Ryan McCarl

Reading, writing, learning, languages, law, politics, etc.

Welcome!

My homepage is due for an update. It has remained essentially unchanged since I first built it in 2009. Similarly, the two blogs I kept on and off from about 2003 until about 2011 can safely be declared defunct. It is time for a fresh start and a new website that better reflects my current interests and is compatible with my new career as an attorney. With respect to the latter: none of my posts on this blog will deal with law or politics. Read more →

Books I found helpful during the first year of law school (1L)

Last summer and fall, I did a bit of research to try and identify books and study aids that might be helpful during my first year of law school.  There are hundreds of products out there, and some are considerably more useful than others.  I wanted to put together a list of the books I found to be most valuable for any incoming law students (or self-educators interested in reading about law) who might be interested: Read more →

Recommended books and media

Here is a list of the books and media I’ve read over the years that I have either (a) enjoyed the most or (b) learned the most from. Within each category, authors are listed alphabetically. Where more than one book is listed for an author, I’ve listed the books in order of preference. Fiction/Literature/Literary Nonfiction: Dante Alighieri, Inferno Ray Bradbury, Dandelion Wine; Fahrenheit 451Willa Cather, O Pioneers!; My Antonia Albert Camus, The Stranger Read more →

Rethinking the Great Depression and the New Deal

I’ve become increasingly interested in the history of the 1930s, and I just finished Eric Rauchway’s The Great Depression and the New Deal: A Very Short Introduction.  It has become increasingly clear to me that there are major holes in the dominant historical narrative about the Great Depression, the New Deal, and the Roosevelt administration.  The standard, high-school-textbook version of the story goes something like this: “Greedy stock market speculators caused the stock market crash of 1929, which triggered the worst depression in American history; President Herbert Hoover believed in an outdated laissez-faire economic philosophy, so he did nothing; thankfully, President Roosevelt was elected, and his New Deal policies saved capitalism and helped the common man survive the Great Depression; and finally, World War II was an enormous boon to the U. Read more →

Lying about Libya

My latest op-ed, “Lying about Libya,” appeared today in Mises Daily, a publication of the Ludwig von Mises Institute.  You can read the article here. In it, I write: “What was sold to the American public as a humanitarian intervention morphed almost immediately into unreserved support of one side in Libya’s civil war and a commitment to overthrowing Libya’s existing government. … To decide whether a military action undertaken in our name is prudent and just, we must adopt a skeptical stance toward politicians’ stories and rationalizations. Read more →