Much of the social history of the Western world over the past three decades has involved replacing what worked with what sounded good.
Thomas Sowell, Is Reality Optional?, 1993
How Big Banks Fail, And What To Do About It
Princeton University Press, 2010
"In How Big Banks Fail and What to Do about It, Darrell Duffie tackles one of the central but often neglected issues in building a more resilient financial system. Duffie has that rare combination--the rigor of the academy and knowledge of how the plumbing of the financial system works. Anyone interested in regulatory reform will need to engage with his thinking."--Paul Tucker, deputy governor, financial stability, Bank of England
Virtual History: Alternatives and Counterfactuals
Basic Books, 2000
…Ferguson and his comrades tackle eight questions in all, including "What if Charles I had avoided the Civil War?", "What if Home Rule had been enacted [in Ireland] in 1912?", and "What if Britain had 'stood aside' in August 1914?" Virtual History makes for a stimulating and intellectually rigorous trip, with Ferguson's own delightful afterword as the collection's crowning jewel, a brilliant--and often bitingly clever--timeline tying together all the threads from 1646 to 1996. --Paul Hughes
The German Genius: Europe's Third Renaissance, the Second Scientific Revolution and the Twentieth Century
Simon and Schuster, 2010
Peter Watson's virtuoso sweep through modern German thought and culture, from 1750 to the present day, will challenge and confound both the stereotypes the world has of Germany and those that Germany has of itself.
…How did the Germans transform their country so as to achieve such pre-eminence? In this absorbing cultural and intellectual history, Peter Watson goes back through time to explore the origins of the German genius, and he explains how and why it flourished, how it shaped our lives, and, most important, how it continues to influence our world. As he convincingly demonstrates, it was German thinking—from Beethoven and Kant to Diesel and Nietzsche, from Goethe and Wagner to Mendel and Planck, from Hegel and Marx to Freud and Schoenberg—that was paramount in the creation of the modern West. Moreover, despite World War II, figures such as Joseph Beuys, Jurgen Habermas, and Joseph Ratzinger ensure that the German genius still resonates intellectually today.