Monday, March 16, 2009

Today's Treasure: The Gintis Reviews

I've just wasted far more time than I like to think of with the find of the day: Amazon book reviews by Herb Gintis (link). There are 180 by current count, which puts him at #721 in the Amazon "new reviewer" rankings, but don't let that distract you: I know there are a lot of people in the rankings higher or lower who aren't as interesting or readable as he. With or without his regular collaborator (Sam Bowles), Gintis must rank as the most interesting "radical" economist working today, although he's far too original and venturesome to fit into any "radical" template that you could possibly imagine (he has kind words for Thomas Sowell, and he seems contemptuous of Paul Krugman). He took his first degrees in math: he does not seem to fear quantum physics. He seems to be mainly interested these days in some form of "behavioral economics," perhaps together with matters concerning the hard-wiring of "moral" behavior.

Gintis appears to have entered the fray on March 6, 2000, discussing a book on rape. His first reviews were mostly brief, some only a couple of sketchy paragraphs. But he seems to have found his footing: very soon he moved expanded into full-length essays. They're a pleasure; they're free, and they're at your fingertips right here.

1 comment:

Chris said...

Good catch. Thanks for the heads up.