Thursday, June 24, 2010

Summer Reading

Here at the beach, been reading some. Gone old school, and new school.

Old school:

Minnesota Rag: Corruption, Yellow Journalism, and the Case That Saved Freedom of the Press
, by Fred Friendly. A terrific 1st Amendment story, though quite an old book, about Jay Near and the "Saturday Press" in Minneapolis.

The Making of the Popes 1978, Andrew Greeley. Amazing story of the year where there were two papal elections. The politics and the description of the social choice rules, and the corruption of the Vatican, rotten to the core....fine summer reading.

The Gift of the Jews
, Thomas Cahill. A retelling of the Pentateuch story, with implications for the founding of the West. I had not thought of this before, and it is quite interesting. And well written.

Newer:

Reflections on the Revolution in Europe: Immigration, Islam, and the West, Christopher Caldwell. Disturbing. Suggested to me by Dutch Boy*, on his return from 10 years living in the Netherlands.

Driving Like Crazy: Thirty Years of Vehicular Hell-bending, PJ O'Rourke. Needs no explanation.

The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World, Alan Greenspan. In which AG covers the George Thorogood song, "It Wasn't Me."

Blink, The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, Malcolm Gladwell. A challenge for rational choice people, but likely a help in the long run. Better models are always better at predicting and explaining behavior.

*I may have to get a new pseudonym for Dutch Boy. It turns out that "Dutch Boy" is a derisive nickname that some lesbian women use to refer to hetero men who like to hang out with them. I believe the reference comes from The Wild Party, the 1975 movie with Racquel Welch. As the piano player started out, "The little Dutch boy taught a lesson that I like..." (If you cannot figure out why the name fits, you are not a real KPC reader.)