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Rational Citizen "s_andreo" (London, UK)

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The Wines of Greece (Mitchell Beazley classic wine library)
The Wines of Greece (Mitchell Beazley classic wine library)
by Konstantinos Lazarakis
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Retsina Is Dead, 16 Nov 2006
Greek wine has made great strides in the last twenty years, even more so in the last decade: to some, it may well be the best-kept secret of the wine world. Young, ambitious winemakers, educated at top schools abroad have been at the forefront of the new developments. This new blood explores the infinite possibilities Greece's variety of native grapes and terroir present for making good, and often great wine.

Lazarakis' book is a useful snapshot of the state of greek wine which comes at a convenient point in the industry's development. The book is well-written, providing an overview of the grapes planted in Greece -native and foreign- the regions, and the laws. Extensive producer profiles form a further part of the book. If you, like me, have been stunned by greek wine and seek a guide through the labyrinth (pun intended) of grapes and locations, this is most certainly a good buy. The only omission is the lack of elaboration on how to pronounce the grapes.

Lazarakis is Greece's first Master of Wine, which gives him impeccable credentials to write this book.

Just don't forget to buy the wines!


Embers
Embers
by Sandor Marai
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece, 11 Nov 2006
This review is from: Embers (Paperback)
If you like reading, then you probably read good books. Some you like, some less, and some not at all. And then, every 3 to 4 years, a truly great book comes along. This is one of those books. It is atmospheric and evocative, a beautifully written long monologue of a person belonging to a dying age. The prose is heavy with some great insights into the human condition; so much so that often i had to stop, to chew on what I'd just read. I sometimes open the book at random just to savour the language and the atmosphere. A masterpiece of world literature, as good as any Nobel prize winning author I've read.


Advanced International Trade: Theory and Evidence
Advanced International Trade: Theory and Evidence
by Robert C. Feenstra
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £67.63

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars everything you've ever wanted to know about trade..., 30 May 2004
... and where afraid to ask. this book is an advanced textbook on international trade with a major empirical emphasis by a leading expert in the field.
feenstra sets out with a brief overview of general equilibrium analysis, indispensable for students of trade theory. he then devotes the next chapter to empirical evidence on the Heckscher-Ohlin model. theory and empirics is then extended in ch. 3 to the cases of many goods and/or many factors. ch.4 is concerned with issues surrounding wage inequality and trade, and ch.5 covers aspects of increasing returns and the corresponding empirical evidence. hence the first five chapters provide an exposition of what is the core of modern trade theory, always juxtaposed with state-of-the-debate empirical evidence. the remaining chapters, 6-11, cover aspects of trade theory such as commercial policy and political economy issues, as well as endogenous growth and multinational enterprises. there are two appendices, one on price, productivity and terms of trade indexes and one on discrete choice models which are potentially invaluable, since these are fringe topics and thus not covered in micro textbooks but used heavily in areas of trade theory.
overall, this is a badly needed book in graduate trade. it provides a unified perspective on the field, and the exposition is user-friendly, and the author's style is relaxed. what makes it somewhat idiosyncratic is the heavy emphasis on empirics, but whether this is an asset or a liability obviously depends on the interests of the reader. this book will probably become something like the Mas-Collell of trade theory (despite it's horrendous price). Very useful work.


Advanced Microeconomic Theory (International Edition)
Advanced Microeconomic Theory (International Edition)
by Geoffrey A. Jehle
Edition: Paperback

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars my graduate micro favourite, 7 Jan 2004
this is a graduate level microeconomics textbook for those who don't need the breadth of coverage offered by Mas-Colell et. al. The chapters on maths are EXCELLENT and the way the authors explain the concepts as well as the exercises have no peer in any math-for-econ textbook i'm aware of. otherwise, the book is as rigorous as any micro text of this level, and the coverage of topics is balanced. the authors' style is relaxed and confident. also, it is the only book with a complete chapter on auction theory. my only complaint is that the answers to the exercises at the end of the book are a) often TOO short b) don't cover all the exercises. one of the best graduate textbooks around.


The Economics of the Trade Union
The Economics of the Trade Union
by Alison L. Booth
Edition: Paperback
Price: £25.54

4.0 out of 5 stars the name is the game, 7 Jan 2004
alison booth's textbook does exactly what the title promises: it gives a state-of-the-art overview of the economic theory of the trade union. From the microeconomic fundamentals over to political economy issues to empirical evidence on union effects to macroeconomic consequences, it's all there. the treatment of the three core union models -monopoly union, wage bargaining, and right-to-manage- is excellent and in-depth. the level of the book is advanced undergraduate, but the book will be useful to anyone who is interested in labour union economics. especially successful are the various appendices on more technical issues, e.g. noncooperative bargaining. a very good textbook.


Equilibrium Unemployment Theory
Equilibrium Unemployment Theory
by Christopher A Pissarides
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £31.79

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars the bible on labour market search theory, 5 Jan 2004
this book provides a rigorous introduction into the macroeconomics of search by one of the leading researchers in the field. pissarides' book is organised in three main sections comprising several chapters each. the first section exposits the basic model of labour market search by carefully presenting the essential ingredients and then discusses some modifications. the second section shows just how many interesting questions in labour macroeconomics can be addressed by the search paradigm. the last section deals with the welfare properties of search equilibrium and addresses policy issues.
being a graduate level book, this is obviously not bedtime reading, even though the mathematical requirements don't go much beyond differential equations (and some optimal control for the policy section): pencil and paper are indispensable if you are serious about it. however, economic intuition is always thoroughly discussed, and he manages to keep notation simple. especially useful where the notes on the literature at the end of each chapter. a good starting point and reference for anyone seeking to understand the search paradigm.


The Balkans 1804-1999: Nationalism, War and the Great Powers
The Balkans 1804-1999: Nationalism, War and the Great Powers
by Misha Glenny
Edition: Paperback

14 of 20 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars a narrative history of the Balkans, 21 April 2003
This book gives a detailed account of the history of the Balkans in the last two centuries. Unfortunately, the book suffers from three major drawbacks. First, the author by and large amasses a vast amount of facts and presents them to the reader in chronological order. It is essentially a narrative, not an analysis. While this may be understandable as the author is a journalist, the general reader -who presumably is not interested in the details of every peasant uprising that took place on the penninsula- very quickly loses the "big picture". Secondly, the author more often than not rushes to express (frequently moralistic) judgements on issues that are as yet unsettled in the scholarly literature.
Overall, the book is hardly suitable for a reader seeking to obtain an understanding of the dynamics that have shaped the region's past and present. For those already aquainted with Balkan history, Misha Glenny's book may still serve as a reference volume.


Eleni (Panther)
Eleni (Panther)
by Nicholas Gage
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.79

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a harrowing tale of the best and the worst in human nature, 8 Mar 2003
This review is from: Eleni (Panther) (Paperback)
This remarkable book tells the true story of the last years in the life of Eleni Gatzoyiannis, a peasant woman living in a mountain village of Greece before she was executed by communist guerillas during the civil war that followed the country's liberation from german occupation after WWII.
In an attempt to uncover the reasons for his mother's death, the author puts together a vivid account of everyday life in one of Greece's poor mountain villages, the experience of german occupation, and the nightmares of the civil war as well as the events that led to his mothers death. The book is written like a novel -based on information from eyewitnesses, relatives and other contemporaries of Eleni- and is riveting as such, although clearly not important literature. The narrative is embellished by brief notes on the historical facts of the greek civil war as a backdrop to the unfolding story. Unfortunately, these notes suffer from a -perhaps understandable- lack of objectivity: by failing to mention the atrocities committed by extreme-right paramilitaries all over Greece before and during the civil war, the author omits a dimension of the war that is perhaps as important as the ideological fanaticism of the communist guerillas.
Why would I recommend this book to anyone who is not interested in a theme related to a small nation's recent history? For two reasons: Firstly, the book provides a thorough anatomy of society in a secluded, poor mountain village in the southern Balkans. Gage's depiction is likely to be interesting not just to social historians and anthropologists, but to any reader with general interests. Secondly, and most importantly, the book is about universal themes that reach deep into the human psyche: the boundless barbarism man is capable of, the dangers of ideology when not reigned in by reason and sensibility, the pettiness and cruelty of people towards others when faced with danger and, finally, the great force of maternal love.
A gripping and uneasy read.


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