Attention all book lovers! From now on, every week we will be posting a round-up of all of our most exciting national AND international reviews/interviews/events/etc. that took place in the last week. Why? Because we love to see our books reaching so many people all around the world, and we think you’ll like it too.
Our top title this week with six articles, a podcast and an event is… The Confidence Trap: A History of Democracy in Crisis from World War I to the Present by David Runciman!
Runciman had an interview with Prospect, a review in The Guardian where they call The Confidence Trap ‘…a lucid, wholly original book..’, and op-eds from both The Guardian and The Chronicle, in which he discusses the current state of our democratic system (which isn’t looking too great). He does the same in a podcast with The Guardian. Plus, The Australian calls the book “[r]efreshingly free of received and rehearsed wisdoms,” while New Statesman says that “[Runciman's]work is in the spirit of Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America, perhaps the greatest book ever written about democracy, and of James Bryce, whose American Commonwealth, an attempt at a sequel to de Tocqueville’s work, Runciman rightly rescues from oblivion.” Want more? Check out this audio clip of Runciman’s full interview with the RSA.
Next on our list is The Crossley ID Guide: Britain and Ireland by Richard Crossley & Dominic Couzens. They received some love in a review from RSPB Nature’s Home blog, who said “I was delighted to see that the Crossley guide to UK birds lived up to my expectations”, while the Aussie Birding blog gives it a thumbs up for simplifying the bird identification process.
Our other bird title, The Warbler Guide, by Tom Stephenson and Scott Whittle, received praise from The Urban Birder, who said, “This book is certainly worthy of a place on anyone’s heaving book shelf. It is refreshing, stunningly illustrated and importantly, educational. If you want to get to grips with North America’s Warblers, you will need to tightly grip The Warbler Guide!”
Would You Kill the Fat Man? The Trolley Problem and What Your Answer Tells Us about Right and Wrong by David Edmonds was called “[J]aunty, lucid and concise” by the New York Times Book Review this week, while Edmonds himself took the time to participate in a podcast with Rabbi Jeffrey Saks on WebYeshiva.
The Bleeding Heart Libertarians called Mass Flourishing: How Grassroots Innovation Created Jobs, Challenge, and Change by Edmund Phelps, “wide-ranging and highly eclectic” and “both illuminating and thought-provoking” on their blog.
The Great Escape: Health, Wealth, and the Origins of Inequality by Angus Deaton received some praise from Prospect when they said “The Great Escape is a thoughtful work, extensively illustrated with data, from a distinguished economist who tackles a central controversy of our time in a style refreshingly free of ideological baggage”, while Deaton also did a podcast with Russ Roberts to talk about our standard of living and The Great Escape. The interview was then discussed on another popular economics blog, Café Hayek.
On a similarly short note, The Battle of Bretton Woods: John Maynard Keynes, Harry Dexter White, and the Making of a New World Order by Benn Steil was reviewed by the London Review of Books.
What W. H. Auden Can Do for You by Alexander McCall Smith had a good week. A review from Spectator called it a “kindly, avuncular, contemplative opusculum” and an “earnest, unpretentious, endearing rumination”, which is a lot of fancy words for ‘this book rocks!’ A review from Scotsman claims “The book is written in the voice we have come to know from McCall Smith’s fiction: calm, reassuring, able to disentangle complicated ideas and emotions and to express them in ways we recognise and understand as our own. To those with a passing interest in Auden it will provide affirming delight.” Lastly, the Irish Times reviewed this title as well expressing particular interest in the passages about Auden’s poetry.
Art and the Second World War by Monica Bohm-Duchen was reviewed in Publishers Weekly in which they said “In this well-researched, clear-eyed assessment of art’s relationship to the war that ‘has left the darkest and most indelible mark on modern society,’ Bohm-Duchen (After Auschwitz) presents a sobering overview of the official and nonofficial fine art produced in warring nations…[T]he book is particularly impressive for the obscure work it covers…Bohm-Duchen punctuates the narrative with astute insights… Brimming with chilling full-color images, this handsome volume reaffirms the importance of WWII in relation to the fine arts.” Quite the compliment!
On a racier note, our last installment of The Plum in the Golden Vase or, Chin P’ing Mei (Volume Five: The Dissolution), translated by David Tod Roy, was recently reviewed by The New York Times, in which they say that, aside from its erotic nature, this book is also “the first long Chinese narrative to focus not on mythical heroes or military adventures, but on ordinary people and everyday life, chronicled down to the minutest details of food, clothing, household customs, medicine, games and funeral rites, with exact prices given for just about everything, including the favor of bribe-hungry officials up and down the hierarchy.”
Change They Can’t Believe In: The Tea Party and Reactionary Politics in America by Christopher S. Parker & Matt A. Barreto drew some attention this week in an article by Newsmax about racism in Washington D.C. against Obama, even after he’s spent almost eight years in office.
Another of our more political titles, The Bankers’ New Clothes: What’s Wrong with Banking and What to Do about It by Anat Admati & Martin Hellwig had some international intrigue this week when Admati traveled to Amsterdam and was interviewed by three major papers there: De Telegraaf, NRC Handelsblad and Het Financieele Dagblad.
William Helmreich had some attention this week for his book, The New York Nobody Knows: Walking 6,000 Miles in the City, in an interview with CUNY TV. He also has an event coming up next week that you can learn about here.
James Kingsland from The Guardian took notice of Cells to Civilizations: The Principles of Change That Shape Life by Enrico Coen, saying “Coen’s intellectual honesty is commendable.”
Kenneth T. MacLeish’s book, Making War at Fort Hood: Life and Uncertainty in a Military Community was interviewed by New Books in Anthropology. The link for the full interview can be found on the bottom left corner of the page.
John Sides, co-author of The Gamble: Choice and Chance in the 2012 Presidential Election with Lynn Vavreck, recently participated in a roundtable discussion on MSNBC about ‘potential turning points in the race for the White House.’