Browser Daily Newsletter 1322

Hic sunt camelopardus: this historical edition of The Browser is presented for archaeological purposes; links and formatting may be broken.

Inheritance: Edward St Aubyn

Ian Parker | New Yorker | 26th May 2014

Profile of the novelist as “monster of snobbery”, recovering drug addict, "sorrowful egomaniac" and survivor of an extraordinary life combining inheritance, abuse, hedonism, eventual literary success. Koestler and Ayer were family friends; the Duc de Talleyrand a step-grandparent. St Aubyn has "the unhurried accent of English privilege that is part of his inheritance from a father who tortured him" (12,500 words)

Schumpeter’s “Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy”

Steve Laniel | Steve Reads | 25th May 2014

If you read all the way though Schumpeter's classic text, instead of just the first few pages about creative destruction, you discover he's smarter than the caricature in most ways, but very wrong in others. He anticipates Christensen and Taleb in seeing that the real threat to any given business is not competition, but disruption; monopolies are rarely sustainable. He also thinks, however, that capitalism is doomed (1,400 words)

Some Things To Consider If Spain Leaves The Euro

Michael Pettis | China Financial Markets | 25th May 2014

The results of the European Parliament elections signal a new act in the euro drama. The European Central Bank has just about held the eurozone together so far; but politics may now tear it apart, as peripheral countries tire of paying for Germany's trade surplus through their own high employment, and radical parties increase their power. Here, a scenario of how the political reaction might play out in Spain (4,150 words)

The Things We Wrote About

Michael Lokesson | LA Review Of Books | 26th May 2014

Conversation with Phil Klay, ex-marine whose volume of short stories, "Redeployment", has been acclaimed as the best fiction yet to come out of past decade's American wars. "Fiction is ideal for trying to get at the unique stresses of counter-insurgency. The difficulty of telling civilian from insurgent, the threat of IEDs, the bizarre feeling of returning to American society — you need to get inside people’s heads to really get at that" (2,100 words)

Rosemary Tonks – A Mystery Solved

Jonathan Law | The Dabbler | 26th May 2014

The "strange and brilliant" writer Rosemary Tonks disappeared in the 1970s after publishing several novels and two slim volumes of poetry, "Notes on Cafes and Bedrooms" (1963) and "Iliad of Broken Sentences" (1967). She was "the finest poet of London life since Eliot". Following her death last month ( , more is being learned about her later life. She went blind, found religion, and moved to Bournemouth (2,730 words)

Have White Americans Benefited From Slavery?

Tyler Cowen | Marginal Revolution | 25th May 2014

Arguments for reparations inspired by Ta-Nehisi Coates's recent essay ( exaggerate white gains from slavery. "Most living white Americans would be wealthier had this nation not enslaved African-Americans and thus most whites have lost from slavery too, albeit much less than blacks have lost". Please note: this not meant as an argument against the moral case for reparations, regardless of the outcome for whites (746 words)

Video of the day:  The President Takes A Walk

What to expect: Barack Obama skips the motorcade, walks down the National Mall; you can imagine the rest

Thought for the day:

"War has become a luxury that only small nations can afford" — Hannah Arendt

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