This list is very, very late so let’s get straight to it.
1. Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty.
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
Set 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
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
I woke up this morning thinking about Brexit. Not about the geopolitical or financial impact but what it means for my politics. As far as non-Ghanaian politics is concerned my sympathies usually lie with candidates or causes supported by lower-income people and the intellectual left.
In the case of the UK Labour election I backed Jeremy Corbyn because Continue reading
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
Thomas 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
I 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
I don’t remember where I first heard about this debate between James Baldwin, novelist and civil rights activist and William F. Buckley, founder of the National Review and the man who more than any other has shaped conservative thought in the USA, but I’ve been Continue reading
If every person had to do what was right, the odds are that each person would do things differently from the other. And that is understandable. Morality is a puzzle with many scattered components that humans must fit together into a neat pattern while blindfolded. Even worse, Continue reading
Superhero movies and cartoons have mostly been the way in which I got to know about superheroes growing up. Like most children, I saw superheroes as representatives of good fighting the evil that attempts to destroy the earth and the innocent helpless humans.
Becoming interested in politics made me realise that many of these superheroes had backgrounds or ideologies which shaped their worldview and determined who they took on. In this post I briefly analyse the backgrounds and ideals of five superheroes Continue reading
Just this morning, I was directed by a friend to a rant by Will Antonin on Twitter in response to a piece written by Ta-Nehisi Coates in 2012. In it Ta-Nehisi admits not knowing Augustine and having not read Nietzsche, Twain, Salinger, Hemingway, Cervantes, Heller and a few others. He referred to “pitfalls in his education” and then revealed Continue reading