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Yes, it's a very short book. I listed good digestable books rather than more academic history, though I have a Master's in American history and can give you some of that too if you like. These are all very good easy reads and a great way to get into the field in a meaningful way.
The Mongols are definitely worth reading about. They're something of a unique story in world history. No other empire was quite like theirs.
Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World
Thomas Paine: Enlightenment, Revolution, and the Birth of a Nation
Cicero: The Life and Times of Rome's Greatest Politician
The Guns of August
King Leopold's Ghost
Honestly this struck me as pretty weak. I like the idea of gun control, but how can you go "well it's ineffective in these much smaller countries where it ought to be more manageable, but hey they're trying! We should too!" I expect more from the New York Times editorial page. They really have fallen pretty far.
There's a good business point there. I'd probably order a dozen of these tomorrow, but I don't really want to pay for them--even at $4.
There's a great Steven Keen lecture about how self-serving the models are. Oh wow, this great period of low unemployment and steady growth is great. Then WHAM! Along comes a mean old externality that causes a financial crisis and ruins all your hard work. As if you had nothing to do with it.
If you consider this an interesting topic, check out "The Trap: What Happened to Our Dream of Freedom." There's a great line in there about the moment people started thinking you could model everything.
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