Book Hints

A selective mention of books received


Some interesting data on the revolutionary days of America can be found in two books that draw heavily on actual notes and journals: The Revolution Remembered, edited by John C. Dann (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980, 446 pp., $20); and Liberty's Daughters, by Mary Beth Norton (Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1980, 384 pp., $15). A further examination of past lives, this time of one quite influential individual, is Nathaniel Weyl's Karl Marx: Racist (New Rochelle, N.Y.: Arlington House, 1980, 283 pp., $11.95). Weyl cites chapter and verse to show that Marx hated not only Jews but blacks and Slavic peoples, but he adds a lot of debatable psychohistory to explain it all.

John Locke, by Karen Iversen Vaughn, takes up the threads of a growing appreciation of Locke's contribution to economic science, a subject sadly neglected until now (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980, 178 pp., $13.50). Vaughn details Locke's economic theories as well as his theory of political society and defends Locke against some critics by arguing that he did not set out to present a unified theory of social interaction.

Another historic figure, the famous "single-tax" advocate, is appraised in Critics of Henry George, edited by Robert V. Andelson (Cranbury, N.J.: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 424 pp., $18), published to mark the centenary of the publication of Progress and Poverty. It's a collection of essays on George's critics, from the 19th century up to the present, and ending with an essay on Neo-Georgism by Andelson.

A more contemporary figure is studied in Encounters with Kennan (Totowa, N.J.: Frank Cass & Co., 1979, 218 pp., $19.50). Kennan is best known as the "Mr. X" who in 1947 wrote an article advocating a "doctrine of containment" toward the Soviet Union, a doctrine with which he has now become disenchanted; and this book is a series of conversations and comments by Kennan and others on various aspects of foreign affairs, all reprinted from the British magazine Encounter.

Speaking of disenchantment, in Electroshock (New York: Springer Publishing Co., 1979, 244 pp., $17.95), Peter R. Breggin examines the physiological, psychological, and ethical implications of electroshock therapy. And, on issues more metaphysical than medical, An Anthology of Atheism and Rationalism, edited by Gordon Stein (Buffalo, N.Y.: Prometheus Books, 1980, 351 pp., $16.95), reprints a selection of essays on the subject.

Like the atheist, the entrepreneur is often a subject of scorn. A pamphlet put out by the Institute of Economic Affairs, based on a seminar in October 1979, attempts to correct this distorted view of the Prime Mover of Progress (London, 1980, 147 pp., $12.50 paper). John Baden also sets out to correct some misconceptions on how best to protect the American environment in Earth Day Reconsidered (Washington, D.C.: The Heritage Foundation, 1980, 108 pp., $4.00 paper), edited by Baden. The different essays making up this booklet are the result of a Liberty Fund conference organized by the Center for Political Economy and Natural Resources at Montana State University. "This book is one of advocacy," says the introduction. "It advocates environmental quality, economic efficiency, and it especially advocates individual freedom."

Another collection of essays, Philosophy and Economic Theory (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1979, 177 pp., $5.95 paper), edited by Frank Hahn and Martin Hollis, appears in the Oxford Readings in Philosophy Series. The questions considered in reprinted essays by Milton Friedman, Lionel Robbins, Ludwig von Mises, Kenneth Arrow, John Rawls, and others center on methodology, rationality, and values in the science of economics.