What I’ve been reading

1. Richard A. Posner, Reflections on Judging.  I’m not seeing this book receive enough attention.  It is written in a somewhat fragmented manner, but it is an important and stimulating look at how growing social and economic complexity and the increased specialization of knowledge make the current organization of judgeships increasingly problematic.  Furthermore the opening “legal autobiography” offered by Posner is fascinating and it could be turned into a longer book of its own.

2. Peter Temin and Hans-Joachim Voth, Prometheus Shackled: Goldsmith Banks and England’s Financial Revolution after 1700.  This book argues that the financial revolution led to a reallocation of resources toward war and other public purposes, away from private investment, and that such shifts were partially responsible for the slow growth of living standards in the eighteenth century.

3. Gerald D. Feldman, The Great Disorder: Politics, Economics, and Society in the German Inflation, 1914-1924.  A 1000 pp. plus tome — readable throughout — on exactly what went wrong in the Weimar era, a work unlikely to be surpassed, good on both the politics and the economics.

4. Steve Lehto, The Great American Jetpack: The Quest for the Ultimate Personal Lift Device.  The title says it all.

5. Daniel Tanguay, Leo Strauss: An Intellectual Biography.  Perhaps the most frequent sets of questions I receive from readers have to do with a) time management (try here and here), b) low-skilled jobs, c) future inflation, and d) Leo Strauss.  (Bitcoin was once on that list, no more.)  This book will answer your questions on the latter, and there are few other good sources on Strauss.  But it’s more than that, it is a splendid work of intellectual history, wide-ranging an insightful on every page, I loved this book.


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