Tuesday 17 Jul 2018 | 17:59 | SYDNEY
Tuesday 17 Jul 2018 | 17:59 | SYDNEY

So many books, so little time

By

Sam Roggeveen

@SamRoggeveen

17 April 2008 10:38

FT columnist Gideon Rachman has a post on his blog today lamenting how little time he has to read the new books arriving on his desk. I'm currently reading John Gray's Black mass: Apocalyptic religion and the death of utopia,which was passed to me by the good people at the Sydney Writers' Festival. Gray will visit Sydney for the festival and I'll be hosting a business breakfast for him onĀ 21 May. I also have on my pileĀ Brave New War, by the writer behind this excellent blog, and The Black Swan, about the underappreciated role of randomness in our lives (there's some intelligent discussion about Black Swan political events on this blog today).

One title on Rachman's list that attracted me was In Sickness and in Power, by former British Foreign Secretary David Owen, about how illness has affected political leadership throughout history. We policy wonks tend to put a lot of emphasis on how ideas influence events, but perhaps too little on concrete circumstances like the physical condition of decision-makers. Spain, incidentally, now has a 7-months pregnant defence minister.