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Introduction to Political Economy, 6th edition Paperback – May 1, 2010


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Editorial Reviews

Review

I have used Introduction to Political Economy successfully in my classes for several years now. It explains the major political economy approaches in a way that is clear, concise, and engaging. For students who want to understand the world, it is required reading. --Marty Wolfson, University of Notre Dame

Introduction to Political Economy offers a pedagogical gold mine to any teacher seeking to revive the depth and excitement of political economy as a way of understanding how the world works. --William F. Grover, Saint Michael s College

Introduction to Political Economy offers a pedagogical gold mine to any teacher seeking to revive the depth and excitement of political economy as a way of understanding how the world works. --William F. Grover, Saint Michael’s College

About the Author

Charles Sackrey, Geoffrey Schneider, and Janet Knoedler are professors of economics at Bucknell University.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 302 pages
  • Publisher: Dollars & Sense; 6th edition (May 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1878585932
  • ISBN-13: 978-1878585936
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #770,597 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Gillian Hewitson on December 20, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is the best introduction to the ideas of Veblen, Marx, Smith, Keynes and heterodox thinking in general available today. I use it as a required text in a first year college course which introduces students to Institionalism, Marxism and neoclassical economics. The book starts with an excellent summary of heterodox thinking and the problems which heterodox economists identify in the mainstream. The chapters on specific authors are exactly what is needed to show students the diverse analyses of the capitalist system that exist within the discipline. They are very wide-ranging but so clear and comprehensible that students get a deep understanding of the differences between schools of thought. I highly recommend this book for courses on economic perspectives and history of thought, as well as for mainstream courses in both micro and macro.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Jose Gonzalez on March 28, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Every once in a while you come across a little gem of a book that will expand your mind with its insightful analysis. I sat down and over two 5 hour sittings I read this entire book through word-for-word which is pretty rare for me to do.
The book begins by explaining the problems of current neo-liberal economic modeling. The book goes on to tell you what Karl Marx REALLY said and how it had nothing to do with Stalin, China, or the former Soviet Union. You also get a good introduction to economists Veblen, Keynes, and Galbraith and how all of their ideas tie into the Swedish model of the economy that we see today.
Best of all, the book does not read like a laborous academic treatise; it's easy to read, moves briskly along, and gets straight to the point.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Bruce Lerro on February 16, 2006
Format: Paperback
I am a college instructor who teaches a course on globalization. I use this book as a supplement to a world history text which begins in the 15th century. This text is very valuable for tracing the interaction of economic theories and world events. It begins with Adam Smith and goes up through Keynes. The text is non-mathematical, very easy to read and opens students up to theories besides neo-classical economics.There are excellent chapters on social class and on the social democracy of Sweden. It's great to have a chapter which shows the relativity of private capitalism.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Cynthia Tschampl on September 23, 2008
Format: Paperback
I have never taken an economic course and wanted to have some kind of introduction before starting graduate school. Who would have guessed an economics book could make a great summer read?! I was pleasantly surprised by the accessibility and the conversational tone of "Introduction to Political Economy". After an engaging introduction to some of the biggest names in economics, Sackrey, Schneider and Knoedler offer meaningful examination of existing systems. The book also gets bonus points for sharing tidbits (like uncommon quotes from Adam Smith) that you probably won't get in the classroom, yet which speak to very real goings-on. A warning: not for those who can't handle a strong critique of neoliberal ideology...but in light of the current financial meltdown, I'm guessing that won't be a problem for most folks.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By not me VINE VOICE on August 3, 2009
Format: Paperback
University economics training is long on rigor but short on history, sociology, law and ethics. The process can be incredibly narrowing: economic models obscure as much as they illuminate, yet create the impression that economics is a "hard" science yielding "objective" truths. Most students quickly forget the graphs and formulas, while retaining forever the gut faith that unfettered markets are wonderful devices for rewarding talent and maximizing welfare. The experience is deeply ideological. It blinds students to blatant capitalist failures such as inequality, wasteful advertising, asset bubbles, greed and consumerism, and authoritarian workplaces.

"An Introduction to Political Economy" is a great "reality check" on the standard curriculum. The book doesn't present a systematic view of economics, since only two chapters -- those on Keynes and Sweezy/Baran -- really analyze the dynamics of a modern capitalist economy. But the book does discuss authors such as Marx, Veblen and Galbraith, who offered deep criticisms of the social world created by capitalism. It also has chapters on Swedish social democracy and Spanish cooperatives -- alternative forms of economic organization that would strike most American readers as revolutionary.

I liked this book a lot. But to be fair, it is too unbalanced and superficial to substitute for a regular econ text: for example, no one reading it would learn how capitalism has encouraged innovation and created fantastic wealth for hundreds of millions of people who would otherwise be living in poverty. Readers looking for a more comprehensive left overview of the economy should read "Understanding Capitalism" by Samuel Bowles. However, "An Introduction to Political Economy" is a GREAT mind-opener for beginning students who want to understand the real world of capitalism and social institutions.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Augustas B. on November 10, 2007
Format: Paperback
I am a college freshman and when it comes to economics, the neoclassical dominance is a serious turnoff. I got this book to counterbalance Mankiw's principles textbook. It is fairly simple, easy to read and in general a fabulous introduction to the ideas of Adam Smith (such a misunderstood figure), Marx, Veblen, Keynes, etc. If you want some insights about capitalism outside of "free markets" reductionism, you might want to check out this book.
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