New Books Network

Helen Tilley, “Africa as a Living Laboratory: Empire, Development, and the Problem of Scientific Knowledge, 1870-1950” (University of Chicago, 2011)
Helen Tilley‘s new book Africa as a Living Laboratory: Empire, Development, and the Problem of Scientific Knowledge, 1870-1950 (University of Chicago Press, 2011) uncovers the surprising relationships that developed between science and empire as Britain attempted to fulfill its imperial projects in Africa. Focused primarily on Britain’s colonial dependencies, Tilley... Read More
Simon Johnson, “13 Bankers: The Wall Street Takeover and the Next Financial Meltdown” (Pantheon, 2010)
Re-posted with permission from Jenny Attiyeh’s ThoughtCast] Simon Johnson, the Professor of Entrepreneurship at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, and former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund, is an outspoken critic of the US government response to the financial crisis. Now he takes on the “too big to fail” banks... Read More
Daniel Sidorick, “Condensed Capitalism: Campbell Soup and the Pursuit of Cheap Production in the Twentieth Century” (Cornell UP, 2009)
When I was in college I had a summer job once working in an aircraft factory. My task was to count screws. Nope, I’m not kidding. I put together parts-kits that were then taken to another station “down the line” for assembly. It wasn’t much fun, and it taught me... Read More
Louis Hyman, “Debtor Nation: The History of America in Red Ink” (Princeton UP, 2011)
I remember clearly the day I was offered my first credit card. It was in Berkeley, CA in 1985. I was walking on Sproul Plaza and I saw a booth manned by two students. They were giving out all kinds of swag, so I walked over to see what was... Read More
Joyce Appleby, “The Relentless Revolution: A History of Capitalism” (Norton, 2010)
Today everybody wants to be a capitalist, even Chinese communists. It would be easy to think, then, that capitalism is “natural,” that there is a little profit-seeker in each one of us just waiting to pop out. There is some truth to this notion: humans are the most cooperative species... Read More
Jerry Muller, “Capitalism and the Jews” (Princeton UP, 2010)
I confess I was attracted to this book by the title: Capitalism and the Jews (Princeton, 2010). Capitalism is a touchy subject; Jews are a touchy subject. But capitalism and the Jews, that’s a disaster waiting to happen. I don’t suggest you try this, but just imagine what would happen... Read More