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Recommended Reading for the New President

My goodness... the Obama victory last night seemed to have turned Times Square into New Year's Eve. Either they were celebrating the end of one of the worst presidencies in the history of the United States (Dubya), or the beginning of some new "era" ... or just the very real symbolism of the election. I have argued that nothing is going to change fundamentally under an Obama administration, but I'm sure many of those Times Square revelers believe, sincerely, that change is a comin'.

In the meanwhile, over at Inside Higher Ed, Scott McLemee conducted "an utterly unscientific survey of academics, editors, and public intellectuals to find out how ā€” if given a chance ā€” they might try to influence the incoming occupant of the White House." He asked, if we could recommend one book to the new President, what would it be?

I answered:

Given my own views of the corporatist state-generated roots of the financial crisis, Iā€™d probably recommend The Theory of Money and Credit by Ludwig von Mises, so that he could get a quick education on how the credit policies of a central bank set the boom-bust cycle into motion. Perhaps this might shake the new President into a truly new course for US political economy.

Go read the whole article... it's got a lot of fascinating recommended reading!


The link in McLemee's article doesn't work. It adds a space (i.e., "%20") to the end resulting in http://nyu.edu/projects/sciabarra/notablog/archives/001540.html%20

It was, apparently, a software issue; it's now been fixed! Thanks for alerting me to it!

I am glad to find my own judgement about suitable reading material for the times we're living in sits in good company: I have started reading The Theory Of Money & Credit since the election, though I doubt Obama will ever hear of it.

Incidentally, Mr Sciabarra, I recently read your 'Russian Radical'. I expect that years from now it will still be educating both myself, as I re-read it, and other people to whom I loan it out to.

Thank you very much for that wonderful book.

[Chris, I didn't realize you were still actively blogging; I'm glad I happened upon this. :-) ]

I'd heartily endorse your recommendtion of Mises's book, just by virtue of how pressing the matters it deals with are.

But in a more facetious take (as it's a little hard NOT to be facetious with these kinds of hypothetical questions), I'd probably recommend Antony Flew's How to Think Straight; or at least How to Think about Social Thinking. For whatever positive change Obama might be responsible for, I just can't help but think he's merely one from a legion of who don't properly respect the rules of inference.

I truly believe he already knows the solutions to our financial woes. Whether or not he wants to sacrifice his life behind them would be another story.

I admit, I thought I'd never see a black president yet it's not surprising to me he was elected.

What would be surprising is if he broke his alliance with the wild beast and stood up for justice, peace and equality.