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Book Group: Past books

Book Group Information

A list of books selected and read by this book group from 2008 to 2013 can be found here. For recent books, see below.

01/15/2013 - 1:00pm Book Group Discussion: What Intelligence Tests Miss: The Psychology of Rational Thought

Keith Stanovich (2010) demonstrates that IQ tests (or their proxies, such as the SAT) are radically incomplete as measures of cognitive functioning. They fail to assess abilities that most people associate with “good thinking,” such as judgment and decision making.

12/18/2012 - 1:00pm Book Discussion Group -- Justice: What's the Right Thing to Do?

In this readable book—based on his Harvard course—Sandel walks readers through philosophical analyses of various contemporary ethical issues.

11/20/2012 - 1:00pm Book Group Discussion -- All the Devils are Here: The Hidden History of the Financial Crisis, by Bethany McLean and Joe Nocera (2010)

As soon as the financial crisis erupted, the finger-pointing began. Should the blame fall on Wall Street, Main Street, or Pennsylvania Avenue? On greedy traders, misguided regulators, sleazy subprime companies, cowardly legislators, or clueless home buyers?

10/16/2012 - 1:00pm Book Group: The Trial of Socrates

The Trial of Socrates by I.F. Stone (1989)

"In unraveling the long-hidden issues of the most famous free speech case of all time, noted author I.F. Stone ranges far and wide over Roman as well as Greek history to present an engaging and rewarding introduction to classical antiquity and its relevance to society today. The New York Times called this national best-seller an 'intellectual thriller.'" -- Book Dsecription from

09/18/2012 - 1:00pm Book Group: The Sacred Balance

The Sacred Balance: Rediscovering our Place in Nature, by David Suzuki (1997, new edition 2007)

08/21/2012 - 1:00pm Book Group: Sense and Goodness without God, by Richard Carrier (2005)

Richard Carrier asks: "If God does not exist, then what does? Is there good and evil, and should we care? How do we know what's true anyway? And can we make any sense of this universe, or our own lives?" Sense and Goodness without God answers these questions in lavish detail, without complex jargon. A complete worldview is presented and defended, covering every subject from knowledge to art, from metaphysics to morality, from theology to politics.

07/17/2012 - 1:00pm Book Group: The Portable Athiest

The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever, by Christopher Hitchens (1997)

06/19/2012 - 1:00pm The Myth of the Rational Market: A History of Risk, Reward, and Delusion on Wall Street

Justin Fox's 2009 book explores the development (mostly during the 20th century) of the idea that the free market is efficient, rational and determines prices appropriately. After the 2008 debacle in subprime mortgages, we may want to understand the function of this concept in our society.