Business & Economics Book Reviews

Released: Oct. 18, 2016

"Forget subliminal seduction: every day, we are openly bought and sold, as this provocative book shows."
When something online is free, then the product being sold is you. Wu (Columbia Law School; The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires, 2010) elaborates on that sobering note. Read full book review >
THE MAN WHO KNEW by Sebastian Mallaby
Released: Oct. 11, 2016

"A well-crafted, thorough biography sure to interest students of the modern economy and financial system."
The life of perhaps the wonkiest financial theorist to sit at the helm of the Federal Reserve. Read full book review >

PROGRESS by Johan Norberg
Released: Oct. 11, 2016

"A refreshingly rosy assessment of how far many of us have come from the days when life was uniformly nasty, brutish, and short."
Cato Institute senior fellow Norberg (Financial Fiasco: How America's Infatuation with Home Ownership and Easy Money Created the Economic Crisis, 2009, etc.) surveys human history and finds "things have been getting better—overwhelmingly so." Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 11, 2016

"A timely volume that supports Jacobs' aim to 'stir up some independent thinking urgently needed as a wake-up call for America.' A perfect complement to Robert Kanigel's excellent biography, Eyes on the Street (2016)."
A collection of short pieces by an outspoken champion of urban diversity. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 4, 2016

"A delightfully witty, enjoyable read."
A Brit living in the United States exposes the dark side of the happiness business in her adopted country. Read full book review >

Reverse Mortgages by Wade Pfau
Released: Oct. 3, 2016

"A well-reasoned argument in favor of the reverse mortgage as a component of a retirement strategy."
A researcher and financial analyst explains the role of the reverse mortgage in retirement planning. Read full book review >
PAYING THE PRICE by Sara Goldrick-Rab
Released: Sept. 27, 2016

"Necessary reading for anyone concerned about the fate of American higher education."
An examination of the "new economics of college in America." Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 25, 2016

"An insightful book that should be of interest to anyone who eats food, animal or not."
Unsentimental study of the dangers in how meat is produced and distributed around the world, particularly in the United States. Read full book review >
THE FIX by Jonathan Tepperman
Released: Sept. 20, 2016

"An important and unusually engrossing book that merits wide attention."
Foreign Affairs managing editor Tepperman (co-editor: Iran and the Bomb: Solving the Persian Puzzle, 2012, etc.) offers a stirring account of the achievements of risk-taking political leaders. Read full book review >
IF VENICE DIES by Salvatore Settis
Released: Sept. 13, 2016

"An impassioned plea that every lover of Venice, urban planner, architect, and cultural historian should read."
Archaeologist and art historian Settis (The Future of the Classical, 2006, etc.) explores how troubled Venice is capable of being the true vision of a city. Read full book review >
EXILED IN AMERICA by Christopher Dum
Released: Sept. 6, 2016

"Dum's scholarly apparatus is on full display, which will please specialists but should not deter general readers. His exceptional view of what's happening to the weakest among us deserves a place on the same shelf with Matthew Desmond's groundbreaking book Evicted (2016)."
Dum (Sociology/Kent State Univ.) debuts with an ethnographic study of a year in the life of a residential motel. Read full book review >
SHADOW COURTS by Haley Sweetland Edwards
Released: Sept. 6, 2016

"Edwards does a great service for the public by turning the spotlight of disclosure on this dark corner of international relations."
TIME investigative reporter Edwards charges that the controversial Investor-State Dispute Settlement tribunals at the heart of many current trade deals represent a major shift in global relations in favor of private corporate interests. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
H.W. Brands
October 11, 2016

As noted historian H.W. Brands reveals in his new book The General vs. the President: MacArthur and Truman at the Brink of Nuclear War, at the height of the Korean War, President Harry S. Truman committed a gaffe that sent shock waves around the world. When asked by a reporter about the possible use of atomic weapons in response to China's entry into the war, Truman replied testily, "The military commander in the field will have charge of the use of the weapons, as he always has." This suggested that General Douglas MacArthur, the willful, fearless, and highly decorated commander of the American and U.N. forces, had his finger on the nuclear trigger. A correction quickly followed, but the damage was done; two visions for America's path forward were clearly in opposition, and one man would have to make way. Truman was one of the most unpopular presidents in American history. General MacArthur, by contrast, was incredibly popular, as untouchable as any officer has ever been in America. The contest of wills between these two titanic characters unfolds against the turbulent backdrop of a faraway war and terrors conjured at home by Joseph McCarthy. “An exciting, well-written comparison study of two American leaders at loggerheads during the Korean War crisis,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. View video >