Dear FiveBooks Readers,
Also this week, have a look at our Christmas gift suggestions - hundreds
of fantastic books suggested for their timeless brilliance, not because
they've got a Christmassy cover and are stacked near the counter. If you're
shopping for other things over Christmas, please go on to Amazon via
_Barry Eichengreen on The Euro_
Monday, November 22nd
As Ireland prepares for an EU and IMF bailout, former IMF senior policy
advisor Barry Eichengreen says Europe needs stronger and more centralised
financial regulation. What happened in Ireland and Spain, he says, was a
finance-driven housing boom. The bust could have been stopped by better
regulation. ‘Nobody said it would be easy, and nobody was right.’ Five books
on the Euro.
_Dr Patrick Porter on the Rise and Fall of America_
Tuesday, November 23rd
The defence expert says the problem with being a superpower is that every
time there is a crisis America is expected to solve it. Doing this is
dangerous because becoming an empire makes it harder to be a republic. It
results in things like the rise of an imperial presidency and the erosion of
civil liberties. He chooses five books on America’s rise and fall.
_Martin Sixsmith on Why Russia isn’t a Democracy_
Wednesday, November 24th
Former BBC Moscow correspondent Martin Sixsmith says the verdict in the
Khodorkovsky trial on 15 December will be a litmus test for Russia’s
liberals. If he gets the full 14 years then Putin’s steel hand rules. If he
gets a lesser sentence a barely perceptible change might be in the offing.
He chooses books from Tolstoy to Solzhnitsyn on Russia's struggle with
_Rabbi Lionel Blue on Happy Endings_
Thursday, November 25th
Rabbi Lionel Blue says heaven exerts a force like gravity. ‘You don’t see it
but it pulls you towards it. Surely. And I think heaven pulls us all towards
it. If we consent to let ourselves be drawn we can taste heaven in this
life. That is, I think, our final home.’
He chooses books with happy endings, including a Mills & Boon heroine,
_Gentlemen Prefer Blondes_ and the books that turned him towards religion.
The kingdom of heaven, he says, is not a fairy tale – it is reality.
_Dan Subotnik on Rape_
Friday, November 26th
Current law says rape is not rape unless the woman resists physically. The
New York law professor says gaining ‘affirmative consent’ before sex is a
good idea that can’t work. It goes against the psychological way in which we
play at sex, he says. He chooses five books on the politics of rape.
_Barry Forshaw on Film Noir_
Saturday, November 27th
Film writer Barry Forshaw plunges us into a world of dangerous women in
ankle bracelets, flawed heroes silhouetted against a dark rain-swept street,
smoky jazz scores and very unhappy endings. Everything you need to know
about film noir, right here.
Don't miss P.J. O'Rourke's comments on Sweden, smoking and the absurdities
of government intervention - today on FiveBooks.
Have a great week.
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