14 September 2008

What I'm Reading

A periodically updated post on things I've been reading recently . . . .

A History of Economic Thought, by Lionel Robbins. A collection of 33 essays Robbins delivered at the London School of Economics in the early 1980s (shortly before he died, in 1984). Robbins was one of the great economists of the twentieth century, and an excellent writer in addition.

Sanctifying the World: The Augustinian Life and Mind of Christopher Dawson, by Bradley J. Birzer. A fascinating biography of a thinker whose work was enormously influential on Catholicism in the first half of the twentieth century. A worthy successor to Birzer's previous book, J. R. R. Tolkein's Sanctifying Myth: Understanding Middle Earth.

In the Shadow of Progress: Being Human in the Age of Technology, by Eric Cohen. An extended argument laying out the limitations of modern science and technology, while remaining cognizant--and appreciative--of their obvious promise and benefits.

The Wal-Mart Revolution: How Big-Box Stores Benefit Consumers, Workers, and the Economy, by Richard Vedder and Wendell Cox. The authors argue that Wal-Mart unquestionably benefits everyone, and they review and address many objections to their claims and many criticisms raised against Wal-Mart.

Moral Sentiments and Material Interests: The Foundations of Cooperation in Economic Life, edited by Herbert Gintis, Samuel Bowles, Robert Boyd, and Ernst Fehr. An extensive, wide-ranging, and challenging set of essays laying out the claims and evidence that experimental economists, evolutionary psychologists, primatologists, and others have presented attempting to give various forms of naturalistic explanations for human morality.

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