Friday, January 19, 2007

Letter to the Economist on "Poland, a cradle of anti-semitism"

Below the letter I sent to the Economist. It is hard to imagine how ignorant these guys are. One would think that such an eminent weekly would not throw heavy accusations so lightly. I was wrong. It's a shame. They should apologize.

Dear Economist:In your article “Diaspora blues” (January 13, 2007) you claim that Poland was the cradle of anti-semitism. This is not true. Until its partition among the neighboring powers (1773-1795), for a number of preceding centuries the Kingdom of Poland was one of the very few safe havens for Jews in Europe [for evidence, check out Norman Davies' "Europe. A History", p. 842] . While it is true that after regaining independence in 1918 anti-semitism was on the rise, it would be hard to argue that Poland was a cradle of this particular kind of racism.Marcin PiatkowskiWashington, DCUSA

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Books read 2004-06

I thought I would inaugurate the blog with a list (not totally exhaustive) of books I have read in the past two years or so. I have tried to grade them with * - from * (useless) to *** (superb) I will keep updating the list with much more (hopefully) books in the near future..

Books read in 2006
1. Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets by Nassim Nicholas Taleb***
2. The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century by Thomas L. Friedman *
3. Hedgehogging by Barton Biggs **
4. The Age of Napoleon (Modern Library Chronicles) by Alistair Horne **
5. Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins *
6. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown **
7. The Cold War: A New History by John Lewis Gaddis ***
8. Jadąc do Babadag (okładka miękka), Andrzej Stasiuk *
9. The Accidental President of Brazil: A Memoir by Fernando Cardoso**
10. O władzy i bezsilności, Jadwiga Staniszkis *
11. The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins***
12. The White Man's Burden: Why the West's Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good by William Easterly**
13. America at the Crossroads: Democracy, Power, and the Neoconservative Legacy by Francis Fukuyama***
14. The Partner by John Grisham***
15. What Remains: A Memoir of Fate, Friendship, and Love by Carole Radziwill*
16. Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Suskind**
17. The Sea by John Banville**
18. Against the Flow: Reflections of an Individualist by Samuel Brittan*
19. Grand Failure: The Birth and Death of Communism in the Twentieth Century by Zbigniew Brzezinski***
20. The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell*
21. Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell**
22. Dark Star Safari: Overland from Cairo to Capetown by Paul Theroux***
23. The Visit: A Tragi-Comedy by Friedrich Durrenmatt ***
Books read in 2005
24. The Mystery of Economic Growth by Elhanan Helpman **
25. Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner ***
26. “Ekonomia Polityczna Globalizacji” by Henryk Cholaj *
27. The Balkans: Nationalism, War & the Great Powers, 1804-1999 by Misha Glenny **
28. Madam Secretary: A Memoir by Madeleine Albright **
29. My Life by Bill Clinton **
30. The Third Way: The Renewal of Social Democracy (IGN European Country Maps) by Anthony Giddens *
31. False Dawn: The Delusions of Global Capitalism by John Gray *
32. The Power of Productivity: Wealth, Poverty, and the Threat to Global Stability by William W. Lewis **
34. Conspiracy of Fools: A True Story by Kurt Eichenwald **
35. The Old Patagonian Express by Paul Theroux **
36. The Survivor: Bill Clinton in the White House by John F. Harris ***
37. Polactwo, Rafał A. Ziemkiewicz ***
38. Dobre miejsce do umierania, Wojciech Jagielski **
39. La France qui tombe par Nicolas Baverez *
40. Paris to the Moon by Adam Gopnik **
41. Why Globalization Works by Martin Wolf **
42. Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier **
43. La Belle France: A Short History by Alistair Horne **
Books read in 2004
44. The World's Banker : A Story of Failed States, Financial Crises, and the Wealth and Poverty of Nations (Council on Foreign Relations Books (Penguin Press)) by Sebastian Mallaby **
45. State-Building: Governance and World Order in the 21st Century by Francis Fukuyama *
46. Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution by Francis Fukuyama **
47. Empire: The Rise and Demise of the British World Order and the Lessons for Global Power by Niall Ferguson ***
48. Colossus: The Rise and Fall of the American Empire by Niall Ferguson ***
49. The Cash Nexus: Money and Power in the Modern World, 1700-2000 by Niall Ferguson **
50. Dust of the Saints: A Journey to Herat in Time of War by Radek Sikorski **
51. Full Circle: A Homecoming to Free Poland by Radek Sikorski **
52. The Choice: Global Domination or Global Leadership by Zbigniew Brzezinski ***
53. Casino Moscow: A Tale of Greed and Adventure on Capitalism's Wildest Frontier by Matthew Brzezinski ***
54. A Tale of Love and Darkness by Amos Oz and Nicholas de Lange **