Books I read in 2016

This list is very, very late so let’s get straight to it.

1. Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty.

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A brilliant analysis of the distribution of global wealth and income across centuries. Piketty argues that because the return to capital (r) is greater than the economic and population growth rate (g) then wealth will continue to accumulate to the holders of capital. He proposes a global wealth tax to prevent this. See my full review of it here.

 

2. The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma

the-fishermen-coverSet in 1990s Nigeria, the Fishermen is about four close brothers whose life and their father’s dreams fall apart after a man with mental illness prophesies that the eldest of them will be killed by one of them. A nice mixture of magical realism and historical fiction, these little boys are Continue reading

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In search of authenticity

In March this year Elnathan John, the Nigerian author of Born on a Tuesday, was in Ghana to promote his novel. I attended a reading he held at Vidya bookstore in Osu and I had a fun time. When we had the chance to ask him questions, a lot of them focused on his identity and the experience of growing up as a minority in Northern Nigeria (I admit I asked that question). One woman specifically asked him whether he felt the tale of a Hausa Muslim in Northern Nigeria was his to tell  Continue reading

Is the left waging a war on free speech?

Everyone interested in social discussions online has heard of the war on free speech. Famous people who have made these accusations include Maajid Nawaz, Sam Harris, Jonathan Chait, Richard Dawkins, Stephen Fry and Bill Maher.

If I understand the complaints correctly, there is a war on two fronts. The first front is the refusal of some segments of the left to tolerate dissenting views, often on gender, race and religion, or not to accept the views from people outside of the gender, race or religion being discussed. The second front is Continue reading

What exactly is an enabling environment?

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An entrepreneur, Naa, is deciding to expand her business beyond her country. She has two choices – Country A and Country B. Both countries are developing countries but they have two distinct ideas of how to progress and they’re both interested in creating an enabling environment for business.

Country A believes the responsibility of the state is to provide infrastructure and security and to allow the private sector to do the rest.

The business Continue reading

Book review: Capital in the 21st Century by Thomas Piketty

Thomas Piketty, French economist and academic, poses in his book-lined office at the French School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences (EHESS), in ParisThomas Piketty is a French economist and professor whose book, Capital in the 21st Century, published in French in 2013 and English in 2014, became an international bestseller. Piketty presents the most extensive review of wealth distribution ever attempted. Drawing from history and literature, he shows that the wealth of the world from antiquity has mostly been concentrated in the top centile (1%).

It started from the concentration of agricultural land read more 

 

Books I read in 2015

fireI read 25 out of 30 books planned. Not bad considering that I’ve been busier this year than last. Also I read some books I’d been meaning to read for some time so that’s another positive thing. Here’s the list from 2013 and the 2014 list.

In summary I read 9 non-fiction books, 16 fiction, 8 by women, 17 by men, 10 African, 4 African-American and 11 others. Now, to this year’s list in the order in which they were read. Continue reading

Book review: The Conscience of a Liberal by Paul Krugman

The_Conscience_of_a_Liberal_coverPaul Krugman won the Nobel prize for Economics in 2008 and was ranked the most influential liberal in the US media by Forbes in 2009. He is one of the leading economic voices in the world and arguably the most prominent one against the wave of austerity that followed the financial crisis of 2007.

The Conscience of a Liberal was published in 2007 and is essentially a justification of Krugman’s politics. The book is deliberately titled Continue reading

John Mahama’s campaign is flawed

jmWith the party primaries of the NDC coming off on November 21, one cannot help but notice the several posters, banners and billboards bearing the faces and slogans of men and women hoping to get into or remain in parliament. There are several competitive match ups in the primaries that call for this level of campaigning however, the most visible campaign belongs to the contestant in the easiest primary race Continue reading