An engaging, provocative view of our economic climate.




An incisive look at what the authors see as the impending failure of established monetary systems.

In The Wizard of Oz, the imposing curtain was eventually pulled back to reveal a charade. According to authors MacDonald and Whitestone, a similar sham is at the heart of the world’s doomed economies. Western nations’ crumbling financial systems are part of an insidious trend that will, in the authors’ opinions, eventually lead to an explosion of the silver market. This trend is part of a paradigm shift away from paper currency, especially the ailing U.S. dollar. As evidence, the authors cite several nations that now favor physical gold as the preferred medium of exchange. A dubious central banking system, accompanied by bailouts for too-big-to-fail institutions, has produced a trust bubble for these traditional frameworks. The authors’ intend to “help wake people up” and navigate the tough times, particularly through investment in precious metals. First, the authors offer a textbook-like primer on the definition and role of money in history, which gives way to political—sometimes emotional—criticisms of the Federal Reserve Bank, mainstream media and their supportive “elites.” The conclusion is a call to action, ideally backed by a commodity more valuable than cash. MacDonald, the owner of a gold-focused website, sometimes parses his warnings like TV marketing. His fear is in earnest, though, as evidenced by deep historical, political and cultural knowledge. Some readers might be surprised to discover a longer history of globalism, as well as the fact that the Federal Bank is not really “federal.” MacDonald and Whitestone’s “no-excuses glimpse at the current state of things” is an insightful diversion from the usual left-versus-right political fare, another phenomenon they criticize. Discussion of the “enslavement of the masses by the few” will assuredly place the book in the sociologist’s conflict-theory category. However, the uneven citing of sources is problematic, especially for economic numbers and characterizations. A more robust bibliography would have bolstered credibility.

An engaging, provocative view of our economic climate.

Pub Date: April 27, 2012

ISBN: 978-1620957417

Page Count: 186

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: July 19, 2012

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Gucci demonstrates all the bravado and ferocious self-confidence that he counsels—and the photos are a nice bonus.


A hip-hop star who went on his first international tour wearing an ankle monitor explains how to succeed.

“The words you are about to read can help you,” writes Gucci. “That’s because there is truth in them. These are words of wisdom, like the Bible and its proverbs.” Unquestionably, Gucci likes to aim high, as many of his proverbs attest: “Stop Underestimating Yourself”; “Whatever You’re Thinking, Think Bigger”; “Nobody Cares. Work Harder”; “When They Sleep, I’m Grinding”; “Do More, Get More.” And never forget, “Women Are Brilliant.” Gucci not only shares his recipes for success. As in a cookbook that shows pictures of the end result, the author includes dozens of dazzling photos of himself and his beautiful wife, among them a series on his surprise wedding proposal at an Atlanta Hawks game. After the success of his bestselling debut, The Autobiography of Gucci Mane, Gucci has realized there is money to be made in the book business. In addition to the Bible, he has his eye on Malcolm Gladwell and his reported $5 million advances. While he is “cool with Malcolm Gladwell being more celebrated than me as an author…the difference between Malcolm Gladwell and me is that I’m going to make more money because I’m going to make so many books for my following….You can enjoy this book or not, but I’m going to make my fifty-second book, my hundred and eighth book.” Many readers will hope that one of them will be a diet book, as the 100-plus pounds Gucci has lost and kept off are a frequent topic—alas, he doesn’t reveal his weight loss secrets here. Until the next book, try to live the Gucci Mane way. “Avoid lazy and miserable people,” and “Find something to be excited about every day.”

Gucci demonstrates all the bravado and ferocious self-confidence that he counsels—and the photos are a nice bonus.

Pub Date: Oct. 13, 2020


Page Count: 272

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Sept. 10, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2020

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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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