Category Archives: book reviews

The Red Queen: But If It is, Let Us Pray It Does Not Become Widely Known

My last read of 2016 was Matt Ridley’s The Red Queen. It was already in our home and grabbed my eye and it turned out to be a real page-turner. The title is a reference to a scene in Through the Looking-Glass where the Red Queen herself explains to Alice that, there, it takes running […]

Why People Die by Suicide: Review and Notes

Recently, a very distant acquaintance – I infer, from Facebook – died by suicide. Because I was not close to this person and am not close to any of our mutual friends, my curiosity surrounding the circumstances of this surprising departure is thwarted and I remain fairly troubled regarding the whole thing (possibly since this […]

“The Start-up of You,” or The Future and Its Friends

Last week, I devoured Reid Hoffman & Ben Casnocha‘s brand new book, “The Start-up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform your Career.” It couldn’t have come out at a more appropriate time for me personally, given that I have abandoned academic aspirations, left grad school, quit a boring publishing job, […]

book review: Vivian Gornick’s “Revolution as a Way of Life”

Last month, I read the article “Love and Anarchy” by Vivan Gornick in The Chronicle of Higher Education. It was adapted from a recently released book titled “Emma Goldman: Revolution as a Way of Life” by the same author. Because the essay was intriguing and, honestly, quite sexy, I quickly purchased the full book on […]

book review: Schmidtz and Brennan’s “A Brief History of Liberty”

Actually, this is more of a book recommendation than a book review. David Schmidtz is one of my favorite philosophers; it was his book “Social Welfare and Individual Responsibility: For and Against” (written with Robert Goodin) that first began to wake me from my dogmatic political slumbers circa 2006, when I was an undergrad back […]

book review: Ivan Illich’s “Deschooling Society”

Ivan Illich‘s “Deschooling Society” is a classic in the alternative education scene, so I had been meaning to read it for ages and finally did. The book has seven shortish chapters, and is a pretty quick read. The first chapter, “Why We Must Disestablish School,” is very clearly the strongest one. Illich argues that institutionalized […]

book review: James Tooley’s “The Beautiful Tree”

I just finished James Tooley‘s “The Beautiful Tree: A Personal Journey Into How the World’s Poorest People Are Educating Themselves,” which I had been meaning to read ever since it received some publicity from The Cato Institute upon their publishing it last year. Tooley is a lovely writer and an obviously thoughtful man, whose research in India, […]

book review: Diane Ravitch’s “The Death and Life of the Great American School System”

I recently finished Diane Ravitch‘s book, “The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice are Undermining Education.” This book has been getting quite a bit of attention even outside of educational circles so I figured I should read it. Ravitch is an historian of education and, viewed as a […]

book review: Lierre Keith's "The Vegetarian Myth"

Somewhere between my ex-vegan interview at Let Them Eat Meat, the blog Hunt.Gather.Love, and Paleohacks, it was at least once recommended to me that I read Lierre Keith’s “The Vegetarian Myth.” So, I did. The author spent 20 years as a vegan. Understandably, veganism became ever nearer and dearer to her identity, but it also […]