What I’ve been reading
1. Sevket Pamuk, Uneven Centuries: Economic Development of Turkey since 1820. The best economic history of Turkey I know, it comes with strong recommendations from Daron Acemoglu and Dani Rodrik. Not an engaging read, but a useful survey.
2. Nell Dunn, Talking to Women. Interviews with British (and Irish) women, circa 1964, remarkably frank and open, “witty, anarchic, and sexually frank.” Strongly recommended, is it possible that the quality of discourse on these matters has not much advanced or even declined?
3. Charles Allen, Coromandel: A Personal History of South India. “I have called this book Coromandel chiefly for sentimental reasons. I first became aware of that sonorous word as a fifteen-year-old schoolboy exiled in England. Coromandel! was the title of the third in a series of Boy’s Own-style adventure stories set in India written by John Masters, an ex-Indian Army officer turned popular novelist. It was all about a West Country lad who sails to India with a map to find the legendary Coromandel and make his fortune. I reread it recently and found it not half as good as I thought it was — but the magic of that word Coromandel has always stayed with me, as the very essence of South India in all its elusiveness and allure. I’m not alone in thinking this.”
4. Sally Rooney, Normal People. A novel, they’re not, Irish, recommended.
Louise I. Shelley, Dark Commerce: How a New Illicit Economy is Threatening Our Future, is a useful survey of varying kinds of black and dark markets.
M. Todd Henderson, Mental State, “When conservative law professor Alex Johnson is found dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound at his house in Chicago, everyone thinks it is suicide. Everyone except his brother, Royce, an FBI agent.”
Kimberly Clausing, Open: The Progressive Case for Free Trade, Immigration, and Global Capital delivers exactly what its subtitle promises.
Jeffrey Lane, The Digital Street, is an interesting and original urban ethnography of how digitalized media, and the recording of street interactions, affect gang norms and patterns of violence.