January 22, 2012


Michael Dirda, On Conan Doyle, or, The Whole Art of Storytelling (Princeton & Oxford; Princeton U. Press, 2012).

Geoffrey M. Hodgson & Thorbjorn Knudsen, Darwin's Conjecture: The Search for General Principles of Social and Economic Evolution (Chicago & London: U. Chicago Press, 2010) (From the bookjacket: "The principles of Darwinism, which involve variation, inheritance, and selection, are increasingly of interest to social scientist. But no one has provided a truly rigorous account of how the principles apply to the evolution of human society--until now." "In Darwin's Conje cture, Geoffrey M. Hodgson and Thorbjorn Knudsen reveal how these core concepts apply to a wide range of social phenomena, including business practices, legal systems, technology, and even science itself. They also critique some prominent objections to applying Darwin to social science, arguing that ultimately Darwinism functions as a general theoretical framework for stimulating further inquiry. Social scientists who adopt a Darwinian approach, they contend, can then use it to develop new explanatory theories and predictive models.").

Michel Pastoureau, The Bear: History of a Fallen King, translated from the French by George Holoch (Cambridge, Massachusetts; & London, England: Belknap/Harvard U. Press, 2011) ("Humankind and its societies, as I have pointed out throughout this book, seem haunted by the memory, more or less conscious, of the ancient times when space and prey was shared with bears, when they had the same fears and the same caves, sometimes the same dreams and the same beds. Indeed, humans and bears have always been inseparable, united by a kinship that gradually moved from nature to culture, and they have remained so down to the present." Id. at 252.).

Robert Pinsky, Selected Poems (New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2011).