What I’ve been reading

1. The Rape of Mesopotamia: Behind the Looting of the Iraq Museum, by Lawrence Rothfield.  The definitive book on its topic.

2. Edward Skidelsky, Ernst Cassirer: The Last Philosopher of Culture.  A very clear and readable book on a still underrated thinker.

3. The Euro: The Politics of the New Global Currency, by David Marsh.  I can't say this book is fun to read, but it is the new go-to source on an increasingly up-for-grabs topic.  It's at least as much about the EMS as about the Euro.

4. Richard Dowden, Africa: Altered States, Ordinary Miracles.  Another mega-book on Africa, with mixed results.  At least half of it is worth reading, and I learned a great deal (or at least I think I did) from the analysis of how Somalia is a relatively ethnically unified nation, by African standards at least.

5. Sarah Blaffer Hrdy, Mothers and Others: The Evolutionary Origins of Mutual Understanding.  Does our cooperative nature come from our love of babies?  Maybe my expectations were too high, but I found her earlier book more revelatory.


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