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The Honest Broker: Making Sense of Science in Policy and Politics
The Honest Broker: Making Sense of Science in Policy and Politics
by Roger A. Pielke
Edition: Paperback
Price: $33.13
57 used & new from $20.00

0 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars anything for a buck, March 29, 2014
Gregg Easterbrook 2, Electric Boogaloo. Conservative, self-styled "independent" spews Exxon (et al.) friendly garbage while employed by a shady think tank.


"White Girl Bleed a Lot"
"White Girl Bleed a Lot"

38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars here's the thing, May 28, 2012
Crime in the United States is down, *way down*, nearly 50% from what it was in the early 90s. It's down even more in cities. And -- maybe most remarkably -- it's down since the recession started a few years ago.

What is this "wave of violence" the author is talking about? The only wave I see is a wave of law abidance.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 29, 2012 10:23 PM PDT


The Reactionary Mind: Conservatism from Edmund Burke to Sarah Palin
The Reactionary Mind: Conservatism from Edmund Burke to Sarah Palin
by Corey Robin
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $26.25
51 used & new from $17.35

26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and not what you think, January 10, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
A lot of people seem to think that is book is an anti-conservative screed. In fact, it's a pretty sympathetic portrait of conservatism that gets to the appeal of conservative philosophy, in particular its inherent romanticism. As a political observer, I've always had trouble understanding how conservatives think. This book helped me a lot with that.

The introduction is the strongest part of the book, in my opinion. There is a bit of meandering in the middle -- in particular the discussion of two former conservatives and of American policy in Latin America seem a bit tangential to the overall discussion. Still, a very good, informative read overall.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 9, 2012 9:47 AM PST


The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement
The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement
by David Brooks
Edition: Hardcover
428 used & new from $0.01

71 of 114 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars not scientific, March 9, 2011
There's nothing so wrong with this book as far as narrative goes, but its misrepresentation of science is unforgivable. For example, Brooks writes " "Once you get past some pretty obvious correlations (smart people make better mathematicians), there is a very loose relationship between IQ and life outcomes." He cites no primary sources to back this up.

It's fine for Brooks to believe what he likes -- that good, God-fearin' Real Murkins are the real winners in everything that matters -- but he ought not present it as science. A half-fictional, quasi-journalistic narrative in support of this beliefs is fine. Putting a pseudo-scientific veneer on his own more or less superstitious beliefs about human nature is truly awful, and he should have thought twice before doing this.

That said, parts of the book are amusing and well-written. The sexual aspects -- buying condoms by the carton, extended scatological would be wit, etc. -- are distasteful, but without them and the grotesque caricature of science he Brooks presents, this is a lively, readable book. It's a shame, all in all, that this isn't more tasteful and less intellectually reprehensible, given its charms.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 27, 2011 12:43 AM PDT


Stay of Execution: Saving the Death Penalty from Itself (Hoover Studies in Politics, Economics, and Society)
Stay of Execution: Saving the Death Penalty from Itself (Hoover Studies in Politics, Economics, and Society)
by Charles Lane
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $17.93
56 used & new from $0.01

5 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Tiresome pro-death penalty tripe, February 22, 2011
Lane is that worst species of death penalty supporter: one who won't admit that the execution of innocent people is deeply problematic. Frankly, I have more respect for death penalty supporters who deny (incorrectly) that any innocent person has ever been put to death. Lane admits that innocent people have been put to death and says essentially "meh".

Perhaps it would be possible for someone with such a disturbing attitude to write a good book about the death penalty, but this is not that book. It's a snooze, unconvincing, and I can't imagine who the audience for this stuff is.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 4, 2011 9:16 PM PST


Fishing in Utopia: Sweden and the Future that Disappeared
Fishing in Utopia: Sweden and the Future that Disappeared
by Andrew Brown
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.96
44 used & new from $1.82

2 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars sloppy research, May 28, 2010
The research and fact-checking in this book are terrible. Brown claims the population of Sweden is about twice that of Washington DC, in the course of an examination of Swedish crime rates. In fact, it is 15 times as large.

This is quite possibly the worst statistical error I have ever seen anywhere, and this makes it difficult to take the rest of the book seriously.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 6, 2010 6:42 PM PDT


Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime
Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime
by John Heilemann
Edition: Hardcover
831 used & new from $0.01

42 of 165 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars gossipy garbage, January 12, 2010
The Harry Reid quote is getting the most attention, but the most sickening part of it, for me, was the focus on Elizabeth Edwards and Cindy McCain. With Edwards, why the need to denigrate a woman dying of cancer. With Cindy McCain, why the need to air some rumors about an affair in front of the entire country? What journalistic purpose does any of this serve?

I'm afraid the answer is "none".
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 14, 2010 2:12 PM PST


Homo Politicus: The Strange and Scary Tribes that Run Our Government
Homo Politicus: The Strange and Scary Tribes that Run Our Government
by Dana Milbank
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.31
66 used & new from $0.01

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars a most presumptous review, August 4, 2008
This book is flippant and excessively cynical. It offers too little insight and too many cheap gags. Ultimately, it's a second-rate nightclub act masquerading as political insight.

The idea for the book is good: a sort of zoological tour of political types in the nation's capital. But it never goes much beyond a clever name and a stereotypical description, whether it's dealing with Christian conservatives or environmental activists.

In the end, this kind of facile categorization and attempted satire adds little to one's understanding of what makes Washington tick. If the book were funnier, it might be easier to forgive this.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 27, 2012 3:49 PM PST


The Wire: Season 4
The Wire: Season 4
DVD ~ Dominic West
Price: $19.99
19 used & new from $13.80

5.0 out of 5 stars this is the best television show ever, April 17, 2008
This review is from: The Wire: Season 4 (DVD)
Nothing else is even close. It's probably better than any book or movie of the last 20 years. I can't recommend it enough.


Rock N Roll
Rock N Roll
Offered by Centerville Recreational Products
Price: $37.99
20 used & new from $9.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars destroy your safe and happy lives before it is too late, January 16, 2008
This review is from: Rock N Roll (Audio CD)
Truly a great album. In some sad sense, it seemed like the last gasp of a real critique of capitalism.

Sadly, the Bush years have made this critique more timely than ever.

More importantly, it just plain rocks, especially Memphis, Egypt and Now They Can Keep It.


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