Niall Ferguson, Civilization. I think this is the first Ferguson book I’ve read. He writes beautifully and comprehensively. In the book I’m writing with Deirdre McCloskey—it’s based on McCloskey’s The Bourgeois Virtues, Bourgeois Dignity, and Bourgeois Equality—we criticize some of Ferguson’s claims about his “killer apps,” but the book is a pretty solid survey of the ways in which property rights, political and commercial competition, a solid work ethic, science, modern medicine, and a consumer society have manifested themselves in modern civilization.
Marcellus Andrews, The Vision of a Real Free Market Society: Re-Imagining American Freedom. I’m reviewing this for Regulation. It’s a compelling and challenging book that has something for virtually everyone from across the political spectrum to cheer and boo. That’s quite an achievement for a book that’s only 106 pages long, bibliography and index included. I’m reviewing it for <i>Regulation</i>, and the review should be available soon. Soon-ish.
Larry Neal and Jeffrey Williamson, eds. “The Cambridge History of Capitalism,” volume 1: The Rise of Capitalism: From Ancient Origins to 1848. I’ve been slogging through this on my Kindle for far too long and finally finished it. The essays are global in scope, and the reader will learn a lot about, for example, indigenous economies in North America. The 1848 cutoff point is intentional as in 1848 Marx and Engels published The Communist Manifesto and John Stuart Mill published his Principles of Political Economy.
C.S. Lewis, The Magician’s Nephew (audio). The Narnia books are the perfect length for a trip to and from Atlanta. We listened to The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe on our last trip and The Magician’s Nephew this time. Apparently, there’s some controversy about how the books should be numbered. Some editions are in the order they’re written. Other editions are in chronological order and begin withThe Magician’s Nephew—apparently, this is what C.S. Lewis wanted (though there’s some debate, I believe). Personally, I think you should always begin with The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. The way our audiobooks are numbered, The Horse and His Boy will be next.
Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote (audio). Goodness, this was long. I’m not sure how well really long classics work as audiobooks. At 39 hours, 42 minutes, Don Quixote is at least a month worth of commuting for most people. It’s a great collection of stories, though (hence its “classic” status), and the narration by George Guidall is excellent. I LOLed, often, and so will you. If you’re looking for a good musical classic for movie night, Man of La Mancha is excellent.