Category Archives: Books

Great freeware tool for managing your e-books

If you have an e-reader or like to read books on your smartphone or Apple i-device, you should check out Calibre, a great freeware tool for managing your e-books. Think of it as iTunes software for your e-books. It allows … Continue reading

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Reading Ulysses

Reading James Joyce’s modernist masterpiece Ulysses has been on my to-read list since forever, but every time I give it a try, I am stymied by the author’s endless in-jokes and references to Irish popular culture circa 1904. But I’m … Continue reading

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Why the West Rules – For Now

Ian Morris is nothing if not ambitious. A professor of history and archaeology at Stanford University, Morris has written a new book, Why the West Rules – For Now in which he attempts an audacious unified field theory of history … Continue reading

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Losing the endgame

Win the shooting war and lose the peace? It’s an old story for US policymakers, going back at least as far as World War I. And it’s about time for us to start doing it differently. That’s the thesis of … Continue reading

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Putin and the Petrostate

If you want to understand how Russia regained its international clout after the collapse of the Soviet Union, all you need are these statistics: Russia supplies 31% of Europe’s natural gas. Russia supplies 42% of Germany’s natural gas. Numbers like … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Economics, International Relations | Tagged | 1 Comment

Reading the Great Books

Many moons ago I toyed with the idea of attending St. John’s College, which offers a Great Books curriculum — four years of reading and discussing and contemplating the canonical texts of Western civilization, from Homer to Nietzsche, from Genesis … Continue reading

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On rereading Tolkien

According to the book plate in my well-thumbed copy of JRR Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring, I first read the book in 1966 when I was in high school. I haven’t kept many books from that era, but I … Continue reading

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The Rise and Fall of Prohibition

What did Prohibition and the income tax have in common? According to Daniel Okrent, author of the new book Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition, the advent of the income tax was critical to the passage of Prohibition. … Continue reading

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Ebook readers for iphone: updated reviews

Since my last look at ebook software, the three leading ebook readers for the iPhone/iPod Touch have been updated, so here’s a new look at how they stack up. Lexcycle Stanza (website) still leads the pack, even though its two … Continue reading

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How to find course book lists

Because most university instructors post their syllabi on proprietary university networks, it’s often a challenge to find the book list that goes with a course podcast. However, you can often find the recommended books at the university student store website. … Continue reading

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