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Economix: How Our Economy Works (and Doesn't Work), in Words and Pictures Paperback – September 1, 2012
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"Dan E. Burr's appealing illustrations add punch, humor, and clarity to Goodwin's already-excellent storytelling skills. . . . Light switches flicked on in my mind every few pages or so, and after reading Economix I felt like I understood many fundamental aspects about the way the world works. . . . Economix is a book I'm going to buy and give to people."--Mark Frauenfelder, BoingBoing
"Michael Goodwin hasn't just written a great graphic novel -- he's written one that should be required for every school, newsroom and library in the United States." --Andrew Smith, Scripps-Howard News Service
"Economix eliminates stupidity in the face of economics-speak. . . . You'll come away from Economix with a slew of newly understood concepts, from mixed economy to stagflation, but the most important thing you'll come away with is a newfound confidence in your ability to understand how the economic world works for and often against us. --Bob Duggan, BigThink.com
"Goodwin brilliantly contextualizes economic theories with historical narrative, while Burr's simple but elegant illustration employs classical techniques like caricaturing politicians and symbolizing big businesses (as a gleeful factory) to help the reader visualize difficult concepts. If the book has a prime message, it's that the economy is quite understandable and when things go wrong, the effort and thinking of a whole society must be applied to bring everything back into line." --Publisher's Weekly (starred review)
About the Author
Michael Goodwin is a writer and editor with a degree in Chinese studies. He has lived in China, India, and now New York City. Dan E. Burr illustrated the classic graphic novel Kings in Disguise. He lives in Milwaukee.
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Top Customer Reviews
This book has given me clearer understanding of market crashes, communism, the New Deal, laissez-faire, etc. The collaboration between Goodwin and his illustrator, Burr, is solid.
Goodwin expresses his wish for the book to be a foundation for people learning about economics and I can't imagine a stronger one.
EARLIER REVIEW: The author takes unnecessary potshots at too many people and ends up shooting himself in the foot, as far as I'm concerned. I was excited about reading this book and sharing it with my teenagers until the author started belittling conservatives in general. Attacking bad ideas and dumb individuals--specific ideas and specific individuals--is fine with me, but attacking huge swaths of people solely because they own guns or belong to the Republican Party is no smarter than insulting a whole race or religion because you dislike one characteristic of some of its members. Take the high road instead, and make a logical argument against that characteristic. It's the people at whom you are sneering that you most need to convince.
The primary means the government uses to control us isn't secrecy; it's our disdain for each other. It's so easy to trigger that disdain and make people support a bad policy, if it appears to be sticking it to our (apparent) political enemies. If the author revises the book and deletes the mudslinging, I'll buy that version and recommend it to others. The current version has left a bad taste in my mouth.
The odd thing about the book is that you whiz from Adam Smith to the 1950's in about 1/2 of the book and then you hit an increasingly political diatribe and the deft talent that the author showed in the first half of the book for quickly describing complicated and difficult topics starts to disappear, replaced by an increasingly tone-deaf one-sided one-size-fits-all philosophy. This is too bad as the author does a VERY nice job of laying out his arguments and would have been considerably more convincing if he had come across as a teacher who has lots of disturbing questions about the official line instead of as a person who knows everything.
In spite of the disappointment at the end, the book earns 4 stars from me for two reasons:
- The first part of the book is solid gold and should be required reading for every high school student
- The author admited that he was going over the edge before he got too far into his arguments. This kind of self-awareness is rare in textbook authors and I encourage more to emulate the author's confidence and sense of humor
The books best lasting value though is the bibliography - if you aren't sure you agree with parts of the book, it's very clear where the ideas came from, so you can go check the sources and see if you can't come up with a better answer.
I would have liked if the book included something about monetary reform, but it's an obscure topic so I wouldn't be surprised if even a researcher as good as the author didn't know about it.
Buy this book and share it with your friends when you're done!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
"How economics works"... Apparently with a lot of bias and opinion steering. Based on various reviews, and the suggested reading section on the author's website, this book... Read morePublished 14 days ago by Justin Sollogub
The author is a LWNJ and anyone who knows anything about economics knows that LWNJs are completely illiterate on all things economics. I give him one star for at least trying.Published 22 days ago by brannon
Not since The Cartoon Guide to Physics have I been so entertained and educated at the same time. In the opening pages the author points out that it is impossible to separate... Read morePublished 23 days ago by Jason G. Troxel
This book so popular I loaned it out and never got it back. Had to buy another copy.Published 1 month ago by L O
Received this book as a Christmas present. I read the introduction and skipped ahead to the 1980s section. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Tom Wilson
I'm beginning to understand both the dynamics and the history of economics and economic policy. I'd heartily recommend this book for any adult or even middle school student who... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Matthew Stinar
Why did the WTO riots happen? What's with Greece and the EU?What can I do now about the mess the world is in? Read morePublished 2 months ago by Sarah Brabazon
This book gave me the basic economic understanding I was looking for to make sense of the world today. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Michael Deck