Monday, October 30, 2006
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The good, the bad, and the ugly books I have read recently
Longtime readers of danieldrezner.com have made their displeasure known to me about my lack of monthly book recommendations. When we last left off, I had posted my summer book recommendations -- and let's face it, we're pretty much past indian summer as well as the real thing. For this, I offer my profuse apologies and no good explanation, beyond the fact that I've been traveling a lot.
However, sitting around in airports waiting for planes has allowed me to read a fair number of books in recent weeks. So, without further ado, here are the good, the bad, and the ugly books I have read over the past six weeks:
THE GOOD:That should tide you all over for the month. posted by Dan on 10.30.06 at 08:40 AM
Do you really think Sager wants to see his book to be thought of like Frank's? I tend to see Sager's book as possibly prescient and a good warning.
I see Frank's book as "why can't these stupid people think like me?" I could be wrong, but I am not aware of any major predictions that Frank has made.posted by: Klug on 10.30.06 at 08:40 AM [permalink]
The smackdown of Stiglitz that you quote from Mallaby is really priceless. I love it!
Your comment about the Goodwin book is very intriguing to me as a non-academic. Having read the Posner comment you linked, I think it's fair to draw a clear distinction between using RAs to develop content (and not attributing the content to them) and using someone else's ideas and content without their consent. In the first case, nobody is really being shortchanged - the RAs presumably consent to having their work used in this fashion - and the ideas in the book can rise and fall on their own merits.
I can't be as detached in the case of nonconsensual idea / content usage for the same reason that I wouldn't be impressed with a philanthropist who gives away money that he steals for a good cause - the content isn't the author's to distribute, even if the content is excellent.
I wonder if my perspective is different because I am in management in the consulting industry where it's pretty much common practice to have relatively nameless people developing content that we deliver to clients. This feels a lot like the RA writing approach - senior people shape [and deliver] the content which is produced by junior people. This is pretty much the way of the world in business and while academics may be naturally uncomfortable with it, it doesn't seem too bad to me.posted by: Howard on 10.30.06 at 08:40 AM [permalink]
...this great short book by my co-blogger...
You have a co-blogger?posted by: rosignol on 10.30.06 at 08:40 AM [permalink]
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