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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 (407 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 Emeritus at Princeton University. He is a former member of the Council of Economic Advisers, dean of the Yale School of Management, and has served on the boards of several major corporations, including Vanguard and Prudential Financial. He is the chief investment officer of Wealthfront.

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:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,632 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
242 of 262 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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94 of 108 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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43 of 49 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 A Really Good Primer on Economics
It seems to me that there is kind of a sub-genre of economics books in the vein of the Freakonomics series, which would include this book as well. Read more
Published 6 days ago by Brandon Whisenhunt
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
I knew nothing about economics before reading this book. But it was very easy to understand and very insightful.
Highly recommended
Published 12 days ago by Chris Waters
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book! Really does a fine job with a ...
Good book! Really does a fine job with a rather dry subject for most people.
Published 17 days ago by Rebecca H. Clark
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
funny and a joy to read, i would have never thought that economics could be funny!
Published 17 days ago by willy paulino
5.0 out of 5 stars This book gave me a good general understanding about economics and how...
This book gave me a good general understanding about economics and how to think like an economist. Perfect for students in college or uni!
Published 25 days ago by John
5.0 out of 5 stars Such an easy read even if you are not familiar with economic ...
Hilarious! Such an easy read even if you are not familiar with economic concepts. I had to read this for a micro economics class and I loved it, it made understand the class... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Crisitna Tunon
4.0 out of 5 stars Review of Naked Economics.
I thought Mr. Wheelan wrote a very engaging primer for Economics. He presents a dry, boring topic (at least that's what I recall from my one economics class) in a vibrant manner. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Michael Gregory
5.0 out of 5 stars Seemingly Balanced
Felt like I was maximizing my utility as I read this book throughout. Great reading, I recommend for business students as their Economics primer.
Published 1 month ago by Reid Harrod Jr
4.0 out of 5 stars Whelan does a great job
A great job at explaining the basic concepts that underlie Econ 101. He loses a star for propagating an ahistorical viewpoint about poverty, social capitol, and politics.
Published 2 months ago by Alethea
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Excellent
Like putting on a pair of glasses and seeing things clearly for the first time. You probably have some familiarity with the topics in this book, through newspapers and everyday... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Will Fehringer
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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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