Summer Book List

Dear readers, could we have some recommendations for books for summer holidays in the comments?

If you leave a link to the amazon page (or whatever), that is perfect, but the blog’s software will stop more than one link being posted at a time.

This is totally uncorrelated to my own upcoming holiday. Honest.

(Like Ronan’s last post, I’ve read Piketty’s Capital and thoroughly enjoyed it, though the man really could have done with an editor).

Comments

comments

Author: Stephen Kinsella

Senior Lecturer in Economics at the University of Limerick.

58 thoughts on “Summer Book List”

  1. Modernising Money by Ben Dyson and Andrew Jackson from Positive Money describes how allowing banks to issue a nation’s money in tandem with debt can be so problematic. It also describes how we could implement a system whereby the central bank issue money and banks deal with existing money only.

    Some reviews below:

    “Money is a social invention, indeed among the most important of all social inventions. At present the right to create money has been handed over to the private businesses we call banks. But this is not the only way we could create money and, as recent experience suggests, it may be far from the best one. Read this book with an open mind and you will understand why.”

    Martin Wolf, Chief Economics Commentator, Financial Times

    “Modernising Money is not just the clearest exposition of the monetary economy available today, it offers realistic pragmatic responses to the most urgent challenge of our time: how to devise a financial system fit for purpose. ”

    Tim Jackson, author of ‘Prosperity Without Growth: economics for a finite planet

    “Modernising Money unveils how the present money system really works, why it doesn’t work well, and how it ought to work to the benefit of all.”

    Prof. Joseph Huber, Professor of Economics & Environmental Sciences, Martin Luther University, Halle-Wittenberg

    “Modernising Money”sets out the authors’ solution to the banking quandary with great clarity. The solution, though far-reaching, is not treated as utopian but as a practical proposition: the transition from the present arrangements is dealt with in detail. The authors treats the question of how we might restructure money and banking in the context of a detailed knowledge of UK banking history, institutions and policy up to the present day, and there are examples from other banking systems as well. The book has much to offer, whether you agree with the authors’ solution or not.”

    Prof Vicky Chick, Emeritus Professor of Economics, University College London

    “In Modernising Money, Jackson and Dyson have built on the foundations of Robertson and Huber to develop a thorough and robust blueprint for the transition to a more sensible monetary system in the UK. Their work is at the leading edge of this important field of new economics.”

    Tony Greenham, head of business and finance at the New Economics Foundation and co-author of ‘Where does money come from?’

    “This “must read, must act” book lucidly explains two things; the urgent need for a simple basic reform of the money system to make it work more efficiently and fairly for all; and an accessible way for responsible citizens to help make the reform happen.”

    James Robertson, author of ‘Future Money: Breakdown or Breakthrough?’

    Happy reading!

  2. oooh I need some reading material too but won’t attempt Piketty. It’s Ibiza for me with 3 kids in tow. So something that won’t melt my head.

    Short, fiction, meaningful. No war, concentration camps or dying children.

  3. for Sarah: ‘The House’ – A. O’Connor. (wife recommends highly) 495p. Poolbeg.

  4. My wife recommends Little Beauty by Alison Jameson. It left her both laughing and crying, though not at the same time.

    I enjoyed Laurent Binet’s HHhH a fictionalised account of the Czech plot to assassinate Heydrich during WWII.

    Currently reading Roberto Bolaño’s 2666 and waiting for the various plots to come together in some way.

  5. Re: Re-investigating the 1960s

    Individuals who enjoy TV series such as Mad Men, might actually enjoy this, . . . if they want to read a little more, from a Stanford professor who has actually gone back through the archives as it were, in order to re-construct some kind of ‘picture’ of the world of fifty years ago.

    Just do a google video search for Fred Turner, and some of his talks will come up. He has two recent titles on Amazon, which are affordable to buy in Kindle format, if users of e-readers just want to take a chance, and throw on one of his titles on to their device.

    The reason, I would bring it up too, . . . and to build on Sarah’s specification, requirements for reading material for Ibiza, . . . (it’s kind of like asking a builder what you need in a kitchen extension), . . . readers of Fred Turner’s, historical literature might be able to travel back via a serious piece of historical research to a time and place in human history, which was quite different from today. . . which is the subject of many very serious inquiries here in Ireland, or elsewhere, . . . but to do so in a manner that might be fairly enjoyable.

    People who have an interest in music too, might find Turner’s most recent work, on the democratic surround, is quite interesting, in the research it uncovers about musical composers such as John Cage (the chap who composed the four and something minutes of silence). The story that Turner tells about John Cage is very interesting I thought. BOH.

  6. None of the above, it is a far far better thing that you read Bewerdorff’s Algebra für Einsteiger: Von der Gleichungsauflösung zur Galois-Theorie

  7. algebra for the beach? in German? you guys….

    BOH and EB – merci.

    If any of you haven’t read the JG Farrell series, The Siege of Krishnapur is sublime and the Troubles is thrilling. I might give the Singapore Grip a go.

  8. @ Stephen & Sarah

    If it’s a holiday centre I have a policy of looking around for the books that other families have left behind – there’s usually a pile and it’s liberating to read a load of random stuff – usually in my case any ultra-violent sci-fi I can see. I also usually buy a little local cook-book and cook out of that for the stay. Books I have read and enjoyed this year, include:

    ‘Strongbow: The Norman Invasion of Ireland’ O’Brien Press by Conor Kostick (the brother).

    This lead to reading a string of big fat narrative history books including:

    ‘Jerusalem: The Biography’ by Simon Sebag Montefiore
    ‘City of Fortune: How Venice Ruled the Seas’ by Roger Crowley
    ‘The Last Crusade: The Epic Voyages of Vasco da Gama’ by Nigel Cliff
    ‘Ghengis Khan’ by John Man
    And the four ‘Age of… ‘ by Eric Hobsbawm

    I think it is nice to read something located in the place you’re going to.

    In fiction I’ve recently completed Hilary Mantel, ‘Wolf Hall’ which I heartily recommend (and anything by her in fact). I should also shamelessly plug ‘Unravelling Oliver’ by Liz Nugent, whom I know. I haven’t read but intend to.

    I’m around P. 500 of Picketty. He quotes Austen and Balzac a fair amount, for reading alongside him it might also be worth looking at Oscar Wilde (including ‘The Soul of Man Under Socialism’), Zola (‘Germinal’?), Conrad (‘Heart of Darkness’?), George Orwell, ‘Down and Out in Paris and London’, Tennessee Williams’ ‘Streetcar’ (destruction of old wealth and the rise of labour in 1940s USA) – the more one thinks the more spring to mind.

    http://www.amazon.com/Strongbow-The-Norman-Invasion-Ireland/dp/1847172008

  9. Angus Deaton “The Great Escape: Health, Wealth, and the Origins of Inequality”

    “The world is a better place than it used to be. People are wealthier and healthier, and live longer lives. Yet the escapes from destitution by so many have left gaping inequalities between people and between nations. In The Great Escape, Angus Deaton–one of the foremost experts on economic development and on poverty–tells the remarkable story of how, starting 250 years ago, some parts of the world began to experience sustained progress, opening up gaps and setting the stage for today’s hugely unequal world. Deaton takes an in-depth look at the historical and ongoing patterns behind the health and wealth of nations, and he addresses what needs to be done to help those left behind.

    Deaton describes vast innovations and wrenching setbacks: the successes of antibiotics, pest control, vaccinations, and clean water on the one hand, and disastrous famines and the HIV/AIDS epidemic on the other. He examines the United States, a nation that has prospered but is today experiencing slower growth and increasing inequality. He also considers how economic growth in India and China has improved the lives of more than a billion people. Deaton argues that international aid has been ineffective and even harmful. He suggests alternative efforts–including reforming incentives to drug companies and lifting trade restrictions–that will allow the developing world to bring about its own Great Escape.

    Demonstrating how changes in health and living standards have transformed our lives, The Great Escape is a powerful guide to addressing the well-being of all nations.”

    http://press.princeton.edu/titles/10054.html

  10. For Sarah Carey, (with a link to the Irish economy), I’d recommend a wonderful first novel The Spinning Heart by Donal Ryan. It’s set in rural Ireland after the credit crisis. It’s beautifully written, showing how the property crash affected a small rural town. The dialogue is wonderful – funny and poignant – and it packs a punch for such a small book.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Spinning-Heart-Donal-Ryan-ebook/dp/B009NH74EG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1403178879&sr=8-1&keywords=the+spinning+heart

  11. Humbly sugges not to read but to ‘think’ …

    Think about being a member of the greatest Citizenry of Total Eejits in the known financial universe ….

    … then think about it again.

    … and DO something!

  12. Calomiris and Haber, Fragile by Design, is one of the best to come out of the banking disaster. Tim Geithner’s Stress Test is one of the better apologias. No, he did not mention his intervention in Ireland’s little affair.

  13. Wow – I see academic economists are keeping very busy with summer reading and loads of rants on the Irish economy. We all need light refreshment and a break but shouldn’t you be working on next research grant applications (Horizon 2020) and journal articles?

  14. My Fortran based search bot for cool yet intellectual beach attire is suggesting simultaneous reading of Piketty and “A Brief History of Time”, one in each hand, in hardback, and using those 3D cinema goggles. Bermudas, a wooly hat and sandles with that bicep bulging combination apparently certain to make one instantly popular at St Tropez or Dollymount strand.

  15. Galois theory, hmmm, that helps me with what ?

    The last math book I read, actually in relation to thinking about growth models, like Solow, Cobb-Douglas functions.

    Grigory Isaakovich Barenblatt: Scaling, self-similarity, and intermediate asymptotics, 1996 Cambridge

    I am done with Piketty

    I am at 37% of O’Riain. For me it is read, think, check, get some more information, and then go on to the next pages

    Not new, but I am going to reread it this summer

    Paul Feyerabend: Conquest of Abundance,
    A Tale of Abstraction versus the Richness of Being

    and for those who haven’t read it, just to mention: “Against Method,
    outline of an anarchistic theory of knowledge”

    and for David O’ Donnell and Shay Begorrah I have: – )

    Peter Watson: The German Genius

  16. @Kevin Denny

    oh right.

    @ Liam

    Gosh he’s versatile. did he write it after he was fired from HIGNFY?

    @Aine

    Thank you!

    @Ninap

    I like the sound of 1493. Is he one of these chaps that talks about wheat vs rice, and the 6 domesticated animals were all in Europe and stuff like that?

  17. Re: Natural world, World Cup’s and Road-side geology

    I can’t beat quite beat German algebra for the beach, but I can come close to that.

    A more ambitious, far ranging tourist, may be driving long distance in larger countries might like John McPhee’s Basin and Range, books, about geology. Apparently, there is an extreme anorak sport, in the United States called road side geology. People stop on long distances to pick up a rock and look at it, to keep boredom at bay.

    Someone going to the World Cup, or anywhere near south America , can’t go far wrong with Mike Davis though (Davis is a self-proclaimed American socialist). I have concerns about reading his Planet of Slums, book on a beach. The book deals with an important topic, but his handling of the subject, is un-conventional, and Davis can create humour out of almost anything (readers with weak constitutions, may want to avoid it).

    Liam Delaney, recommended Deaton’s book above. Fans of Deaton, may enjoy, David Quammen’s Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic. He is an extremely prolific author on matters to do with the natural world, but I think his Spillover, book in particular might appeal to younger, more energetic and adventurous tourists, . . . (who might want to scare the day lights out of themselves).

    Colm McCarthy recommended Fragile by Design. Some very positive recommendations have been given to me for Unintended Consequences, Why Everything You’ve Been Told About the Economy is Wrong, by Edward Conard. Conard is not a well known author like others who have written on the subject, but I thing there is a degree of substance, in his arguments.

    Professor Judith Stein at New York City University recently published, her historical novel, Pivotal Decade: How the United States Traded Factories for Finance in the Seventies, is a very important work though, and one that I feel would receive little attention on this side of the Atlantic. Again, the fans of historical based, TV series like ‘The Americans’, and Mad Men, would find a certain pleasure in this book, I am sure. I would pair together Stein’s work, with that of Fred Turner at Stanford, for someone who is in to 20th century history. BOH.

  18. Since the original Barenblatt hardcover, I just mentioned, is a little pricey at $353.41

    I just checked that the Kindle version of “Scaling” at 36 $ is not just quite sufficient, but even better.

    Since I was stumbling on my way to Barenblatt over the Daniel Kahneman / Angus Deaton paper “High income improves evaluation of life but not emotional well being”, one of the few good PNAS I know

    I decided to mention also the 2 Coase Papers “The nature of the firm” 1937 and “The problem of Social Cost” 1960 as some of my few alltime favourites.

  19. The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity is a tour de force that has the immediacy and accessibility of the lecture form and the excitement of an encounter across, national cultural boundaries. Habermas takes up the challenge posed by the radical critique of reason in contemporary French poststructuralism.Tracing the odyssey of the philosophical discourse of modernity, Habermas’s strategy is to return to those historical “crossroads” at which Hegel and the Young Hegelians, Nietzsche and Heidegger made the fateful decisions that led to this outcome. His aim is to identify and clearly mark out a road indicated but not taken: the determinate negation of subject-centered reason through the concept of communicative rationality. As The Theory of Communicative Action served to place this concept within the history of social theory, these lectures locate it within the history of philosophy. Habermas examines the odyssey of the philosophical discourse of modernity from Hegel through the present and tests his own ideas about the appropriate form of a postmodern discourse through dialogs with a broad range of past and present critics and theorists.The lectures on Georges Bataille, Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, and Cornelius Castoriadis are of particular note since they are the first fruits of the recent cross-fertilization between French and German thought. Habermas’s dialogue with Foucault – begun in person as the first of these lectures were delivered in Paris in 1983 culminates here in two appreciative yet intensely argumentative lectures. His discussion of the literary-theoretical reception of Derrida in America – launched at Cornell in 1984 – issues here in a long excursus on the genre distinction between philosophy and literature. The lectures were reworked for the final time in seminars at Boston College and first published in Germany in the fall of 1985.Jürgen Habermas is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Frankfurt. The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity is included in the series Studies in Contemporary German Social Thought, edited by Thomas McCarthy.

  20. @Prudent Hans

    Translated by Ciaran Cronin.
    In the midst of the current crisis that is threatening to derail the historical project of European unification, Jürgen Habermas has been one of the most perceptive critics of the ineffectual and evasive responses to the global financial crisis, especially by the German political class. This extended essay on the constitution for Europe represents Habermas’s constructive engagement with the European project at a time when the crisis of the eurozone is threatening the very existence of the European Union. There is a growing realization that the European treaty needs to be revised in order to deal with the structural defects of monetary union, but a clear perspective for the future is missing. Drawing on his analysis of European unification as a process in which international treaties have progressively taken on features of a democratic constitution, Habermas explains why the current proposals to transform the system of European governance into one of executive federalism is a mistake. His central argument is that the European project must realize its democratic potential by evolving from an international into a cosmopolitan community. The opening essay on the role played by the concept of human dignity in the genealogy of human rights in the modern era throws further important light on the philosophical foundations of Habermas’s theory of how democratic political institutions can be extended beyond the level of nation-states.

    Now that the question of Europe and its future is once again at the centre of public debate, this important intervention by one of the greatest thinkers of our time will be of interest to a wide readership.

    http://www.amazon.com/Crisis-European-Union-Response/dp/0745662439/ref=la_B000AQ4RBM_1_15?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1403206545&sr=1-15

    All these Irish re-claiming the ‘lost german genius’!

  21. Tonight we celebrate the successful rescue of johann-westhauser,
    from a 1000 meter deep.

    728 Einsatzkräfte aus fünf Ländern waren an der Rettungsaktion beteiligt. “Die besten der Höhlenrettung aus Europa”, wie Einsatzleiter Klemens Reindl sagte. 202 Retter waren in der Höhle, davon 42 Österreicher, 24 Schweizer, 89 Italiener, 20 Kroaten und 27 Deutsche. Außerdem waren Mitglieder der deutschen Bundeswehr, Polizei, Feuerwehr, Mitarbeiter des bayerischen Roten Kreuzes sowie die österreichische Flugpolizei und der Malteser Hilfsdienst im Einsatz.

    We are one people here in core europe,

    solidarity, discipline, technology results in strength and ability

  22. Francis,
    Where is this country called core Europe, where do its borders extend to? It seems from your description that these core Europeans have certain have exemplary characteristics. Have I heard this theme before?

  23. I don’t begrudge publishers and booksellers promoting summertime reading as Amazon entrenches its dominant market power.

    Everyone to their cup of tea, but apart from solitary folk and locations with a prospect of a lot of rain, I guess most people wouldn’t spend too much time reading during holidays.

    Are people so ‘busy’ during dark evenings from Oct to March that they haven’t time for reading?

    As for a recommended book, these days of course it doesn’t have to be a recent issue.

    My all time favourite is ‘Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee’ from 1971 – although Dee Brown the author was of European origin, his book was then very rare in providing an eloquent platform for the voices of the vanquished, in this case a chronicle of the sweeping injustices and official betrayals experienced by the original settlers from Asia in North America.

    Publishers Weekly recently reported that in the US in March, Amazon commanded 41% of all new books sold, and a staggering 65% of all online books sold, whether print or digital.

    This is a presentation of a popular poem by Max Ehrmann (1872 – 1945) that can be in tune with a holiday mood:

    “Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, / and remember what peace there may be in silence.”

  24. @Michael Hennigan

    It is a great book.

    @all
    Paddy Zhukov in Kharkov appreciates this IT piece …

    Time for Bagration commemoration: looking to the Eastern front

    Opinion: In Normandy, the Germans deployed 11 divisions against the initial D-Day landings. In the east, the Germans had 228 divisions

    ‘In Europe, our history of the second World War is largely driven by a western-orientated narrative. This is perhaps understandable as relatively few western scholars and writers have examined Russia’s second World War history. Prof Geoff Roberts of UCC is a notable exception to this rule. Over the coming week, there will be commemorations in Russia at some of the key sites of the Bagration operation and a new memorial will be unveiled in Belarus. Russian veterans of that operation, a key one in the second World War, will be in attendance. It would appear that no major western leader will be attending these commemorations.

    http://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/europe/time-for-bagration-commemoration-looking-to-the-eastern-front-1.1838601

    p.s. Blind Biddy (whose great-aunt Karharina fought at Kursk) will be attending with Paddy Zhukov & the granddaughter of Patricia the Irish_sovereign_in-exile (RIP).

  25. finally:

    @Economics lecturers [not a book – just a few paragraphs …

    Robert Skidesky: Knocking the scientific halo off mainstream economists’ teaching and research: “The growing discontent of economics students…

    …with the university curriculum…. Students at the University of Manchester advocated an approach ‘that begins with economic phenomena and then gives students a toolkit to evaluate how well different perspectives can explain it’…. Andrew Haldane, Executive Director for Financial Stability at the Bank of England, wrote the introduction…. Students have little awareness of neoclassical theory’s limits, much less alternatives to it…. The deeper message is that mainstream economics is in fact an ideology–the ideology of the free market….

    The austerity policies that Europe used to fight the recession from 2010 on were based on the belief that there was no recession to fight. These ideas were tailored to the views of the financial oligarchy. But the tools of economics, as currently taught, provide little scope for investigating the links between economists’ ideas and the structures of power…. So what is keeping the mainstream’s intellectual apparatus going?… An institutional structure that… rewards orthodoxy and penalizes heresy. The great classics… from Smith to Ricardo to Veblen, go untaught…. It has become an article of faith that any move toward a more open or ‘pluralist’ approach to economics portends regression to ‘pre-scientific’ modes of thought…. Curriculum reform can… remind students that economics is not a science like physics, and that it has a much richer history than is to be found in the standard textbooks…. Indeed, mainstream economics is a pitifully thin distillation of historical wisdom on the topics that it addresses…. What students are taught today certainly does not deserve its imperial status in social thought…

    I have long been of the view that, whatever there is to be said for and against–and there is a lot on both side–economics departments and subdisciplines as the right modality for organizing groups of scholars, and economics Ph.D.s as the right way of training a new professional scholars, two things are very, very clear:
    1.
    We have no business throwing applied-math majors into an economics Ph.D. program. Both a liberal arts mora-philosophy B.A. or equivalent and two years out in the real world working at a job of some sort should be required.

    2.
    We have no business offering a narrow economics B.A. at all. At the undergraduate social-science level, the right way of organizing a major curriculum is to offer some flavor of history and moral philosophy: enough history that students are not ignorant, enough sociology and anthropology that students are not morons, and enough politics and philosophy that students are not fools. (And, I would say, a double dose of economics to ensure that majors understand what is key about our civilization and do not get the incidence of everything wrong.)

    Let me postpone (1) to some future date and talk about (2):

    I think that modern neoclassical economics is in fine shape as long as it is understood as the ideological and substantive legitimating doctrine of the political theory of possessive individualism. As long as we have relatively-self-interested liberal individuals who have relatively-strong beliefs that things are theirs, the competitive market in equilibrium is an absolutely wonderful mechanism for achieving truly extraordinary degree of societal coordination and productivity. We need to understand that. We need to value that. And that is what neoclassical economics does, and does well.

    Of course, there are all the caveats to Arrow-Debreu-Mackenzie:
    1.The market must be in equilibrium.
    2.The market must be competitive.
    3.The goods traded must be excludable.
    4.The goods traded must be rival.
    5.The quality of goods traded and of effort delivered must be known, or at least bonded, for adverse selection and moral hazard are poison.
    6.Externalities must be corrected by successful Pigovian taxes or successful Coaseian carving of property rights at the joints.
    7.People must be able to accurately calculate their own interests.
    8.People must not be sadistic–the market does not work well if participating agents are either the envious or the spiteful.
    9.The distribution of wealth must correspond to the societal consensus of need and desert.
    10.The structure of debt and credit must be sound, or if it is not sound we need a central bank or a social-credit agency to make it sound and so make Say’s Law true in practice even though we have no reason to believe Say’s Law is true in theory.

    An adequate undergraduate economics major will spend due time not just on the excellences of the competitive market equilibrium but on these 10 modes of market failure, and in so doing become, effectively, a history and moral philosophy major as well.

    A first-rate undergraduate economic major will also spend due time on government failure and bureaucratic failure, and thus reach the very economic conclusion that there are substantial trade-offs, and we must pick our poison among inadequate and imperfect alternatives, even in institution design.

    http://equitablegrowth.org/2014/06/18/thoughts-robert-skidelskys-manifesto-reform-anglo-saxon-economics-curriculum-wednesday-focus-june-18-2014/

  26. Peadar

    The new one,

    “The Rise and Fall of Ireland’s Celtic Tiger”

    It was brought up recently in this blog.

  27. Francis,
    Do you strongly recommend that book (“The Rise and Fall of Ireland’s Celtic Tiger”)?
    Is that the best book on the Irish Economy?

  28. @ U,

    I also said that I completed Piketty. From my comments here it should be clear that my pretty positive initial view turned over the pages more and more negative.

    Still, a lot of data accumulated and presented in worthful ways.

    On the equations, bitter disappointment, after this guy was celebrated as a 22 year old for math abilities. But such things happen all the time.

    On Legrain, I am very negative. This started basically from page one, many unsubstantiated claims, clearly false representations of German facts, I know details about, did not bother to answer very polite questions in this blog. Garbage.

    With O’Riain I am at 37%, he did respond, and already promised me, that I might not agree with everything later on : – )
    Makes him very sympathetic.

    But I do not sign a blank check on whatever I will read there : – )

    In general, on Irish topics, I am here to learn, and certainly not to teach.

    On global, long term, economics, investments & politics, I have very clear opinions, backed up by lots of data, equations, and models.

    Detailed, quantitative, historic, very systematically scanning of many things, from quantitative income distributions in ancient Rome, models of riots and revolutions,

    @ U

    Since I haven’t seen your ID here before, maybe I mention, that I am just a German visitor here, and I would be interested in your opinion (and a few other people here, like Philip Lane, certainly not Kevin O’Rourke), what the “best book on the Irish Economy” might be.

  29. “In general, on Irish topics, I am here to learn, and certainly not to teach.”

    I see zero evidence of this. You’re here to condescend to the little people and explain what you perceive to be their moral failings to them.

  30. Simone de Beauvoir’s “All men are mortal” I did read at least 3 times.

    The Mandarins of Paris, Memoirs of a dutyful daughter
    (in German with the interesting title: Memoiren einer Tochter aus gutem Hause)

    worthy to recommend wholeheartedly

  31. @Francis

    I read all her stuff and was a huge fan of hers until I discovered her monstrous habit of pimping for Sartre and the destruction they wrought upon those poor girls. Still the novels hold up even if the Memoirs turned out to be the usual self-serving propaganda of the genre. And the novels are certainly a lot better than Satre’s turgid prose. Why she spent her life enabling him when she was his superior is beyond me.

  32. Sarah,

    do you have hard evidence for this ? Especially with respect to non-consenting, or non-adults?

  33. It’s been well documented. The particular book I have (just rooted it for now ) I had to review for a Marian Finucane show aaages ago was called Hazel Rowley – The Lives and Loves of Simone D B and J-P S.

    In the notes I prepared I counted 16 women, most of them young, and many of whom became financially dependent on him and Simone. The only one who really was his equal was Lena Zonina, who was actually most likely a Russian spy appointed to seduce him when he visited there.

    Several were students of Simone who developed teenage crushes on her and when she had seduced them she passed them onto Sartre. The worst case was Bianca Bienenfeld who had a nervous breakdown. Simone admitted it was their fault as they had broken the incest taboo with her. Other names included Wanda, Collete, Nathalie Sorkin (another student of Simone’s definite lesbian affair before she’s passed on to Sartre. her mother actually complained to the police).

    And of course the famous Olga (from She Came to Stay) same pattern same mutual seduction. It all ended badly.

    It’s pretty disappointing. But that’s what one gets for having heroes ;-(

  34. I highly recommend Colm Keena’s 2001 classic “Haughey’s Millions-Chairlie’s Money Trial”
    Haughey dominated Irish political life from the sixties to the nineties. He had always lived beyond his visible means. From 1969 on, he lived like a prince in Kinsealy,at times on nothing more than a backbench TD’s salary. Colm Keena traces the origins of Haughey’s lifestyle back to the 1950’s and to his early life as a partner in Haughey Boland & Co. He follows his early developing relationship relationship Des Traynor and his developing relationships with property developers.

    In this vital book you will discover why Ireland had the greatest commercial property bubble in the history of mankind. Most of Haughey’s bagmen are sovereign landlords. It made them wealthy beyond their wildest dreams and it copper fastened the most draconian commercial property lease law in the world on all Irish commercial tenants. During the credit bubble years,reckless Irish banks lent billions against these feudal leases ,not against the properties themselves and created the greatest commercial property bubble in the history of mankind.

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