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Tue, 26 Jun 2012 17:04:07 GMT

Recently, I was looking around for a nice quick and light nonfiction reading. NPR is usually a great source for hearing about new nonfiction. There are many NPR programs where the host invites an author to peddle his or her wares. Alas, this time I was looking for a more concentrated list of potential light reading (where my definition of light reading may differ from yours). Furiously flipping through the NY Times bestseller list yielded a couple of candidates, but quite matched my craving for something similar to Alan Abelson's weekly Up and Down Wall Street column in Barron's, always dangerously witty yet informative. It was then that I stumbled on Timothy Noah's The Great Divergence: America's Growing Inequality Crisis and What We Can Do about It. The Great Divergence is a terrific read for our times. It is actually quite well grounded, citing numerous research papers from economists such as Paul Krugman, Emmanuel Saez, and many others. The book itself is an expansion of Noah's 10-part Slate column on "The United States of Inequality" from 2010. Noah looks at all the usual suspects (demographics, immigration, automation/computers, government policy, globalization, and education) and grills each against the long history of research findings and data.

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