New Books, December 2010

I've added some more brief reviews. See
  • Certain to Win by Chet Richards. John Boyd proposed a theory of military strategy that has revolutionized warfare by placing an emphasis on the cognitive aspects of conflict, especially on the roles of values and epistemology (though he uses an odd vocabulary of his own, and can be maddingly unclear). This theory is for the first time applied to winning and losing more broadly, outside the specifically military.
  • Neoconservatism, An Obituary for an Idea by C. Bradley Thompson, with Yaron Brook.

    An obituary so soon! Surely the reports of neoconservatism's death are greatly exaggerated. C. Bradley Thompson has written (with Yaron Brook) the most comprehensive and original analysis of neoconservatism yet published and in the process has dealt it a mortal blow. Neoconservatism: An Obituary for an Idea reveals publicly for the first time what the neocons call their philosophy of governance--their plan for governing America. This book explicates the deepest philosophic principles of neoconservatism, traces the intellectual relationship between the political philosopher Leo Strauss and contemporary neoconservative political actors, and provides a trenchant critique of neoconservatism from the perspective of America's founding principles. The theme of this timely book--neoconservatism as a species of anti-Americanism--will shake up the intellectual salons of both the Left and Right. What makes this book so compelling is that Thompson actually lived for many years in the Straussian/neoconservative intellectual world. Neoconservatism therefore fits into the "breaking ranks" tradition of scholarly criticism and breaks the mold when it comes to informed, incisive, nonpartisan critique of neoconservative thought and action. (publisher's description)

    This book is a must-read for all Americans interested in defending the founding fathers vision of a free and just society. --Glenn Beck

    A novel and riveting account. . .that traces a tight arc from Leo Strauss through Irving Kristol to the daily travails of Washington politics. --Richard Epstein, University of Chicago

    C. Bradley Thompson and Yaron Brook delve deeply into the origin, arc, and current nature of the neoconservative movement in the United States. Brilliant, deep, and told with authority. --Thom Hartmann, Air America Radio Network host

  • How Not to Die, Surprising Lessons on Living Longer, Safer, and Healthier from America's Favorite Medical Examiner by Jan Garavaglia, M.D.. Stories and explanations of the main causes of accidental death, with a simple list of the top ten precautions. Follow the advice, and you will likely avoid most accidental early exits.
  • How an Economy Grows and Why it Crashes by Peter Schiff and Andrew Schiff. An easy-to-follow explanation of production, trade, prosperity, and its ruin through government financial interference.
  • Newton and the Counterfeiter, The Unknown Detective Career of the World's Greatest Scientist by Thomas Levenson. Newton's character shows clearly in this history of his management of the British royal mint. Newton was not a man of aloof theory, but passionately committed to using theory as man's method of understanding and controlling nature, combining intense focus on fundamentals with a deep pursuit of practical details.
  • A Gift to My Children, A Father's Lessons for Life and Investing by Jim Rogers. The famed investor Jim Rogers concisely gives his advice for growing and living well.