Category Archives: books and book reviews

Jean Twenge Update

She writes, Rates of teen depression and suicide have skyrocketed since 2011. It’s not an exaggeration to describe iGen as being on the brink of the worst mental-health crisis in decades. Much of this deterioration can be traced to their … Continue reading

Posted in books and book reviews, culture | 13 Comments

Revisiting Halberstam’s The Best and the Brightest

I write, I have come to see the “can-do” attitude, and its attraction to politicians and the public, as very dangerous. On economic matters, the “can-do” adviser offers the promise of a free lunch: increased access to health care without … Continue reading

Posted in books and book reviews, links to my essays | 8 Comments

Thoughts on Sociology

1. What we call social science ought to be called the study of human conflict and cooperation. 2. Sociology ought to be the study of human conflict and cooperation in the larger society, in the realm of informal authority, its … Continue reading

Posted in books and book reviews, Economic education and methods | 10 Comments

What I’m Reading

Culture and Power: The Sociology of Pierre Bourdieu, by David Swartz. An excerpt: Bourdieu in fact speaks of three different types of field strategies: conservation, succession, and subversion. Conservation strategies tend to be pursued by those who hold dominant positions … Continue reading

Posted in books and book reviews, Economic education and methods | 2 Comments

A book recommendation

from Jonathan Haidt and Greg Lukianoff: The social psychologist Jean Twenge has just written a book, titled iGen (which is short for “internet generation”), in which she analyzes four large national datasets that track the mental health of teenagers and … Continue reading

Posted in books and book reviews, culture | 6 Comments

Richard Bookstaber on Economic Methods

I have a long essay on his book, The End of Theory. One brief excerpt: In conventional economics, people are assumed to know, now and for the indefinite future, the entire range of possibilities, and the likelihood of each. The … Continue reading

Posted in books and book reviews, Economic education and methods, links to my essays | 5 Comments

Somewheres vs. Anywheres

we need more nuanced terminology than “populists” versus “elites.” Thankfully, David Goodhart, a British author affiliated with the London think tank Policy Exchange and the founding editor of Prospect, offers just that. In his forthcoming book, The Road to Somewhere, … Continue reading

Posted in books and book reviews, Libertarian Thought | 15 Comments

My Review of Kevin Laland

The book is Darwin’s Unfinished Symphony, which is still my favorite non-fiction book of 2017. My review says, Laland weaved together mathematical models, simulation exercises, experiments, and observations in a way that was much more persuasive than most social science. … Continue reading

Posted in books and book reviews, Economic education and methods, links to my essays | 6 Comments

The Samuelson Story

I am still reading the Backhouse intellectual biography. What a monumental effort! By comparison, it makes Sebastian Mallaby’s biography of Alan Greenspan look like a summer vacation project. But I recommend Mallaby to anyone. Backhouse is for people with a … Continue reading

Posted in books and book reviews, Economic education and methods | 4 Comments

What I’m reading

1. Founder of Modern Economics: Paul Samuelson. The first volume of a biography written by Roger E. Backhouse. So far not rewarding, but I feel obliged to try to stick with it. 2. The Agony and the Ecstasy, by Irving … Continue reading

Posted in books and book reviews | 2 Comments