Helpful votes received on reviews: 78% (180 of 231)
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Top Reviewer Ranking: 48,199 - Total Helpful Votes: 180 of 231
The Undercover Economist by Tim Harford
The Undercover Economist by Tim Harford
4.0 out of 5 stars Demystifying Economics, 30 Mar 2014
This a smart and pragmatic approach to economics for beginners. Tim Harford is very good at explaining important but counter-intuitive economic principles to intelligent readers in a way that immediately relates to the real world. This can be an explanation of why coffee shops are where they are to grander looks at how applying sensible economic policies has lifted hundreds of millions of people in China out of poverty.

The ideas he relates are generally things which economists of all ideological persuasions agree with but much of the general public doesn't understand, such as comparative advantage or making decisions at the margin.

It is written in a very accessible… Read more
The United States of Paranoia: A Conspiracy Theory by Jesse Walker
4.0 out of 5 stars Everyone's paranoid, 25 Mar 2014
A refreshing take on the history of paranoid cultures- conspiracy theories and moral panics- in the United States. The various forms of paranoia are grouped into enemies above, below, outside and within society as well as beliefs in benevolent conspiracies. What is interesting is how flexible the belief systems are- a belief in an enemy below, for example slave conspiracies can easily morph to fit a foreign enemy who are controlling them. The panics re-emerge repeatedly in slightly different forms over the centuries with a few superficial modifications to keep them updated.

What makes this book different to typical works about paranoid subcultures is that it acknowledges two… Read more
Mafia State: How one reporter became an enemy of t&hellip by Luke Harding
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
As I'm writing this, Russian backed forces are present in large parts of Ukraine and currently occupy Crimea with a referendum on independence being held later this week. Remarkably enough this book, written 18 months earlier, predicts this course of events precisely.

This is a chilling expose of a nation whose ruling elite have destroyed all boundaries between government, organised crime and business.

Harding describes both his own personal harassment at the hands of Russia's security agencies- with his flat being broken into and veiled threats being issued against his family- along with a wider exploration of Russia's descent into corruption.

In Harding's… Read more

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