Today’s post will at long last finish off this Superfluous Man’s remaining inventory of books read in 2012. Woefully behind in the book reviews, so today’s reviews will be limited to cover photos, links, and Polonius-like brief guidance.

Why America Must Not Follow Europe, by Daniel HannanTitle: Why America Must Not Follow Europe, by Daniel Hannan

Date: November 22, 2012 (#81)

Another Encounter Broadside, by Euro-MP extraordinaire, Daniel Hannan.

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Why Progressive Institutions Are Unsustainable, by Richard A. EpsteinTitle: Why Progressive Institutions are Unsustainable, by Richard A. Epstein

Date: November 22, 2012 (#82)

Cogent libertarian analysis from the eminent law professor, Richard Epstein.

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Title: The Return of the King, by J.R.R. Tolkien

Date: November 26, 2012 (#83)

Superb audiobook performance, read by Rob Inglis.

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Title: Dracula, by Bram Stoker

Date: November 26, 2012 (#84)

A horror classic–epistolary style clearly the inspiration for That Which Should Not Beinter alia.

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The Fortunes of Permanence, by Roger KimballTitle: The Fortunes of Permanence: Culture and Anarchy in an Age of Amnesia, by Roger Kimball

Date: November 29, 2012 (#85)

One doozy of a title–series of essays by the indispensable cultural critic and editor of The New Criterion, Roger Kimball.

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Da Vinci's Ghost, by Toby LesterTitle: Da Vinci’s Ghost, by Toby Lester

Date: December 1, 2012 (#86)

A brief history of the Vitruvian Man, to whom there is more than meets the eye.

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The Man of NumbersTitle: The Man of Numbers: Fibonacci’s Arithmetic Revolution, by Keith Devlin

Date: December 2, 2012 (#87)

A medieval history of more than just 1 1 2 3 5 8 13 . . .

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A Nation of TakersTitle: A Nation of Takers: America’s Entitlement Epidemic, by Nicholas Eberstadt

Date: December 2, 2012 (#88)

A demographic look at the sort of thing that can get a candidate into trouble on the stump.

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The Victims' RevolutionTitle: The Victims’ Revolution: The Rise of Identity Studies and the Closing of the Liberal Mind, by Bruce Bawer

Date: December 4, 2012 (#89)

An homage to Allan Bloom’s classic. (Things aren’t improving.)

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The SumeriansTitle: The Sumerians: Their History, Culture, and Character, by Samuel Noah Kramer

Date: December 6, 2012 (#90)

A survey of Sumerian history. Basically sui generis on Kindle.

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Persian FireTitle: Persian Fire, by Tom Holland

Date: December 11, 2012 (#91)

Gripping, popular retelling of an old tale.

Historians always like to argue for the significance of their material, of course. In Herodotus’ case, his claims have had two and a half millennia to be put to the test. During that time, their founding presumption—that the great war between Greek and Persian was of an unexampled momentousness—has been resoundingly affirmed. John Stuart Mill claimed that “the battle of Marathon, even as an event in English history, is more important than the battle of Hastings.” Hegel, in the more expansive tones that one would expect of a German philosopher, declared that “the interest of the whole world’s history hung trembling in the balance.

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The Dumbest GenerationTitle: The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future (Or, Don’t Trust Anyone Under 30), by Mark Bauerlein

Date: December 16, 2012 (#92)

A sigh-provoking look at the Internet-addled minds of the young. O tempora, O mores!

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The End of SpartaTitle: The End of Sparta, by Victor Davis Hanson

Date: December 20, 2012 (#93)

VDH’s debut novel, treating the decline and fall of the Spartan polis.

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The CommandTitle: The Command: Deep Inside the President’s Secret Army, by Marc Ambinder and D.B. Grady

Date: December 20, 2012 (#94)

Kindle Single on the U.S. Joint Special Operations Command, the tip of the proverbial spear.

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A Feast for CrowsTitle: A Feast for Crows, by George R.R. Martin

Date: December 30, 2012 (#95)

Positively dreadful–sprawling and lacking in narrative arc, not to mention any of the intriguing characters. HBO is in the lead, I fear.

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The Social AnimalTitle: The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement, by David Brooks

Date: December 30, 2012 (#96)

Fascinating and creatively narrated literature review of social science on what makes man happy.

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Title: A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens

Date: September 30, 2012 (#97)

Surely requires no justification.

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Title: Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944-1956, by Anne Applebaum

Date: December 31, 2012 (#98)

One of the best non-fiction works of 2012, by a wonderful scholar and author of the grueling Gulag: A History. The best book in today’s list.

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Title: The Bible

Date: December 31, 2012 (#99)

The “Bible App” for i-products is highly recommended.