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Reversing the Freight Train

Geoff Mann: The Case for Degrowth, 18 August 2022

Tomorrow’s Economy: A Guide to Creating Healthy Green Growth 
by Per Espen Stoknes.
MIT, 360 pp., £15.99, April, 978 0 262 54385 9
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Less Is More: How Degrowth Will Save the World 
by Jason Hickel.
Windmill, 318 pp., £10.99, February 2021, 978 1 78609 121 5
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Post Growth: Life after Capitalism 
by Tim Jackson.
Polity, 228 pp., £14.99, March 2021, 978 1 5095 4252 9
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The Case for Degrowth 
by Giorgos Kallis, Susan Paulson, Giacomo D’Alisa and Federico Demaria.
Polity, 140 pp., £9.99, September 2020, 978 1 5095 3563 7
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... from both sides. That will require more politics, less programme and a lot of humility.Listen to Geoff Mann talk to James Butler about this piece on the LRB ...

Check Your Spillover

Geoff Mann: The Climate Colossus, 10 February 2022

The Spirit of Green: The Economics of Collisions and Contagions in a Crowded World 
by William D. Nordhaus.
Princeton, 355 pp., £25, May 2021, 978 0 691 21434 4
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... the colossal externality, that strategy was too little even before it was too late.Listen to Geoff Mann discuss this piece with James Butler on the LRB ...

Give your mom a gun

Geoff Mann: America’s Favourite Gun, 7 March 2024

American Gun: The True Story of the AR-15 
by Cameron McWhirter and Zusha Elinson.
Farrar, Straus, 473 pp., £25, September 2023, 978 0 374 10385 9
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Gun Country: Gun Capitalism, Culture and Control in Cold War America 
by Andrew C. McKevitt.
North Carolina, 319 pp., £24.95, November 2023, 978 1 4696 7724 8
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... More than​ 43,000 people were killed with guns in the United States in 2023. That’s around one death every twelve minutes. More than half of those deaths were suicides or accidents, almost 19,000 were homicides, and guns were among the leading causes of death among children and teenagers. According to the Gun Violence Archive, which defines a mass shooting as an incident resulting in the death or injury of four or more people, there were 656 mass shootings in the US last year ...

The Inequality Engine

Geoff Mann, 4 June 2020

Capital and Ideology 
by Thomas Piketty, translated by Arthur Goldhammer.
Harvard, 1150 pp., £31.95, March, 978 0 674 98082 2
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... With​ Paris still vibrating in the aftermath of the Commune, Emile Boutmy and a group of intellectuals founded the École Libre des Sciences Politiques in 1872. The school was a direct response to the Commune, to France’s humiliation in the Franco-Prussian War, and to a sense that its ruling class was bereft of talent, industry and imagination, its imperial and cultural mission a shambles ...

Keynesian in a Foxhole

Geoff Mann: The Monetarist Position, 13 April 2023

A Fiscal and Monetary History of the United States, 1961-2021 
by Alan Blinder.
Princeton, 432 pp., £35, October 2022, 978 0 691 23838 8
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... On​ 14 November 1968, New York University hosted a debate between the economists Walter Heller and Milton Friedman at the Graduate School of Business, a block from Wall Street. The event was advertised as a confrontation between two men engaged in a war for the soul of American economic policy. In retrospect, it might not sound like a clash of the titans – Milton Friedman versus who? – but in 1968 Walter Heller was a well-known figure ...

Treading Thin Air

Geoff Mann: Catastrophic Thinking, 7 September 2023

... It’s​ easy to forget that this isn’t the first time the world has seemed to teeter on a precipice. ‘To the question how shall we ever be able to extricate ourselves from the obvious insanity of this position, there is no answer,’ Hannah Arendt wrote fifty years ago, reflecting on the nuclear arms race between the US and the Soviet Union. Then, as now, an apocalyptic mood had become quite normal ...

Tempestuous Seasons

Adam Tooze: Keynes in China, 13 September 2018

In the Long Run We Are All Dead: Keynesianism, Political Economy and Revolution 
by Geoff Mann.
Verso, 432 pp., £20, January 2017, 978 1 78478 599 4
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... controls on banking and financial markets. Keynes is the godfather of policy activism, but, as Geoff Mann argues in his brilliant book In the Long Run We Are All Dead, he is also the best hope of those who want to keep the show on the road by whatever means necessary. He promised both the avoidance of disaster and the preservation of the status ...

How Dare He?

Jenny Turner: Geoff Dyer, 11 June 2009

Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi 
by Geoff Dyer.
Canongate, 295 pp., £12.99, April 2009, 978 1 84767 270 4
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... I had envied them sometimes,’ Geoff Dyer writes in Out of Sheer Rage, his 1997 book about D.H. Lawrence. ‘Those in work, those with jobs. Especially on a Friday night when, relieved that it was over for another week, they could down tools and look forward to two days of uninterrupted idleness.’ He’s sitting in hot sunshine outside a café in Taormina, supposedly researching his subject’s ‘savage pilgrimage’ but actually getting on with what turns out to be the book’s real business, which is to obsess at length about what he himself, writer, flâneur, free-floating stoner, is supposedly doing with his life ...

Not So Special

Richard J. Evans: Imitating Germany, 7 March 2024

Germany in the World: A Global History, 1500-2000 
by David Blackbourn.
Liveright, 774 pp., £40, July 2023, 978 1 63149 183 2
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... values. David Blackbourn took the lead in dismantling this paradigm. With Geoff Eley, he wrote The Peculiarities of German History: Bourgeois Society and Politics in 19th-Century Germany (1984), which attacked the new orthodoxy on a number of fronts. Blackbourn’s main contribution was to demolish the argument that after failing to ...

The cow, the shoe, then you

Philip Oltermann: Hans Fallada, 8 March 2012

More Lives than One: A Biography of Hans Fallada 
by Jenny Williams.
Penguin, 320 pp., £12.99, February 2012, 978 0 241 95267 2
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A Small Circus 
by Hans Fallada, translated by Michael Hofmann.
Penguin, 577 pp., £20, February 2012, 978 0 14 119655 8
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... Then there’s Doctor Reichhardt, the artist imprisoned for his ideals, but he is more of a Thomas Mann-style grand bourgeois. Perhaps the multiple self-portraits make sense: there’s always more than one Hans Fallada. In Fallada’s 1942 memoir, Damals bei uns daheim (Our Home in Days Gone By), he describes himself as a Pechvogel, an unlucky devil, who fell ...

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