What I’ve been reading

1. Supermac: The Life of Harold Macmillan, by D.R. Thorpe.  I'm not one of these people who enjoys reading a lot of long tracts about British politicians, but this is one of the best non-fiction books of the year.  It's full of good information, offers useful context for British economic and political debates, has plenty of original research, and is as suspenseful as a very good novel.  Most of all, it brings its world and character to life.  Highly recommended.

2. J.P. Singh, Globalized Arts: The Entertainment Economy and Cultural Identity.  The definitive book for updating coverage on its topic, including the best and most comprehensive history of the UNESCO Convention on Cultural Diversity.

3. James K. Glassman, Safety Net: The Strategy for De-Risking Your Investments in a Time of Turbulence.  p.11: "Reduce the proportion of stocks in your portfolio."  

4. Alan Taylor, The Civil War of 1812: American Citizens, British Subjects, Irish Loyalists, and Indian Allies.  "The civil war had four overlapping dimensions.  In the first, Loyalists and Americans battled for control of Upper Canada.  Second, the bitter partisanship within the United States threatened to become a civil war, as many Federalists served the British as spies and smugglers, while their leaders in New England flirted with secession.  Third, Irish republicans waged a civil war within the British empire, renewing in Canada their rebellion, which the British had suppressed in Ireland in 1798.  Invading Canada, Irish-American soldiers faced British regiments primarily recruited in Ireland, for thousands of Irishmen had fled from poverty by enlisting in the royal forces.  Fourth, the war embroiled and divided native peoples…In the North American civil war of 1812, Americans fought Americans, Irish battled Irish, and Indians attacked one another.  They struggled to extend, or to contain, the republicanism spawned by the American Revolution."  Some of this book has too much detail for my interests, but overall it is good.

5. Thomas Bartlett, Ireland: A History.  I liked the cover so much that I also enjoyed the book more.  I also liked the weight of this book a great deal; it was just right.  In any case a fine one-volume introduction.


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