Monthly Archives: February 2019

Lilla: THE ONCE AND FUTURE LIBERAL

THE ONCE AND FUTURE LIBERAL: After Identity Politics (Harper, 2017) is by Mark Lilla, a professor at Columbia University, and is much more explicitly about politics than most books I read. (Because my concerns extend far outside the relatively narrow … Continue reading

Posted in Book Notes, Politics | Leave a comment

Gladstone: THE TROUBLE WITH REALITY

The Trouble with Reality: A Rumination on Moral Panic in Our Time (Workman, 2017) is by Brooke Gladstone, co-host of a syndicated radio program, “On the Media,” that I occasionally hear on my NPR station. The book is small, 91 … Continue reading

Posted in Book Notes, Morality, Politics | Leave a comment

Kakutani: THE DEATH OF TRUTH

Michiko Kakutani’s THE DEATH OF TRUTH: Notes on Falsehood in the Age of Trump (Tim Duggan Books, 2018) is, remarkably, the first book by the long-time and influential book reviewer for the New York Times, now retired. It has extensive … Continue reading

Posted in Book Notes, Conservative Resistance, Politics | Leave a comment

Levitan: NOT A SCIENTIST

Journalist Dave Levitan’s NOT A SCIENTIST: How Politicians Mistake, Misrepresent, and Utterly Mangle Science (Norton 2017) addresses a dozen or so kinds of mistakes that are typically behind any politician’s use of the phrase “I’m not a scientist, but…”, and … Continue reading

Posted in Book Notes, Politics, Science | Leave a comment

Nichols, THE DEATH OF EXPERTISE

Tom Nichols’ THE DEATH OF EXPERTISE: The Campaign against Established Knowledge and Why it Matters (Oxford, 2017) is one of the better in the batch of recent books I’ve read about current events and how they reflect issues of science … Continue reading

Posted in Book Notes, Conservative Resistance, Culture | Leave a comment

Levitin: A FIELD GUIDE TO LIES

Daniel J. Levitin’s A FIELD GUIDE TO LIES: Critical Thinking in the Information Age (Dutton, 2016) is a nice complement to the book previously reviewed. Levitin an academic at UC Berkeley and has written three previous books, including This Is … Continue reading

Posted in Book Notes, Culture, Politics, Psychology | Leave a comment

Ariely: PREDICTABLY IRRATIONAL

Dan Ariely’s PREDICTABLY IRRATIONAL: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions (Harper 2008) is one of the earliest popular books that summarizes various findings of experimental psychology in recent decades that reveal the biases of human nature. Key point: traditional … Continue reading

Posted in Book Notes, Psychology | Leave a comment

Keen: HOW TO FIX THE FUTURE

Andrew Keen’s How to Fix the Future (Atlantic Monthly Press, 2018) is a breezy book in the Thomas L. Friedman mode, as the author travels the world speaking to various experts, and describing his trips and circumstances as he goes. … Continue reading

Posted in Book Notes, Culture, Technology | Leave a comment

Lightman: SEARCHING FOR STARS ON AN ISLAND IN MAINE

Alan Lightman is the best known of the three authors reviewed today; he’s published numerous books before, including the novels EINSTEIN’S DREAMS and THE DIAGNOSIS, as well as numerous volumes of essays, out of all of which I’ve only read … Continue reading

Posted in Book Notes, Religion, Science | Leave a comment

Gould: UNIVERSE IN CREATION

Roy R. Gould’s UNIVERSE IN CREATION: A New Understanding of The Big Bang and the Emergence of Life (Harvard, 2018) overlaps on a couple topics with the Adam Frank book reviewed previously. But. Gould would like to claim that the … Continue reading

Posted in Book Notes, Cosmology | Leave a comment