RaveThe Wall Street Journal... an illuminating biography that captures Mr. Brand’s rich and varied life ... It is a challenge to capture the essence of a protean life while the subject is still writing the script, but Mr. Markoff, a longtime tech journalist for the New York Times, has done it beautifully.
RaveThe Wall Street JournalMr. Deer submits the facts candidly ... Mr. Deer’s jeremiad against Mr. Wakefield reveals that the linking of vaccines to autism was not a matter of unconscious bias, data snooping, Texas sharpshooting or other replication-crisis factors. Rather, Mr. Deer convincingly shows that it was \'an elaborate fraud,\' motivated by money and fame and enabled by parents understandably distraught over the cognitive impairment of their children ... should put an end to what remains of the antivaxxer movement—at least the one associated with Andrew Wakefield—but, if anything, it will only serve to bolster the status of their martyr. Throughout the 2020 pandemic, we’ve seen similar arguments made against the anticipated Covid-19 vaccines, with the usual conspiracy theories fueling paranoia. I’m not sure that history and science will be our guide to a rational response, but Brian Deer’s book is a model of how it could.
RaveThe Wall Street JournalDeeply researched and artfully written ... The message here is that recovery is as important as any other aspect of athletics, making this book a must-read for all athletes, from the professional to the weekend warrior.
PositiveThe Wall Street JournalBesides providing new ammunition for optimists, Mr. Easterbrook’s aim in this important book is to identify what we’ve been doing right and to consider what we can do about the still pressing problems we face, most notably the 'impossible' challenges of inequality and climate change—along with health-care costs, nuclear proliferation and others. These puzzles are solvable, he insists, if we make the effort ... Mr. Easterbrook wants to make optimism intellectually respectable again, and he has done so with cogent arguments and bountiful evidence. 'History is not deterministic, teleological, or controlled in any manner,' the author concludes. Yet he shows that 'history has an arrow' and—thanks to human ingenuity and effort—'the arrow of history points forever upward.'
RaveThe New York Times Book ReviewScience needs its poets, and Alan Lightman is the perfect amalgam of scientist (an astrophysicist) and humanist (a novelist who’s also a professor of the practice of humanities at M.I.T.), and his latest book, Searching for Stars on an Island in Maine, is an elegant and moving paean to our spiritual quest for meaning in an age of science ... Ultimately, scientists must convince other scientists that their theory of the absolute is true (or at least not false), and to do so they must leave the mystical realm of personal experience and return to the lab. But Lightman’s aim in this insightful and provocative musing is to remind us of the centrality of subjectivity in all human endeavors, including those of science.
PositiveThe Wall Street JournalEach chapter in Mr. Papineau’s engaging book takes a look at a philosophical problem presented by a sport, and links it to phenomena in the wider world ... Mr. Papineau also applies economic concepts, like Coase’s theorem—stating that free markets with well-defined rules lead to relative efficiency—to sports, in which the best players migrate to the best teams and earn the most money unless an artificial mechanism like a draft is devised so as to level the playing field. Another lesson that Mr. Papineau’s book imparts is that athletic contests are not just another form of play. Most people want more than just a happy existence. We want challenges to face and obstacles to overcome. Our ancestors got more of those from daily life than we do today, so we need artificial trials. Sports are, in that sense, the very embodiment of the human striving that brings meaning to life.
PositiveThe Wall Street Journal[Kunitz] artfully narrates the history of physical conditioning and our ever-shifting understanding of what it means to be fit.
RaveThe Wall Street JournalThis penetrating book is Mr. Ridley’s best and most important work to date, managing to integrate multiple sciences with political and economic theory, cultural studies and social policy.