OK people, we’re going to do an MR book forum on Greg Clark’s A Farewell to Alms: A Brief Economic History of the World. Pre-order it, get it July 27. (Guess whose book you can buy it with, for a two-fer discount?) We’ll start the first chapter or so about a week after that and I’ll discuss the book sequentially.
And yes I will play the role of helpful critic. Keep marginalism in mind. Contrary to what many of you suggested, my view is not that all criticism is worthless. I said "use Google" but that means you are indeed Googling to something by a critic and then reading it. You are reading "critics" on Amazon as well. It remains very likely, however, that the marginal act of criticism isn’t worth very much, relative to using Google.
But ah…which act of criticism is the marginal one? Can we be infra-marginal? Here’s hoping the world googles to our forthcoming symposium, and perhaps Greg will join in.
I may soon pick a work of fiction as well, though I am less sure that will work. In the meantime, please don’t discuss Clark’s book in the comments, we’ll save that for the future. And I would be curious to hear what kind of pace you could bear for the forum.
If the forum goes well, I’m thinking of doing Keynes’s General Theory, chapter by chapter (no, wise guy, that’s not the work of fiction!), but first I want to see if there is interest in the forum for an easier book of more general interest.
Addendum: Last I looked Greg’s book rose from about #10,000 on Amazon.com to #169 today, and was still rising, so I am glad some of you seem to be interested…