Median Voter Guy

July 29, 2019

Firefighting: The Financial Crisis and Its Lessons (2019), Ben Bernanke, Tim Geithner, and Hank Paulson. The Big Three, in charge of getting through the subprime meltdown, their take a decade later. All three wrote their memoirs of the crisis and perhaps three dozen bo...

July 20, 2019

People, Power, and Profits: Progressive Capitalism for an Age of Discontent (2019), Joseph Stiglitz. Stiglitz takes aim at Republican ideology of supply-side economics, free markets, deregulation, and tax cuts for the rich, causing both inequality and huge deficits. Tr...

July 11, 2019

As writers know, stories impact imagination. Have an amazing story of why Christopher Marlowe wrote Shakespeare's play and people are convinced--even if no real evidence exists. Richard III is a villain because Shakespeare said so. Sir Thomas More is a saint and hero (...

June 25, 2019

Corruption, which is dishonest conduct, is widespread, tolerated by most and practiced by many. Behavioral economist Dan Ariely demonstrates that we cheat "up to the level that allows us to retain our self-image," related to the idea of "cognitive flexibility." In an i...

June 15, 2019

The Pioneers: The Heroic Story of the Settlers Who Brought the American Ideal West (2019), David McCullough. The tells the early story of the Northwest Territory, focusing on the founding of the first settlement, Marietta, Ohio and the major people involved. This is ac...

June 12, 2019

Upheaval: Turning Points for Nations in Crisis (2019), Jared Diamond. Six diverse countries (Finland, Japan, Chile, Indonesia, Germany, and Australia) facing various crises and how they handled it. Plus what this could mean for the current situation in the US (and the...

May 25, 2019

Looking back over the post-World War II period, all the presidents seem deficient on various grounds and none stands out as exceptional. Major debacles and scandals exist: Kennedy had the Bay of Pigs, Johnson the Vietnam War, Nixon added Watergate to his handling of Vi...

May 16, 2019

Working: Researching, Interviewing, Writing (2019), Robert Caro. Taking a break from his fifth and last volume on Lyndon Johnson, Caro wrote this short work, something of a mini-memoir (he says a major memoir will be forthcoming). This book is worthwhile on several fro...

May 15, 2019

Sapiens: A brief History of Humankind (2014), Yoval Noah Harari, something of a Big History perspective on the last 70,000 years or so of people. [I'll skip the first 14 billion of so years from the big bang.] Most of the book is compelling and thought provoking, altho...

May 9, 2019

The Future is Asian: Commerce, Conflict, and Culture in the 21st Century (2019), Parag Khanna, a thorough analysis of a broadly defined Asia (from the Near East to New Zealand) of five billion people, immense diversity, and unique applications of capitalism and politic...

April 27, 2019

The Hill to Die on: The Battle for Congress and the Future of Trump's America (2019), Sherman & Palmer, Congress in the age of Trump by two Politico journalists. They paint the people on Capital Hill as more or less normal and then tell stories, flipping from Democrat...

April 11, 2019

Doing Justice: A Prosecutor's Thoughts on Crime, Punishment, and the Rule of Law (2019), Preet Bharara. Bharara was US Attorney for the Southern District of New York (SDNY), as the seat of Wall Street, probably the most prestigious federal attorney. He was fired by Don...

April 10, 2019

These terms were introduced in Mimi Swartz's Ticker about the artificial heart. The idea of divergent thinkers to "explore as many answers as possible when looking for solutions," like engineers building the robot heart. Physicians, by contrast, were convergent thinker...

March 25, 2019

There is considerable evidence that President Donald Trump is a narcissist. However, my interests are broader because many business and political leaders may be subject to the same diagnosis. First things first, what is narcissism? George Conway, husband of Kelly Ann C...

March 6, 2019

I just finished Behavioral Economics: A Very Short Introduction (2017), Baddeley, as a review of the field. Because I have reviews of many books in this area, it is a good time to summarize the area and consider how to best use the information as a tool to explain the...

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© 2016 Gary Giroux