Book Hints

A selective mention of books received


The baneful results of governments' reckless financing of ever-expanding programs are increasingly being recognized and coming under fire. Following on the heels of the popularization of the Laffer Curve, Jude Wanniski's analysis of history in the light of taxing policies, and New York's continuing troubles, Richard Rose and Guy Peters ask, Can Government Go Bankrupt? (New York: Basic Books, 1978, 283 pp., $12.50). Indeed it can, they answer; and what they call political bankruptcy follows close on the heels of overspending. For Henry Hazlitt, recognition of inflation and its havoc is nothing new. In 1960 he came out with What You Should Know about Inflation. When he set out to update it for the late 1970s, he ended up writing a new book—The Inflation Crisis, and How to Resolve It (New Rochelle, N.Y.: Arlington House, 1978, 192 pp., $8.95). And in New Profits from the Monetary Crisis (New York: William Morrow, 1978, 480 pp., $12.95), investment advisor and bestseller author Harry Browne tells why his previous advice on gold, sliver, and currencies is no longer applicable—and what should be done now.

World affairs come in for discussion in two recent books. In Never Again: Learning from America's Foreign Policy Failures (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1978, 151 pp., $10), defense analyst and libertarian sympathizer Earl Ravenal argues for a systems approach to international relations. And Carl Friedrich von Welzsacker, of the Max Planck Institute in Germany, has international economic and social relations revolving around power. But we need a transformation to "a global consciousness," he says, if war is to be prevented. It's all in The Politics of Peril: Economics, Society and the Prevention of War (New York: Seabury Press, 1978, 276 pp., $12.95).

A book that's unfortunately gone mostly unnoticed: William Davis's It's No Sin to Be Rich (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1976, 264 pp., $8.95). A writer and for many years the editor of Punch, Davis dissects modern attitudes toward wealth and offers a defense of capitalism as "the only political system that can uphold and protect individual rights." And what can that system nurture? Traditionally, the free-wheeling innovator. The flavor of it comes through in The Spirit of Enterprise, edited by Gregory B. Stone, illustrated (San Francisco: W.H. Freeman, 1978, 360 pp., $6.95 paper), which presents 131 of the more than 3,000 entries in the first Rolex Awards for Enterprise, a contest initiated by Montres Rolex S.A. of Geneva to encourage enterprising endeavors in three areas: applied science and invention, exploration and discovery, and the environment.

While the voter turnout for California's Proposition 13 was high, electoral participation in general has been low and sinking in the United States—a cause for endless commentary by pollsters and pundits and sociologists. Recent contributions include The Empty Polling Booth by journalist Arthur T. Hadley (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1978, 179 pp., $8.95) and several analyses of what it all means for the party system and the resulting government: Emerging Coalitions in American Politics, edited by Seymour Martin Lipset (San Francisco: Institute for Contemporary Studies, 1978, 519 pp., $8.95 paper), which includes an essay by Edward H. Crane III, former national chairman of the Libertarian Party; The New American Political System, edited by Anthony King (Washington, D.C.: American Enterprise Institute, 1978, 407 pp., $6.75 paper); and Where Have All the Voters Gone? by Everett Carll Ladd, Jr. (New York: W.W. Norton, 1978, 86 pp., $7.95). Of related interest is political scientist Edward Tufte's Political Control of the Economy (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1978,168 pp., $10). Tufte is particularly concerned with countering the effect of election-year political moves with respect to the economy.