What We Are Reading Today: The Geography of Risk by Gilbert M. Gaul

Updated 09 September 2019
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What We Are Reading Today: The Geography of Risk by Gilbert M. Gaul

Hurricanes and other coastal storms create more costly damage than do earthquakes, tornadoes and wildfires combined, and 17 of the 20 most destructive hurricanes in history have occurred since 2000. 

“The Geography of Risk will forever change the way you think about the coasts, from the clash between economic interests and nature, to the heated politics of regulators and developers,” said a review in goodreads.com. 

“This book is fairly comprehensive in its history of coastal development, with particular emphasis on the back bays of New Jersey but also discussing development all the way South to Florida and up along the Florida Gulf Coast all the way to Galveston Bay and Houston, with detailed discussions of Mobile and New Orleans along the way,” said the review. 

“And even discounting its heavy emphasis on global warming/global cooling/climate change ... whatever the alarmists are calling it these days, the book paints a stark picture about just how much coastal redevelopment costs people all over the country n the post-Second World War era,” said the review. 

 

 


What We Are Reading Today: Our Great Purpose by Ryan Patrick Hanley

Updated 18 September 2019

What We Are Reading Today: Our Great Purpose by Ryan Patrick Hanley

Adam Smith is best known today as the founder of modern economics, but he was also an uncommonly brilliant philosopher who was especially interested in the perennial question of how to live a good life. 

Our Great Purpose is a short and illuminating guide to Smith’s incomparable wisdom on how to live well, written by one of today’s leading Smith scholars, says a review on the Princeton University Press website.

In this inspiring and entertaining book, Ryan Patrick Hanley describes Smith’s vision of “the excellent and praiseworthy character,” and draws on the philosopher’s writings to show how each of us can go about developing one. For Smith, an excellent character is distinguished by qualities such as prudence, self-command, justice, and benevolence — virtues that have been extolled since antiquity. 

Yet Smith wrote not for the ancient polis but for the world of market society — our world — which rewards self-interest more than virtue. Hanley shows how Smith set forth a vision of the worthy life that is uniquely suited to us today.