Books

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Pelopidas
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Books

Postby Pelopidas » Wed Dec 30, 2009 2:06 am

Some books that i came across recently and i found rather interesting. Maybe we can gather all book suggestions in one topic.

The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better

I'd like to comment on the book but i'm too afraid of the self-proclaimed economists of the Gorums, that turned my last book suggestion into a nonsense, so i wont. Just read the comments on the Amazon website, many are spot on. Trolls can go troll the amazon website.

Hitler's Empire: Nazi Rule in Occupied Europe

One of my favorite historians at his finest. I don't know what i love more about Mazower, his writing prose? His analytical view? How deep he digs into details? A comparative study of Nazi occupation through-out Europe.

Touched with Fire: Manic-depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament

Well, im not a psychologist, or a psychoanalyst or a psychiatrist so i cant really judge the scientific foundations of the book, i just found the subject rather intriguing, how manic-depression can be possibly linked with artistic creativity and temperament. Many good comments on Amazon website.
Sidney
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Re: Books

Postby Sidney » Wed Dec 30, 2009 11:32 am

I know these are fairly seminal works by this time, but you never know how might have missed them (John Norman is one name that leaps to mind! LOL). Guns, Germs and Steel and Collapse, both by Jared Diamond. Goes into a lot of detail about why civilizations succeed and fail, and breaks the various factors into easy to digest categories. Very interesting.
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Pelopidas
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Re: Books

Postby Pelopidas » Sat Jan 16, 2010 7:35 am

One Economics many recipies, Globalization, Institutions, and Economic Growth is a very good book bringing some common sense (or some ideological neutrality in better terms) to the debate around development economics, growth and globalization. It is accessible, to a large degree, to the non-specialist reader too and thats why im posting it here. It is a critique of the Washington consensus, from a neoclassical point of view.
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Aphris
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Re: Books

Postby Aphris » Sat Jan 16, 2010 11:39 am

Sidney wrote:Guns, Germs and Steel and Collapse, both by Jared Diamond. Goes into a lot of detail about why civilizations succeed and fail, and breaks the various factors into easy to digest categories. Very interesting.

i read that one too, its indeed interesting. Torvies should read the chapter about Greenland, it gives some good ideas for role play.
She smiled. "I have grown fond of the smell of bosk," said she. Kamchak smiled. He held his hand to the girl. "Ride with me, Aphris of Turia," said Kamchak of the Tuchuks. Image
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Frevet
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Re: Books

Postby Frevet » Mon Jan 18, 2010 8:35 am

The possibility of an island, Michel Houellebecq
"When Nietzsche wept", Irvin D. Yalom
"The Schopenhauer Cure", Irvin D. Yalom
"Extension du domaine de la lutte", Michel Houellebecq (known in english as "Whatever")
"Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything ", Steven Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner

I wouldnt ever recomment anyone to read "The possiblity of an island" if he or she already has pychological issues such as depressions etc. :fleeflee:
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Kylar
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Re: Books

Postby Kylar » Sat Jan 30, 2010 2:55 pm

Currently reading 'Raven - Blood Eye' by Giles Kristian.

Some called them wolves of the sea, others simply called them Vikings.

For two years Osric has lived a simple life, though he is feared and shunned for his mysterious past and blood-red eye. Then raiders from across the sea ransack his village and Osric is taken prisoner by this ruthless band of warriors. Immersed in the Norsemen's way of life and driven by their lust for adventure, Osric proves a natural fighter and forges a deep bond with their chief, Sigurd the Lucky, who renames him Raven. But the Norsemen's world is a savage ne, where loyalty is often repaid in blood, and a young man must become a killer to survive. It seems the path Raven has chosen is a dangerous one indeed....

I am loving this book. I can't put it down. These marauders have come to my shores; England. I am learning a little more of what life was like in AD 793 and it was a cruel and wicked world. Raven has violence, laughter, love, mystery, intrigue. I recommend it.....if not for the story, do it for your roleplay 'enrichment' because I am so immersed I can almost smell the smoke in the forge, hear the hammering of the blacksmith and feel the clash of steel as our Vikings take it to the English and the Welsh.
'Englund is my thirst langwedge and I try to speek it like wot you do but aym knot very gud at it. Fank Ewe'
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Pelopidas
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Re: Books

Postby Pelopidas » Thu Feb 04, 2010 8:59 am

The end of Influence, what happens when other other countries have the money

Fresh book, a must read to anyone wishing to the understand how the USA and China got "locked" in a peculiar economic situation, in which the american dept is a problem for both of them. It examines how the the USA became from the world's largest capital exporter, to the world's largest capital importer, how China ended up pilling up trillion of dollars and re-financing the american economy and what all this means for the status of the USA as a world super power.

Michel Foucault

Im a big fun of Foucault, especially for his ability to think out of the box and overturn they way we perceive things. This is one of the best biographies i ever read. The analysis of his works is not extented and just sumplemental to the narative and trust me this is a good thing. The great success of the book is that it does away with the myth of Foucault and focuses on the real person. How this gifted but troubled young student of the Ecole Normale, became one of the most influential public intellectuals of our times. Perhaps before reading the biography, one should read this book, simplest introduction to Foucault that exists.
Sidney
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Re: Books

Postby Sidney » Thu Feb 04, 2010 1:24 pm

Adding this to the list because of another thread: The Great Influenza by John Berry.

Shows the STUNNINGLY specific forensic data that has been mined about the 1918 pandemic, how it started on a chicken farm in the US, was carried by a local soldier to a Fort where is was spread to others -- many of whom were then deployed to the unsanitary trenches of France for the war. After the war, sick soldiers of all nations went home... and pandemic-city.

Also teaches you everything known about disease vectors and how things spread. Very good reading, and why I was never panicked by the hysterical media over the last two years.
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Pelopidas
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Re: Books

Postby Pelopidas » Thu Feb 04, 2010 3:15 pm

Eh, i was careless, the introduction to Foucault that i suggested is this one. The other book has the same title but its supposed to be about...telescopes? :?
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Pelopidas
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Re: Books

Postby Pelopidas » Mon Feb 08, 2010 2:47 pm

Keynes, the return of the Master.

Excellent little book, though i do find the title a bit amusing. Sounds like the Return of the Jedi :lol: Skidelsky, and its hardly a surprise since he is the best biographer of Keynes out there, focuses on the ideas that led us to the current economic crisis and the ideas of Keynes that can be useful to us today. He also goes beyond the Keynes as the economist and talks about Keynes the social thinker. Everybody and their mother is talking about Keynes today, hardly ever getting anything right. The General Theory aint an easy read for the non-economist so misconceptions are easily reproduced. So this is a good read to actually learn without much effort, what the man was about. It has a very nice chapter describing the sequence of events that led the current economic fiasco too.

Eh, so, repeat after me boys, girls and Republicans:

"Keynes was not a nationalizer [...]Keynes was not the apostle of permanent budget deficits..[..] Nor was Keynes a tax-and spend fanatic...[...] Nor did Keynes believe that all unemployment was caused by failure of aggregate demand...[...] Keynes was not an inflationist"(p. xvi, introduction).

I will also add, Keynes was not a socialist, this is really like me stating that the sky is blue, but apparently in some other places of the world it appears to be purple, pink, or even orange, depending on how certain political polls are going.

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