Nightcap

  1. “It’s because of how memory works.” Chris Dillow, Stumbling & Mumbling
  2. How much progress have we actually made? Scott Sumner, MoneyIllusion
  3. Racism ripples through rural California’s pipes Jose Del Real, New York Times
  4. Margaret Sanger and the cult of racism Kevin Long, Claremont Review of Books

Nightcap

  1. What really happened at Troy? Daisy Dunn, Spectator
  2. How Britain disrespected its WWI soldiers from Africa David Lammy, Guardian
  3. Here’s why we can’t have nice things Chris Dillow, Stumbling & Mumbling
  4. On being edited by Barack Obama Adam Frankel, Literary Hub

Nightcap

  1. The spirits of 1989 Daniel McCarthy, Modern Age
  2. Trust cycles in politics Chris Dillow, Stumbling & Mumbling
  3. A profile of Christine Lagarde Hujer & Sauga, Spiegel
  4. Catholicism and its critics Tim Stanley, History Today

Nightcap

  1. Bosnia’s mosques without Muslims Colborne & Edwards, Los Angeles Review of Books
  2. China and the Ricardian vice Samuel Hammond, National Affairs
  3. The closing of the conservative mind John Gray, New Statesman
  4. Europe, not America, is home to the free market Thomas Philippon, the Atlantic

Nightcap

  1. Our multi-monopoly problem Robin Hanson, Overcoming Bias
  2. Patchwork as real world vectors Chris Shaw, Libertarian Ideal
  3. On Tory paradoxes Chris Dillow, Stumbling & Mumbling
  4. The argument from coherence Nicolas in Faith, All Along the Watchtower

Nightcap

  1. The dubious logic of commodification Chris Dillow, Stumbling & Mumbling
  2. The miracle of General Equilibrium Philip Pilkington, Inference
  3. Orwell’s “Notes on Nationalism,” in Barcelona Deborah Levy, New Statesman
  4. Magical maps and island utopias Rachel Cordasco, Los Angeles Review of Books

Good books on The Troubles

In the discussions on Brexit the situation along the Irish-Northern Irish border is pivotal. Nobody wants a return to a ‘hard’ border, even though that is the obvious consequence of the UK leaving the Common Market and Ireland staying in it.

For those unfamiliar with the reason why this is troublesome there are a loads of good reads on what the British called ‘The Troubles’, but what by all standards was a cruel civil war, with 3500 deaths and many more injured. The two recent books I would like to bring to the attention of the readers are different.

Milkman is a novel that won the Man Booker Prize. It is a story about a young woman growing up in Troubled times, and what is particular gripping is the sense you get of the intensity of life in those days. Everything in daily life was somehow drawn into the conflict, you had to think about your moves all the time and everybody lived in fear. Not only for the enemy, but at least as much for the paramilitary group that happened to control your area. They did not just wage their war, but literally wanted to control everybody in their neighborhood.

Say Nothing is narrative non-fiction, well-researched and with hundreds of pages of notes. It is written in very attractive prose, not like any regular history book. The focus is on some of the key-players on the IRA-side, the bombs, and the attacks. Central is the disappearance and subsequent murder of a mother of ten by one of the main people in the story. The book also pays a lot of attention to Gerry Adams’ denial to have played any role in the violent side of the civil war. One of its strengths is also that half of the book tells what happened after the Good Friday agreement, which formally made an end to the Troubles. If only it did…

These are great books to learn more about one of the bloodiest conflicts in Europe in recent times. They also help to understand current debates about Brexit. Hopefully, they will just keep saying something about the past…