Book Reviews

I plan to review a few books every now and then. Don't expect any negative reviews; while those can be funny and fun to write, I prefer to review the more important books here out of those few I have time to read (mostly on vacations).

The Poor will be Glad cover

The Poor will be Glad

Microfinance has become well-known in recent years as a very successful development approach for the third world. It has also gotten some negative press, as there have been a few abuses. This book is a very comprehensive explanation of the practical implementation of the microfinance approach from a Christian viewpoint. In only 250 pages it discusses practically every issue to some extent; the anecdotes and pictures add quite a bit to the presentation. I highly recommend the book, but if that's not enough to convince you, check out my review first.
Persistence of Poverty cover

The Persistence of Poverty

This book has been getting some good press lately. Its thesis is that some well-accepted economic dogma is wrong, not a surprise to those following the history of the discipline. The economics may not be of great concern to non-economists, but the implications of the book are potentially revolutionary. Yes, public policy might need some revisions. It seems to me that there are important implications in areas other than those he cites, particularly in understanding microfinancing and gambling. For more details, check out my review.

Straight and Narrow cover

Straight and Narrow?

The gay issue has had major impact on the election of 2004 and national and local politics recently. Thomas E. Schmidt has written a very interesting book from a Christian viewpoint, but loaded with references to the scientific literature. The book itself was written ten years ago, and so makes no reference to recent political events, but it is more relevant than ever. For more details, check out my review. If you like that, you can download an excellent chapter or buy the book.

Secret Agents cover

Secret Agents: The Menace of Emerging Infections

Have you heard about West Nile disease, mad cow disease, and E. Coli food poisoning? How about antibiotic-resistant TB and anthrax? Did you know that the flu of 1918 killed half a million Americans? Would you like to know a little more about these and other threats to our health? How about doing it through an anecdote-filled, fun-to-read book covering these and many other topics? Then check out my review of Madeline Drexler's book. I really think that everyone should be familiar with these issues, and this book is an excellent way to achieve that awareness.

Lexus & Olive Tree cover

The Lexus and the Olive Tree

This best seller discusses globalization, the world-wide system which has replaced the Cold War as the framework for international relations. It is packed with funny and informative anecdotes, as well as providing much food for thought about where we are and where we are going (together). Start with my review, but then by all means read the book!

System Error cover

System Error: Where Big Tech Went Wrong and How We Can Reboot

Big Tech has been rightly blamed for a lot of societal ills in recent years. Optimizing user attention with the ulterior motive of monetizing that attention is at the root of the problem, as this thought-provoking book from three Stanford professors explains. A slightly shorter version of this review appears in the March, 2022 issue of the ASA journal Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith. If you like my review, consider reading the book .

Page last updated November 28, 2022
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