May 13th, 2011


Natural Experiments of History

This collection of essays (scholarly papers, really) takes a look at various societies and asks the general question, "If two societies differ in some parameter, can we uncover correlated variables that provide a potential explanation?" With Jared Diamond as a co-editor, I hoped for more of the kind of thing that made Guns, Germs, and Steel & Collapse entertaining. But really, I found the vast majority of the book very dry and full of scholarly minutiae on topics that did not have great interest for me.