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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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Economix: How Our Economy Works (and Doesn't Work),  in Words and Pictures + The Cartoon Introduction to Economics: Volume Two: Macroeconomics + The Cartoon Introduction to Economics: Volume One: Microeconomics
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams (September 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810988399
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810988392
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,927 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"I just cannot stress enough how amazing this book is!" --James Floyd Kelly, Wired.com

"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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Customer Reviews

Ive never read a comic novel before but very much enjoyed this one.
Dan
I am in the process of reading, enjoying and learning the history of economics from this book.
Paul L. Thrash-
Really good book, simple to understand, even when you're a stranger, like me.
Testa Vincent

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Nate Weida on August 27, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What an incredible way to learn about the history of economics. I was skeptical as I began to tiptoe into this book, already thinking I was a lost cause as it related to understanding how money, business, and government worked. But, Economix makes its subject fascinating and understandable. Goodwin somehow makes our history clear and often hilarious, although it's justifiably a tragic humor.

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.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Paul O'Connor VINE VOICE on October 31, 2012
Format: Paperback
The author's concept, communicating basic economic theory through a graphic novel is very interesting and creative. It must have been terribly difficult to achieve such a good result in so few pages.

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
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Edvard Odessia on February 22, 2014
Format: Paperback
UPDATE 5/20/14: The Law of Supply and Demand wins out. I can't find a better primer on economics for students (or anyone), so I must live with the single aspect of the book I dislike. I have raised my rating from one star to four. I still hope that for the second edition, the authors will reconsider their needless criticism of gun owners, et al.

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.
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15 of 20 people found the following review helpful By illovich on September 23, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read about this book on Boing Boing and bought the book mostly on whim - it was very enjoyable, and informative. The author is clear throughout the book that the book represents his 'take' on economic history and the various schools of thought. Parts of the book may seem 'anti-capitalist' (or at least 'anti-business') to certain readers, but in my view the author was fair in his handling of the issues surrounding large multinational corporations and their various collisions with democracy and the people(and let's not forget - the idea that the 'military-industrial complex' was a problematic thing came from President Eisenhower, a Republican -- so that part of the book isn't exactly communist propaganda).

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.
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14 of 19 people found the following review helpful By R. C Sheehy on November 24, 2012
Format: Paperback
Economists are like sports writers. They believe in their team and hardly acknowledge the other teams exist. Michael Goodwin does a very good job of explaining how the modern economy evolved and what went wrong and, in an interesting change, what went right. The book explains some complex subject matter like Smith, Marx and Friedman in mostly a-political style. Still, like any true economist, he sees the problems as rooted in certain things and nothing can take place of the villains who have zero positive attributes. He demonizes Wall Street, yes easy to do so I admit, but makes not mention of the goods capital markets accomplish. CEOs are treated as monsters with no mention of companies like Microsoft, Kodak etc. who literally changed the world. Henry Ford comes closest to being portrayed positively but that quickly falls by the way-side.

This is very fun and interesting and I suggest it to someone who wants a quick overview of Economics. It's not the final word by any means!
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