This has been described as a self-help book for people who don't read self-help books. It might also be described as a popular science book for humanities graduates. It is a readable but carefully documented discussion of ideas and insights in the field of positive psychology - the branch of psychology which seeks to promote human flourishing rather than merely to treat mental disorders.
Monday, 26 August 2013
Thursday, 22 August 2013
Why do we hold the moral and political beliefs that we do? Why are we frequently so certain of them, and why are others so certain that we are wrong? These are the questions that psychologist Jonathan Haidt attempts to answer in this fascinating book.
Sunday, 21 July 2013
This long-awaited and heavy tome was finally published in April, following the death of its subject. Impressively detailed and meticulously researched, it is destined to become the standard Thatcher biography for a long time to come. It recounts the story of the Iron Lady's life from her childhood to Britain's 1982 victory in the Falklands War.
Saturday, 25 May 2013
Alexandra Kollontai (1872-1952) was a Russian revolutionary and radical feminist. After 1917, she became the People's Commissar for Social Welfare, but she fell out with Lenin and spent most of the rest of her career working in Stalin's diplomatic corps. Despite a revival of interest in her work in the 1970s, she is a largely forgotten figure today.
Friday, 24 May 2013
This is an article written by Karl Marx and published in 1843, when Marx was in his mid-20s. The prose style is somewhat opaque, and lacks the more fluent and acerbic touch of some of his more mature works. The ideas, too, are not yet fully formed. This is proto-Marxism rather than the whole enchilada.