books, economy, education, family, healthcare, inequality, justice/jails, politics

Tightrope – Americans reaching for hope by Kristof and WuDunn – book review

May 1, 2020

Tightrope provides a well-written description of the American crisis through personal stories and hard data. Unfortunately it falls flat in its call for action.

books, healthcare

An American Sickness by Elisabeth Rosenthal – book review/critique

August 2, 2017

An American Sickness by Elisabeth Rosenthal is important and disappointing. Despite all of the information about the failings of our market-based healthcare system Rosenthal abandons her analysis when it comes to treatment.

books, racism

Affirmative Action For Whites – began in the 1930s

July 17, 2017

Segregated America didn’t happen by chance nor by choice of the victims. Consistent white supremacist government action supported by private institutions created the segregation that persists and flourishes in the 21st century.

books, racism

Creating Segregated America in the 20th Century – Government in Action

July 12, 2017

Government, Federal, state and local took affirmative actions to set up and sustain segregation that is clearly unconstitutional and illegal. The de jure nature of the history then puts the burden on the government, our government, to remedy the situation. 

books, racism

Slavery in Hudson and Columbia Cty NY

June 14, 2017

Notices of runaways slaves from the Hudson River Valley. Many were notices from slave owners in Hudson and Columbia County dating roughly from 1795 to 1840. Northerners may think that slavery was a Southern institution, but this history casts a decidedly different picture.

books, healthcare

NYTimes Book Review Misses Major Points About US Healthcare

April 5, 2017

Using a variety of tools and institutional arrangements every other developed country controls prices and healthcare budgets. They do not allow a one-sided market to focus on delivering as many procedures and prescriptions as possible without any systematic focus on health. To put the outrage of American healthcare in its —>> read more –>>

books, economy, free-market ideology, politics

Building the New American Economy – Not

April 5, 2017

The title of this short book, only 130 pages, Building the New American Economy: smart, fair, & sustainable by Jeffrey D. Sachs with a foreword by Bernie Sanders (Columbia University Press, 2017) is unfortunately misleading. There is much here about the new economy. The misleading part is that there is —>> read more –>>

books, economy

Book Review – The Rise and Fall of American Growth

June 25, 2016

The Rise and Fall of American Growth: the US standard of living since the Civil War by Robert J. Gordon is a weighty book in every regard. At 762 pages it is a heavy lift – not beach reading or even bed-time either. But I found —>> read more –>>


1 Princeton U. Press. 2016
books, security state

No Place to Hide by Glenn Greenwald – book review

June 1, 2014
Joe, My friend got back to me. Her contact left the Review five years ago. Sorry. Mark

We are within days of the anniversary of the first revelations from Edward Snowden’s archive of NSA documents. The drum beat of new stories emerging from this trove continues even to this moment. So, Glenn Greenwald’s book, No Place To —>> read more –>>


1 NSA Collecting Millions of Faces from Web Images accessed 06012014
books, economy, free-market ideology

Flash Boys Doesn’t Ask the Important Question

April 7, 2014
Flash Boys cover by Michael Lewis

We should demand that our financial markets serve their findamental purposes – connect investors with those who can deploy those resources to create new products and services and enable the flow of these goods and services. To call holding financial insturments whether stocks, bonds, or other assets for mere seconds —>> read more –>>

books, racism

Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black People in America from the Civil War to World War II

November 13, 2010
Slavery by Another Name by Blackmon

This book brings to light the extent to which the Jim Crow laws were in fact part of a totalitarian system of government that ruled the South for more than seventy five years. How these laws came to be called Jim Crow by historians instead of  “a system of racist oppression and —>> read more –>>

books, racism

The Warmth of Other Suns – Isabel Wilkerson

October 10, 2010

Isabel Wilkerson’s book, The Warmth of Other Suns – the epic story of America’s great migration, creates  whole new planes of awareness of our history. This book startled me to a new understanding of how encompassing and pervasive the Jim Crow laws and social —>> read more –>>


1 New York City, Random House 2010
books, economy, free-market ideology

Book Review: Manias, Panics, and Crashes: a history of financial crises by Kindleberger

November 13, 2009
Manias,Panics,and Crashes by Kindleberger

Manias, Panics, and Crashes: a history of financial crises, fourth edition by Charles P. Kindleberger (New York: Wiley 6th edition 2011) A recent Wall St Journal article described this book as a “must read” classic for anyone involved in financial markets. I have been involved directly in financial markets in two —>> read more –>>

books, security state

Yottabytes and the National Security State

October 17, 2009
Secret Sentry by Mathew Aid

The current New York Review of Books has an article by James Bamford, “Who’s in Big Brother’s Database” that reviews the new book by Mathew M. Aid, The Secret Sentry: The Untold History of the National Security Agency . I have gotten in line at my local library to read —>> read more –>>

books, politics

North Korea – a visit to the “Axis of Evil”

June 21, 2007

Recently, in the context of some discussion of the Bush regime, my step-son Jonathan pointed me towards several books on Korea. He said that Bruce Cumings is simply the best author writing in English on Korea. So, a quick trip to the local library and I had this compact little —>> read more –>>