Kathleen J. Frydl, “The War on Drugs in America, 1940-1973” (Cambridge UP, 2013)
In 1971, President Richard Nixon declared a “War on Drugs.” We are still fighting that war today. According to many people, we’ve lost but don’t know it. Rates of drug use in the US remain, by historical standards, high and… Read More
Thane Rosenbaum, “Payback: The Case for Revenge” (Chicago UP, 2013)
All humans have an emotionally-driven sense of fairness. We get treated unfairly and we get mad. It’s no wonder, then, that our laws–and those of almost everyone else–are intended to assure that people are treated fairly. When those laws fail… Read More
Paul Barrett, “Glock: The Rise of America’s Gun” (Broadway, 2013)
History is in many respects the story of humanity’s quest for transcendence: to control life and death, time and space, loss and memory. When inventors or companies effectively tap into these needs products emerge that help define their times. The… Read More
Steven J. Harper, “The Lawyer Bubble: A Profession in Crisis” (Basic Books, 2013)
A friend of mine who had just graduated from law school said “Law school is great. The trouble is that when you are done you’re a lawyer.” Steven J. Harper would, after a fashion, agree (though he would probably add… Read More
Jared Diamond, “The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies?” (Viking, 2012)
It’s pretty common–and has long been–for people to think that the “way it used to be” is better than the way it is. This tendency to idealize an (imagined) past is particularly strong today among critics of modern civilization. Think… Read More
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