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Posted July 6, 2009

Dean Mahoney's Summer Reading List

Mahoney

(From UVA's series on what administrators and professors are reading this summer).

Law School Dean Paul G. Mahoney suggests summer reading that includes economics, as well as literary classics.

"The Wages of Destruction," by Adam Tooze, is an economic history of the Third Reich. "It analyzes the economic logic and consequences of German rearmament and war making," Mahoney said.

He also recommends Harvard business professor Niall Ferguson's latest bestseller, "The Ascent of Money," which argues that finance is in fact the foundation of human civilization and progress. Ferguson, a contributing editor for the Financial Times, was named one of the world's 100 most influential people by Time magazine in 2004.

"The importance and interest of the subject require no elaboration," Mahoney quipped.
"Ferguson does a very nice job of pointing out that boom-and-bust cycles are as old as finance itself. And the historical examples he provides give us some insight into the current economic situation."

Mahoney, an expert on securities regulation, corporate finance and law and economic development, said he must read a lot of material on those topics, so it's a real treat to read literature. He loves the big Russian novels, like "War and Peace," and recommends anything translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, whom he called "a remarkable husband-and-wife team."

He also recommends the recent translation of "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight." Simon Armitage's 2007 translation of the Arthurian tale is "a short, fun read," Mahoney said. "I enjoy having the Middle English and modern English text on facing pages."

• Reported by Anne E. Bromley