Saturday, December 8, 2012
Here's my gloomy post-election reading. Try to see if you discern a pattern:
Mao: The Unknown Story by Jung Chang & Jon Halliday. a very good biography that brings together every rotten story about the Great Helmsman in one convenient place. Life under Mao's thumb, whether in CCP controlled territory during the civil war, or in Red China proper, was alternately miserable and terrifying. Too bad when Mao was actually alive there were so many westerners who bought the line about Mao being an "agrarian reformer."
Thaddeus Stevens and the Fight For Negro Rights by Milton Meltzer. we used to have some bad-a** Republicans out there.
The Amateur by Edward Klein: the book that was supposed to turn the electorate off of the Obama Administration, and obviously did not. The best parts are when Michelle dumps on the Kennedies for having tatty furniture.
What You Should Know About Inflation by Henry Hazlitt. written in 1960 (and relying on data from 1930 - 1959), but still depressingly relevant. Quantitative easing, deficit spending and "stimulous" each take their turns under Hazlitt's microscope. As with Hazlitt's other books, the writing is clear and concise. Should (but never will) be required reading in college, if not high school.
Popular Crime by Bill James: an amazing book about infamous crimes from the master of sabremetrics. James is a relentless quantifier, creating 18 types of crimes, assigning percentages to the levels of evidence necessary to convict, etc; while also offering his take on famous murders and murderers. You could literally learn something new on every page. Shock stat: the great American crime wave really started in the 1850's and has remained at elevated levels ever since.
One Is A Crowd; Out of Step by Frank Chodorov. essays from an OG paleo-con who was present at the creation of Human Events, and fought the good fight during the Thirties and Forties. Chodorov was an isolationist who thought Democrats were socialists, and believed people were crazy to buy gov't bonds, positions that probably didn't do much to enhance his popularity at the time.
Machinery Of Freedom by David Friedman. this anrcho-capitalist classic looks more and more like science fiction everyday.
(free pdf.s of the Hazlitt and Chodorov books are available at the Mises Institute website. Friedman has a link to downloads to his books at his very good blog)