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The Accidental Theorist: And Other Dispatches from the Dismal Science Hardcover – May 1, 1998
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When economics and ideology mix, the results often sound plausible, but in fact can be terribly wrong and lead to ill-conceived and sometimes dangerous economic policy. For several years, Paul Krugman, author of The Accidental Theorist and one of the most celebrated economists of the '90s, has been punching holes in fashionable ideas such as the logic of supply-side economics and the evils of globalization. The Accidental Theorist is a collection of Krugman's best published and unpublished essays that cover everything from the Asian financial crisis to inflation in America.
Krugman's cause is neither left or right; rather it's the pursuit of clear thinking about economics that's unfettered by ideology. He writes, "But we should never be surprised when prominent people say foolish things about economics. The history of economic doctrines teaches us that the influence of an idea may have nothing to do with its quality--that an ideology can attract a devoted following, even come to control the corridors of power, without a shred of logic or evidence in its favor."
If you've read and enjoyed Krugman's regular column for Slate, "The Dismal Science," or have admired his work in the New York Times, The Washington Monthly, and Foreign Affairs, you'll find that the The Accidental Theorist is a must read. The essays in this book reflect a clairvoyant and playful mind that's patient enough to unravel and simplify--not dumb down--the arcane and lofty ideas of economics to something that the rest of us can understand. Highly recommended. --Harry C. Edwards
From Library Journal
Krugman brightens the "dismal science" of economics with this essay collection clarifying an array of topics from general monetary policy to downsizing to wealth inequality, liquidity, even economic "crank doctrines."
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Like religion, economics matters to most people, and most of us don't know much about it. But I wanted to begin to understand economics, and one of my brilliant friends (a Yale guy who does math for a hedge fund) told me that this book was the place to start. His recommendation should mean more to you than mine!
He was right. I now have some basic ideas about things like monetary policy (why what the Fed does matters), currency speculation, supply-side economics, and labor markets. Of course there is a lot more to economics; this book is only a beginning. But it is readable, and well-explained.
Let me recommend reading the tutorials at Investopedia.com as well. They were helpful to me.
Now I'm at least not a total financial ignoramus, and I look forward to exploring economics more!