Category Archives: Book Summaries

The Myth of Meritocracy and the Structure of Luck

This recent Thinking Allowed podcast summarises a recently published book –Success and Luck: Good Fortune and the Myth of Meritocracy by Robert H. Frank The key message of the book is that almost everyone who succeeds (in education, or business … Continue reading

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Erich Fromm’s ‘Fear of Freedom’- A Summary

A summary of Erich Fromm’s ‘Fear of Freedom’, first published in the UK in 1942 This book is an analysis of the ‘character structure of modern man’, a work in progress published because of the urgent needs of the times. … Continue reading

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Dambisa Moyo’s Dead Aid – A Summary and Criticism

In this blog post I summarise Dambisa Moyo’s views on the problems with Aid as a strategy for development – she is talking about Official Development Aid rather than Emergency relief aid. I’m mainly drawing from her writing at the … Continue reading

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Why Marx Was Right

Why Marx was Right refutes ten criticisms levelled at Marx and Marxism over the years by drawing on material from Marx and Engel’s original writings and by looking at how Marxism has evolved over the last century and a half. … Continue reading

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Giddens – Fate, Risk and Security

A Summary of Anthony Giddens’ Modernity and Self Identity, Chapter 4 – Fate, Risk and Security Fate, Fatalism, Fateful Moments To live in the universe of high modernity is to live in an environment of chance and risk. The future … Continue reading

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The End of Poverty by Jeffrey Sachs – A Summary of Chapters 1-4

  NB –  You might also like this summary of Chapter 8 – Which focuses on AIDs and malaria in Africa and ‘Jeffrey Sach’s case for International Development Aid, a summary of chapters 12-16 It would be useful for students … Continue reading

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Tyranny of the Moment (A Summary/ Notes)

A summary of/ notes on Tyranny of the Moment: Fast and Slow Time in the Information Age by Thomas Hylland Eriksen (2001) The general focus of the book is on why social life has become so hurried and accelerated and … Continue reading

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Age of Absurdity – Why Modern Life Makes it Hard to be Happy

Michael Foley: The Age of Absurdity – Why Modern Life Makes it Hard to Be Happy (2010) Most of what modern society tells you about how to be happy is wrong – at least according to a wealth of psychological … Continue reading

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Sociological Perspectives on Identity (1)

A brief summary of Steph Lawler’s ‘Identity’ – Chapter One – Stories, Memories, Identities Introduction: living lives and telling stories ‘We endlessly tell stories, both about ourselves and others, and it is through these stories that we make sense of … Continue reading

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The Hidden Privileges of Identity: On Being Middle Class

A summary of Steph Lawler’s ‘Sociological Perspectives on Identity’, chapter 7 During summer 2000 and in January 2001, there were two separate community-protests over the housing of child-offenders in the local community, one in a working-class area, by working-class people, … Continue reading

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