Honky Tonk Woman

 
Helpful votes received on reviews: 86% (25 of 29)
Location: Bristol, UK
 

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Top Reviewer Ranking: 521,367 - Total Helpful Votes: 25 of 29
Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity&hellip by James A. Robinson
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Some Criticisms, 2 Jan 2014
The authors believe that nations succeed when they have pluralist civil society where no one group is able to seize the state machinery and use it to direct the economy to their advantage. This allows creative destruction to continually revolutionize society and lead to economic growth and eventually prosperity for all. Conversely in states with weak or non-existent civil society there is always the temptation by rulers to adopt extractive economic policies that maintains the status quo.

The sheer wealth of examples and historical depth of their theory is impressive and is probably worth reading for this fact alone. Other reviews give a good outline of the argument so I'll just… Read more
Cities Under Siege: The New Military Urbanism by Stephen Graham
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars snore, 12 Feb 2012
I was disappointed with this book, it had none of the ferocity and multidisciplinary approach which made Mike Davis's books on urban planning such a joy to read. Most of this book seems to be a summery of newspaper articles interspersed with trite cultural theory, with far too much emphasis upon Iraq and the occupied territories. The amount of times the author references 'the Other' or the 'political-military-cultural-securitising complex' is infuriating. The result is an over-long, myopic, unoriginal and already outdated book.

Someone like Davis have written this book in under 200 pages and discussed in far more depth the moral, economic and future courses of urban… Read more
Enlightenment's Wake: Politics and Culture at the &hellip by John Gray
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Two cents..., 14 Dec 2009
I don't usually write reviews but because this lacks one, and because as a student of politics and history this has been invaluable help, I'll offer my thoughts.

This is not a polemic like Gray's more recent works; instead it is a series of essays written in the early 1990s which range from issues of toleration and agonistic liberalism to the transition of post communist societies. The broad thesis is that the collapse of the Soviet Union will, instead of heralding victory for liberalism, precipitate a legitimacy crisis and ultimately a return to classic geopolitical conflicts centred around ethnic, religious and resource conflicts. But whilst later books such as 'Black Mass'… Read more

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