14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on November 24, 2012
A nerd at heart, I am always looking for a good laymans book on economics. This book is a bestseller for a reason. The author takes every day situations and explains economic theories based on these situations. The result: The reader is able to understand the how and why things unfold as they do. Economics is not just a bunch of complex mathematical equations. It is a study of scarcity be it money, or time, or resources. My only complaint is that the author becomes too wordy at times and interjects his personal opinion too often. Still, if you are interested, it is an easy read.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on September 13, 2013
International bestseller, with over 1.5 million copies sold throughout our Earth! World-renowned economist Tim Harford (author) provides world-class, brilliant and/or incredible content in a sharp, easy-to-read, and insightful text. He is able to teach the most difficult concepts within the social science of "Economics," in a sharp, fun format of a text! Tim Harford (author) currently teaches the topic of Economics at Oxford University in the United Kingdom. An updated version, very-well written. Tim Harford (author) explains in a fun, in-depth, outstanding text what most world citizens understand and don't understand about the way the globalized economy functions.
Mind-boggling content. The most difficult elements involved withing the topic of economics, broken down in a sharp, fun text, easy to read, then comprehend nonfiction book. For example, the ideas of John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946) and Milton Friedman (1912-2006) are explained. Concrete, relevant examples in everyday life that are very intriguing are cited; showing the massive relevance of understanding how economics in our daily life. Outstanding for anyone searching for a clear, brilliant, luminous book on the role of economics in our 21st century - globalized society. Overall, a sharp text that explains the role of economics in our modern globalized economy.
Virtually every concept of macro-economics is explained in a fun manner. My favorite; "How much is your life worth?" (p.95). Tim Harford (author), states: "Individually, we constantly make decisions that put a value on our own environment, our own time, and even our own lives" (p.97). Discussing numerous examples: "If you decide you can't be bothered buying a smoke alarm, you have trade off a saved time and expense against an increases chance that you will die" (p.97), adding "nobody has your best interests at heart quite as much as you do yourself" (p.99).
Money well-spent. I read dozens of sources of financial news everyday! These include the Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, MarketWatch, Bloomberg, New York Time, plus many other sources. This nonfiction book is like all of the greatest nonfiction books on "Economics," thousands of hours of reading all the best sources, books, professionals, and teachers INTO ONE easy-to-read text. Timeless and very relevant to anyone's existence within our globalized economy. Part expose, part Economics class, everything in the field of economics is explained from traffic on the road to the price of your latte. Updated, grasping all the content additional information from 2008-2012 (Great Recession) + past history; the content is very important for any American, westernized citizen that is participating in worldwide commerce.
Superior content to any other modern "Economics" book. The language is easy and all of the material from inside the very difficult field of economics is explained with many fun anecdotes, and stories inside each of the chapters. The text allows an inside look for anyone inside the how field of "Economics." It's many functions. Pervasive, many topics are discussed in depth: health care, third-world sweatshops, immigration, price gouging, SEC fraud, market efficiency, poverty reduction, plus many other relevant subjects. How everything in the field of economics, these difficult to understand concepts do in fact shape our daily existences on this Earth. Overall a very good nonfiction book, highly recommended reading for anyone everyone in our modern globalized society that has an interest in finance, business administration, sociology, history, investing and/or social science. Tim Harford (author), one of the world's most respected economists. His gift, commentary on how the field of how economics applies too virtually every facet of our daily lives. Highly recommended!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 3, 2015
Despite my criticisms, I think this book can teach the layman something about simple economic concepts, so I'm giving it an 'OK' three stars despite the biases.
This book goes out of its way to be readable and simplify complex economic concepts. It goes too far.. while it may define and explain what an externality means in the early book, it never mentions them when defending sweatshops as essential for growing economies. Corruption is 'an economic disincentive', but the connection between forms of government and successful countries isn't stated. The author is obsessively for free-trade and pro-globalization. He is worshipful of the Chinese economy for performing well in the past few decades. Harford loses sight of those 'tragic externalities' a fast growing economy generates for the rest of the world.
This book never gets into the "Terror of Infinity", the concept that endless growth with finite resources is not possible. It does mention that a small corrupt ruling class can utterly destroy a nation's economic growth (The Tokugawa Shogunate is given as an example), but never says a thing about contemporary examples. I found this obvious self-editing, this refusal to connect the dots, to give ANY political or moral conclusion, detracted from the message the book was trying to sell.