Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Books bought in London (and Leiden)

For those of you who wondered whether I'd bought any books this weekend, the answer is yes. Of course.

Friday's reluctant loot: in the end I didn't do too much book shopping and my heart wasn't in it, I guess. Nevertheless, I picked up a book on the end of the Russian Empire because it had lots of social economic stuff linked in to the politics. Then 1815 The Road To Waterloo by Gregor Dallas as an old school introduction to the politics behind the peace process of 1814-1815. And finally The Verdict of Battle, a correction copy. I read a review of it recently and the book argues that battles became accepted as a legitimate way to solve political differences. And in this way, they could become decisive.

On Monday I picked up the catalogue to the exhibition on George Catlin's portraits of North American Indians

Last minute buys at the airport: Nate Silver's The Signal and the Noise and Kahneman's Thinking Fast and Slow. The first on scientific approaches to prediction, and why we are still so crap about it. By one of the smarter guys in electoral predictions. The second decision making and why it is often not economically rational (as economists expect us to do) but rational from the perspective of time and experience. By one of the leading economists.

Also one book I bought in Leiden just before I left for London. It's the travel account of a Dutch reporter in the wake of WWI to revolutions and internal conflicts all over Europe between 1919 and 1923. Should be an inspiration on the postwar situation from the view of a non-participating nation.

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