Why Income Inequality Matters for Global Growth and Trade

Matthew C. Klein— The distribution of income has macroeconomic consequences. Under certain conditions, income concentration (rising inequality) can make society as a whole more prosperous. Other times, such as in the past few decades, however, high or rising inequality makes everyone worse off than they otherwise would be. The trade

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Tootle the Engine and Character Formation

David Riesman with Nathan Glazer and Reuel Denney— Tootle the Engine (text by Gertrude Crampton, pictures by Tibor Gergely) is a popular and in many ways charming volume in the “Little Golden Books” series. It is a cautionary tale even though it appears to be simply one of the many

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Birding from Home

John M. Marzluff— I’ve been birding daily since entering quarantine at my home in western Washington. My bird feeder is full-frame from my office window, my wooded backyard offers a bit of solace and place to stretch out, and my deck commands a view of the open sky. From these

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Architecture of the Islamic West: Innovative, Impressive and … Overlooked?

Some of the most outstanding examples of world architecture, such as the Mosque of Córdoba, the ceiling of the Cappella Palatina in Palermo and the Alhambra Palace in Granada, belong to the Western Islamic tradition. This architectural style flourished for over a thousand years along the southern and western shores

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Land Tenure and Inequality

James C. Scott— A hypothetical case of customary land tenure practices may help demonstrate how difficult it is to assimilate such practices to the barebones schema of a modern cadastral map. The patterns I will describe are an amalgam of practices I have encountered in the literature of or in

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Books on the History of Race Relations

We have all heard the news, read the stories, watched the footage—America has reached a crossroads on racial injustice. The path forward may be challenging, but as a contributor to the global understanding of human affairs, we hope our books will help inform the public consciousness and promote tolerance for

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A Matter of Dignity

Donna Hicks— Like so many of us, I am deeply saddened and outraged by the brutal killing of George Floyd by members of the Minneapolis police. The jaw dropping video showing the fatal actions of Derek Chauvin, while George pleaded for his life, were beyond comprehension. What happened to Derek

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Can Engineering Ethics Be Taught?

Deborah G. Johnson— In 2010, after a two-year inquiry, a judge concluded that Canadian prime minister Brian Mulroney had acted inappropriately when he accepted large amounts of cash from a German Canadian arms lobbyist. The judge suggested that all public servants should get ethics training. Peter Worthington, a columnist for

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The Discovery of Merlin

Anne Lawrence-Mathers— Merlin the Magician, like his name, was a creation of the twelfth century. This is no attempt to deny the existence of earlier Welsh sources, but Myrddin the princely bard of the Cymry, driven mad by a disastrous battle and expressing himself in cryptic poetry, needs to be

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