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The Myth of the Rational Voter Bryan Caplan Books A reasonable economic analysis of why voters are so prone to folly. Required reading for fools. 25/11/08 Match
The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Constitution Kevin R. C. Gutzman Books The Federalists were nationalists who managed to write a mostly federalist Constitution, which was perverted by nationalist sympathies, as the American Experiment evolved. I sympathize almost entirely with the original anti-federalists, who were the true federalists all along. 25/11/08 Match
Jumper Steven Gould Books I read this when it first came out; just re-read it. I enjoyed it both times. Good popular fiction, good juvenile science fiction, and far better than the movie ostensibly made from it. 25/11/08 Match
The Data of Ethics Herbert Spencer Books I'm usually reading or re-reading something by Spencer. This time I'm reading through his classic treatise (part one of the Principles of Ethics) to clean up HTML before loading it online. 27/03/08 Match
Principles of Political Economy, Vols I & II J.S. Mill Books My most recent purchase, fine old D. Appleton editions. 27/03/08 Match
Darwin's Radio Greg Bear Books Expert science fiction, does just what you want an sf book to do. 27/03/08 Match
Thud! A Novel of Discworld Terry Pratchett Books More zany comedy in fastasy garb from Pratchett; not low comedy, but not exactly Shakespeare, either. Fun. 27/03/08 Match
A Religious Orgy in Tennessee: A Reporter's Account of the Scopes Monkey Trial H. L. Mencken Books The original reports from Dayton, Tenn., by the great Mencken. Brilliant. Scathing. Funny. Acute, and mostly on-target. Alas, Mencken's defense of the constitutionality of the Tennessee law is not included in this great collection. Both of his obits for Bryan are, though, as is a transcript of Darrow's courtroom interrogation of Bryan. 03/02/08 Match
The Search for Atlantis Edwin Björkman Books Atlantis was not a lost continent, or even large island, but the great city of Tarshish (Tartessos), transmuted by mud and legend into a fabled city beyond the pillars of Hercules. 06/01/08 Match
The Genteel Tradition at Bay George Santayana Books The classic philosophical appraisal of American intellectual culture. 20/12/07 Match
Twentieth-Century Piano Music David Burge Books A fine survey, if, perhaps, a tad too brief. 16/12/07 Match
On the Origin of Human Emotions Jonathan H. Turner Books The great sociologist turns his acute eye to Evolutionary Psychology, basically updating ground first broken by Herbert Spencer. This book is mostly conjecture, but it is informed conjecture, and several cuts above the standard-brand EP "just so" storytelling. 16/12/07 Match
Memoirs Kingsley Amis Books Droll curmudgeon Kingsley Amis essays his life in chapters, focusing on family and friends. Elegant, witty, revelatory. Very good. Favorite moment so far (I'm halfway through): Robert Conquest's response to his publisher's suggestion that he retitle his greatest book on the Soviet Union, "The Harvest of Sorrow." He suggested "I Told You So, You Fucking Fools." Amis, like Conquest, was one of those British writers who turned on their early leftism, with gusto. 16/12/07 Match
The Autobiography of Jack Woodford J. P. Woolfolk (Jack Woodford) Books An amazing memoir by an amazing curmudgeon, the great "sex writer." Not an autobiography as such, but a memoir of his family and friends, and thus self-revelation by reflection, and by the many opinions strewn throughout the book. It is obviously an organizational mess, but it is charming in the extreme. Surely one of the most fun essays in self-revelation I've ever read. The pages about James Branch Cabell, Mary Baker Eddy, and heroin usage are magnificent. A recurring theme is his anti-Communism. His contempt for the literary establishment rests, in large part, with his disgust for their Communism. Nevertheless, he remained a fan of Upton Sinclair. His Hollywood memories are also fascinating, and his characterization of the Black List is wise beyond the usual drivel written about it. 16/12/07 Match
The God Delusion Richard Dawkins Books This is a scientist's attack on faith as such as well as faith in the supernatural, especially the religious belief in a supreme being. A good introduction to outright disbelief in superstition, providing interesting discussion of "Religion as a By-Product of Something Else." A great deal of criticism of Judaism and Christianity, some of it very simple, most of it old hat. The style is clear and easy to follow. Dawkins can never be convicted of obscurantism. 03/11/07 Match
Road to Ruin Donald Westlake Books Another droll Dortmunder novel. The title, here, more than adequately tipping the hand to the kind of heist tale this is: the kind that fails. 03/11/07 Match
The Busy Body Donald Westlake Books A fun, early crime novel by the master of the caper novel. Here, an exhumation yields a mystery, and a change of career for a gangster. 14/10/07 Match
Herbert Spencer and the Invention of Modern Life Mark Francis Books Not a bio, but a study of the man and his ideas. "The Invention of Modern Life" part is unclear. The middle section of the book is brilliant, for the most part, while the late section on Spencer's politics and sociology severely wrong-headed. I've reviewed this elsewhere. 05/09/07 Match
They Stooped to Folly Ellen Glasgow Books A comic novel from Richmond, Virginia, in the 1920s. I picked this volume of Ellen Glasgow's as the first of her books to read for the simple reason that she dedicated it to my favorite Southern writer, James Branch Cabell. And, as the opening unfolds, I am not disappointed. It is witty, elegant-but-with-bite, providing an arch look at a now-forgotten time, the beginning of modernity in morals. 19/07/07 Match
The Hook Donald E. Westlake Books Another perfect exercise in merciless crime plotting by the master of the genre, Westlake. Here two writers make a trade. But the two aren't equal: one's a success, the other's a market failure (though quite talented). So the trade isn't equal. There is a wife to be gotten rid of. Guess who gets to do the job. That's the eponymous hook of the book. Everything else flows rigorously from there. 19/07/07 Match
The Bookman's Promise John Dunning Books Another enjoyable romp through the world of rare books and murder for same. This outing has some fascinating discussion (and fantasied history) about the great Richard Burton, explorer, polymath. 17/06/07 Match
The Bookman's Wake John Dunning Books I have a large private library, by American standards. And even a few first edition and collectible books. But the mania for book collecting as described in this novel, featuring a "rare bookman" detective, goes way outside my area of obsession. But it makes for a fine mystery, complete with multiple murders and multiple theories to explain said murders. Lots of fun. 05/06/07 Match
The Black Thumb Mystery Bruce Campbell (Sam and Beryl Epstein) Books I read this book when I was very young, and now I've read it again, years later. It still holds up, like few of these youth adventure novels do, even at the prose level. In this tale, our heroes Ken Holt and Sandy Allen try to exonerate a bank worker, and find themselves up against a corrupt p.i. and a slick businessman. The black thumb? Could it by pyrogallol . . . or uranium? 23/05/07 Match
The Secret of Skeleton Island Bruce Campbell (Sam and Beryl Epstein) Books An enjoyable first entry into the classic kids' adventure and mystery series. Contemporary pop novelists could envy the authors' prose and story-telling. 23/05/07 Match
On Classical Economics Thomas Sowell Books Sowell's On Classical Economics is a book worth rushing through. Is it worth reading carefully, too? Perhaps. But frankly, I'd read much of this analysis elsewhere in his growing oeuvre. He is often insightful and thorough, as, in this case, his explanation of that strange phenomenon, J. S. Mill. Or of Sismondi. But his defenses of Karl Marx have worn out their welcome with me; they seem too defensive, and then the critique too abrupt and almost added-on. I had to rush through to the final chapter, where he speculates about Stigler's optimum rate of innovation . . . and he means innovation in theory, not in practice! It seems strange, by the way, that Sowell's recent book on the classical theories is called, simply, On Classical Economics, while his earlier book gets the slightly better name Classical Economics Reconsidered. The reconsideration should've come second. 23/04/07 Match
Moral Minority: Our Skeptical Founding Fathers Brooke Allen Books This simple and well-researched book provides all the evidence you need to show that the American government and its Constitution were not founded on Christian principles. The author demonstrates the essential Enlightenment methods and ideals of founders Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison, and the rather vile (my judgment) Realpolitic of Alexander Hamlton, who used religion as a political tool, but spent most of his life in flagrant violation of Christian teaching and community. Then the author puts the thinking of these men in the wider context of their times. We've come a long way from the time when Baptists and Methodists could prefer an alleged atheist for president to a suspected Presbyterian! This long way has not been good. We can see how badly America has progressed under the onslaught of a series of disastrous spiritual awakenings. 22/04/07 Match
Parasites Like Us Adam Johnson Books An anthropologist specializing in the Clovis People unwittingly helps unleash the end of human civilization. Good writing, good apocalypse, this is the kind of science fiction that I like best (the kind that is not billed as sf, and yet succeeds on both stefnal and literary terms). 18/04/07 Match
When Life Nearly Died Michael Benton Books Here the author investigates a mystery: why did so much life die at the end of the Permian era? He goes over the data (coming to some idea of how vast the extinction was), relates the history of paleontology and the strange pre-saurians that inhabited the Permian super-continent, and finally narrows down the cause(s) of the event. His conclusion, tentative as they are, have a not indirect relationship to current climate change. 12/04/07 Match
Radicals for Capitalism: A Freewheeling History of the Modern American Libertarian Movement Brian Doherty Books Fascinating, sometimes vexing, a near-perfect history of political liberatarianism in modern America. I got a bit depressed well into the book, inundated with the history of vile moral monsters (Rand) and petty yet over-confident prophets (Rothbard). But the last chapters pulled me out, with great discussions of Friedman, Nozick, Narveson and Szasz. My kinda folk, these latter. My only disappointment, I guess, was that Lomasky did not get as much discussion as Narveson. Oh, well. 12/04/07 Match
The Perfect Thing: How the iPod Shuffles Commerce, Culture, and Coolness Steven Levy Books The "shuffle" function on the iPod is my least-used major function. Steven Levy thinks it is somehow revolutionary. For a listener to classical music, it sure isn't. I don't want to shuffle movements from a Haydn symphony with movements from Rautavaara's "concerto for birds and orchestra," thank you. Still, the book is a lot of fun. 09/04/07 Match
Kullervo Jean Sibelius (composer), Sir Colin Davis (conductor), London Symphony Chorus and Orchestra Music I bought this on sale, and learn that this is not the performance to buy. Oh well. It sounded very good to me. Early Sibelius at his most ambitious. The section in 5 meter is quite, quite good. 08/04/07 Match
Symphony "Mathis Der Maler"; Symphonic Metamorphosis on Themes by Carl Maria Von Weber; Variations on a Theme by Hindemith Paul Hindemith, William Walton (composers), George Szell (conductor), Philadelphia Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra Music I probably have more CDs with this Hindemith symphony than any other. It's that good. But the reason for this purchase was simple: the Walton variations, which are magnificent and rarely played. Perhaps one reason they don't get many performances is that conductors are cowed by this very performance, headed by George Szell. This recording has been called one of the greatest ever made! A classic performance, a classic recording, and three classic classical compositions. Classy enough? 08/04/07 Match
American Music for Two Pianos and Orchestra Walter Piston, Quincy Porter, and Morton Gould (composers) Joshua Pierce and Dorothy Jonas (pianists), David Amos (conductor), Philharmonic Symphony of Moravia Music The unexpected highlight of this fine disc is Gould's "Dance Variations for Two Pianos and Orchestra." The final movement, a tarantella, is a real firework. The Piston concerto is expert as always from this composer, and quite good; it will no doubt grow on me. The Porter one-movement work is a bit gnarlier, but obviously worth repeat listenings: on my second hearing, the music makes its own case for its very existence. (It does not from the first bar beguile, but it soon gets very interesting. Very. This may be the best Porter I've heard yet.) 08/04/07 Match
The Lost City John Blaine Books Reading this again after 35 years was quite a kick. These "Rick Brant Science Adventures" are simply written, as they are written for kids, but not badly plotted, and each book has at least one utterly mind-blowing concept. Here it is the lost city of (sorry: spoiler) Genghis Khan, tucked in the Himalayas. The old "lost city" idea may seem hoary, but it is not Haggard! 08/04/07 Match
The Whispering Box Mystery John Blaine Books The eponymous device of this kids' adventure book -- a 'Rick Brant Science Adventure" -- is a box that emits an ultrasonic wave that will render victims incapable of motion. An ingenious device, conceived in the '40s, in this excellent mystery for young readers. 08/04/07 Match
The Riddle of the Stone Elephant Bruce Campbell Books A remarkably good boys' series adventure from before I was born, now read a second time. By the standards of today's adult fiction, this favorably compares with a lot that passes for acceptable. 08/04/07 Match
Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why Bart D. Ehrman Books The Bible evolved. Not through trial and error, but through mistakes, additions, and haphazard "corrections." The New Testament is the target here, as the author explains, clearly and succintly, how and why the copyists who kep the Christian tradition alive fiddled and re-fiddled with the texts. Fascinating. And, I'd think, devastating to faith. (Evolution's for humanists, eh?) I am curious about the author's own religion. I admire his scholarship, and his ability to make complicated textual criticism understandable to laymen. 08/04/07 Match
Point-to-Point Navigation Gore Vidal Books A scattershot memoir, reeling back and forth in time, with the marks for each reel change at the death of someone important to the aging author. The book loses its bearings towards the end, as Vidal explains the conspiracy that killed his friend JFK. But all in all a fine book, very revealing. And very odd. Oh, yes, even oddly moving. 08/04/07 Match
Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation Joseph J. Ellis Books As I log this, I'm halfway through reading the book. Great storytelling. Reasonable puzzle-solving and context-building. Almost necessary reading! 14/08/05 Match
People I Wanted To Be Gina Ochsner Books Janet Maslin gave this a very favorable review in the New York Times. I've got to get it. 14/08/05 Match
Symphony No. 7: Dreams of Gandalf - and Symphony No. 1 Aulis Sallinen Music Aulis Sallinen is probably the Finnish composer closest to my musical temperament. 19/01/05 Match
Symphony No. 7 ("Insect" Symphony), Symphony No. 2 Kalevi Aho Music Aho is an amazing composer. 19/01/05 Match
Symphony of Metal Instruments, The Holy City, and other works Alan Hovhaness Music The Symphony of Metal Instruments is quite something. A different raga for each movement, performed by six flutes, three 'bones, and metallic percussion. Amazing. 19/01/05 Match
Symphony No. 3 & Khorhoort Nahadagats Alan Hovhaness Music The next CD I buy: a companion symphony to "Mysteriour Mountain," and a piece for guitar and orchestra. Promising. 19/01/05 Match
The Evolution of Morality and Religion Donald M. Broom Books Just got this, and it certainly looks interesting. Broom takes strong positions in using Evolutionary Psychology to explain ethical and religious thought, institutions, and behaviors. 04/01/05 Match
Sonatas and Interludes for Prepared Piano John Cage Music Cage is the most uneven composer in human history, with lots of mediocre stuff and tons of dreck. But this music is inspired. A timbral delight - with other worthy aspects, too. 18/12/04 Match
The Naked Ape Desmond Morris Books Just got a first edition of this work - which, despite its tricky title, looks good. 18/11/04 Match
The Five Books of Moses Robert Alter (!), translator, commentator Books At last, a translation of the Pentateuch that looks good. (I've not even bought mine yet, though: caution. Wanna buy me one?) 18/11/04 Match
The Nature of the Gods Marcus Tullius Cicero (Horace C. P. McGregor) Books A fascinating failure of a book. Weak arguments for religion, with a scandalously unjust treatment of Epicurus, never treating the great Problem of Pain aphorism that Lacantius at least took on. 16/11/04 Match
A Thirsty Evil Gore Vidal Books Seven short stories - I finally picked up this slim volume. It's worth picking up. 16/11/04 Match
Infidels: A History of the Conflicts Between Christendom and Islam Andrew Wheatcroft Books History light on ideas, but nicely laden with facts. Not perfect, but not bad. 16/11/04 Match
Reading Lolita in Tehran Azak Nafisi Books "A Memoir in Books" looks great, the opening pages read well. As a book discussion group participant, I'll no doubt take to this book's subject (book discussion group under tyranny). 16/11/04 Match
King Solomon's Ring: New Light on Animal Ways Konrad Z. Lorenz Books I just got a copy this elegant illustrated book. Pristine. Wonderful book, it looks like. Maybe even a "must." 16/11/04 Match
The Critique of Pure Reason Immanuel Kant Books Just started reading the J.M.D. Meiklejohn translation. It makes more sense than I had expected. I might take a cue from the abridged version, should it get tough slogging. 16/11/04 Match
Economic Principals: Masters and Mavericks of Modern Economics David Warsh Books Boston Globe columnist on economics, with this collection. He's often wrong-headed, more often uninteresting. Not recommended. 16/11/04 Match
Adam Smith's Mistake: How a Moral Philosopher Invented Economics and Ended Morality Kenneth Lux Books Since Adam Smith neither invented economics nor ended morality, I must judge this book wholly nuts. Superficial communitarian nonsense. Without value. 16/11/04 Match
The Religions of Mankind: Their Origin and Development Hans-Joachim Schoeps (Richard and Clara Winston, translators) Books Reading in tandem with Boyer's "Religion Explained," as a good balance. 08/11/04 Match
The Theory of Moral Sentiments Adam Smith Books The best book by the author of the more famous "Wealth of Nations." A breakthrough work, well worth reading a second, third, or fourth time. Best opening line in moral philosophy! 08/11/04 Match
Vigilia Einojuhani Rautavaara Music The great, recent a capella masterpiece from one of today's greatest composers. I've been listening to this over and over for the past few weeks. One of his best works, and utterly captivating choral music. Better even than Arvo Part. 08/11/04 Match
The Book Known as "Q" Robert Giroux Books Not the mythical proto-gospel, but the first printing of Shakespeare's Sonnets. There are mysteries here, too. 08/11/04 Match
The World of Carbon Isaac Asimov Books The master explainer explained the chief building block of life, the element designated with a simple "C." 08/11/04 Match
Religion Explained: The Evolutionary Origins of Religious Thought Pascal Boyer Books Evolutionary Psychology makes its bid to subsume Comparative Religion. 08/11/04 Match
The Heart of Rome: A Tale of the Lost Water F. Marion Crawford Books Lesser Crawford, but Russell Kirk was fond of this one. So I read. 08/11/04 Match
Chain of Command: The Road from 9/11 to Abu Ghraib Seymour M. Hersh Books An important if not really all that well written a book. Hersh seems to believe it his duty to make the subject boring. 08/11/04 Match
The Garden of Eloquence: A Rhetorical Bestiary Willard R. Espy Books I often consult this. It may not be the handiest guide to the figures of speech, but it is the most enjoyable. 15/08/04 Match
The Everlasting Story of Nory Nicholson Baker Books I need to reread this book. But I thought it so wonderful that I gave away my copy! 15/08/04 Match
Ex America: The 50th Anniversary of The People's Pottage Garet Garrett Books The great anti-imperialist tract from the last century. Must reading. 15/08/04 Match
Checkpoint Nicholson Baker Books I bought it from Amazon - because any book by Nicholson B. is worth reading. Interesting look into the liberal mindset, both the steady and the unhinged. (Indeed, that's the point of this novel of dialogue, to persuade the unhinged liberal from assassinating President George W. Bush. Very well done.) 15/08/04 Match
A Severed Head Iris Murdoch Books Rereading this classic. Somehow Murdoch makes the reading of narratives with cads writing in the first person pallatable. Interesting story. 10/07/04 Match
Dinosaur Lives: Unearthing an Evolutionary Saga John R. Horner & Edwin Dobb Books Fascinating account of paleontology in action. 07/05/04 Match
Changing for Good James O. Prochaska, John Norcross & Carlo DiClemente Books Odd thing, this: A self-help book that isn't nuts. Even if the subtitle - "The Revolutionary Program that Explains the Six Stages of Change and Teaches You How to Free Yourself from Bad Habits" - sounds it. 05/05/04 Match
Dictionary of Theories Jennifer Bothamley Books A neat, thick compendium. Comprehensive, but doesn't include The Thomas Theorem. Oh, well. Just bought it - cheap - at a chain bookstore! 05/05/04 Match
Aristotle's Children: How Christians, Muslims, and Jews Rediscovered Ancient Wisdom and Illuminated the Dark Ages Richard E. Rubenstein Books The signs, early in this book, do not look good: the author is committed to intellectual muddle. But his prose is clear. 05/05/04 Match
How the Idea of Religious Toleration Came to the West Perez Zagorin Books This book starts out well, with a discussion of George Washington's letter to an American congregation of Jews. 05/05/04 Match
Applied Economics: Thinking Beyond Stage One Thomas Sowell Books Sowell's first book, on Say's law, is still my favorite. Could this possibly be better? 05/05/04 Match
Lives of the Mind: The Use and Abuse of Intelligence Roger Kimball Books The subtitle is what caught my attention . . . and it looks like the author has the savvy to praise Santayana and Wodehouse! 05/05/04 Match
Inventing a Nation: Washington, Adams, Jefferson Gore Vidal Books My favorite "liberal" writer takes on the founders. Surprisingly favorable to Adams. 05/05/04 Match
Gang of Five: Leaders at the Center of Conservative Ascendancy Nina J. Easton Books Profiles of Bill Kristol, Robert Reed, Clint Bolick, Grover Norquist, and David McIntosh. Before reading, only one of these strikes as worth hurrahing, and two excoriating. But... we'll see. 05/05/04 Match
Negro President: Jefferson and the Slave Power Garry Wills Books Orlando Patterson and Toni Morrison made fools of themselves calling Clinton "the first black president," but Wills - perhaps already a proven fool - treads more interesting ground with Thomas Jefferson. 05/05/04 Match
Emphyrio Jack Vance Books Vance's most serious work, the first half of which qualifies as one of the best slices-of-dystopia written, the second half of which is more of a standard Vancian adventure, but with an ending that explains the first half. 13/04/04 Match
Durdane: The Anome, The Brave Free Men, The Asutra Jack Vance Books Simple adventure, elegantly told, with Vance's knack for creating bizarre cultures and explicable-but-strange characters. Perfect. 13/04/04 Match
The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald Books Good writing on the sentence level (though why should of instead of should've?) but by no means a great novel.... 03/02/04 Match
Adaptation Charlie Kaufman & Spike Jonez DVD A fine little film, but not as great as I'd thought it would be. It doesn't get to the heart of orchids! 03/02/04 Match
The Italian Job Gary Gray, dir. DVD A pretty good caper film, but you should wait many months after seeing the trailer to see the movie: the trailer gives away most plot points. 03/02/04 Match
Bright Shadow of Reality: Spiritual Longing in C.S. Lewis Corbin Scot Carnell Books It's worth rethinking the dominance of Christian writers in fantasy - an odd thing, really, the love of fantasy. An odder thing to believe that one's love of fantasy says something direct about reality and Christianity. 29/12/03 Match
The Burnt Orange Heresy Charles Willeford Books So good I had to read it a second time. This is another of Willeford's rather Stirnerite run-through of Randian territory. An art critic, modern art, integrity, and murder. A classic. 29/11/03 Match
Miami Blues Charles Willeford Books A good novel by laconic immoralist Willeford, the first of his Hoke Mosely books. The film is better than the book, something you can't say about any of his other filmed novels. Still, very much worth reading. I'm glad I finally read it. 29/11/03 Match
Arethusa F. Marion Crawford Books A romance set in 14th century Constantinople - a story of a beautiful slave. Unlike modern pulp historical romances, we get no thesaurus entries for penis and breast and vagina. A good book, though I lacked four pages from the edition I read! Not a masterpiece, like A Tale of a Lonely Parish, Khaled, or Saracinesca, but still quite good. 29/11/03 Match
In Full View Rex Ziak Books The subtitle gives a good indication of contents: A True and Accurate Account of Lewis and Clark's Arrival at the Pacific Ocean, and Their Search for a Winter Camp Along the Lower Columbia River. Whew! The author lives in the area he's writing about, and thus has an advantage over the several scholars who've written and mistakenly made claims about this bit of history. Beautiful book, by the way. 12/10/03 Match
The Wonderful O James Thurber Books Not quite as wonderful as The 13 Clocks - but O, it's wonderful nevertheless! 09/10/03 Match
Essays in Quasi-Realism Simon Blackburn Books An intriguing middle ground between realism and nominalism - especially interesting for metaethics. 09/10/03 Match
The Austrian Philosophy of Value Howard O. Eaton Books Beautifully typeset book of a fascinating survey of the philosophical value-theory of Ehrenfels and Meinong. Out of print. Lucky me. I've got mine! 09/10/03 Match
Anarchy, State, and Utopia Robert Nozick Books Rereading a weird modern classic of political philosophy. Which section is more fantastic? The argument against anarchy, the argument for the minimal state, or the reflections on utopianism? 09/10/03 Match
Paul Patoff F. Marion Crawford Books Odd novel, set partially in Constantinople of the late 19th century - with a great rant about how Muslims can never be ruled. Not one of Crawford's best books, but still worth reading. 09/10/03 Match