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A Magazine Article Is Not a Book
on November 20, 2009
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.