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Friday, 9 July 2010

Book Reading Goal : Week 23

How International Law Works: A Rational Choice TheoryThis week I managed to finish  one of the two books I am reading about the economics of international law: How International Law Works: A Rational Choice Theory by Andrew T Guzman. A well written book which seeks to provide a rational basis for why nations enter formal or informal international agreements despite the absence of an adequate enforcement mechanism. It comes down to what Guzman calls the three Rs - Reputation, Reciprocity and Retaliation.  Although I found it quite repetitive at points, as many economists probably will, its very useful in terms of using real world examples. Quite a useful reference text to have on your shelf. It will particularly appeal to anyone with an interest in international relations.

Money, Greed, and God: Why Capitalism Is the Solution and Not the ProblemThe same cannot be said for the other book I picked up earlier this week - Money, Greed and God : Why Capitalism is the Solution and Not the Problem by Jay Richards. I was extremely disappointed with this book to such an extent that I put it down before I finished. My disappointment was for many reasons. The obvious one being that it is poorly written  both in terms of economics (the elementary confusion between capitalism (an ideology) and market economics just being one of many), but also biblically poor - from an expository point of view. Really what we needed was a deeper and more serious interrogation of the debate. But I have read poorer books before and completed them. I think what was different about this one is that Jay Richards has written some very good stuff e.g. the co-authored Privileged Planet : How Our Place in the Cosmos is Designed for Discovery.  I guess my expectations were too high. May be its because after reading this very poor book, I could not take another sub-par book. In which the hapless Mbeki ruined my read. We shall never know. But I will look out for Richard's next book.

Book Reading Goal Review
Books Read So Far : 23 books
Remaining Books to Achieve Target : 27 books
Weeks Remaining to Achieve Annual Target : 25 weeks

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