From Publishers Weekly
Altman's overview of the world's economic workings is useful and informative, though surprisingly dutiful considering the author's promise of a "whirlwind tour." Moving briskly between topics—pegged to an hour-by-hour timeline gimmick—he discusses many concepts: exchange rates, trade deficits, international deals, currency markets, corruption, financial derivatives, technological innovation, the importance of oil. While addressing the outsized role of the U.S., Altman offers valuable glimpses of key foreign economies and leaves us with a solid understanding of how they fit into "the world trading system." "If you want to cope with connectedness," journalist Altman writes, "you have to be as connected as you can—in other words, you have to pay attention to what's happening in the rest of the world." Granted, anyone who's already paying attention will find much of the book's information somewhat remedial. And Altman's attitude toward globalization is so studiously evenhanded and argument-free that the reader may long for the glossy zeal of an advocate like Thomas Friedman or a detractor like Lou Dobbs. Still, as global macroeconomic primers go, this is a quick read that reminds us that we're all in this together—and that many of us have an awful lot to learn to keep up with the global economy. (May 1)
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“Altman's book offers a Wall-Street-smart and yet deeply intellectual understanding of our amazingly complex and dynamic world economy. He gives the reader a revealing perspective by viewing the economy at various magnifications, from little vignettes of individuals' experiences on a single day to grand observations on how it all works together.” —Robert Shiller, Professor of Economics and Finance, Yale University; Chief Economist, MacroMarkets LLC; and author of Irrational Exuberance
“Instead of the usual heavy and indigestible fare, Daniel Altman cleverly serves bite-size, tasty portions of economic insight that will leave readers hungry for more.” —Sylvia Nasar, author, A Beautiful Mind
“There is a flood of books on Globalization, ranging from the bad to the good. To say something new seems beyond anyone's ability. Yet Dan Altman succeeds in doing just that. He makes the subject come alive, as only a gifted journalist can, by telling us in depth stories such as that of East Timor's struggles with new riches which illuminates the controversy that divides technocarts who want to push aid flows dramatically and the equally committed internationalists who worry about absorptive capacity. Buy, read and enjoy while getting instructed.” —Jagdish Bhagwati, University Professor, Columbia University, and author of In Defense of Globalization