Start reading The Undercover Economist Strikes Back on the free Kindle Reading App or on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Enter a promotion code
or gift card
 
 
 

Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Color:
Image not available
 

The Undercover Economist Strikes Back: How to Run--or Ruin--an Economy [Kindle Edition]

Tim Harford
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.00
Kindle Price: $7.99
You Save: $8.01 (50%)
Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

Free Kindle Reading App Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition $7.99  
Hardcover $22.38  
Paperback $12.97  
Audible Audio Edition, Unabridged $20.95 or Free with Audible 30-day free trial
Kindle Delivers
Kindle Delivers
Subscribe to the Kindle Delivers monthly e-mail to find out about each month's Kindle book deals, new releases, editors' picks and more. Learn more (U.S. customers only)

Book Description

A provocative and lively exploration of the increasingly important world of macroeconomics, by the author of the bestselling The Undercover Economist.

Thanks to the worldwide financial upheaval, economics is no longer a topic we can ignore. From politicians to hedge fund managers to middle-class IRA holders, everyone must pay attention to how and why the global economy works the way it does.

Enter Financial Times columnist and bestselling author Tim Harford. In this new book that demystifies macroeconomics, Harford strips away the spin, the hype, and the jargon to reveal the truth about how the world’s economy actually works. With the wit of a raconteur and the clear grasp of an expert, Harford explains what’s really happening beyond today’s headlines, why all of us should care, and what we can do about it to understand it better.


Editorial Reviews

From Bookforum

Economist Tim Harford has made a career of demystifying many of the central assumptions of economic thinkers and policy makers—the sort of endeavor that’s likely to get you barred from exclusive DC social gatherings if done right. […] Harford’s latest book, The Undercover Economist Strikes Back, expands the range of his analysis to take in the broader sweep of macroeconomic planning. […] Harford’s style is accessible, engaging, warm, witty, and fun, and he takes us on a romp through some of the denser thickets of macroeconomic thinking. […] Along the way, Harford takes on more than a few quasi-sacred shibboleths in our current economic and political environment. —Helaine Olen

Review

"Every Tim Harford book is cause for celebration. He makes ‘the dismal science’ seem like an awful lot of fun.”
– Malcolm Gladwell

“With fascinating examples and vivid explanations, Tim Harford succeeds in turning macroeconomics into a gripping read.”
—Simon Singh, author of Fermat’s Last Theorem

"Tim Harford is perhaps our very best popular economics writer, and with this book he turns his attention to inflation, unemployment, business cycles, and macroeconomics, with lucid clarity and compelling insight."
—Tyler Cowen, author of Create Your Own Economy and The Great Stagnation

"Tim Harford is a brave man to write a book about macroeconomics for the lay person; luckily, he is also a funny man...his perky style and chatty asides keep us grinning... [and he] has a knack for posing questions the average reader will have wondered about."
Wall Street Journal

"Harford has a knack for writing about economic issues in a clear and gripping way."
Worth Magazine

“Harford brings vigor and even humor to otherwise dry topics…[and] clarity to what has often been comprehensible to only a select few.”
Publishers Weekly  

“Independent thinkers aspiring to a better understanding of the world economy and of possible fixes for the current downturn will delight in this crisp, readable, and knowledgeable explication and analysis of macroeconomic events and theoretical perspectives.”
Library Journal 

“By the end of this book, you'll have learned so much that you'll be just as confused as the experts – and anything but bored.”
The Christian Science Monitor 

“Tim Harford is perhaps the best popular economics writer in the world… what [he] has achieved with his new book is nothing less than the holy grail of popular economics. While retaining the accessible style of popular microeconomics, he has managed to explain, with clarity and good humour, the knottiest and most important problems facing the world’s biggest economies today.”
The New Statesman

“With beguiling clarity and…effortlessly breezy style… Harford explains the subject with impressive clarity and wit.”
The Times (London)

 

Product Details

  • File Size: 1023 KB
  • Print Length: 273 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1594631409
  • Publisher: Riverhead Books; Reprint edition (January 16, 2014)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00DMCV624
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #136,524 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy Non-Technical Intro to Macroeconomics December 17, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
**I received an uncorrected proof copy of the 2014 paperback edition of this book through a LibraryThing giveaway.**

I came to be a fan of Tim Harford through his podcasts, "More or Less: Behind the Stats" and "Pop Up Ideas". I was eager to read this book, because I am a big fan of the way the podcasts explore ideas and make sense of numbers in the news, and I've recently developed an amateur interest in economics. I was not disappointed.

One word of advice to the reader: throughout the book, Harford explicitly uses the conceit that he is speaking directly to you (who have been chosen to run a world economy) and that you are answering him. I found that jarring, but it was easy to put aside by imagining that instead of participating in a conversation, I was merely observing one.

The book explores macroeconomic ideas in an engaging way, and the dialog style allows the author to take the occasional left turn away from the topic at hand into an interesting cul-de-sac before jumping back on track. Most of the material is readily accessible if you have an interest in current events (no economic theory needed), though the discussion of the Beveridge curve could really have done with at least one diagram.

The entire discussion is bookended with by elements of the story of Bill Phillips, a tinkerer, war hero, hydraulics engineer, and eventually an influential economist who created a very cool machine—the MONIAC, or Monetary National Income Analogue Computer—that solved economic differential equations with water. His story is a highlight of the book, and is told largely in the first chapter.

Overall, this is a very accessible and non-technical introduction to macroeconomics, which is a especially nice since much of the material I've come across recently online, in podcasts, and in books has been on microeconomics or behavioral economics.
Was this review helpful to you?
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb, fun to read look at macroeconomics October 24, 2013
By sien
Format:Kindle Edition
The Undercover Economist Strikes Back (2013) by Tim Harford is another excellent book from a superb economics writer. This book covers macroeconomics and presents a Socratic dialogue where Harford discusses how to run a modern economy. This sort of dialogue is often contrite. However Harford manages through his mastery of the subject and by being reasonable, skeptical and carefully presenting both sides of an argument to make it highly informative and enjoyable.
Sadly the cover of the edition I have has a quote from Alex Bellos suggesting that Harford could be Britain’s Malcolm Gladwell. While Harford has some similarities to Gladwell in that both write excellent infotainment Harford is much better because he writes over a more limited subject area but with much greater depth of knowledge.
The book covers recessions, money, inflation, stimulus, output gaps, unemployment, management, GDP, happiness and endless economic growth. It covers all with such aplomb that it’s hard to pick out the best bit.
Stylistically Harford uses a dialogue and also has the wonderful character of the economist Bill Phillips to provide a narrative core for the book. It all works.
This book is a delight to read.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice read, nice storytelling, lacks depth January 25, 2014
Format:Hardcover
This book is very well written and educational, as Tim Harford has led his readers to expect. At times, it is a bit heavy on the storytelling style. Overall, it does a nice job explaining a lay reader how economists think about the big macro issues such as growth, recessions and unemployment. I list what I view as some pluses and minuses of the book below.

Pluses:

- Great quotes from Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy!

- A nice debunking of Krugman's babysitting coop rant.

- A great discussion of Radford's POW camp article.

- A very pedagogical comparison of the classical and Keynesian views of recessions, concluding on an ironic note (but see below for a minus): « Sometimes an economy’s output is constrained by the demand for goods and services (Keynes’s Law) and sometimes it is constrained by their potential supply (Say’s Law). It sounds like neither of them are really laws at all. Yup. This is social science—what did you expect? » ... « But there is also a really simple way to combine the two views. We need to introduce a concept you’ll hear discussed often in economics—the “short run” and the “long run.” Most economists would agree that in the short run, it is Keynes’s Law that is relevant. And most economists would also agree that in the long run, it is Say’s Law that counts. »

- A thought provoking discussion of the question Can Growth Continue Forever?: « Energy growth is not the same as economic growth [...] It’s easy to grasp why exponential economic growth is not the same as exponential energy growth. If I’m worried about money, I may turn off my heating and wear a coat and hat indoors; a bit of extra money will mean I take off the hat and coat and use more energy.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An easy and fund read with a lot of anecdotes February 22, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a fun read for sure. The writing style is a fictitious Q&A, but it does not bother me at all. What I like the most is that the book comes with a lot of anecdotes. Many economics students might know about theories, but usually people are not exposed to the real-life examples of many economic issues. You can walk through historical and recent economic anecdotes with this book. However, this book is neither a macroeconomic textbook nor its substitute. It is simply incorrect to "learn" macroeconomic theories from it. This book is about macroeconomic phenomena, and we can familiar with the subject. Perhaps the theoretical rigor and depth is compromised, as others point to it; it is because the book is for everybody who may or may not study economics.

Highly recommended.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
The information was good but the conversation style format was difficult to follow.
Published 1 month ago by Jason O. Munshower
3.0 out of 5 stars Macro-Economics 101
Good for someone trying to understand fundamental macro-economics. No specific insights.
Published 1 month ago by Ankur Kothari
5.0 out of 5 stars Conceptually sound
Basic macroeconomics with an emphasis on ideas rather than shifting curves. Excellent for the curious layperson or as a complement to standard undergraduate macro texts.
Published 1 month ago by Jyotirmoy Bhattacharya
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A refreshingly candid presentation of the world of Macro economics.
Published 4 months ago by sanjeebk
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read and very educational
Excellent little book. Well written, I thoroughly enjoyed it and learned a lot.
Published 4 months ago by Robert A. McKelvie
5.0 out of 5 stars If you are non economist, but wish to understand the world better, it...
for somebody who is not an economist by profession, but is excited and keen to learn more how the macroeconomics work, this is a fantastic and easy to read book. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Miroslav Koncar
5.0 out of 5 stars Good, well-written, objective introduction to contemporary...
Tim Harford needs very little introduction, Javier Estrada has done Harford justice in his review of Harford's first book (JOIM Q2, 2006) - The Undercover Economist, which delivers... Read more
Published 7 months ago by N. Kulasekaran
4.0 out of 5 stars This book provides good insights into the world of economics
This book provides good insights into the world of economics, which are easy to understand and not loaded with jargons.
Published 8 months ago by Rishi Jha
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
really well written. important concepts.
Published 8 months ago by Marshall Marriott
3.0 out of 5 stars Not so good as the 1st book
Just my opinion, the style of "coaching" you doesn't work for me. In addition, the book is "back to basics" and I was expecting a little more in depth analysis and... Read more
Published 9 months ago by LSBerg
Search Customer Reviews
Search these reviews only

More About the Author

Tim Harford is the author of the bestseller The Undercover Economist and The Logic of Life and a member of the editorial board of the Financial Times, where he also writes the "Dear Economist" column. He is a regular contributor to Slate, Forbes, and NPR's Marketplace. He was the host of the BBC TV series Trust Me, I'm an Economist and now presents the BBC series More or Less. Harford has been an economist at the World Bank and an economics tutor at Oxford University. He lives in London with his wife and two daughters.


Forums

There are no discussions about this product yet.
Be the first to discuss this product with the community.
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in
 


Look for Similar Items by Category