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The Cartoon Introduction to Economics: Volume One: Microeconomics

4.1 out of 5 stars 67 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 860-1400731628
ISBN-10: 0809094819
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Book Description
The award-winning illustrator Grady Klein has paired up with the world's only stand-up economist, Yoram Bauman, PhD, to take the dismal out of the dismal science. From the optimizing individual to game theory to price theory, The Cartoon Introduction to Economics is the most digestible, explicable, and humorous 200-page introduction to microeconomics you'll ever read.

Bauman has put the "comedy" into "economy" at comedy clubs and universities around the country and around the world (his "Principles of Economics, Translated" is a YouTube cult classic). As an educator at both the university and high school levels, he has learned how to make economics relevant to today's world and today's students. As Google's chief economist, Hal Varian, wrote, "You don’t need a brand-new economics. You just need to see the really cool stuff, the material they didn't get to when you studied economics." The Cartoon Introduction to Economics is all about integrating the really cool stuff into an overview of the entire discipline of microeconomics, from decision trees to game trees to taxes and thinking at the margin.

Rendering the cool stuff fun is the artistry of the illustrator and lauded graphic novelist Klein. Panel by panel, page by page, he puts comics into economics. So if the vertiginous economy or a dour professor's 600-page econ textbook has you desperate for a fun, factual guide to economics, reach for The Cartoon Introduction to Economics and let the collaborative genius of the Klein-Bauman team walk you through an entire introductory microeconomics course.

Take a Look Inside The Cartoon Introduction to Economics
In the panels below, Grady Klein and Yoram Bauman illustrate economist Adam Smith's principle of the invisible hand. This priciple suggests that individuals unwittingly benefit society by pursuing their own self interest. (Click on any image to enlarge)





From Publishers Weekly

As a study aide, if you can get past—or roll with—the often-precious humor presented by humorist/Ph.D. Bauman, this book is well organized and direct, using its overviews to deflate some of the pomposity that surrounds economic theory. While pro–free trade, the book regards the theories it presents with a slight grain of salt, giving the reader an even broader view of economic history, with the trends that worked short- and long-term. Often, though, this is almost as tedious as an economics textbook—only those who are assigned a class in microeconomics might find some enjoyment in this book, a potential respite from their dry assignments. Also on the negative side, the drawings seem to be flat blobs. For those required to study the subject or already familiar with it, this has some value as a colorful brush up, but the merely curious may struggle. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • Series: Cartoon Introduction to Economics
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Hill and Wang (January 19, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0809094819
  • ASIN: B004X8W6R0
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.6 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,343,985 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I just finished this book and was surprised by how naturally Bauman and Grady link various topics together with a balance of serious focus and light humor.

Once I started, I found it hard to put down, since each chapter leads comfortably into the next, as if it were woven into a single, coherent story. At surprisingly frequent intervals, Bauman and Grady decorate the discussion with humorous comments about economics and economists which also tends to keep reading fun, even when discussing serious topics.

Another interesting feature is the way the book boils down the work of recent Nobel laureates in economics: the book visually demonstrates the idea. You'll soon find yourself comfortable with the new "big ideas" of economics in ways that allow you to see the world with additional insights (not to mention being able to discuss adverse selection in casual conversation with your friends...).

A final feature I found useful was a visual glossary that explains key concepts and echo the visual treatment of the concept in the book. Throughout the glossary are images that convey the meaning of economic concepts. If you're a visual learner, you will really enjoy this book.

For those who want to make sure that serious economics concepts are truly covered in this book, I've included a short list below. The book is organized into 3 main sections:

- The Optimizing Individual (one person)
This section covers decision trees, the time value of money and it's use in decision making, decision making under risk (diversification, expected value, adverse selection, etc), and trade (efficient market hypothesis, Coase Theorem, etc).
Read more ›
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its an amazing effort to teach high school kids economics. however, paintings are not great specially for the black and white and you can notice a lot of jumps and unclear concepts in the flow of story. also there are some paintings that are more confusing than helpful. the element of comedy in this work makes it hard and sometimes unreliable as a source for kids. but again, this is a great beta version effort in doing so.
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This book is amazing and hilarious! I first came across Yoram Bauman on […]
and I have visited his blog regularly ever since. I pre-ordered the book because I knew from seeing his stand-up that it would not dissappoint and it's hasn't.
I'm a Economics undergraduate student in Sydney Australia. The content in this book summarises the basic information I learnt in my first year at university but, it's done in a really smart, easy to understand and funny way.
I recommend this book to who ever enjoys economic theory or any parent who has a child who is struggling with micro-economic theory.

I can't wait for Volume 2!!!!

Mon
Sydney, Australia
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Okay, few people really want to go through the nuts and bolts of economics but at least this book gives a great presentation for the foundation of the more interesting concepts of Volume 2 (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0809033615/ref=cm_cr_ryp_prd_ttl_sol_53.) While entertaining, the information is dense. After reading during one afternoon, I realized that the material just can't be absorbed or remembered in depth unless done is small steps, taking notes, thinking about, and looking a few things up. It is a comic book but it is also a technical reference, so time needs to be taken so that retention occurs. When done with Volume-One, I thought to myself, how can there be more but suddenly a whole new universe is expounded upon in Volume-Two. Prepare for a whole new view of the world around you.
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I preordered my copy, and was happy to find out that Amazon had shipped it early enough so that it would arrive at my home on the release date.

I have quite enjoyed reading it, and if you're looking for an easy-to-digest introduction to the topic, this might be the book for you. One thing that makes it a nice introduction is that

Yoram Bauman is definitely a funny guy: search for "stand up economist" on youtube, or enjoy this presentation where he translates the 10 Principles of Economics into layman's terminology. If you like this presentation you will like the book.

[...]
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Format: Paperback
This book is a fun and informative guide to the basics of economics, covering the economic activity of individuals, small groups of people, and markets. Various terms like the Invisible Hand, marginal analysis, sunk cost, etc. are explained clearly with entertaining examples. Recurring characters help to tie the confusing terminology and ideas together more easily. The running gag about Nobel-Prize winning economists is fun.

I have not studied economics so I am not sure how comprehensive the book is. It does seem comprehensive. There is a section on economic policies that can reduce carbon emissions which strikes me as a too specific application in a general overview of economics. The cartoon economist says "The way to get people to pollute less...is to make polluting expensive!" (bold in origin, p. 189) The king of Sweden (who has been handing out Nobel Prizes throughout the book) says, "Wow, now that's an idea worthy of a Nobel Prize!" Dr. Bauman is an environmental economist, so I suppose his bias is showing (or maybe he thinks he should get a Nobel Prize). That makes me interested in reading another economics primer to compare.
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