1. The lesser of two evils, Brazilian style Dom Phillips, Guardian
  2. Why We Need a New Transatlantic Alliance Bruno Maçães, National Review
  3. The Atlantic Charter, Atlanticism, and Western Civilization Nick Nielsen, The View from Oregon
  4. The Rich Tapestry of Jewish Life Colin Shindler, History Today


  1. Kenneth Clark, John Berger, and art as seeing Kenan Malik, Guardian
  2. 10 forgotten wonders of the world Simon Schama, Financial Times
  3. Why writing Jewish history is so hard Adam Kirsch, New Yorker
  4. Ottoman erotica İrvin Cemil Schick, Aeon

BC’s weekend reads

  1. Hongcouver
  2. Making a Case for Bishops’ Authority in the Second and Seventeenth Centuries
  3. Global Warming is not a Crisis
  4. Dondante
  5. From masterpieces to selfies (top link)

What I’ve Been Reading

Hello all. Apologies in advance for not posting more often since graduation. I’ve been reading a lot of books lately, rather than stuff on the internet, so I haven’t had much to link to lately.

Here is a list of a few books I have been working on:

  • 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created by the science journalist Charles C Mann. I know I’ve blogged about this book before, but I’ve finally got a little bit of free time to hunker down and read the whole thing. I’m about halfway through and it’s really good.
  • Mastering Space: Hegemony, Territory and International Political Economy by the Marxist political geographers John Agnew and Stuart Corbridge. This is a pretty crummy book, but it was recommended because of some good critiques of the IMF and the World Bank that it supposedly has. I’ll keep ploughing through and hope for the best.
  • The Embarrassment of Riches: An Interpretation of Dutch Culture in the Golden Age by the historian Simon Schama. This is a very well-written book about Dutch culture (not Culture) in the seventeenth century and so far I have not been disappointed. Schama eschews the political and economic aspects of the Dutch republic in favor of examining the everyday lives of its citizens.
  • Democracy in Botswana which is edited by John D Holm and Patrick Molutsi. I picked this up for a research project I was doing last quarter and have not been able to let it go yet. It brings together a compendium of talks given at a conference held in Gaborone in 1989 to assess Botswana’s current status in the world, in sub-Saharan Africa and according to the citizens of Botswana.

Of the four books, I’d recommend 1493 to the intelligent layman, but the other three are definitely tough slogging.

The Dutch on Exhibit

UCLA’s library has an online exhibit (i.e. nothing too fancy) up on some of their archive material from the Dutch Golden Age. I thought I’d pass it along.

Again, there is nothing too fancy or long-winded here, but I do recommend checking them out. I would also highly recommend picking up a good book on Dutch history sometime before the summer ends. Simon Schama’s The Embarrassment of Riches… or Johnathan Israel’s The Dutch Republic… Both are magnificent and far-sighted.

The Dutch republic also plays an important role in American history, as it is the political structure of this small republic that really influenced Madison and other federal framers. Its rebellion from the Spanish monarchy and its rule over Britain cannot be discounted in the historical legacy of the United States either.