Sunday, August 16, 2009

Reading Rat August 16, 2009

Updates to my recommended reading ... first postings on these authors:

The professionally managed corporation was a new type of institution. Sloan and [Donaldson] Brown wanted a description of its functioning to bequeath to their successors. Drucker wanted to explore the responsibilities of such an institution, and what rendered its enormous authority legitimate – questions his paymasters did not much wish to raise. GM ignored Drucker’s book. --John Kay, Luminaries divided in their opinion but united in their genius, discussion The Concept of the Corporation, by Peter Drucker, and My Years at General Motors, by Alfred Sloan, The Financial Times, November 29, 2005 [See recommended reading by Peter F. Drucker]

her work was fueled by her obsessive interest in her own story and her knack for improving on the facts with every new version of the same event. --Edmund White, In Love with Duras, by Edmund White, The New York Review of Books, June 26, 2008, review of Wartime Writings: 1943–1949, by Marguerite Duras, edited by Sophie Bogaert and Olivier Corpet, and translated by Linda Coverdale, The War: A Memoir, by Marguerite Duras, translated by Barbara Bray, and The North China Lover, by Marguerite Duras, translated by Leigh Hafrey [See recommended reading by Marguerite Duras]

Enter the well-known “secularization theory” that reigned almost unchallenged until the 1970s. In perhaps its most influential form, it was propounded by Max Weber (1864–1920) and, to put it too simply, claimed that there is a necessary connection between modernity and religion: As modernity advances, religion retreats. This near-inexorable process is called secularization. --Richard John Neuhaus, Secularizations, First Things, February 2009 [See recommended reading by Max Weber]

Georg Cantor, a German mathematician, had developed a “transfinite arithmetic” to calculate with the infinitely many infinities he had discovered, each infinitely larger than the previous one.[] his work was a “disease” from which mathematics would surely be cured some day, thought French mathematician Henri Poincare. --The Economist, When 1, 2, 3... is not enough: Arguments over what counts as a number, December 30, 2008 [See recommended reading by Georg Cantor]

It seemed to show how one could penetrate into a deeper reality simply by thinking about ideas, abstractions that moved and unfolded through time. --Hugh Heclo, The Harvard guide to influential books: 113 distinguished Harvard professors discuss the books that have helped to shape their thinking (1986), edited by C. Maury Devine, Kim D. Parrish, and Claudia Dissell, p. 104, on The Philosophy of Right [See recommended reading by G. W. F. Hegel]

Updates to my recommended reading ... added to posts on these authors:

Kevin J. Hayes on the life and libraries of Thomas Jefferson

Virginia Postrel on Friedrich Hayek

Elizabeth Station on collecting the letters of Samuel Beckett

Leszek Kolakowski on the legacy of Karl Marx

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