Magazine December 31, 2010, Issue

Birth of the Modern

Shoppers pass a jewelery store on “Black Friday” at a high-end shopping mall in Tysons Corner, Va., November 26, 2010. (Jason Reed/Reuters)
Bourgeois Dignity: Why Economics Can’t Explain the Modern World, by Deirdre N. McCloskey (Chicago, 504 pp., $35)

How and why did modernity originate? The question — considered by many to be settled — remains actually a very open one. Economic historian Deirdre McCloskey is writing a series of books, of which Bourgeois Dignity is the second, that stake out a position on it. The volume can also serve as a useful primer for those who are not familiar with the field: It provides an overview of the issue, followed by a brief but adequate summary of all the views proposed by others, and her argument as to why each proposed answer is inadequate (along with a thought

In This Issue



Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

Salt of the Earth

On November 2, the American electorate delivered a stinging rebuke to Pres. Barack Obama and the Democrats. According to a post-election survey conducted for the Faith and Freedom Coalition by ...
Politics & Policy

Teapot Tempest

If you wanted a vivid sense of the scene in 1980s Pakistan and Afghanistan when the United States was sponsoring the mujahideen insurgency against the USSR, you could not have ...


Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ “I had a good time governing,” said Bill Clinton at the presidential press conference he took over. You don’t say . . . ‐ President Obama has not taken the ...


Anthony Burgess, the brilliant British novelist remembered for the misunderstood A Clockwork Orange, also wrote a spy novel. It was the height of the Bond era, and he couldn’t resist ...


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