Delightful Books I’ve Read Recently

Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets, by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

I found Fooled by Randomness interesting and provocative (even when scoring points against people I know) and a nice followup to Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers: The Story of Success.

Rethinking the Great Depression: A New View of Its Causes and Consequences, by Gene Smiley

Smiley’s book I found very helpful, especially concerning the “depression within the depression.”

Among the books I’m enjoying now is Robert Gellately’s Lenin, Stalin, and Hitler: The Age of Social Catastrophe, which I bought in the Warsaw Airport during a layover between St. Petersburg and Munich.

Gellately helps to make clear the central role of Lenin in the development of the totalitarian terror-state and undoes the myth of “the Good Lenin.”

(I’ve just finished a review of James C. Scott’s remarkable book The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia. I’ll post a notice when it’s published.)

3 Responses to “Delightful Books I’ve Read Recently”

  1. Mr. Palmer,

    I know you are not fond of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, and you are not an “Austrian”, but I’d like to share a piece I wrote as a Mises Daily on the “depression within the depression”: Dangerous Lessons of 1937.

    (Note: The article states that general price inflation was 31%; that figure should be 11%.)

    I thought you would enjoy the article, given your comment on Rethinking the Great Depression.



  2. Tom Palmer

    Thank you! I’ll read it.

    But what makes you think I’m not “an Austrian”? It’s a matter of definition; I distinguish between learning and applying the insights of the Austrian economists and being a member of a cult. I’m quite fond of Mises, Hayek, Menger, and others and have learned from them, but I don’t consider any of them infallible.


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