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Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science (Fully Revised and Updated) [Kindle Edition]

Charles Wheelan , Burton G. Malkiel
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (360 customer reviews)

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Book Description

“Explains our global economy in a way that is (gasp!) actually entertaining.”—Book Magazine

Finally! A book about economics that won’t put you to sleep. In fact, you won’t be able to put this bestseller down. In our challenging economic climate, this perennial favorite of students and general readers is more than a good read, it’s a necessary investment—with a blessedly sure rate of return. Demystifying buzzwords, laying bare the truths behind oft-quoted numbers, and answering the questions you were always too embarrassed to ask, the breezy Naked Economics gives readers the tools they need to engage with pleasure and confidence in the deeply relevant, not so dismal science.



This revised and updated edition adds commentary on hot topics, including the current economic crisis, globalization, the economics of information, the intersection of economics and politics, and the history—and future—of the Federal Reserve.


Editorial Reviews

Review

Translates the arcane and often inscrutable jargon of the professional economist into language accessible to the inquiring but frustrated layman. . . . Clear, concise, informative, [and] witty.

About the Author

Charles Wheelan is the author of the internationally best-selling Naked Economics and Naked Statistics and a former correspondent for The Economist, and founder of The Centrist Party. He teaches public policy and economics at Dartmouth College and lives in Hanover, New Hampshire, with his family.

Burton G. Malkiel is the Chemical Bank Chairman's Professor of Economics at Princeton University. He is a former member of the Council of Economic Advisers and has served on the boards of several major corporations.

Product Details

  • File Size: 552 KB
  • Print Length: 385 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0393337642
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 2 edition (April 19, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003NX6TYC
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,642 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
236 of 256 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars peerless February 12, 2005
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've been studying economics for the past six months or so from various texts, plodding through all of them by dint of perseverance and a sense of duty.

For some light reading, I picked this book up. From it, my studies of economics gained renewed vigor, because this was the first book that really made me LOVE ECONOMICS. After reading it I saw most economic ideas -- especially macroeconomic ideas -- in a new light.

Folks, it's fantastic. Absorbing, witty, and clearly-written.

Not only will you come to basically understand many important economic principles from reading it, but the book contains not a single graph, chart, or unsavory equation.

This is the only economics books I've ever read and read, until I was done: on the john, in the tub, on the bus, etc. I just could not put it down!

The thing I really like is Wheelan's genius for picking examples, many of which will boggle your mind and stick with you for days.

Wheelan has also got a great sense of humor. When's the last time that you found yourself laughing out loud every few pages while reading an economics book?

Here's an example:

"The sultan of Brunei earned billions of dollars in oil revenues in the 1970s. Suppose he had stuffed that cash under his mattress and left it there. He would have had several problems. First, it is very difficult to sleep with billions of dollars stuffed under the mattress. . ."
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93 of 107 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fundamentals of Capitalism July 26, 2004
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I highly recommend this book to anyone unfamiliar with basic economics, or looking for a simple, easy-to-read introduction to the science. Wheelan does a great job explaining the nuts and bolts of a free market system, and why this economic system as it stands is currently the most successful in the world. He's devoted chapters to the power of markets, incentives, the government, information, productivity, human capital, finance, the federal reserve, organized interests, trade and globalization, and ends with a discussion as to what it would take for poorer, less developed countries to get out of poverty. After reading Thomas Sowell's, "Basic Economics" I found Charles Wheelan's writing to be refreshingly balanced, and more humorous. That said, I still think both writers and books are worth-while. Anyone unconvinced that a free market system is the best economic system available, or wishing to know more about the system in which we live ought to read these books. Especially if you're against free trade, and fear "globablization". Wheelan admits there are serious social consequences and problems related to bad government, but insinuates (with a little more finesse than Sowell) that the problems are mostly rooted in bad policies, not economics. Corruption and dishonest politicians and leaders impoverish countries, not capitalism itself. However you choose to look at these issues, I think Wheelan does an excellent job at providing the fundamentals of the world in which we operate on a daily basis, and reading "Naked Economics" can only help one understand how to better affect desired change. Every college student should be required to read this!
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63 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A well written layman's economics book July 7, 2005
Format:Paperback
Naked Economics is a good introduction to economics for the layman. There is no math, although personally I wish Wheelan had used some to back up some of his points or to show some issues in more depth. It is well written and easy to read. So even though the information is as useful as many textbooks, it isn't tough to understand it.

Subjects covered include: why capitalism and free markets is better than communism and state-controlled markets; how information is crucial (such as product or corporate branding and health insurance for individuals); efficiency of financial markets (why the individual is often foolish when he buys a stock after reading a tip from the newspaper); and why international trade is good even if special interest groups may oppose it due to job losses.

Readers on both the extreme left or right will be able to pick up certain issues in the book that they disagree with. They will then pick those up and attack Wheelan for being an extreme liberal or an extreme conservative. They will accuse him of not caring about U.S. jobs; they will accuse him of pandering to the environmentalists. For those readers, their mind is already made up before the read this book. For open-minded readers, this book will be very enjoyable and interesting.
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41 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent. Better than my undergrad degree from Chicago September 29, 2002
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Naked economics is an extraordinary account of what economics really is and how they should teach it. Unfourtunately current professors think that throwing a lot of math at you (without any intuition whatsoever) makes them look intelligent. Economics is much more fun (not necessarily easier) than solving a hundred optimization problems without any regard for the real world.
To all the people who design economics undergraduate programs in the U.S. please understand that: (1) we need something useful, (2) most of us are not going to study a ph.d., (3)we need a tool for understanding the world, not something we won't remember six months after the end of the course. What was a Lagrangean anyway?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very great quality!
Published 3 days ago by Tyler
5.0 out of 5 stars best I have read so far
For anyone wanting a primer in Econ this is the best introduction to the MEANING of the big ideas of economics I have read so far. Read more
Published 4 days ago by Jeff
4.0 out of 5 stars I believe that it is an excellent lay explanation of How economics...
I bought this book for a class. I got so much out of yhe book that l bought a copy for each of my young adult daughters. Read more
Published 7 days ago by joe
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
If you enjoyed "freakonomics", you'll enjoy this.
Published 17 days ago by James M. Allan
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read
Well Written, thought provoking, and a great book for anyone even slightly interested in Economics. It is easy to read, I found myself gliding through the chapters. Read more
Published 17 days ago by RTR
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book. Well written and easy to understand for ...
Excellent book. Well written and easy to understand for anybody that wants to learn the basics of economics. 100% good buy. Go for it.
Published 19 days ago by Arto Z
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book. The best first book on economics for ...
Fantastic book. The best first book on economics for a beginner that I've seen, I recommend it to all my friends and family
Published 1 month ago by S. Pour
5.0 out of 5 stars Way more than an Economics book
I bought a few economics book because it has been a long time since I had a class on the subject and I find a get a little confused on the ramifications some of the political... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Janiene
5.0 out of 5 stars Another fun book to carry around and read
I spend a lot of time on public transportation. I do still have a license but no car anymore. This is a great book to just carry around andjust keep on reading for enjoyment.
Published 1 month ago by billwest
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent overview
Best way I have found to introduce economics to friends and family. Highly recommend for beginners and intermediates. Have given as a gift.
Published 1 month ago by Jason Zurawski
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Naked Economics is based on obsolete science
Did you read the book or judge it from the table of contents? I found the book so interesting I bought a couple more copies to give friends.
Nov 30, 2011 by Teodoro |  See all 2 posts
Welcome to the Naked Economics forum
Well, okay. I'll claim the honor -- three years, seven months, twenty-six days, eight hours, and too-difficult-and-inconstant-a-calculation-of-minutes-for-me-to-bother-with later. I've joined the fun!
May 29, 2009 by Richie Whitehead |  See all 3 posts
can i understand this book if i don't know much about economy? or is it...
Very easy to understand for lay people
May 29, 2010 by James |  See all 2 posts
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