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A Country Is Not a Company (Harvard Business Review Classics) Paperback – December 1, 2009

3.8 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Paul Krugman is a op-ed columnist for the The New York Times a professor of Economics and International Affairs at Princeton University. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Economics in 2008.
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Product Details

  • Series: Harvard Business Review Classics
  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press (December 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1422133400
  • ISBN-13: 978-1422133408
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 4.2 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #280,917 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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I'm giving this one star not because the content isn't good - Krugman's explanation of the different analytical approaches needed to discuss economic issues and business problems is typically clear, thoughtful, and relevant - but because this book is a rip-off, plain and simple.

This is nothing more or less than a 100% faithful reprint of an article Krugman published in the January/February 1996 Harvard Business Review with the same title. There are no updates whatsoever, so readers will enjoy a stroll down memory lane as they read about the GATT, 1994-era monetary policy, and the Mexican peso crisis. Not that those references have become less appropriate with time, but I would have appreciated some sort of introduction or afterword discussing how Krugman's analysis is as timely as ever. After all, George W. Bush, "America's first President with an MBA", pursued exactly the kind of mistaken trade and economic growth policies that Krugman warns of here; readers who want more detailed discussion of specific policy missteps should read his excellent 2003 New York Times essay collection "The Great Unraveling".

The article is available for free online ([...]), so I would recommend that prospective buyers simply check it out there. 6,000 words is a great essay, but when you are holding those words in gigantic type on tiny pages, it makes for an underwhelming book. Save your $8.95 and pick up some of Krugman's other works.
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Aaron, while I take your point, and I did find the article online in PDF form, I think your praise outweighs your criticism. The insights are still useful especially in these times where business interests hold so much sway over our national politics. The argument is the important thing here. America needs to hear it, however it's delivered, as one part of an important public debate.
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I read Krugman's pamphlet " A Country Is Not A Company" because I was tired of the political talking points and spin engendered by the austerians on the right and the anti-government corporatist supporters wringing their hands and expressing faux fears about our national government debt. As usual Krugman carefully parses the difference. Quote:"...economics and business are not the same subject, and mastery of one does not ensure comprehension, let alone mastery, of the other.A successful business leader is no more likely to be an expert on economics than on military strategy." " For though no one will believe it-economics is a technical and difficult subject."
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As one who loved economics in school, ..I must admit this was never presented to me so bluntly and forcefully as to cause me to remember it. Krugman is a National (and Global) Treasure and I suspect history will treat him very kindly indeed. If this is your first book by Paul, Krugman then I hope it will not be your last. Regardless of your political inclinations, ..you will be exposed to someone of impeccable global credentials who is totally comfortable conversing with any man or women on the street.
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In 1996 the Harvard Business Review published a paper written Paul Krugman delineating the differences between what is required of a CEO and the president of the United States. The point he made was that the CEO has a much more narrowly focused task than does the president or prime mnister of a country. What is the main concern of the CEO? The well known bottom line. A president does not have such a luxury. He (and maybe someday she) has an almost unlimited list of responsibilities such as national security, a stable currency, a adequate infrastructure, the welfare of the country's citizens and preservation of the environment, to name a few. This booklet is more relevant today than it was on the day of its publication I have inscribed the following on the title page of my copy "Required reading for Mitt Romney." I thank Amazon for making it available.
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