On his blog The Gates Notes, Bill Gates features Poor Numbers: How We Are Misled by African Development Statistics and What to Do about It by Morten Jerven on his list of “The Best Books I Read in 2013.” Gates writes:
“Jerven, an economist, spent four years digging into how African nations get their statistics and the challenges they face in turning them into GDP estimates. He makes a strong case that a lot of GDP measurements we thought were accurate are far from it. But as I argue in my longer review, that doesn’t mean we know nothing about what works in development.”
Stephen Hopgood, author of The Endtimes of Human Rights and Keepers of the Flame: Understanding Amnesty International, appeared with Bianca Jagger on the BBC Radio 4 program Start the Week on November 25, 2013. Listen here.
Fearful Spirits, Reasoned Follies: The Boundaries of Superstition in Late Medieval Europe by Michael D. Bailey is reviewed in issue 309 of Fortean Times. Here’s an excerpt:
“This is no pop history of spells and hexes. Michael D. Bailey’s approach to late mediæval superstition highlights the
challenges of determining what constitutes acceptable spiritual practice. He emphasises that an exact definition of superstition may not exist: superstition itself is slippery and protean. The key word is boundaries: when did behaviour cross the line from proper to improper religious devotion? Bailey drives his inquiry with a larger concern about ‘how
people understand metaphysical forces,’ which applies not just to superstition, but to religion overall.”
We are sad to report the death on November 29, 2013, of Michael G. Kammen, Newton C. Farr Professor of American History and Culture Emeritus at Cornell University and the author of several books from Cornell University Press, including People of Paradox: An Inquiry Concerning the Origins of American Civilization (winner of the 1973 Pulitzer Prize in History), Selvages and Biases: The Fabric of History in American Culture, A Season of Youth: The American Revolution and the Historical Imagination, and Spheres of Liberty: Changing Perceptions of Liberty in American Culture.
American historian Michael G. Kammen dies at 77 (Cornell Chronicle)
OAH Mourns the Passing of Michael G. Kammen