1. Hannah Ritchie, Not the End of the World: How We Can be the First Generation to Build a Sustainable Planet. An excellent book with sound conclusions, think of it as moderate Julian Simon-like optimism on environmental issues, but with left-coded rhetoric. 2. Colin Elliott, Pox Romana: The Plague that Shook the Roman World. Think
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1. Hannah Ritchie, Not the End of the World: How We Can be the First Generation to Build a Sustainable Planet. An excellent book with sound conclusions, think of it as moderate Julian Simon-like optimism on environmental issues, but with left-coded rhetoric.
2. Colin Elliott, Pox Romana: The Plague that Shook the Roman World. Think of this as a sequel to Kyle Harper’s tract on Roman plagues and their political import, this look at the Antonine plague and its impact has both good history and good economics. It is also highly readable.
3. Carrie Sheffield, Motorhome Prophecies: A Journey of Healing and Forgiveness. A highly effective and harrowing tale of a lifetime journey from abuse to Christianity: “Carrie attended 17 public schools and homeschool, all while performing classical music on the streets and passing out fire-and-insurance religious pamphlets — at times while child custody workers loomed.” The author is well known in finance, ex-LDS circles, public policy, and right-leaning media, and she has a Master’s from Harvard. This story isn’t over.
4. Charles Freeman, The Children of Athena: Greek Intellectuals in the Age of Rome: 150 BC0-400 AD. Avery good guide to the intellectual life surround the period of the Pompeii library scrolls that will be deciphered by AI. If you want background on the import of what is to come, this book is a good place to start. And it is a good and useful work more generally.
5. Erin Accampo Hern, Explaining Successes in Africa: Things Don’t Always Fall Apart. I found this book highly readable and instructive, but I find it more convincing if you reverse the central conclusion. There is too much talk of the Seychelles and Mauritius, and is Gabon the big success story on the Continent? Population is 2.3 million, the country ranks 112th in the Human Development Index, and almost half the government budget is oil revenue. Still, this book “tells you how things actually are,” and that is more important than any objections one might lodge.
Recent and noteworthy is Peter Jackson, From Genghis Khan to Tamerlane: The Reawakening of Mongol Asia. You may recall that the Mongol empire at its peak was much larger than the Roman empire at its peak, but how many young men think about it every day?
Then there is Jian Chen’s Zhou Enlai: A Life, which seems like a major achievement. I’ve only had time to read small amounts of it…is it “too soon to tell”? I say no!