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Recommending Books for Purchase (Bulletin 3 - November 2017): Princeton University Press - Publisher
The Confidence Trap by David Runciman (Preface by)
Publication Date: 2017-10-31
Why do democracies keep lurching from success to failure? The current financial crisis is just the latest example of how things continue to go wrong, just when it looked like they were going right. In this wide-ranging, original, and compelling book, David Runciman tells the story of modern democracy through the history of moments of crisis, from the First World War to the economic crash of 2008. A global history with a special focus on the United States, The Confidence Trap examines how democracy survived threats ranging from the Great Depression to the Cuban missile crisis, and from Watergate to the collapse of Lehman Brothers. It also looks at the confusion and uncertainty created by unexpected victories, from the defeat of German autocracy in 1918 to the defeat of communism in 1989. Throughout, the book pays close attention to the politicians and thinkers who grappled with these crises: from Woodrow Wilson, Nehru, and Adenauer to Fukuyama and Obama. In The Confidence Trap, David Runciman shows that democracies are good at recovering from emergencies but bad at avoiding them. The lesson democracies tend to learn from their mistakes is that they can survive them--and that no crisis is as bad as it seems. Breeding complacency rather than wisdom, crises lead to the dangerous belief that democracies can muddle through anything--a confidence trap that may lead to a crisis that is just too big to escape, if it hasn't already. The most serious challenges confronting democracy today are debt, the war on terror, the rise of China, and climate change. If democracy is to survive them, it must figure out a way to break the confidence trap.
Price : $14.95 / £12.95
The Development Dilemma by Robert H. Bates
Publication Date: 2017-09-26
Reassessing the developing world through the lens of Europe's past Today's developing nations emerged from the rubble of the Second World War. Only a handful of these countries have subsequently attained a level of prosperity and security comparable to that of the advanced industrial world. The implication is clear: those who study the developing world in order to learn how development can be achieved lack the data to do so. In The Development Dilemma, Robert Bates responds to this challenge by turning to history, focusing on England and France. By the end of the eighteenth century, England stood poised to enter "the great transformation." France by contrast verged on state failure, and life and property were insecure. Probing the histories of these countries, Bates uncovers a powerful tension between prosperity and security: both may be necessary for development, he argues, but efforts to achieve the one threaten the achievement of the other. A fundamental tension pervades the political economy of development. Bates also argues that while the creation of a central hierarchy--a state--may be necessary to the achievement of development, it is not sufficient. What matters is how the power of the state is used. France and England teach us that in some settings the seizure and redistribution of wealth--not its safeguarding and fostering--is a winning political strategy. These countries also suggest the features that mark those settings--features that appear in nations throughout the developing world. Returning to the present, Bates applies these insights to the world today. Drawing on fieldwork in Zambia and Kenya, and data from around the globe, he demonstrates how the past can help us to understand the performance of nations in today's developing world.
Price : $27.95 / £22.95
Ever the Leader by William G. Bowen; Kevin M. Guthrie; Hanna Holborn Gray
Publication Date: 2017-11-07
Ever the Leader gathers together selected speeches and writings from one of the great scholars and commentators of higher education. William G. Bowen's career at Princeton University--from economics professor to provost to a sixteen-year tenure as president--was marked by extraordinary accomplishments during times of great change, both at the university and in the country. But it was in Bowen's second act, as president of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and founding chairman of ITHAKA, that he took the lessons he learned as a highly productive leader of one of the nation's most esteemed universities and applied them to a broader set of problems in higher education. This volume of work from Bowen's later career captures this expansion of his thought and influence. Comprising remarks and articles on the subjects of university values, educational opportunity, college sports, technology, and colleagues and peers in higher education leadership, Ever the Leader is more than just a concise distillation of Bowen's research and thinking on some of the most urgent issues of the day--it is a portrait of leadership in action. The selected papers, talks, and articles exemplify Bowen's commitment and singular ability to communicate strong, persuasive arguments for change, and to motivate others to engage with the truly hard questions facing higher education leaders. Filled with formidable insights, Ever the Leader will be required reading for university presidents, policymakers, and all those who carry on the struggle for equity and excellence in higher education.
Price : $29.95 / £24.95
How Global Currencies Work by Barry Eichengreen; Arnaud Mehl; Livia Chitu
Publication Date: 2017-11-07
A powerful new understanding of global currency trends, including the rise of the Chinese yuan At first glance, the modern history of the global economic system seems to support the long-held view that the leading world power's currency--the British pound, the U.S. dollar, and perhaps someday the Chinese yuan--invariably dominates international trade and finance. In How Global Currencies Work, three noted economists provide a reassessment of this history and the theories behind the conventional wisdom. Offering a new history of global finance over the past two centuries, and marshaling extensive new data to test established theories of how global currencies work, Barry Eichengreen, Arnaud Mehl, and Livia Chiţu argue for a new view, in which several national monies can share international currency status, and their importance can change rapidly. They demonstrate how changes in technology and in the structure of international trade and finance have reshaped the landscape of international currencies so that several international financial standards can coexist. They show that multiple international and reserve currencies have in fact coexisted in the pastupending the traditional view of the British pound's dominance prior to 1945 and the U.S. dollar's dominance more recently. Looking forward, the book tackles the implications of this new framework for major questions facing the future of the international monetary system, from whether the euro and the Chinese yuan might address their respective challenges and perhaps rival the dollar, to how increased currency competition might affect global financial stability.
Price : $39.50 / £32.95
Peddling Protectionism by Douglas A. Irwin (Preface by)
Publication Date: 2017-10-24
The Smoot-Hawley tariff of 1930, which raised U.S. duties on hundreds of imported goods to record levels, is America's most infamous trade law. It is often associated with--and sometimes blamed for--the onset of the Great Depression, the collapse of world trade, and the global spread of protectionism in the 1930s. Even today, the ghosts of congressmen Reed Smoot and Willis Hawley haunt anyone arguing for higher trade barriers; almost single-handedly, they made protectionism an insult rather than a compliment. In Peddling Protectionism, Douglas Irwin provides the first comprehensive history of the causes and effects of this notorious measure, explaining why it largely deserves its reputation for combining bad politics and bad economics and harming the U.S. and world economies during the Depression. In four brief, clear chapters, Irwin presents an authoritative account of the politics behind Smoot-Hawley, its economic consequences, the foreign reaction it provoked, and its aftermath and legacy. Starting as a Republican ploy to win the farm vote in the 1928 election by increasing duties on agricultural imports, the tariff quickly grew into a logrolling, pork barrel free-for-all in which duties were increased all around, regardless of the interests of consumers and exporters. After Herbert Hoover signed the bill, U.S. imports fell sharply and other countries retaliated by increasing tariffs on American goods, leading U.S. exports to shrivel as well. While Smoot-Hawley was hardly responsible for the Great Depression, Irwin argues, it contributed to a decline in world trade and provoked discrimination against U.S. exports that lasted decades. Featuring a new preface by the author, Peddling Protectionism tells a fascinating story filled with valuable lessons for trade policy today.
Price : $19.95 / £14.95
The Power and Independence of the Federal Reserve by Peter Conti-Brown (Afterword by)
Publication Date: 2017-10-10
The independence of the Federal Reserve is considered a cornerstone of its identity, crucial for keeping monetary policy decisions free of electoral politics. But do we really understand what is meant by "Federal Reserve independence"? Using scores of examples from the Fed's rich history, The Power and Independence of the Federal Reserve shows that much common wisdom about the nation's central bank is inaccurate. Legal scholar and financial historian Peter Conti-Brown provides an in-depth look at the Fed's place in government, its internal governance structure, and its relationships to such individuals and groups as the president, Congress, economists, and bankers. Exploring how the Fed regulates the global economy and handles its own internal politics, and how the law does--and does not--define the Fed's power, Conti-Brown captures and clarifies the central bank's defining complexities. He examines the foundations of the Federal Reserve Act of 1913, which established a system of central banks, and the ways that subsequent generations have redefined the organization. Challenging the notion that the Fed Chair controls the organization as an all-powerful technocrat, he explains how institutions and individuals--within and outside of government--shape Fed policy. Conti-Brown demonstrates that the evolving mission of the Fed--including systemic risk regulation, wider bank supervision, and as a guardian against inflation and deflation--requires a reevaluation of the very way the nation's central bank is structured. Investigating how the Fed influences and is influenced by ideologies, personalities, law, and history, The Power and Independence of the Federal Reserve offers a uniquely clear and timely picture of one of the most important institutions in the United States and the world.
Price : $22.95 / £18.95
Taxing the Rich by Kenneth Scheve; David Stasavage
Publication Date: 2017-11-07
In today's social climate of acknowledged and growing inequality, why are there not greater efforts to tax the rich? In this wide-ranging and provocative book, Kenneth Scheve and David Stasavage ask when and why countries tax their wealthiest citizens--and their answers may surprise you. Taxing the Rich draws on unparalleled evidence from twenty countries over the last two centuries to provide the broadest and most in-depth history of progressive taxation available. Scheve and Stasavage explore the intellectual and political debates surrounding the taxation of the wealthy while also providing the most detailed examination to date of when taxes have been levied against the rich and when they haven't. Fairness in debates about taxing the rich has depended on different views of what it means to treat people as equals and whether taxing the rich advances or undermines this norm. Scheve and Stasavage argue that governments don't tax the rich just because inequality is high or rising--they do it when people believe that such taxes compensate for the state unfairly privileging the wealthy. Progressive taxation saw its heyday in the twentieth century, when compensatory arguments for taxing the rich focused on unequal sacrifice in mass warfare. Today, as technology gives rise to wars of more limited mobilization, such arguments are no longer persuasive. Taxing the Rich shows how the future of tax reform will depend on whether political and economic conditions allow for new compensatory arguments to be made.
Price : $19.95 / £14.95
Ten Great Ideas about Chance by Persi Diaconis; Brian Skyrms
Publication Date: 2017-11-07
A fascinating account of the breakthrough ideas that transformed probability and statistics In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, gamblers and mathematicians transformed the idea of chance from a mystery into the discipline of probability, setting the stage for a series of breakthroughs that enabled or transformed innumerable fields, from gambling, mathematics, statistics, economics, and finance to physics and computer science. This book tells the story of ten great ideas about chance and the thinkers who developed them, tracing the philosophical implications of these ideas as well as their mathematical impact. Persi Diaconis and Brian Skyrms begin with Gerolamo Cardano, a sixteenth-century physician, mathematician, and professional gambler who helped develop the idea that chance actually can be measured. They describe how later thinkers showed how the judgment of chance also can be measured, how frequency is related to chance, and how chance, judgment, and frequency could be unified. Diaconis and Skyrms explain how Thomas Bayes laid the foundation of modern statistics, and they explore David Hume's problem of induction, Andrey Kolmogorov's general mathematical framework for probability, the application of computability to chance, and why chance is essential to modern physics. A final idea--that we are psychologically predisposed to error when judging chance--is taken up through the work of Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky. Complete with a brief probability refresher, Ten Great Ideas about Chance is certain to be a hit with anyone who wants to understand the secrets of probability and how they were discovered.
Price : $27.95 / £22.95
When I'm Sixty-Four by Teresa Ghilarducci
Publication Date: 2017-10-31
A crisis is looming for baby boomers and anyone else who hopes to retire in the coming years. In When I'm Sixty-Four, Teresa Ghilarducci, the nation's leading authority on the economics of retirement, explains how to confront this crisis head-on, revealing the causes behind the increasingly precarious economics of old age in America and proposing a bold plan to guarantee retirement security for every working citizen. Retirement is one of the hallmarks of a prosperous, civilized market economy. Yet in America today Social Security is on the ropes. Government and employers are dismantling pension security, forcing older people to work longer. The federal government spends billions in exemptions for 401(k)s and other voluntary retirement accounts, yet retirement savings for most workers is falling. Ghilarducci takes an unflinching look at the eroding economic structure of retirement in America--and what she finds is alarming. She exposes the failures of pension regulators and the false hopes of privatized Social Security. She tells the ugly truth about risky 401(k) plans, do-it-yourself retirement schemes, and companies like Enron that have left employees without any retirement savings. Ghilarducci puts forward a sweeping plan to revive the retirement-income system, a plan that will ensure that, after forty years of work, every American will receive 70 percent of their preretirement earnings, guaranteed for life. No other book makes such a persuasive case for overhauling the pension and Social Security system in order to provide older Americans with the financial stability they have earned and deserve.