Using data, interview and anecdote, David assembles a brief but interesting history of the country’s largest city—though he...



Veteran Crain’s New York Business contributor David, who directs the business reporting program at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, profiles the long-term trends that have stimulated the city’s economic recovery.

The author identifies financial services, tourism, film and TV production and higher education as the primary sectors that have helped turn the city around since its fiscal crisis in the 1970s. Contrary to expectations, David shows that the New York City's economy is not as dependent on the ups and downs of Wall Street as the rest of the country; as evidence he cites the 2008 economic collapse and the 1982 recession, along with New York’s own deep recession in the ’70s, when more than 600,000 jobs were lost. One tendency remains clear: Manufacturing jobs have disappeared. After World War II, the city could count around 1 million workers in manufacturing, while in 2009 there were fewer than 100,000. Examining the tourism industry, David notes that the city greets 50 million tourists per year, with 10 million coming from abroad, and puts them up in 96,000 hotel rooms (double the capacity of the mid ’80s). The author also assesses the role of all the mayors of the city, singling out for special praise the economic policies of Ed Koch and Michael Bloomberg. Bloomberg has provided the impetus for many innovative approaches, including a competitive effort to design a world-class graduate-school–level incubator for modern engineering businesses. However, with more than 190,000 jobs and an average yearly salary of more than $400,000, Wall Street provides 20 percent of the state's finances and 13 percent of the city's receipts (without considering property and sales taxes).

Using data, interview and anecdote, David assembles a brief but interesting history of the country’s largest city—though he does not address whether Wall Street’s global financial position will be enough to keep the city moving forward.

Pub Date: April 10, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-230-11510-1

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Jan. 23, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2012

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Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our...


A psychologist and Nobel Prize winner summarizes and synthesizes the recent decades of research on intuition and systematic thinking.

The author of several scholarly texts, Kahneman (Emeritus Psychology and Public Affairs/Princeton Univ.) now offers general readers not just the findings of psychological research but also a better understanding of how research questions arise and how scholars systematically frame and answer them. He begins with the distinction between System 1 and System 2 mental operations, the former referring to quick, automatic thought, the latter to more effortful, overt thinking. We rely heavily, writes, on System 1, resorting to the higher-energy System 2 only when we need or want to. Kahneman continually refers to System 2 as “lazy”: We don’t want to think rigorously about something. The author then explores the nuances of our two-system minds, showing how they perform in various situations. Psychological experiments have repeatedly revealed that our intuitions are generally wrong, that our assessments are based on biases and that our System 1 hates doubt and despises ambiguity. Kahneman largely avoids jargon; when he does use some (“heuristics,” for example), he argues that such terms really ought to join our everyday vocabulary. He reviews many fundamental concepts in psychology and statistics (regression to the mean, the narrative fallacy, the optimistic bias), showing how they relate to his overall concerns about how we think and why we make the decisions that we do. Some of the later chapters (dealing with risk-taking and statistics and probabilities) are denser than others (some readers may resent such demands on System 2!), but the passages that deal with the economic and political implications of the research are gripping.

Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our minds.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-374-27563-1

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Sept. 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011

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For Howard Zinn, long-time civil rights and anti-war activist, history and ideology have a lot in common. Since he thinks that everything is in someone's interest, the historian—Zinn posits—has to figure out whose interests he or she is defining/defending/reconstructing (hence one of his previous books, The Politics of History). Zinn has no doubts about where he stands in this "people's history": "it is a history disrespectful of governments and respectful of people's movements of resistance." So what we get here, instead of the usual survey of wars, presidents, and institutions, is a survey of the usual rebellions, strikes, and protest movements. Zinn starts out by depicting the arrival of Columbus in North America from the standpoint of the Indians (which amounts to their standpoint as constructed from the observations of the Europeans); and, after easily establishing the cultural disharmony that ensued, he goes on to the importation of slaves into the colonies. Add the laborers and indentured servants that followed, plus women and later immigrants, and you have Zinn's amorphous constituency. To hear Zinn tell it, all anyone did in America at any time was to oppress or be oppressed; and so he obscures as much as his hated mainstream historical foes do—only in Zinn's case there is that absurd presumption that virtually everything that came to pass was the work of ruling-class planning: this amounts to one great indictment for conspiracy. Despite surface similarities, this is not a social history, since we get no sense of the fabric of life. Instead of negating the one-sided histories he detests, Zinn has merely reversed the image; the distortion remains.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1979

ISBN: 0061965588

Page Count: 772

Publisher: Harper & Row

Review Posted Online: May 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1979

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