May 10, 2004

Lord Love-a-Duck!

Lord love-a-duck: things in the mail this Monday morning that I *must* read. (The first I must read before 2:00 PM):

Paul Bergin, Reuven Glick, and Alan Taylor (2004), "Productivity, Tradability, and The Great Divergence" (Davis: U.C. Davis xerox).

Frank Levy and Richard Murnane (2004), The New Division of Labor: How Computers Are Creating the Next Job Market (New York: Russell Sage: 0691119724).

Timur Kuran (2004), Islam and Mammon: The Economic Predicaments of Islamism (Princeton: Princeton University Press: 0691115109).

Mary Walton (1997), Car: A Drama of the American Workplace (New York: Norton: 0393040801).

Harold James (2003), Europe Reborn: A History: 1914-2000 (Princeton: Princeton University Press: 0582215331).

A considerable amount of this is the fault of Princeton University Press, which is publishing many more books that I *must* read than I can possibly find time to read.

I've either got to narrow the scope of things I claim to have an informed opinion on, clone myself, acquire a staff, or give up sleep.

Posted by DeLong at May 10, 2004 02:31 PM | TrackBack | | Other weblogs commenting on this post
Comments

Amity Shlaes really, really likes Kuran's book (piece in this morning's FT, pg. 24 print edition). Watch it Brad, or you may begin to blame all of W's problems on the Left. Then again, Amity serves as the resident humor column for the FT, even more so than e-male - especially as Martin Lukes would never stoop to blaming the proles.

Posted by: fatbear on May 10, 2004 02:41 PM

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Brad you can just pretend you have read the book. Believe me lots of people do that. In fact, you might be the only expert on practically everything to read so fast that you didn't learn this trick as a freshman.

Posted by: Robert Waldmann on May 10, 2004 04:01 PM

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Oh come on Brad, don't you have any graduate students?

-- E

disclosure: writer is a graduate student in the social sciences at a peer institution to the one at which Brad teaches.

Posted by: Ennis on May 10, 2004 05:55 PM

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I thought that, like Dave Barry, your canine companions were your staff.

Posted by: Paul on May 10, 2004 08:10 PM

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Or you can believe in Pareto. Read the table of contents, the introduction, first and last chapter, and do not forget to read the index in case you were cited.

Posted by: Matias on May 10, 2004 08:32 PM

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If you get a staff, I hope you'll advertise here. I'd like to join.

Posted by: Saheli on May 10, 2004 09:06 PM

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I knew someone who acquired books faster than he could possibly read them. And he was a pretty fast reader. I pointed out to him one day that he could not possibly live long enough to read his (then) current inventory even if he read every waking minute. Nevertheless he kept on buying books, and started to lose track of what he already had, and would occasionally buy a title twice. He ran out of storage, and unfortunately, time. You can overdo anything.

Posted by: A. Zarkov on May 10, 2004 09:49 PM

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"Lord love a duck," huh? Only person I know who uses this expression is my mother-in-law, who's a lifelong central FL resident. It's definitely not an expression I expect to hear from a Berkeley professor!

Posted by: RT on May 11, 2004 05:53 AM

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'Lord love a duck'?
Pure Sarf London mate...... :-)

Posted by: PhilD on May 11, 2004 07:59 AM

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Cor, stone the crows!

Happy to help:

The Kuran one is probably crap because Amity Shlaes likes it. Any book with a subtitle "How XXXXX is Creating the New YYYY" is certainly crap. The UC Davis xerox can be scrapped; send Bergin an email and ask him what's in it; maybe read it later if it catches on and gets cited. Surely to God you've read enough histories of Europe in your life by now so forget that one too. Give the "Drama of the American Workplace" book to your kid and tell him he can have $5 if he retypes all the tables into Excel; they're most likely gonna be the only things in it that are interesting. Sorted, guvnor.

In future, adopt the rule that anything with a colon in the title is probably crap (at the very least, the author didn't have the imagination to come up with a decent title) and you'll reduce the load by roughly 80%. After a while, you can more or less immunise yourself to the danger of learning anything.

(this is how a *real* man deals with his book backlog ....)

Posted by: dsquared on May 11, 2004 09:09 AM

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Could some enterprising young economist take a hard look at the recent job stats (March and April) out of the Labor Dept. Is the data from BLS, BLS or just B.S.. I hope the computers aren't being fed happy numbers. I don't have the wherewithall to do this task but an enterprising young economist would! Wouldn't he.

Posted by: NM Puff on May 11, 2004 09:48 AM

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My mother did live in central Florida from when she was 9 to when she was 16...

Posted by: Brad DeLong on May 11, 2004 03:26 PM

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You need to move all those medieval poetry books to some other place.

Posted by: woodturtle on May 12, 2004 07:39 AM

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Perhaps something on the academagogue.blogspot.com site might help you cut back on sleep and actually catch up on the books you need to *read*! Good luck!

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