Book Reviews

Book Review: Reflections on a Ravaged Century

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Reflections on a Ravaged Century by Robert Conquest (New York: W.W. Norton, 2000); 317 pages; $26.95. When the 19th century was ending, there was a great sense of optimism and confidence. The December 31, 1899, issue of the New York Times had devoted practically its entire editorial page to a summary of the magnificent achievements of the 19th century: the steam ... [click for more]

Book Review: Business Ethics

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Business Ethics by Norman Barry (West Lafayette, Ind.: Purdue University Press, 2000); 191 pages; $14.95. It is rarely appreciated how much the market economy has contributed to the growth of civilization and rules of good behavior among the members of society. For example, Adam Smith pointed out more than 200 hundred years ago: "When commerce is introduced into any country, probity and ... [click for more]

Book Review: The End of Privacy

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The End of Privacy: Personal Rights in the Surveillance Society by Charles J. Sykes (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1999); 282 pages; $24.95. At Menwith Hill in the North York moors of Great Britain, there is a spy center employing 1,400 U.S. National Security Agency personnel ... [click for more]

Book Review: The Black Book of Communism

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The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression by Stephane Courtois, Nicolas Werth, Jean-Louis Panne, Andrzej Paczkowski, Karel Bartosek, and Jean-Louis Margolin (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1999); 856 pages; $37.50. In 1875, Karl Marx wrote an article entitled, "Critique of the Gotha Programme." At one point in the text there appear the following sentences: "Between capitalist and communist society lies the period ... [click for more]

Book Review: The Quest for Cosmic Justice

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The Quest for Cosmic Justice by Thomas Sowell (New York: The Free Press, 1999); 214 pages; $25. On August 18, 1919, during the Russian Civil War that resulted in the triumph of communism and the creation of the Soviet Union, there appeared the following passage in the first issue of The Red Sword, a newspaper published in Kiev by the Bolshevik ... [click for more]

Book Review: Patterns in the Dark

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Patterns in the Dark: Understanding Risk and Financial Crisis with Complexity Theory by Edgar E. Peters (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1999); 222 pages; $39.95. In the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s, the Austrian school of economics was considered one of the leading contributors to both economic theory and economic policy. The Austrian economists challenged the premises and arguments of the ... [click for more]

Book Review: What do Economists Contribute?

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What Do Economists Contribute? edited by Daniel B. Klein (New York: New York University Press, 1999); 156 pages; $14.95. The following is the abstract of an economics article that appeared in the November 1998 issue of the International Economics Review: "The authors investigate confidence intervals and inference for the instrumental variables model with weak instruments. Confidence intervals based ... [click for more]

Book Review: Property and Freedom

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Property and Freedom by Richard Pipes (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1999); 328pages; $30. In his 1848 treatise, The Principles of Political Economy, John Stuart Mill stated: "The laws and conditions of the production of wealth partake of the character of physical laws. There is nothing optional or arbitrary in them.... It is not so with the distribution of ... [click for more]

Book Review: The Passing of an Illusion

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The Passing of an Illusion: The Idea of Communism in the Twentieth Century by François Furet (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999); 596 pages; $35. Even now, though it is less than 10 years since the end of the Soviet Union, it is hard to imagine that in the 20th century, millions of people believed in and dedicated their lives ... [click for more]

Book Review: Hayek

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Hayek: A Commemorative Album compiled by John Raybould (London: Adam Smith Institute, 1999); 120 pages; $19.95. I first met Friedrich A. Hayek in 1975, the year after he received the Nobel Prize in economics. I had had the exceptionally good fortune to be awarded summer fellowships for 1975 and 1977 at the Institute for Humane Studies when their offices were ... [click for more]

Book Review: Freedom in Chains

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Freedom in Chains: The Rise of the State and the Demise of the Citizen by James Bovard (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1999); 326 pages; $26.95. Are you better off than you were 25 years ago? Listening to critics from the left, the impression would be created that Americans are experiencing a falling standard of living and facing immanent mass ... [click for more]

Book Review: The Future and Its Enemies

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The Future and Its Enemies by Virginia Postrel (New York: Free Press, 1998); 265 pages; $25. May 8, 1999, marks the hundredth birthday of Austrian economist Friedrich A. Hayek. One of Hayek's most important and lasting contributions to human understanding has been his development of a theory of spontaneous order. Hayek argued (echoing the 18th-century Scottish moral philosopher Adam Ferguson) that ... [click for more]
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