New Strategy: Advertise My Reading

In an effort to actually get through some of my reading, I’m going to try what aspiring marathoners are supposed to do: tell people.  The idea is that if you tell people you’re going to run a marathon, you’ll feel accountable to those people–“Hey, how’s that marathon training going?”  Or something like that.  Maybe it’ll work for me; I also hope that I’ll get some feedback on what other people think of what I’m reading.  So: today’s list.

  1. Brad Delong’s review of James Scott’s Seeing Like a State
  2. From Crooked Timber, Henry’s thoughts on Scott’s book
  3. The Nation‘s 7 April 2008 issue on the New Deal
  4. Spencer Ackerman’s TAP article on “The Obama Doctrine”
  5. Thomas Edsall’s 1991 Atlantic Monthly article “Race”
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5 thoughts on “New Strategy: Advertise My Reading

  1. But accountability is what it’s all about. How’d it go? Did you get to it all?

    Mmm-mmm. I do love me some Seeing Like a State.

  2. Z: Good to see you! And thanks for holding me accountable. I got through the reading (it actually took less time than I had anticipated), and here’s my quick wrap-up:
    1 & 2: Delong says that Scott is like F. Hayek. Henry says that’s not true, that there’s actually much more to Scott. My say: Seeing Like a State is delicious reading, although it tastes a little like J. Jacobs with a dash of M. Foucault. Scott’s trick is that he brings it all together in a tasty stew which we really all have to try, but which shouldn’t substitute for a well-balanced meal of state theory. Metaphor over, promise.
    3: The Nation on the New Deal: it was great and we should have another one. No shit, Sherlock.
    4: Ackerman on Obama: his foreign policy is genius because it gets the Dems away from having to always play the “We’re as tough as Republicans” game. Excellent.
    5: T. Edsall on Race in America: It’s important. A good article, although I started to lose interest toward the end. My bad.

  3. Nice.

    on 1 & 2: But well-balanced meals are often constructed by the state, and as such are unable to properly adapt to the, um, contingencies and particularities of contingent and particular diets! Ok, you’re right, let it go.

    on 3: a better version of Thomas Dewey’s “The TVA was a marvellous thing and I’m going to make sure that nothing like it ever happens again”

  4. Wait, this is your reading list? I so wish my daily reading list consisted of articles and book reviews on blogs. ABD, are we? What about your dissertation? No reading for that?

    Not that it’s a bad list, of course. I’m just jealous is all…

    Great blog, btw!

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