I was asked to write for the March 2011 New Zealand Books Month something about my reading.
Keywords: Literature and Culture;
There are hosts of books which opened up new vistas in my adolescence and the decade after. My reading today could not be possibly offer similar experiences; instead it enriches these landscapes. The exceptions are the books I write. As Joan Didion said, ‘I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking’. My last major published book, Globalisation and the Wealth of Nations, taught me new ways to look at the world economy over the last 200 years – and the next 100; I may well be ten years ahead of the rest of my New Zealand colleagues. But that is cheating. The last well-read book is always enlightening. How about the current one? The Lords of Finance which describes the interwar world economy and the Great Depression, reminding us that we never seem to learn from experience.