Blog

Bust Your Writer’s Block

“I don’t know what to write about.” The affliction plagues us all. The blinking cursor mocks us. Everything else in our lives that needs to be done calls out to us, saying “don’t write right now. Watch a movie. Clean the kitchen. Aren’t you hungry? It’s a nice day for a walk. You’re tired—you really […]

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How I Organize My Bookshelf

I have a few hundred books in my office. In light of something that recently came across my social media feed, here’s how I organize them. Alphabetically by author. It makes them easy to find. McCloskey’s Enterprise and Trade in Victorian Britain? Over there. North’s Structure and Change in Economic History? Right there. Liberty Fund’s […]

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I Read Things: Thomas Sowell Edition

Thomas Sowell is one of my favorite economists and intellectuals, and here are some of my favorite books in his oeuvre. A Conflict of Visions: Ideological Origins of Political Struggles. I first read this at the suggestion of my colleague Mark McMahon at Rhodes College, and beginning in 2007-08 I started assigning it in my […]

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Just Give Them Water Filters And Whatnot

Infant and child mortality has fallen precipitously in the last few centuries, and life expectancy has increased dramatically. We have made a lot of progress in the protection of public health, but we are still wasting staggering amounts of life that gets snuffed out early by disease and war. Consider diarrhea, which is an inconvenience […]

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I Watch Things: Movie Night With the Kids

In no particular order, over the last few months. Father Goose. One of my wife’s family’s all-time favorites. I haven’t watched it in years. The kids thought it hilarious, and it’s a very, very good movie. Cary Grant delivers an excellent performance as a crusty and bitter drunkard suddenly surrounded by a very prim and […]

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I Read Things: Niall Ferguson to Narnia

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 […]

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I Read Things

Richard Rothstein, The Color of Law. What if it turned out cities and neighborhoods aren’t segregated because it just happened that way but because segregation was an official aim of government housing policy for a long time? Rothstein explores the ways in which white homeowners and homebuyers received preferential treatment via federal programs and the […]

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