What We Are Reading Today: A Monetary and Fiscal History of the United States, 1961–2021

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Updated 19 April 2024
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What We Are Reading Today: A Monetary and Fiscal History of the United States, 1961–2021

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Author: Alan S. Blinder

In this book, Alan Blinder, one of the world’s most influential economists and one of the field’s best writers, draws on his deep firsthand experience to provide an authoritative account of 60 years of monetary and fiscal policy in the US. Spanning 12 presidents, from John F. Kennedy to Joe Biden, and eight Federal Reserve chairs, from William McChesney Martin to Jerome Powell, this is an insider’s story of macroeconomic policy that hasn’t been told before—one that is a pleasure to read, and as interesting as it is important.
Focusing on the most significant developments and long-term changes, Blinder traces the highs and lows of monetary and fiscal policy, which have by turns cooperated and clashed through many recessions and several long booms over the past six decades. From the fiscal policy of Kennedy’s New Frontier to Biden’s responses to the pandemic, the book takes readers through the stagflation of the 1970s, the conquest of inflation under Jimmy Carter and Paul Volcker, the rise of Reaganomics, and the bubbles of the 2000s before bringing the story up through recent events — including the financial crisis, the Great Recession, and monetary policy during COVID-19.

A lively and concise narrative that is sure to become a classic, A Monetary and Fiscal History of the United States, 1961–2021 is filled with vital lessons for anyone who wants to better understand where the economy has been—and where it might be headed.

 


What We Are Reading Today: The Great Escape: Health, Wealth, and the Origins of Inequality

What We Are Reading Today: The Great Escape: Health, Wealth, and the Origins of Inequality
Updated 24 May 2024
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What We Are Reading Today: The Great Escape: Health, Wealth, and the Origins of Inequality

What We Are Reading Today: The Great Escape: Health, Wealth, and the Origins of Inequality

What We Are Reading Today: Birds of the Middle East

What We Are Reading Today: Birds of the  Middle East
Updated 23 May 2024
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What We Are Reading Today: Birds of the Middle East

What We Are Reading Today: Birds of the  Middle East

Authors: Richard Porter, Oscar Campbell, & Abdulrahman Al-Sirhan

The Middle East is home to some of the most spectacular birdlife in the world.

It features 180 superb color plates depicting some 900 species and subspecies as well as 646 color distribution maps that show the breeding range for almost every species.


Book Review: ‘The Undiscovered Self’ by Carl Jung

Book Review: ‘The Undiscovered Self’ by Carl Jung
Updated 23 May 2024
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Book Review: ‘The Undiscovered Self’ by Carl Jung

Book Review: ‘The Undiscovered Self’ by Carl Jung
  • Loss of personal responsibility, the author suggests, can lead to the rise of mass movements and, ultimately, totalitarianism

“The Undiscovered Self,” written by Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Carl Jung in 1957, delivers a warning about the dangers of modern collectivism, arguing that individuals are increasingly losing touch with their true selves.

Loss of personal responsibility, the author suggests, can lead to the rise of mass movements and, ultimately, totalitarianism. 

The book offers a prescription for individual psychological development and moral autonomy as an antidote to society’s collectivist forces.

Jung explains the structure of the psyche, with the conscious ego and much larger subconscious, which contains universal archetypes, as well as personal complexes and shadows that shape our behavior.

The book emphasizes the importance of understanding and integrating the unconscious rather than just relying on the conscious mind.

Jung also explores the notion of “self,” defining “individuation” as the process of integrating the conscious and unconscious to become a whole, individualized person. 

This requires embracing one’s shadow side and personal complexes, not just the socially acceptable persona. 

True individuality and freedom come from this process of self-discovery and self-realization, Jung believes. 

He encourages individuals to take responsibility for their psychological development, a process that involves introspection, self-knowledge, and a willingness to confront the unconscious. 

For additional reading, I would recommend “The Red Book,” which outlines the development of many of Jung’s major theories. 
 


What We Are Reading Today: The World Atlas of Rivers, Estuaries, and Deltas

What We Are Reading Today: The World Atlas of Rivers, Estuaries, and Deltas
Updated 22 May 2024
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What We Are Reading Today: The World Atlas of Rivers, Estuaries, and Deltas

What We Are Reading Today: The World Atlas of Rivers, Estuaries, and Deltas

Authors: Jim Best, Stephen Darby, Luciana Esteves, & Carol Wilson 

From the Congo and the Mekong to the Seine and the Mississippi, Earth’s rivers carve through landscapes before coursing into the world’s oceans through estuaries and deltas.

“The World Atlas of Rivers, Estuaries, and Deltas” takes readers on an unforgettable tour of these dynamic bodies of water, explaining how they function at each stage of their flow.


What We Are Reading Today: Money Capital

What We Are Reading Today: Money Capital
Updated 21 May 2024
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What We Are Reading Today: Money Capital

What We Are Reading Today: Money Capital

Authors: Patrick Bolton & Haizhou Huang

In this book, leading economists Patrick Bolton and Haizhou Huang offer a novel perspective, viewing monetary economics through the lens of corporate finance.

They propose a richer theory, where money can be seen as the equity capital of a nation, playing a similar role as stocks for a company.