Tuesday, July 20, 2010

What Am I Reading These Days?

I just finished reading Christopher Andrew's Defend the Realm: The Authorized History of MI5 (Knopf 2010). It was quite long at over 900 pages, but several chapters were absolutely fascinating, including those covering the initial creation of the intelligence services, World War II, and the "Troubles" in Northern Ireland. I am, of course, left wondering what gems of information Andrew was not allowed to include.

I just started reading the following two books:

Joel Mokyr, The Enlightened Economy: An Economic History of  Britain, 1700-1850 (Yale 2009). Professor Mokyr makes the intuitive but surprisingly controversial argument that the "Industrial Revolution" in Britain was directly related to the "Enlightenment."

Stuart Banner, Who Owns the Sky? (Harvard 2008). Stuart is one of the very best legal historians in the business. In this gem of a book, he examines how changing technologies in the use of airspace led to changes in legal property rules. An extremely useful tome for one of my own current projects on how regulations not only limit property, but also protect and even create property.

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