss.

Romantic Heretic
04-11-2009, 03:59 PM
I always return to Voltaire's Bastards: The Dictatorship of Reason in the West (http://www.amazon.com/Voltaires-Bastards-Dictatorship-Reason-West/dp/0679748199/ref=pd_sim_b_1).

More a historical and philosophical treatise than politics I think it does an excellent job of showing where we went wrong.

Gregg
05-07-2009, 06:34 AM
Upstream by Alfred Regenery is a history of Conservatism the US.
Very informative, occasionally dry, but generally a good read.

AMCrenshaw
05-08-2009, 12:17 AM
Ethics of Identity (http://www.amazon.com/Ethics-Identity-Kwame-Anthony-Appiah/dp/0691130280/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1241727047&sr=8-1) by Kwame Anthony Appiah.

Based largely on the work of J.S. Mill.


Hegemony or Survival (http://www.amazon.com/Hegemony-Survival-Americas-Dominance-American/dp/0805076883/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1241727077&sr=1-1) by Noam Chomsky.

Fascinating, in-depth, and challenging.

Anarchism (http://www.amazon.com/Anarchism-Theory-Practice-Daniel-Guerin/dp/0853451753/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1241727241&sr=1-1) by Daniel Guerin.

Excellent book, a good guide for the newly anarchic.

Patterns of Anarchy by Leonard I. and Lewis Perry.

Companion history text.


Marx-Engel Reader (http://www.amazon.com/Marx-Engels-Reader-Second-Karl-Marx/dp/039309040X/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1241727395&sr=8-4) by Friedrich Engels.

Must-have to champion or refute communism precisely.


amc

donroc
05-08-2009, 12:51 AM
The Dutch Republic Its Rise and Fall 1477-1806 by Jonathan Israel for my WIP sequel to Rocamora.

AMCrenshaw
05-13-2009, 04:00 AM
Nonviolence: The History of a Dangerous Idea (http://www.amazon.com/Nonviolence-History-Dangerous-Library-Chronicles/dp/0812974476/ref=pd_sim_b_4)


amc

Don
05-13-2009, 05:02 AM
Economics in One Lesson (http://fee.org/wp-content/files/EconomicsInOneLesson.pdf), by Henry Hazlitt. (PDF Link)

LaceWing
08-03-2009, 05:13 PM
http://www.metafilter.com/83808/Berkshares

A wealth of links on local currencies, derivatives in the 1600's, money as information, etc.

skelly
08-04-2009, 02:12 AM
War Against the Weak: Eugenics and America's Campaign to Create a Master Race (http://www.waragainsttheweak.com/)
--Edwin Black (http://www.edwinblack.com/)

Black is the author previously of ''IBM and the Holocaust,'' a work strongly suggesting that the company, with its punch-card machines, knowingly assisted Hitler's brutalities. His ''War Against the Weak,'' apparently written with similar intent, is a muckraking book about a subject incontestably awash in muck. In the vein of the genre, it is a stew rich in facts and spiced with half-truths, exaggerations and distortions.
---The New York Times, Daniel J. Kevles, Sunday, October 5, 2003 (http://www.nytimes.com/2003/10/05/books/here-comes-the-master-race.html)

I love reading books by people that I don't agree with. I still have a spiral notebook of notes on David Brock's Blinded by the Right.

semilargeintestine
08-04-2009, 02:15 AM
Whether they intended to help with the "Final Solution" or not, the fact that their technology helped make it the most efficient attempt at extermination in history isn't really a question AFAIK.

skelly
08-04-2009, 03:01 AM
Whether they intended to help with the "Final Solution" or not, the fact that their technology helped make it the most efficient attempt at extermination in history isn't really a question AFAIK.
Then we should stop developing all technology. Everywhere. Right now. Agreed?

semilargeintestine
08-04-2009, 06:13 AM
No. I never said that. Why do people have such trouble discussing things without resorting to ridiculous hyperbole?

skelly
08-04-2009, 07:48 AM
No. I never said that. Why do people have such trouble discussing things without resorting to ridiculous hyperbole?
I'd love to continue this discussion, but this isn't the place. Maybe it will come up in a more appropriate thread.

I assume you are a big fan of Edwin Black...or is that more ridiculous hyperbole?

benbradley
08-04-2009, 08:42 AM
I could mention Outliers, but it's much too non-controversial...

semilargeintestine
08-05-2009, 01:10 AM
I'd love to continue this discussion, but this isn't the place. Maybe it will come up in a more appropriate thread.

I assume you are a big fan of Edwin Black...or is that more ridiculous hyperbole?

There's no discussion. I made a statement of fact that you apparently didn't like, and you said something ridiculous to make me look foolish. Sorry it didn't work.

As far as Edwin Black goes, I didn't even know who he was until this thread. I don't have any problem with IBM, and I have no idea whether they were "in cahoots" with the Nazis. I seriously doubt they were, but in a time where one camp was capable of murdering and cremating 20,000 Jews a day, anything is possible.

LaceWing
08-25-2009, 10:20 PM
http://academicearth.org/courses/introduction-to-political-philosophy

Two dozen free, online lectures from Yale on political philosophy

LaceWing
08-26-2009, 01:58 AM
<a href="http://www.economist.com/books/displaystory.cfm?story_id=14164449">Amartya Sen on justice: How to do it better | The Economist</a>
-- a review of The Idea Of Justice


[Amartya Sen's] hero is Adam Smith: not the Smith of free-market legend, but the father of political economy who grasped the force of moral constraint and the value of sociability. To encapsulate the shift in attitude that Mr Sen has sought to bring about, ethics and economics are to be seen as Smith saw them: not two subjects, but one.

Another of Sen's books to consider is Identity And Violence: The Illusion Of Destiny.

robeiae
09-04-2009, 02:07 AM
The Housing Boom and Bust (http://www.amazon.com/Housing-Boom-Bust-Thomas-Sowell/dp/0465018807/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top) by Thomas Sowell.

Pretty short, easy read. Sowell is really trying to be accessible.

He goes exactly where I knew that he would, opening with the effect of limiting land usage by government law/directive in areas that saw the biggest jump in housing prices. It's a theme he's addressed previously. And he pretty much lets everyone have it, politically, echoing my own posts here on the subject, with regard to everyone in DC wanting to take credit for increasing home ownership rates.

It's a fair assessment, imo. Not as far-reaching as it could be, but still full of good insights.

robeiae
10-13-2009, 01:57 AM
Financial Fiasco (http://www.amazon.com/Financial-Fiasco-Americas-Infatuation-Ownership/dp/1935308130) by Johan Norberg.

Far more in-depth than Sowell's book, it really looks at the processes in the mortgage and financial industry that led to the collapse. And--like Sowell's work--no one is spared blame, with regard to political parties.

Chapter 3, How to Build Financial Weapons of Mass Destruction, is the best brief--but complete--explanation of CDOs that I've seen. And he also identifies some new "villains" in this chapter...

It's not an easy read, but it's also not overly scholarly.

LaceWing
10-31-2009, 02:52 PM
http://www.mindhacks.com/

A steady stream of psychology links with telling and thoughtful commentary. The latest link of interest is to an overview of Liberation Psychology in Latin America. Many other goodies to be found on this blog. Oddities also.

MargueriteMing
02-22-2010, 10:27 PM
A couple books on our handling of terror suspects:

The Dark Side (http://www.amazon.com/Dark-Side-Inside-Terror-American/dp/B002RAR10S/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1266862971&sr=8-1) Lots of information, but I think the author is biased, and sometimes reaches too far.

How to Break a Terrorist (http://www.amazon.com/How-Break-Terrorist-Interrogators-Brutality/dp/1416573151/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1266863196&sr=8-1) Much better book.

robeiae
07-31-2010, 05:12 AM
I've just started Michael Burleigh's Blood and Rage, a Cultural History of Terrorism (http://www.amazon.com/Blood-Rage-Cultural-History-Terrorism/dp/006117386X/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpi_2). Looking really good. Really good.

Don
09-30-2010, 10:36 PM
War is a Racket, by Major General Smedley Butler. (80 pages)

With the "Great War," the "War to End All Wars" not long past, and the first glimmerings of World War II barely on the horizon, this 1935 work by a two-time recipient of the Medal of Honor was, in retrospect, eerily prescient concerning the growth of the warfare state.

Butler's perspective on warfare from the viewpoint of those in the trenches is raw and compelling. His analysis of corporate profits in wartime is damning. His solutions, while practically impossible to implement, drive home the points his narrative has made. An uncommon viewpoint forcefully presented.

Wiki has a brief summary (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_Is_a_Racket). Available online or as a PDF download here (http://www.ratical.org/ratville/CAH/warisaracket.html). If you prefer the dead tree edition, Amazon has it for $9.95 as a paperback (http://www.amazon.com/War-Racket-Antiwar-Americas-Decorated/dp/0922915865/ref=tmm_pap_title_0), or $7.96 in Kindle (http://www.amazon.com/War-Racket-Americas-Decorated-ebook/dp/B0028QGU4O) format.

Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
#14,057 in Books (See Top 100 in Books (http://www.amazon.com/gp/bestsellers/books/ref=pd_dp_ts_b_1))
#50 in Books (http://www.amazon.com/gp/bestsellers/books/ref=pd_zg_hrsr_b_1_1) > Nonfiction (http://www.amazon.com/gp/bestsellers/books/53/ref=pd_zg_hrsr_b_1_2) > Politics (http://www.amazon.com/gp/bestsellers/books/11079/ref=pd_zg_hrsr_b_1_3) > International (http://www.amazon.com/gp/bestsellers/books/11093/ref=pd_zg_hrsr_b_1_4) > Relations (http://www.amazon.com/gp/bestsellers/books/11097/ref=pd_zg_hrsr_b_1_5_last)
#31 in Books (http://www.amazon.com/gp/bestsellers/books/ref=pd_zg_hrsr_b_2_1) > History (http://www.amazon.com/gp/bestsellers/books/9/ref=pd_zg_hrsr_b_2_2) > Military Science (http://www.amazon.com/gp/bestsellers/books/14450/ref=pd_zg_hrsr_b_2_3_last)
#13 in Books (http://www.amazon.com/gp/bestsellers/books/ref=pd_zg_hrsr_b_3_1) > Nonfiction (http://www.amazon.com/gp/bestsellers/books/53/ref=pd_zg_hrsr_b_3_2) > Current Events (http://www.amazon.com/gp/bestsellers/books/10546/ref=pd_zg_hrsr_b_3_3) > War & Peace (http://www.amazon.com/gp/bestsellers/books/10590/ref=pd_zg_hrsr_b_3_4_last)

LaceWing
11-26-2010, 05:04 PM
http://www.eurozine.com/articles/2010-11-18-debate-en.html

This not a book. It's simply one hell of a good conversation.

dmytryp
12-12-2010, 11:30 PM
I had just noticed this thread a short while ago.
I had recently read
Start up Nation (http://www.amazon.com/Start-up-Nation-Israels-Economic-Miracle/dp/044654146X)-- very easy and interesting read (and not only because I am an Israeli)
Hating America (http://www.amazon.com/Hating-America-History-Barry-Rubin/dp/0195167732)
Ivory Towers on Sand (http://www.amazon.com/Ivory-Towers-Sand-Washington-Institute/dp/0944029493)

All three are very good, imo

dmytryp
12-13-2010, 12:40 AM
I had a very good visit to halfpricebooks today. Bought Just and Unjust Wars (http://www.amazon.com/Just-Unjust-Wars-Historical-Illustrations/dp/0465037070/ref=dp_ob_title_bk), The Crusades: A History (http://www.amazon.com/Crusades-History-Jonathan-Riley-Smith/dp/0300101287/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1292186270&sr=1-5), The Missing Peace (http://www.amazon.com/Missing-Peace-Inside-Story-Middle/dp/0374529809/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1292186346&sr=1-1) (http://www.amazon.com/Missing-Peace-Inside-Story-Middle/dp/0374529809/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1292186346&sr=1-1)and another book about history of world warfare. All in all less than 20$

Don
02-13-2011, 07:42 PM
Rollback (http://www.tomwoods.com/books/rollback/): Repealing Big Government by Tom Woods.

In a brief 200 pages, Tom Woods makes the case that "America is on the brink of financial collapse. Decades of political overpromising and underfunding have created a wave of debt that could swamp our already feeble economy. And the politicians’ favorite tricks—raising taxes, borrowing from foreign governments, and printing more money—will only make it worse. Only one thing might save us: Roll back the government."

Woods goes on to make his case convincingly, dissecting one government action or one piece of conventional wisdom at a time, providing the backstory to understand how and why the real issue may not be what it seems at first glance. This is a book for people who love to think outside the box.

All books are one person's opinion, of course. But with a bachelor’s degree in history from Harvard, his master’s, M.Phil., and Ph.D. from Columbia University, and eleven books to his credit, Woods understands the importance of documentation when swimming against the tide, and provides an additional 40 pages of footnotes buttressing those opinions.

Books about the symptoms of today's problems abound. If you're more interested in curing the disease than masking the symptoms, this book is a must-read.

LaceWing
02-14-2011, 06:02 AM
http://www.civilpolitics.org/content/understanding-other-side

Readings -- online and print -- for both liberals and conservatives who are interested in learning more about each other.

LaceWing
03-09-2011, 05:43 PM
Francis Fukuyama's The Origins of Political Order is going to be big. Per this NYT report (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/08/science/08fukuyama.html?pagewanted=1&_r=2&ref=science), it will be released next month.

Heart
03-16-2011, 10:12 AM
Mad as Hell: How the Tea Party Movement is Fundamentally Remaking Our Two-Party System (http://www.amazon.com/Mad-As-Hell-Fundamentally-Two-Party/dp/0061995231/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1300255304&sr=1-2), Doug Schoen and Scott Rasmussen - Read it. I don't care. Just read it.


Boiling Mad: Inside Tea Party America (http://www.amazon.com/Boiling-Mad-Inside-Party-America/dp/0805093486/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1300255487&sr=1-1), by Kate Zernicke - Also brilliant.

Up, Simba! (http://www.amazon.com/Mad-As-Hell-Fundamentally-Two-Party/dp/0061995231/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1300255304&sr=1-2)by David Foster Wallace (also in his Consider the Lobster anthology) - is one of the best political writings I've read, if not THE best, hands down. It's the most realistic presentation of what the day-to-day life of campaigning is really like.

robeiae
04-08-2011, 07:41 PM
Required reading:

Robert Kaplan's Monsoon (http://archives.huntingtonnews.net/columns/101114-kinchen-columnsbookreview.html).

Brilliant. Beyond brilliant. Beyond Rangoon.

Monkey
04-08-2011, 09:24 PM
Nelson Mandela's "Long Walk to Freedom".

Sooo highly recommended.

sonyablue
04-12-2011, 05:35 AM
The Big Short (http://www.amazon.com/Big-Short-Inside-Doomsday-Machine/dp/0393072231) - really good so far. It explains some of the more convoluted financial instruments that helped bring on the current economic crisis in a way that non-finance people can understand. Lots of "they did what!?!?!" moments.

feeblepizza
04-16-2011, 05:44 PM
Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, from Mussolini to the Politics of Change, by Jonah Goldberg. It's a historical piece about American liberalism's roots in European fascism.

dmytryp
05-02-2011, 08:34 AM
Finally finished The Missing Peace (http://www.amazon.com/Missing-Peace-Inside-Story-Middle/dp/B004KAB8HU/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1304310764&sr=1-1). This is really a must for anyone who wants to understand the history of Israeli/Palestinian negotiations and dynamics in any depth. Ross, obviously, has his own biases, and I disagreed with him at some points, but the book is really good and actually pretty easy to read.

Tiberium Tleilaxu
12-19-2011, 10:53 PM
Last thing I read of this sort was George Orwell's Homage to Catalonia and Road to Wigan Pier. I've put together a wish list on amazon with a lot of historical political books to delve into, but nothing I can afford these days. I would also recommend by Viktor Suvorov: The Liberators, Inside the Soviet Army, and Inside Soviet Military Intelligence. They're assessments of the USSR by a Soviet intelligence officer who defected to Britain in the 1980s. Very interesting, and puts to bed all this intellectually and factually vacant thinking in the west about the way the USSR functioned, which informs understandings of why it collapsed very well.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/registry/wishlist/18UZHSRMKRCH4
Speaking of which, can anyone recommend any good, historically and politically important books? Yes there's a lot of the business lessons ones there, which might seem odd, I quite liked the ones of the series I have and would recommend them. (I have Leading by Example, Managing Conflict, Communicating Clearly and Motivating People, of that series.)


Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, from Mussolini to the Politics of Change, by Jonah Goldberg. It's a historical piece about American liberalism's roots in European fascism.
That's been recommended to me before (by dubious characters), but given a brief scan of the synopsis and reviews I found the whole premise ridiculous. It's got to be one of these sorts of awful books written that tend to top the New York Times best-seller lists to try and legitimise a populist, slanderous and mentally inferior assessment of modern politics.

Americans are almost entirely classical ("libertarian"/"conservative") or progressive ("liberals"/"socialists"/"progressives") liberals. The arguments used by both sides are exactly the same as the evolution of liberalism in 1800s Britain.

The definition of "liberal" and "conservative" into black and white terms is a thing of degeneracy. For an American to say "I'm a conservative, they are liberals" is to ignore the definition of conservatism being a struggle between the monarchy and landed gentry of the 1700s. Where is their monarch, eh? Exactly; they are not conservatives.

Every time someone honestly harks on about their conservative ideology, or how the liberals are the enemy, I keep being reminded of Saudi clerics, or Hitler saying that the Nazis were there to defend Christianity from the vile Jewish liberal press and media. Not a pinch of hyperbole in that statement, that's literally what those sorts of people have said. And of course the inverse statement is just as inept.

robeiae
05-03-2012, 04:14 AM
Currently, I'm working my way through Debt The First 5,000 Years (http://www.amazon.com/Debt-The-First-000-Years/dp/1933633867) by David Graeber.

So far, it's fascinating. His destruction--very early on--of the myth of barter economies (as predating other types) is friggin' awesome. I do believe this will be a new fav.

Graeber, btw, is a big time anarchist. Those of you who know my posting history may seem puzzled that I'm praising this book. Fret not...all will be revealed. :D

MacAllister
05-03-2012, 08:46 AM
I'm deeply puzzled, Rob - and that one's next on my own list, too.

Currently reading Rachel Maddow's Drift (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0307460983/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=absowrit-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0307460983) - which is smart and funny and even-handed, so far.

Chrissy
07-31-2012, 12:30 AM
Don't know if this is the right place to ask (thought about PMing a bunch of people) but:

Any one have any suggestions for a book that covers basic political parties/affiliations/philosophies--like, the whole gammit of them, past and present--but without any opinions as to whether they are "good" or "bad"? Just the facts and views of each. Almost like the equivalent of a textbook full of Wikipedia info. Only not Wikipedia (no offense, Wiki).

So I can understand, for example, socialism. Or Marxism. Or anarchism. How and when it started, how it has changed, what it basically means today. In one book. That I can lift. :D

robeiae
07-31-2012, 02:21 AM
Don't know if this is the right place to ask (thought about PMing a bunch of people) but:

Any one have any suggestions for a book that covers basic political parties/affiliations/philosophies--like, the whole gammit of them, past and present--but without any opinions as to whether they are "good" or "bad"? Just the facts and views of each. Almost like the equivalent of a textbook full of Wikipedia info. Only not Wikipedia (no offense, Wiki).

So I can understand, for example, socialism. Or Marxism. Or anarchism. How and when it started, how it has changed, what it basically means today. In one book. That I can lift. :D

Well, the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (http://plato.stanford.edu/) is much better than Wiki. Look up ideologies there.

Book wise, there's Skinner's two-volume set: The Foundations of Modern Political Thought.

Then maybe From Socrates to Sartre, a good overview of basic Western philosophical traditions, including the political.

Chrissy
07-31-2012, 02:45 AM
Thanks, rob. Excellent! I will check these out. Literally, since tommorrow is library day. :)

Death Wizard
09-22-2012, 05:47 AM
Mindfulness in Plain English: 20th Anniversary Edition (http://www.amazon.com/Mindfulness-Plain-English-Anniversary-Edition/dp/0861719069/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1348278411&sr=8-3-fkmr0&keywords=henapola+mindfulness) by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana (http://www.amazon.com/Bhante-Henepola-Gunaratana/e/B002LADY6O/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_3?qid=1348278411&sr=8-3-fkmr0)

blacbird
12-23-2012, 08:37 AM
Whether they intended to help with the "Final Solution" or not, the fact that their technology helped make it the most efficient attempt at extermination in history isn't really a question AFAIK.

The invention of gunpowder technology also helped the Nazis, but I'm pretty sure the Chinese didn't intend that. So I don't understand your point.

caw

PhoenixM
05-18-2013, 07:07 PM
Been thumbing through Rachel Bronson's Thicker Than Oil: America's Uneasy Partnership with Saudi Arabia recently. So far it's been a good (and comical, to a degree) book involving two countries that, in all honestly, really shouldn't have anything to do with one another.
I'm planning on starting R.K. Ramazani's Revolutionary Iran: Challenge and Response in the Middle East, which is outstanding from what I've heard.

Nonfic
06-12-2013, 09:46 AM
Homicide by Martin Daly and Margo Wilson.

It's one of those books that teach the fundamentals necessary to understand politics and current events.
It uses evolutionary psychology to explain why males are so violent. History is basically the tale of male violence.

I would also recommend The Collapse of Complex Societies by Joseph Tainter.

I've read three books listed on here.

Guns Germs and Steel I would definitely recommend it provides the best explanation as to why different areas of the world have different levels of development.

Economics in One Lesson is really good and really short. Ron Paul recommends it.

I didn't really learn anything from War is a Racket. It's just self evident.

Michael Wolfe
08-18-2014, 03:07 AM
The Prince by Machiavelli. A classic that's short (only about 100 pages) and easy to read. I found that Machiavelli is thoroughly enjoyable even when I thought he was wrong, which makes it easy to recommend.

Xelebes
08-18-2014, 03:30 AM
Still plugging away on Thomas Piketty's Capital in the Twenty-First Century. I got it back in April or so, fetching one of the last copies in the city. Made it halfway and still reading. The analysis of true longterm trends is fascinating, something that is hard to find in books on economics.

kcummings
01-31-2016, 04:46 PM
McCay Coppin's book "The Wilderness" about the GOP candidates positioning themselves between 2012 and early 2015 was very interesting and insightful. You can see what motivated the current candidates (including some who dropped out) and how they positioned themselves to get into the race. Everything that happened between then and now has impacted how the race looks today. Good writing and apparently good sources.

kcummings
01-31-2016, 04:55 PM
Americans are almost entirely classical ("libertarian"/"conservative") or progressive ("liberals"/"socialists"/"progressives") liberals. The arguments used by both sides are exactly the same as the evolution of liberalism in 1800s Britain.

Not really. You are onto something in that freedoms like speech, due process, most of what was spelled out in the Bill of Rights, etc, are classical liberal values. But you still see a stark contrast within the American "conservative" movement, say between Donald Trump, who wants to ban Muslims, and Marco Rubio, who helped write a bill to reform immigration and allow illegal immigrants a pathway to citizenship. Trump's side is in no way classically liberal. They hate a lot of those ideas of tolerance, individual rights, rights for people of all races. They want an authoritarian strongman in power. Call it "far-right", "nativist", "neo-Nazi", or whatever you want, but it's not classically liberal.