The Week in Books

April 3, 2008

The Gold Leaf Lady and Other Parapsychological Investigations by Stephen Braude, professor of philosophy, University of Maryland, Baltimore County. University of Chicago Press, £11.50, ISBN 97802260715

"Stephen Braude himself feels that he has been the victim of uninformed and unfair criticisms by irrational and misleading critics, and is angry that his honest, courageous and scholarly work has been dismissed by those with weaker hearts and minds. He has become so sure of his own position that he considers the sceptics to be either ignorant of the evidence, or else to have been driven by fear of the implications into a position of intellectual dishonesty."

Peter Lamont, Times Literary Supplement

Revolution in Mind: The Creation of Psychoanalysis by George Makari, director of the Institute for the History of Psychiatry, Cornell University. Duckworth, £25.00, ISBN 9780715637593

"George Makari's synthetic grasp is as great as the Freud he describes. In a series of brilliant potted portraits, he delineates the often contradictory contributions of a score of psychoanalysts."

Lisa Appignanesi, Financial Times

On the Wealth of Nations by P. J. O'Rourke, H.L. Mencken research fellow, Cato Institute. Grove Atlantic, £8.99, ISBN 9780802143426

"Too many quips are bafflingly US-centric and as it's not a critique, there's little thought spared for the ever-increasing number who slip through the fingers of Adam Smith's famous 'invisible hand'. But as divisions of labour go, having P. J. O'Rourke read Smith so that you don't have to is still worthwhile and productive."

Lawrence Phelan, The Independent

We-Think: The Power of Mass Creativity by Charles Leadbeater, visiting fellow at the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship, Said Business School, University of Oxford. Profile Books, £12.99, ISBN 9781861978929

"Charles Leadbeater makes an attempt to corral a wild and unruly subject, nothing less than the impact of information technology on 21st-century society. His analysis often feels like it is struggling under the weight of its own ambition."

Tim Lott, Sunday Telegraph

Dog Years by Mark Doty, John and Rebecca Moores professor in the creative writing graduate programme, University of Houston. Jonathan Cape, £12.99, ISBN 9780224080910

"As a poet, Mark Doty's biographical approach is not chronological but lyrical, shifting tenses and taking literary detours, and although some memories are bleak - his parents abandoning an unwanted puppy on a hard shoulder - many are offered with a dry, self-effacing sense of humour."

Decca Aitkenhead, The Guardian.

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Recent controversy over the future directions of both Stanford and Melbourne university presses have raised questions about the role of in-house publishing arms in a world of commercialisation, impact agendas, alternative facts – and ever-diminishing monograph sales. Anna McKie reports

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