What We Are Reading Today: The Euro and the Battle of Ideas

Updated 01 September 2018
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What We Are Reading Today: The Euro and the Battle of Ideas

Why is Europe’s great monetary endeavor, the euro, in trouble? A string of economic difficulties in Greece, Ireland, Spain, Italy, and other eurozone nations has left observers wondering whether the currency union can survive. In this book, Markus Brunnermeier, Harold James, and Jean-Pierre Landau argue that the core problem with the euro lies in the philosophical differences between the founding countries of the eurozone, particularly Germany and France, says a review on the Princeton University Press website. But the authors also show how these seemingly incompatible differences can be reconciled to ensure europe’s survival.
As the authors demonstrate, Germany, a federal state with strong regional governments, saw the Maastricht Treaty, the framework for the Euro, as a set of rules. France, on the other hand, with a more centralized system of government, saw the framework as flexible, to be overseen by governments.

— Markus K. Brunnermeier, Harold James & Jean-Pierre Landau


What We Are Reading Today: Red Meat Republic by Joshua Specht

Updated 23 April 2019
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What We Are Reading Today: Red Meat Republic by Joshua Specht

  • Joshua Specht puts people at the heart of his story — the big cattle ranchers who helped to drive the nation’s westward expansion

By the late 19th century, Americans rich and poor had come to expect high-quality fresh beef with almost every meal. 

Beef production in the US had gone from small-scale, localized operations to a highly centralized industry spanning the country, with cattle bred on ranches in the rural West, slaughtered in Chicago, and consumed in the nation’s rapidly growing cities. 

Red Meat Republic tells the remarkable story of the violent conflict over who would reap the benefits of this new industry and who would bear its heavy costs, says a review on the University Press website.

Joshua Specht puts people at the heart of his story — the big cattle ranchers who helped to drive the nation’s westward expansion, the meatpackers who created a radically new kind of industrialized slaughterhouse, and the stockyard workers who were subjected to the shocking and unsanitary conditions described by Upton Sinclair in his novel The Jungle. 

Specht brings to life a turbulent era marked by Indian wars, Chicago labor unrest, and food riots in the streets of New York.