A good day

Tom Schelling gives Drugs and Drug Policy the best blurb I’ve ever seen: “a product of genius, in form and content.” I think I’m entitled to take the rest of the afternoon off.

While I try to keep my bragging on this site down to a dull roar, I can’t resist posting the blurb Tom Schelling just sent in for Drugs and Drug Policy:

A product of genius, in form and content: more than two hundred questions, all relevant and urgent, with succinct and lucid answers. When I started the book, I had strong opinions on many of the topics it covered; again and again – every time the book came into conflict with my original beliefs – the authors changed my mind. If you care about drugs, you need to read this book. If you don’t, read it anyway, just to see how it’s done.

Admittedly, Schelling isn’t an unbiased observer; I’ve known him since 1972. (I went to the Kennedy School mostly because, as a senior in college, I read “On the Ecology of Micromotives” and decided on the spot I needed to learn what Schelling had to teach.) But when a Nobel laureate calls a project you worked on “a product of genius,” I think you’re allowed to take the rest of the afternoon off. So I’m going home.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

7 thoughts on “A good day”

  1. That is very brag worthy. Contrats!

    The book is in my pile. I have to find a way to move it to the top.

  2. Congratulations, Mark. High praise from someone you really admire is a rare treasure.

    Robeert Browning wrote about a similar experience:

    AH, did you once see Shelley plain,
    And did he stop and speak to you,
    And did you speak to him again?
    How strange it seems, and new!
    * * * *
    For there I picked up on the heather
    And there I put inside my breast
    A moulted feather, an eagle-feather!
    Well, I forget the rest.

    What makes this even more apt is the rhyme Schelling / Shelley.

  3. Congratulations Mark. I used When Brute Force Fails in a philosophy course (Philosophy of Criminal Law) that I taught last spring. The students responded well to it. I think this was because of its very impressive grasp of the difficulties of policing the most crime-ridden neighborhoods, and its message that intelligent strategies for probation and policing can have a real effect in reducing crime. I hope to use your new book soon.

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