Read This Twice
HomePeopleBooksListsMy Library 0Sign In

Tyler Cowen

economist

Recommended Books

Tyler Cowen is an American economist, who is an economics professor at George Mason University, where he holds the Holbert L. Harris chair in the economics department. He hosts the economics blog Marginal Revolution, together with co-author Alex Tabarrok.
45 books on this list
Sort by
Best
Layout
The Book of Disquiet
by Fernando Pessoa (Dec 31, 2002)
Goodreads Rating
Fernando Pessoa was many writers in one. He attributed his prolific writings to a wide range of alternate selves, each of which had a distinct biography, ideology. and horoscope. When he died in 1935, Pessoa left behind a trunk filled with unfinished and unpublished writings, among which were the remarkable pages that make up his posthumous masterp...
Tyler Cowen
This is a book of ideas. It’s not a book about the internet. It was written much earlier, in the 20th century, and written in Portuguese. It’s really a book of meditations. It’s very philosophical. It applies to the internet in that the main point is how much joy you can take in small things and small changes and the true drama of life can be extraordinarily minute in scale, and this, I think, gets at the idea that the internet and the stories we follow are, to a lot of us, extremely important and exciting and meaningful, though really they are just a few changes of characters on a little screen somewhere.     source
This book is also recommended by
PewDiePieHelen Rosner
Golden Gates
Fighting for Housing in America
by Conor Dougherty (Feb 18, 2020)
Goodreads Rating
A stunning, deeply reported investigation into the housing crisis Spacious and affordable homes used to be the hallmark of American prosperity. Today, however, punishing rents and the increasingly prohibitive cost of ownership have turned housing into the foremost symbol of inequality and an economy gone wrong. Nowhere is this more visible than in...
Tyler Cowen
Jan 30, 2020
This is a very good book about the YIMBY movement and its struggles, with a focus on contemporary California, written by a NYT correspondent.     source
This book is also recommended by
Marc Andreessen
The Wizard and the Prophet
Two Remarkable Scientists and Their Dueling Visions to Shape Tomorrow's World
by Charles Mann (Apr 16, 2019)
Goodreads Rating
From the best-selling, award-winning author of 1491 and 1493--an incisive portrait of the two little-known twentieth-century scientists, Norman Borlaug and William Vogt, whose diametrically opposed views shaped our ideas about the environment, laying the groundwork for how people in the twenty-first century will choose to live in tomorrow's world.I...
Tyler Cowen
Jan 04, 2018
I loved the new @CharlesCMann book,     source
Individualism and Economic Order
by F. A. Hayek (May 31, 1996)
Goodreads Rating
In this collection of writings, Nobel laureate Friedrich A. Hayek discusses topics from moral philosophy and the methods of the social sciences to economic theory as different aspects of the same central issue: free markets versus socialist planned economies. First published in the 1930s and 40s, these essays continue to illuminate the problems fac...
Tyler Cowen
I think there is a lot to be said in any area for having at least one book which isn’t very readable. And there Hayek is my pick. But it’s brilliant, it won a Nobel Prize, and it’s one of the most important books of the century. Is it clear and fun? No.     source
Against the Grain
A Deep History of the Earliest States
by James C. Scott (Jul 24, 2018)
Goodreads Rating
Categories: HistoryNonfiction
An Economist Best History Book 2017  History as it should be written.Barry Cunliffe, Guardian  Scott hits the nail squarely on the head by exposing the staggering price our ancestors paid for civilization and political order.Walter Scheidel, Financial Times   Why did humans abandon hunting and gathering for sedentary communities dependent on livest...
Tyler Cowen
Jun 05, 2017
The new James C. Scott book, *Against the Grain*, is wonderful,     source
In the words of economist and scholar Arnold Kling, Martin Gurri saw it coming.Technology has categorically reversed the information balance of power between the public and the elites who manage the great hierarchical institutions of the industrial age government, political parties, the media.The Revolt of the Public tells the story of how insurgen...
Tyler Cowen
Feb 04, 2020
One of the more important and more prophetic social science books of our time.     source
Conviction Machine
Standing Up to Federal Prosecutorial Abuse
by Harvey Silverglate (Feb 18, 2020)
Goodreads Rating
Prosecutors can "indict a ham sandwich," we hear, and laugh at the absurdity. Yet the joke captures a truth: federal prosecutors wield enormous power over us all. And the federal criminal justice system is so stacked in favor of the government that shocking numbers of innocent people have been sent to prison.In Conviction Machine, two leading autho...
Tyler Cowen
Mar 03, 2020
There is also Sidney Powell and Harvey A. Silverman, Conviction Machine: Standing Up to Federal Prosecutorial Abuse is a frank and brutal documentation of why you should never trust a prosecutor or speak to the FBI.     source
The Cure That Works
How to Have the World's Best Healthcare -- at a Quarter of the Price
by Sean Masaki Flynn Ph.D. (Jun 18, 2019)
Goodreads Rating
Categories: Nonfiction
Whats the Most Important Fact About the Heathcare Crisis? That We Already Know the Cure!  Whole Foods Markets, the State of Indiana, and innovators around the world have used forgotten American ideas to slash healthcare costs by 75 percent while simultaneously delivering true universal access, coverage for preexisting conditions, and an ironclad sa...
Tyler Cowen
Mar 10, 2020
A look at how to translate ideas from Singapore’s health care system into the United States. It overreaches, but still a useful overview and analysis.     source
Booze Control
The Mind-blowing Science of Alcohol
by Professor David Nutt (Jan 09, 2020)
Goodreads Rating
THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO ALCOHOL AND YOUR HEALTH As the most harmful drug in the UK, alcohol has a profound and wide-reaching impact on our health and on society at large. Drink? is the first book of its kind, written by a scientist and rooted in 40 years of medical research and hands-on experience treating patients. Professor David Nutt cuts throu...
Tyler Cowen
Mar 03, 2020
A very good introduction to the growing body of evidence about the harms of alcohol, in all walks of life     source
The Qur'an and the Bible
Text and Commentary
by Gabriel Said Reynolds (Jun 05, 2018)
Goodreads Rating
A groundbreaking comparative study that illuminates the connections between the Qur'ān and the Bible While the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament are understood to be related texts, the sacred scripture of Islam, the third Abrahamic faith, has generally been considered separately. Noted religious scholar Gabriel Said Reynolds draws on centuries of ...
Tyler Cowen
Mar 03, 2020
A very good treatment of what it promises, with an emphasis on the concept of mercy in Islam.     source
Fully Grown
Why a Stagnant Economy Is a Sign of Success
by Dietrich Vollrath (Jan 12, 2020)
Goodreads Rating
Most economists would agree that a thriving economy is synonymous with GDP growth. The more we produce and consume, the higher our living standard and the more resources available to the public. This means that our current era, in which growth has slowed substantially from its postwar highs, has raised alarm bells. But should it? Is growth actually...
Tyler Cowen
Aug 25, 2019
That is the new book by Dietrich Vollrath, strongly recommended, it is a primer on the current state of knowledge about economic growth. Tightly argued, and a remarkable amount is covered in 216 pp. of regular text. More books should be like this, it actually tries to teach the reader something! And succeeds. Definitely recommended.     source
Children of Ash and Elm
A History of the Vikings
by Neil Price (Aug 25, 2020)
Goodreads Rating
Categories: HistoryNonfiction
A definitive new history of the Vikings The Viking Age -- between 750 and 1050 -- saw an unprecedented expansion of the Scandinavian peoples. As traders and raiders, explorers and colonists, they reshaped the world between eastern North America and the Asian steppe. For a millennium, though, their history has largely been filtered through the writi...
Tyler Cowen
Feb 07, 2020
I have only browsed this book, yet it appears to have much more information about the Vikings than other books I know, yet without getting squirrelly. That said, I find it difficult to connect books on the Vikings with the broader conceptual narratives I know, and thus I do not retain their content very well. So I am never sure if I should read another book on the Vikings.     source
The Infinite Machine
How an Army of Crypto-hackers Is Building the Next Internet with Ethereum
by Camila Russo (Jul 14, 2020)
Goodreads Rating
Written with the verve of such works as The Big Short, The History of the Future, and The Spider Network, here is the fascinating, true story of the rise of Ethereum, the second-biggest digital asset in the world, the growth of cryptocurrency, and the future of the internet as we know it.Everyone has heard of Bitcoin, but few know about the second ...
Tyler Cowen
Mar 16, 2020
Yes, this is the story of Vitalik Buterin and Ethereum. Very useful, and I am glad there is now a good book on this topic     source
Free to Move
Foot Voting, Migration, and Political Freedom
by Ilya Somin (May 13, 2020)
Goodreads Rating
Ballot box voting is often considered the essence of political freedom. But, it has two major shortcomings: individual voters have little chance of making a difference, and they also face strong incentives to remain ignorant about the issues at stake. "Voting with your feet," however, avoids both of these pitfalls and offers a wider range of choice...
Tyler Cowen
Feb 27, 2020
That is the new, forthcoming book by my colleague Ilya Somin, due out in May. It is the best book on geographic mobility and exit that has been written to date, and thus I am happy to recommend it heartily.     source
Leonhard Euler
Mathematical Genius in the Enlightenment
by Ronald S. Calinger (Dec 03, 2019)
Goodreads Rating
An acclaimed biography of the Enlightenment's greatest mathematicianThis is the first full-scale biography of Leonhard Euler (1707-1783), one of the greatest mathematicians and theoretical physicists of all time. In this comprehensive and authoritative account, Ronald Calinger connects the story of Euler's eventful life to the astonishing achieveme...
Tyler Cowen
Feb 04, 2020
What a beautiful book, clearly written, conceptual in nature, placing Euler in the broader history of mathematics, the funding of science, and the Enlightenment, all in a mere 536 pp. of text. Definitely recommended     source
The Idealist
Wendell Willkie’s Wartime Quest to Build One World
by Samuel Zipp (Mar 10, 2020)
Goodreads Rating
Categories: Nonfiction
"The Idealist is a powerful book, gorgeously written and consistently insightful. Samuel Zipp uses the 1942 world tour of Wendell Willkie to examine American attitudes toward internationalism, decolonization, and race in the febrile atmosphere of the world's first truly global conflict."--Andrew Preston, author of Sword of the Spirit, Shield of Fai...
Tyler Cowen
Mar 03, 2020
Who cares about Wendell Willkie? I received this review copy determined not to read it, but of course I could not help but crack open the cover and sample a few pages, and then I was hooked. The first thirty pages alone had excellent discussions of early aviation (Willkie was an aviation pioneer of sorts with a cross-world flight), Midwestern family and achievement culture of the time, and the rise of the United States.     source
Wicked City
The Many Cultures of Marseille
by Nicholas Hewitt (Dec 01, 2019)
Goodreads Rating
Marseille is a thoroughly ambiguous place. France's second city and its major sea-port, its impact on the national imagination is unparalleled. Yet it is also a frontier city, arguably capital of the Mediterranean, and with a traditionally suspect allegiance to the French nation. This apartness, and the city's long and rich history as home to migra...
Tyler Cowen
Mar 10, 2020
Every city should have a good book about it, and now Marseille does. I would say you have to already know the city, however, to appreciate this one.     source
Social Democratic Capitalism
by Lane Kenworthy (Nov 01, 2019)
Goodreads Rating
What configuration of institutions and policies is most conducive to human flourishing? The historical and comparative evidence suggests that the answer is social democratic capitalism - a democratic political system, a capitalist economy, good elementary and secondary schooling, a big welfare state, pro-employment public services, and moderate reg...
Tyler Cowen
Feb 07, 2020
A very smart, well-written, well-argued book, and an argued book indeed it is. As the title suggests, Kenworthy tries to persuade the reader to embrace social democratic capitalism, but with an emphasis on what government can do, not the market. One rebuttal: responding to the Swiss experience requires far more than the two short paragraphs on pp.105-106, and furthermore Switzerland has done very well in many sectors above and beyond being a financial safe haven (which in some regards hurts those other sectors through exchange rate effects).     source
Sunnis and Shi'a
A Political History
by Laurence Louër (Feb 04, 2020)
Goodreads Rating
A compelling history of the ancient schism that continues to divide the Islamic worldWhen Muhammad died in 632 without a male heir, Sunnis contended that the choice of a successor should fall to his closest companions, but Shi'a believed that God had inspired the Prophet to appoint his cousin and son-in-law, Ali, as leader. So began a schism that i...
Tyler Cowen
Feb 07, 2020
Captures the complexities, and in fact pulls the reader away from the usual tired dichotomy.     source
A Treatise on Northern Ireland, Volume II
Control
by Brendan O'Leary (Jun 10, 2019)
Categories: HistoryNonfiction
This landmark synthesis of political science and historical institutionalism is a detailed study of antagonistic ethnic majoritarianism.Northern Ireland was coercively created through a contested partition in 1920. Subsequently Great Britain compelled Sinn Fein's leaders to rescind the declaration of an Irish Republic, remain within the British Emp...
Tyler Cowen
Feb 02, 2020
This three-volume set is quite the remarkable achievement, and it would have made my best books of 2019 list (add-ons here) had I known about it earlier. It starts with “An audit of violence after 1966,” and then goes back to the seventeenth century to begin to dig out what happened. It has more detail than almost anyone needs to know, yet at the same time it remains unfailingly conceptual and relies on theoretical social science as well, rather than merely reciting names and dates. Unlike in so many history books, O’Leary is always trying to explain what happened, or what did not.     source
The Bomb
Presidents, Generals, and the Secret History of Nuclear War
by Fred Kaplan (Jan 28, 2020)
Goodreads Rating
From the author the classic The Wizards of Armageddon and Pulitzer Prize finalist comes the definitive history of American policy on nuclear warand Presidents actions in nuclear crisesfrom Truman to Trump.Fred Kaplan, hailed by The New York Times as a rare combination of defense intellectual and pugnacious reporter, takes us into the White House Si...
Tyler Cowen
Feb 07, 2020
Fred Kaplan, The Bomb: Presidents, Generals, and the Secret History of Nuclear War, is not a secret history, but it is a good general overall introduction to its chosen topic.     source
Facebook
The Inside Story
by Steven Levy (Feb 25, 2020)
Goodreads Rating
He has had unprecedented access to Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg for three years. And now renowned tech writer Steven Levy delivers the definitive history of one of America's most powerful and controversial companies: Facebook.In his sophomore year of college, Mark Zuckerberg created a simple website to serve as a campus social network. The s...
Tyler Cowen
Mar 10, 2020
Probably the best history of the company we're are going to get, at least for the earlier years of the company. Even the jabs at the company seem perfunctory, for the most part this is quite objective as a treatment.     source
The Decadent Society
How We Became the Victims of Our Own Success
by Ross Douthat (Feb 25, 2020)
Goodreads Rating
From the New York Times columnist and bestselling author of Bad Religion, a powerful portrait of how our age in human history, so superficially turbulent, is actually defined by stagnation, repetition, deadlocks, and decayToday the Western world seems to be in crisis. But beneath our social media frenzy and reality-television politics, the deeper r...
Tyler Cowen
Nov 16, 2019
Excellent book! It has a real dose of Peter Thiel (and some Tyler Cowen), and most of it comes as fresh material even if you have read all of Ross’s other columns and books. Imagine the idea of technological stagnation tied together with a conservative Catholic critique of decadence, and in a convincing manner with a dose of pro-natalism tossed in for good measure. There is commentary on Star Wars, Back to the Future, Jordan Peterson, and much more.     source
This book is also recommended by
Fareed ZakariaPeter Thiel
Station Eleven
by Emily St. John Mandel (Jun 02, 2015)
Goodreads Rating
A National Book Award FinalistA PEN/Faulkner Award Finalist Kirsten Raymonde will never forget the night Arthur Leander, the famous Hollywood actor, had a heart attack on stage during a production of King Lear. That was the night when a devastating flu pandemic arrived in the city, and within weeks, civilization as we know it came to an end. Twenty...
Tyler Cowen
Mar 16, 2020
I am a big fan of Emily St. John Mandel's novels Station Eleven (about a pandemic, by the way, I promise you that is a coincidence), and the new forthcoming The Glass Hotel.     source
This book is also recommended by
James AltucherSaeed JonesHolly Brockwell
The Industrialists
How the National Association of Manufacturers Shaped American Capitalism (Politics and Society in Modern America)
by Jennifer A. Delton (Apr 14, 2020)
Goodreads Rating
The first complete history of US industry's most influential and controversial lobbyistFounded in 1895, the National Association of Manufacturers--NAM--helped make manufacturing the basis of the US economy and a major source of jobs in the twentieth century. The Industrialists traces the history of the advocacy group from its origins to today, exam...
Tyler Cowen
Jan 30, 2020
Why don’t more books fit this model: take one topic and explain it well?     source
A Treatise on Northern Ireland, Volume I
Colonialism
by Brendan O'Leary (Jun 10, 2019)
Goodreads Rating
This brilliantly innovative synthesis of narrative and analysis illuminates how British colonialism shaped the formation and political cultures of what became Northern Ireland and the Irish Free State. A Treatise on Northern Ireland, Volume I provides a somber and compelling comparative audit of the scale of recent conflict in Northern Ireland and ...
Tyler Cowen
Feb 02, 2020
This three-volume set is quite the remarkable achievement, and it would have made my best books of 2019 list (add-ons here) had I known about it earlier. It starts with “An audit of violence after 1966,” and then goes back to the seventeenth century to begin to dig out what happened. It has more detail than almost anyone needs to know, yet at the same time it remains unfailingly conceptual and relies on theoretical social science as well, rather than merely reciting names and dates. Unlike in so many history books, O’Leary is always trying to explain what happened, or what did not.     source
The Origins of You
How Childhood Shapes Later Life
by Jay Belsky (Aug 11, 2020)
Goodreads Rating
After tracking the lives of thousands of people from birth to midlife, four of the world's preeminent psychologists reveal what they have learned about how humans develop.Does temperament in childhood predict adult personality? What role do parents play in shaping how a child matures? Is day care bad--or good--for children? Does adolescent delinque...
Tyler Cowen
Mar 07, 2020
That is the new forthcoming book by Jay Belsky, Avshalom Caspi, Terrie E. Moffitt, and Richie Poulton, which will prove one of the best and most important works of the last few years. Imagine following one thousand or so Dunedin New Zealanders for decades of their lives, up through age 38, and recording extensive data, and then doing the same for one thousand or so British twins through age 20, and 1500 American children, in fifteen different locales, up through age 15. Just imagine what you would learn! You merely have to buy this book.      source
Very Important People
Status and Beauty in the Global Party Circuit
by Ashley Mears (May 26, 2020)
Goodreads Rating
A sociologist and former fashion model takes readers inside the elite global party circuit of "models and bottles" to reveal how beautiful young women are used to boost the status of menMillion-dollar birthday parties, megayachts on the French Riviera, and $40,000 bottles of champagne. In today's New Gilded Age, the world's moneyed classes have tak...
Tyler Cowen
Mar 05, 2020
I loved this book, my favorite of the year so far. Haven’t you ever wondered why more books shouldn’t just take social phenomena and explain them, rather than preening their academic feathers with a lot of non-committal dense information? Well, this book tries to explain the Miami club where renting an ordinary table for the night costs 2k, with some spending up to 250k, along with the underlying sociological, economic, and anthropological mechanisms behind these arrangements     source
The Age of Entitlement
America Since the Sixties
by Christopher Caldwell (Jan 21, 2020)
Goodreads Rating
A major American intellectual makes the historical case that the reforms of the 1960s, reforms intended to make the nation more just and humane, instead left many Americans feeling alienated, despised, misledand ready to put an adventurer in the White House.Christopher Caldwell has spent years studying the liberal uprising of the 1960s and its unfo...
Tyler Cowen
Jan 30, 2020
This is both a very old thesis, but these days quite new, namely the claim that 1965 and the Civil Rights movement created a “new constitution” for America, at variance with the old, and the two constitutions have been at war with each other ever since. It will be one of the influential books “on the Right” this year.     source
Here Comes Everybody
The Power of Organizing Without Organizations
by Clay Shirky (Feb 24, 2009)
Goodreads Rating
A revelatory examination of how the wildfirelike spread of new forms of social interaction enabled by technology is changing the way humans form groups and exist within them, with profound long-term economic and social effects-for good and for ill A handful of kite hobbyists scattered around the world find each other online and collaborate on the m...
Tyler Cowen
Here Comes Everybody is Clay’s very successful attempt to write a popular book for people who weren’t just tech geeks or web nerds, and it’s very clear and very to the point. It’s about spontaneous order and decentralisation, and just how powerful the web can be. I’d say first and foremost that the prize goes to the individual rather than to that book.     source
This book is also recommended by
Derek Sivers
Cognitive Gadgets
The Cultural Evolution of Thinking
by Cecilia Heyes (Apr 16, 2018)
Goodreads Rating
"This is an important book and likely the most thoughtful of the year in the social sciences... Highly recommended, it is likely to prove one of the most thought-provoking books of the year."--Tyler Cowen, Marginal RevolutionHow did human minds become so different from those of other animals? What accounts for our capacity to understand the way the...
Tyler Cowen
Mar 30, 2018
Perhaps the most important general social science book in a good while,     source
Cognitive Surplus
How Technology Makes Consumers into Collaborators
by Clay Shirky (May 31, 2011)
Goodreads Rating
The author of the breakout hit Here Comes Everybody reveals how new technology is changing us for the better. In his bestselling Here Comes Everybody, Internet guru Clay Shirky provided readers with a much-needed primer for the digital age. Now, with Cognitive Surplus, he reveals how new digital technology is unleashing a torrent of creative prod...
Tyler Cowen
Clay’s new book, Cognitive Surplus, is also likely to go down as a classic.     source
The American Dream Is Not Dead
(But Populism Could Kill It) (New Threats to Freedom Series)
by Michael R. Strain (Feb 25, 2020)
Goodreads Rating
Populists on both sides of the political aisle routinely announce that the American Dream is dead. According to them, the game has been rigged by elites, workers cant get ahead, wages have been stagnant for decades, and the middle class is dying.  Michael R. Strain, director of economic policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, disputes ...
Tyler Cowen
Mar 03, 2020
I was happy to write a blurb for Michael R. Strain’s The American Dream is Not Dead (But Populism Could Kill It)     source
Wikinomics
How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything
by Don Tapscott (Sep 28, 2010)
Goodreads Rating
The acclaimed bestseller that's teaching the world about the power of mass collaboration. Translated into more than twenty languages and named one of the best business books of the year by reviewers around the world, Wikinomics has become essential reading for business people everywhere. It explains how mass collaboration is happening not just at ...
Tyler Cowen
This is a very popular, very applied book. It basically says wikis work and wikis are important and wikis are the way of the future. Maybe it’s the least deep book on this list, but it makes the point and it makes it well.     source
This book is also recommended by
Derek Sivers
The Glass Hotel
A novel
by Emily St. John Mandel (Mar 24, 2020)
Goodreads Rating
From the award-winning author of Station Eleven, a captivating novel of money, beauty, white-collar crime, ghosts, and moral compromise in which a woman disappears from a container ship off the coast of Mauritania and a massive Ponzi scheme implodes in New York, dragging countless fortunes with it.Vincent is a bartender at the Hotel Caiette, a fiv...
Tyler Cowen
Mar 16, 2020
I am a big fan of Emily St. John Mandel's novels Station Eleven (about a pandemic, by the way, I promise you that is a coincidence), and the new forthcoming The Glass Hotel.     source
This book is also recommended by
Dan Pfeiffer
Generation Priced Out
Who Gets to Live in the New Urban America
by Randy Shaw (Nov 06, 2018)
Goodreads Rating
Generation Priced Out is a call to action on one of the most talked-about issues of our time: how skyrocketing rents and home values are pricing the working and middle classes out of urban America. Randy Shaw tells the powerful stories of tenants, politicians, homeowner groups, developers, and activists in over a dozen cities impacted by the nation...
Tyler Cowen
Jan 30, 2020
A YIMBY book, with good historical material on San Francisco, Los Angeles, and other locales involved in the struggle to build more.     source
The Ideas Industry
How Pessimists, Partisans, and Plutocrats are Transforming the Marketplace of Ideas.
by Daniel Drezner (Apr 02, 2017)
Goodreads Rating
The public intellectual, as a person and ideal, has a long and storied history. Writing in venues like the New Republic and Commentary, such intellectuals were always expected to opine on a broad array of topics, from foreign policy to literature to economics. Yet in recent years a new kind of thinker has supplanted that archetype: the thought lead...
Tyler Cowen
Apr 07, 2017
My review of the new and excellent @dandrezner book,     source
Everything Is Miscellaneous
by David Weinberger (Apr 29, 2008)
Goodreads Rating
"Perfectly placed to tell us what's really new about [the] second-generation Web."--Los Angeles TimesBusiness visionary and bestselling author David Weinberger charts how as business, politics, science, and media move online, the rules of the physical world--in which everything has a place--are upended. In the digital world, everything has its plac...
Tyler Cowen
Why is a book the most important organising medium for talking about or reading about the internet? Weinberger is a guy who gets this – that the internet is a way of ordering or not ordering reality, that you stack things in a pile, that it appears to be very chaotic, that this is a fundamental change in information processing and it’s not in every way book-like or driven by narrative. I think Weinberger is an important and underrated thinker – this is a book that is easy to comprehend and is also fun. I don’t think it’s made the big splash of Clay Shirky or Sherry Turkle or some other people, but if you want my list of five then it’s got to be on it.     source
The Power Notebooks
by Katie Roiphe (Mar 03, 2020)
Goodreads Rating
Katie Roiphe, culture writer and author of The Morning After, shares a timely blend of memoir, feminist investigation, and exploration of famous female writers lives, in a bold, essential discussion of how strong women experience their power. Told in a series of notebook entries, Roiphe weaves her often fraught personal experiences with divorce, si...
Tyler Cowen
Mar 10, 2020
Power, sex, dating, and romance, but surprisingly substantive. Much of it is written in paragraph-long segments, and willing to be politically incorrect. “Rebecca West: “Since men don’t love us nearly as much as we love them that leaves them a lot more spare vitality to be wonderful with.     source
Quarantined
Life and Death at William Head Station, 1872-1959
by Peter Johnson (Nov 15, 2013)
Goodreads Rating
Winner (third place), 2014 BC Historical Federation Lieutenant-Governor's Medal for Historical WritingVancouver Island in the late nineteenth century was a major port of entry for people from all walks of life. But for many, the sense of hope that had sustained them through rough sea voyages came to an abrupt halt as soon as they reached land. Quar...
Tyler Cowen
Mar 10, 2020
British Columbia had a quarantine station that late, and this is its story. Leprosy, smallpox, and meningitis are a few of the drivers of the narrative. It continues to startle me how much pandemics and quarantines are a kind of lost history, though they are extremely prominent in 19th century fiction.     source
The Senkaku Paradox
Risking Great Power War Over Small Stakes
by Michael E. O'Hanlon (Apr 30, 2019)
Goodreads Rating
Categories: Nonfiction
America needs better options for resolving potential crisesIn recent years, the Pentagon has elevated its concerns about Russia and China as potential military threats to the United States and its allies. But what issues could provoke actual conflict between the United States and either country? And how could such a conflict be contained before it ...
Tyler Cowen
Jan 30, 2020
A very useful practical book about what options a U.S. government would have — short of full war — to deal with international grabs by China or Russia. There should be thirty more books on this topic (#ProgressStudies).     source
Confessions of a Sociopath
A Life Spent Hiding in Plain Sight
by M.E. Thomas (May 13, 2014)
Goodreads Rating
As M.E. Thomas says of her fellow sociopaths, We are your neighbors, your coworkers, and quite possibly the people closest to you: lovers, family, friends. Our risk-seeking behavior and general fearlessness are thrilling, our glibness and charm alluring. Our often quick wit and outside-the-box thinking make us appear intelligent even brilliant. We ...
Tyler Cowen
May 20, 2018
@sknthla You should read the book *Confessions of a Psychopath*...if you haven't already...     source
New Atlantis Revisited
by Paul R. Josephson (Jul 07, 1997)
Goodreads Rating
Categories: ScienceNonfiction
In 1958 construction began on Akademgorodok, a scientific utopian community modeled after Francis Bacon's vision of a "New Atlantis." The city, carved out of a Siberian forest, 2,500 miles east of Moscow, was formed by Soviet scientists with the full support of Nikita Khrushchev. They believed that their rational science, liberated from ideological...
Tyler Cowen
Mar 10, 2020
Imagine the Soviets trying to build a “city of science,” and meeting problem after problem. Yet “Marchuk acknowledged that in a number of fields researchers had contributed to…the speeding up of scientific technological progress. The physicists built synchroton radiation sources with broad applications; the biologists tacked plant and animal husbandry with vigor; the mathematicians, computer specialists, and economists were engaged in modeling and management systems.     source
Dante
by John Took (Jan 28, 2020)
An authoritative and comprehensive intellectual biography of the author of the Divine ComedyFor all that has been written about the author of the Divine Comedy, Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) remains the best guide to his own life and work. Dante's writings are therefore never far away in this authoritative and comprehensive intellectual biography, wh...
Tyler Cowen
Feb 07, 2020
John Took’s Dante is the book to read on Dante after you’ve read all the other books (an interesting designation, by the way, I wonder how many areas have such books? In most cases, if you’ve read all the other books you shouldn’t bother with the next one!).     source
A Treatise on Northern Ireland, Volume III
Consociation and Confederation
by Brendan O'Leary (Jun 10, 2019)
Categories: HistoryNonfiction
The Good Friday Agreement deserved the attention the world gave it, even if it was not always accurately understood. After its ratification in two referendums, for the first time in history political institutions throughout the island of Ireland rested upon the freely given assent of majorities of all the peoples on the island.It marked, it was hop...
Tyler Cowen
Feb 02, 2020
This three-volume set is quite the remarkable achievement, and it would have made my best books of 2019 list (add-ons here) had I known about it earlier. It starts with “An audit of violence after 1966,” and then goes back to the seventeenth century to begin to dig out what happened. It has more detail than almost anyone needs to know, yet at the same time it remains unfailingly conceptual and relies on theoretical social science as well, rather than merely reciting names and dates. Unlike in so many history books, O’Leary is always trying to explain what happened, or what did not.     source