Frank Wcislo, “Tales of Imperial Russia: The Life and Times of Sergei Witte, 1849-1915” (Oxford UP, 2011)
When it comes to Russia’s great reformers of the nineteenth century, Count Sergei Witte looms large. As a minster to both Alexander III and Nicholas II, Witte presided over some of the most important economic and political developments in the… Read More
Debra Aarons, “Jokes and the Linguistic Mind” (Routledge, 2011)
I favour any book that applies the logic of Wittgenstein to quotes from the Goon Show. (Often in linguistics the reverse is true.) So I was delighted to have the opportunity to talk to Debra Aarons (University of New South… Read More
Robert Audi, “Democratic Authority and the Separation of Church and State” (Oxford UP, 2011)
In a liberal democratic society, individuals share political power as equals. Consequently, liberal democratic governments must recognize each citizen as a political equal. This requires, in part, that liberal democratic governments must seek to govern on the basis of reasons… Read More
Philip Stern, “The Company-State: Corporate Sovereignty and the Early Modern Foundations of the British Empire in India” (Oxford UP, 2011)
‘Traders to rulers’ is an enduring caption insofar as the English East India Company is concerned. But were they ever just traders to start off with, and they eventually morph into mere temporal rulers unconcerned with the dynamics of the… Read More
Jay Rubenstein, “Armies of Heaven: The First Crusade and the Quest for Apocalypse” (Basic Books, 2011)
You’ve got to be pretty creative to get anything like “holy war” out of the New Testament, what with all that trespass-forgiving, cheek-turning, and neighbor-loving. By all appearances Jesus didn’t want his followers to fight for their faith, but rather… Read More
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