Some recent books

In addition to writing essays and editing others for After the Welfare State (coming out later this summer), I’ve been doing a fair amount of reading lately, and will be writing reviews of a few of them soon. They include:

Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty, by Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson

Capitalism and the Jews, by Jerry Muller

The Origin of the Welfare State in England and Germany, 1850-1914: Social Policies Compared, by E. P. Hennock

Anticipating The Wealth of Nations: The Selected Works of Anders Chydenius, 1729-1803, ed. by Maren Jonasson and Pertti Hyttinen

What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets, by Michael Sandel

I’ll have some time in my office over the next couple of weeks, so I hope to write reviews of them for various forums.

And I also spent time substantially re-reading a few others, including

Three New Deals: Reflections on Roosevelt’s America, Mussolini’s Italy, and Hitler’s Germany, 1933-1939, by Wolfgang Schivelbusch

Hitler’s Beneficiaries: Plunder, Racial War, and the Nazi Welfare State, by Götz Aly

(The chapters I’ve written for After the Welfare State are an introduction, a short bibliography of further readings, “The Tragedy of the Welfare State” (understanding the crisis of the welfare state through the economics of common pool resources, hence as a “tragedy of the commons”), “The History of the Welfare State and What It Displaced” (looking at the roots of the welfare state in Bismarck’s policies of state-building and social control, tracing it through Progressivism, Fascism, Social Democracy, and up to the present), and “Classical Liberalism, Poverty, and Morality” (drawn from my chapter in Poverty and Morality, ed. by William A. Galston and Peter H. Hoffenberg [Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010]).

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