Books Of Interest: Hive Mind By Garett Jones, Wall Flower By Rita Kuczynski And Hitler’s Art Thief By Susan Ronald

Hive Mind: How Your Nation’s IQ Matters So Much More Than Your Own Garett Jones

The author, Garett Jones is the Associate Professor of Economics at The Center For Study of Public Choice at George Mason University and he theorizes in Hive Mind that a slight increase in national IQ’s counts for most inequalities between countries. He argues that “positive spillovers” occur due to these increases in intelligence and cognitive skill and people that do better on standardized tests have more patience, are more cooperative and have better memories. According to the author, by raising these global IQ’s, global inequality will be tamed in short order. I would like to read this short book of 224 pages to see myself if these arguments make sense and really attack global inequality.

Wall Flower: A Life On The German Border Rita Kuczynski

The author, was a seventeen year old West Berliner living with her grandparents and studying piano at a conservatory, when in 1961, she was trapped in East Berlin behind the Iron Curtain while visiting her parents during a summer break for the next twenty-eight years. Kuczynski tells her story of life in East Germany as a student, writer, philosopher and from the perspective of a female in a Communist land. Even though she did not feel strongly about communism, her marriage to Thomas Kuczynski enabled her to meet influential East Germans and higher ups. This book shows how the East German elites spoke about Communism through one side of their mouths and actually lived an entirely different life. This book, being published twenty-six years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, seems to me to offer a true and fascinating account of actually living in a Communist state during a stressful time during the Cold War.

Hitler’s Art Thief Susan Ronald

In November of 2013, eighty year old, Cornelius Gurlitt was discovered with over 1,400 pieces of art in his 1,076 square foot Munich, Germany apartment valued at $1.35 billion US dollars. Gurlitt was a man who never had a bank account, never paid tax or received social security. The author, Susan Ronald, tells us the story of how Gurlitt robbed from everyone, including art museums, the Monuments Men and even Hitler in the name of presumably saving modern art, while in the process destroying lives and causing an international media circus throughout the art world. This looks fascinating, and even though I know very little about art and the art world, I hope this will give me some insight but even more into the mind of Cornelius Gurlitt and what made him tick.

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