Reviews round-up

There are so many tantalising new books out, I thought I’d round up some of the weekend reviews.

Paul Collier gives a glowing review to [amazon_link id=”1846684293″ target=”_blank” ]Why Nations Fail[/amazon_link] by Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson. The blog of the book is terrific.

[amazon_image id=”1846684293″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty[/amazon_image]

To understand Spain still requires reading about the Civil War. Paul Preston has published what sounds like an utterly harrowing but essential book, [amazon_link id=”0002556340″ target=”_blank” ]The Spanish Holocaust[/amazon_link], reviewed in the Telegraph, FT, The IndependentGuardian, The Herald.

[amazon_image id=”0002556340″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]The Spanish Holocaust: Inquisition and Extermination in Twentieth-Century Spain[/amazon_image]

John Lanchester’s [amazon_link id=”0571234607″ target=”_blank” ]Capital[/amazon_link] has been widely reviewed – and they have been mixed, I would say. Novelist Justin Cartwright gave it a more or less positive write-up in the Financial Times. It was reviewed last week in the New Statesman, Spectator, Guardian, Independent, Telegraph.

John Kay reviews David Rothkopf’s [amazon_link id=”0374151288″ target=”_blank” ]Power, Inc[/amazon_link], about the political power exercised by large global corporations. Kay backs the argument against the recent legal interpretation of the concept of corporate personality.

In today’s Observer, Robin McKie reviews three books about the evolution of co-operation: Mark Pagel’s [amazon_link id=”1846140153″ target=”_blank” ]Wired for Culture[/amazon_link] (also covered in The Telegraph and The Guardian); [amazon_link id=”0713998172″ target=”_blank” ]Beyond Human Nature[/amazon_link] by Jesse Prinz; and Richard Sennett’s [amazon_link id=”0713998741″ target=”_blank” ]Together[/amazon_link] (also reviewed in The Telegraph and by David Runciman in The Guardian).

[amazon_image id=”1846140153″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]Wired for Culture: The Natural History of Human Cooperation[/amazon_image]

I rather like the sound of [amazon_link id=”B0076O2VXM” target=”_blank” ]Turing’s Cathedral [/amazon_link]by George Dyson. It was hard to tell what reviewer Francis Spufford really made of it.

[amazon_image id=”B0076O2VXM” link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]Turing’s Cathedral: The Origins of the Digital Universe[/amazon_image]

Not reviews as such but well worth reading in the current New York Review of Books: William Nordhaus rebuts global warming skeptics and Jennifer Homans writes about the writing of the posthumous [amazon_link id=”0434017426″ target=”_blank” ]Thinking the Twentieth Century[/amazon_link] by her late husband Tony Judt.

[amazon_image id=”0434017426″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]Thinking the Twentieth Century: Intellectuals and Politics in the Twentieth Century[/amazon_image]

Out in paperback now, [amazon_link id=”0852652496″ target=”_blank” ]Mafia State [/amazon_link]by Luke Harding,[amazon_link id=”0349121516″ target=”_blank” ] andAdapt[/amazon_link] by Tim Harford.

2 thoughts on “Reviews round-up

  1. It appears that we add to one another’s reading lists…

    I’m looking forward to the Acermoglu & Robinson, in particular. I’ve finished the Sennett – yesterday – and it was erudite, and yet it felt rather like having a nice bath accompanied by good music, a decent book and a better glass of wine.

    I like the Kay review, but also feel some sympathy with the Occupy Wall Street poster which read “I’ll believe corporations are people when Texas executes one”. Oh dear, more of the department budget likely to be spent…

    Have to say that “Adapt” is OK but not the “Undercover Economist” but then again it is clear that economists ignore the law of diminishing marginal returns when it suits – this blog (and one or two others excepted)….

  2. Aha, I’d been wondering about the Sennett, as I’ve found I need to be in the right mood, but hearing your verdict will go ahead and buy it.

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