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Frank Stein rated a book 3 of 5 stars
Unleashing Change by Steven Kelman
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This book is a perfect example of how good insights and a decent narrative can be ruined by half-hearted attempts at social science.

Steve Kelman was a professor at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and author of the 1990 book "Procurement and P...more
Frank Stein rated a book 4 of 5 stars
Well Worth Saving by Price Fishback
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After the 2008 mortgage meltdown, many proposed a new Home Owners Loan Corporation (HOLC), such as the one created by President Roosevelt and Congress in 1933 to help save homeowners from foreclosure. This book, by three stellar historical economists...more
Frank Stein rated a book 4 of 5 stars
Law and Revolution, the Formation of the Western Legal Tradition by Harold J. Berman
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What a slog and what a wealth of ideas! This is both the most over-argued and most insightful book I've ever read on medieval or legal history, and though it's sometimes hard to separate the gold from the ore, its impossible to view Western history i...more
Frank Stein rated a book 3 of 5 stars
Agendas and Instability in American Politics by Frank R. Baumgartner
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It's worthwhile to note the things that are good about this book first. For one, it does offer a semi-convincing explanation of why long periods of stability in American politics are interrupted by periods of sudden and radical change, or "punctuated...more
Frank Stein rated a book 3 of 5 stars
Tally's Corner by Elliot Liebow
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There's so much in here that's insightful and honest and so much that seems flippant or irrelevant.

This is a classic work of anthropological participant-observer reporting, coming out of Eliot Liebow's graduate Ph.D., for which he spent over a year h...more
Frank Stein rated a book 3 of 5 stars
Industry, State, and Society in Stalin's Russia, 1926 1934 by David R. Shearer
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This book is a classic example of form follows function, or perhaps, form follows content. It's a bewildering and meandering book, about a bewildering and meandering subject: Soviet economic policy during Stalin's rise to power. Yet, through a detail...more
Frank Stein rated a book 4 of 5 stars
Creating the Administrative Constitution by Jerry L. Mashaw
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On one level this book is just a truncated recap of Leonard White's four volume series on the administrative policies of the US government up to 1900. Jerry Mashaw, a Yale law school professor, admits in his preface that he decided to begin the book...more
Frank Stein rated a book 3 of 5 stars
Millionaire by Janet Gleeson
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John Law has to be one of the most fascinating men of the 18th century. The son of self-made goldsmith in Scotland, he rose to be one of the richest people in Europe, then the most powerful man in France, and finally a hated bankrupt chased across th...more
Frank Stein rated a book 5 of 5 stars
There are No Children Here by Alex Kotlowitz
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I realize now I've been reading a lot of books about the old Chicago projects. Many of them tend to blur together into one tangled mess of shootings, pregnancies, drugs, and live-in fourth cousins, but this one really broke my heart.

Instead of trying...more
Frank Stein rated a book 4 of 5 stars
The banks of New-York, their dealers, the clearing house, and... by J. S. Gibbons
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I'll admit this book might be of more personal than general interest, but it is a pleasant surprise to find that a detailed description of banking practices written in 1859 can still be reasonably entertaining. With a liberal use of beautiful etching...more
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