Wayne Stargardt

Book Reviews

I write detailed reviews of books that I find interesting and important, and about which I want to make a reasoned evaluation. I post those reviews under my name on Amazon. This page is a selected list of the book reviews I have published, with links to the full reviews on Amazon.

The Hundred-Year Marathon
by Michael Pillsbury

A Sobering Assessment of China's Threat
Review published December 30, 2021

In this book Michael Pillsbury unveils China's long-term strategy for world domination as a blunt warning to his fellow citizens in the United States, the primary target of China's ambitions...

Why Did Europe Conquer the World
(The Princeton Economic History of the Western World Book 54)
by Philip T. Hoffman

A thought-provoking but flawed explanation
Review published September 21, 2021

In this book Mr. Hoffman purports to explain why the Western European countries were able to conquer teh other areas of the world over the four centuries that began with the 16th century....

Bourgeois Equality
by Deirdre Nansen McCloskey

Why The World Suddenly Became Rich
Reviewed published June 10, 2021

In this book Deirdre McCloskey answers my questions about why the Great Enrichment occurred, why it occurred originally in Northwestern Europe, and why it didn't occur as dramatically in many other parts of the world, even today....

The Great Leveler
The Great Leveler:  Violence and the History of Inequality from the Stonge Age to the Twenty-First Century
(The Princeton Economic History of the Western World Book 74)
by Walter Scheidel

A Comprehensive Historical Review of Material Inequality
Review published May 27, 2021

In this book Walter Scheidel competently explores the history of cataclysmic events that have "leveled" the inequality of wealth and income in societies....

The Power of Productivity
by William W. Lewis

The Fundamental Cause of National Prosperity
Review published November 1, 2011

A foundation of Lewis' innovative views in this book is that understanding a country's overall productivity can only come from examining the productivity of each of the major economic sectors of a national economy....

A Tour of the Calculus
by David Berlinski

An Informative Tour
Review published August 10, 2010

I studied a year of calculus in high school and four semesters at MIT, on at the graduate school level...

The Rise of the Western World
by Douglas C. North and Robert Paul Thomas

The Real Foundation for Economic Growth
Review published July 25, 2010

This is my favorite type of history book in that it looks at the drivers of historical development and events through the lens of economic analysis....

See full review

The Age of Entanglement
by Louisa Gilder

Enjoyable and engrossing history of modern science
Review published March 21, 2009

Some of the events described by Ms. Gilder in her history of quantum theory had not yet occurred when I studied undergraduate physics at MIT almost 40 years ago. The relatively new concept of engablement had not made its way into the undergraduate curriculum, for instance. So for me, Ms. Gilder's book was an excellent, approachable review of the basic concepts of quantum theory....