1. Arts, Inc.: How Greed and Neglect Have Destroyed Our Cultural Rights, by Bill Ivey. The concrete discussions of cultural issues are consistently interesting and thoughtful; the overall talk of cultural rights which frames the book is not even well-developed enough to be called absurd. The book is best on copyright and least interesting on the NEA, which Ivey once ran. Most of all the book reflects a creeping horror that the internet will make its entire series of debates irrelevant.
2. Apples are from Kazakhstan: The Land that Disappeared, by Christopher Robbins. A substantive travel book about you-know-where; it is both fun and full of substance. Recommended.
3. The Monetary Policy of the Federal Reserve: A History, by Robert L. Hetzel. This is a very serious treatment of what is, from a historical point of view, an understudied topic. Recommended; note that while the monetarist point of view is not heavy-handed, it may not appeal to everybody.
4. Philip Bobbitt, Terror and Consent: The Wars for the Twenty-First Century. A lengthy and thoughtful volume on how WMD are *the* problem of the future, though I found it didn’t get me further to thinking through my views. A good start, however, for those who don’t buy the premise.
5. 1001 Buildings You Must See Before You Die. One of the best books for browsing I have seen, though don’t expect much from the index. I was most surprised by the Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Center in New Caledonia, have any of you been there?