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Showing 1-10 of 20 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 56 reviews
on December 24, 2013
I love Economics, Business, Finance, as well as Sociology and Social Economic books.
I read about 1-3 books per week.
But, be that as it may; this is ONE of the few books I just couldn't finish.

It looks like a great idea, but the author jumps around a lot, and just touches on the surface of many topics.

I made it about 3/4 of the way through and I just got tired of wasting my time on this useless tripe when I could be reading something more pithy.
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on December 18, 2011
In this mediocre book, Porter re-hashes much of what we already know about socio-economics. Summaries of classic pricing problems: statistical lives, psych experiments. Skimming along the surface without diving into analyses. Anecdotes such as the cost of global warming depends on your discount rate. Well, why do we pay what we do? What is a reasonable discount rate? Why? none of these questions are addressed. The first few chapters are worth reading, the rest is disapointing.
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on March 10, 2014
When I was young in the 50's and '60s, I found some correspondence between the price of things (outside the luxury trades) and what they cost to make. Over my life this connection seems to have ended, and this book helps explain why and the myriad factors that have to be addressed to restore some reason in our economy.
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on January 24, 2011
With the Cartesian logic that Porter has accustomed us to expect from him, here comes "The Price of Everything", a fun and exhaustively documented book that uncovers what is behind the many decisions that we make, be they political, personal or other. Or, in Porter's own words: every choice we make is shaped by the prices of the options laid out before us.
I can't imagine a better way to make a story from so many studies, statistics and numbers of all sorts.
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on February 25, 2011
One of the most interesting and relevant books I've read in a long time, it has helped me understand and question existing beliefs, habits and policies.
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on October 3, 2011
I picked up this book thinking it was a business/marketing book, but it wasn't exactly. The title of this book along with its tagline is very misleading.

By the end, you start to wonder exactly what "Mystery" the author was trying to solve. The book doesn't tell you the 'price of everything'. It merely tells you that everything has a price. But I already knew that.

The word "Price" in the book's context is a symbolic price, not the actual monetary unit as in marketing or business terms. So it's more like 'the price we pay for our actions', 'price of doing good', 'price of doing bad', etc..

For the most part, the book is a collection of very opinionated conclusions supported by some statistics.
While the book had some interesting parts, it's not as enjoyable to read as say, Malcom Gladwell's books. The author needlessly uses obscure vocabularies and awkward conjunctions to describe something very simple and trivial. He does this throughout the whole book. It felt almost as if the author chose to use such rarely used words just to boast that he knows them. This type of writing style results in very fragmented reading experience and takes lot of enjoyment out of reading.
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on February 20, 2011
This book starts out with promise but falls victim to the problem found in many books written by journalists: it's too much on the surface. Without the analytical chops to back up the theories he proposes (contra someone like Tyler Cowen or Dan Ariely), Porter is left quoting experts. That makes it a second-hand analysis, and won't be able to give you any new insights. That's not so much of a criticism as it may sound - if you don't want to slog through the primary source materials then this will give you a great overview of a lot of topics. The thing is, a person who can't draw conclusions of his own in an area, that person can't provide a whole lot of new information or insight other than what their sources tell them. They can't necessarily judge who is right.

That said, the prose is clear and concise, and the text covers a lot of areas. If you are interested in socioeconomics and want a general introductory text, this will provide a great introduction. But don't judge this book by its cover. And although I hate reviewers who do this, considering the title... this wasn't a $16 book, it should have been $10. It doesn't provide enough extra value to warrant the premium price.
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on January 17, 2011
Backed by an apparently inexhaustible supply of hard facts and well-interpreted statistics and data laid out in a terse, absorbing style, Eduardo Porter posits in `The Price of Everything' that prices exert a profound --and sometimes determining-- influence on many of our individual and collective actions, and on why and how we do many of the things we do.

I agreed with or was convinced by most of the book's arguments and assertions -- but even those who do not share some or all of Porter's viewpoints should find `The Price of Everything' a very enjoyable reading experience. I find most books on economics arcane, dogmatic, pedantic or plain dull, but this is not the case with Porter's opus prima. The writer has a knack for illustrating his arguments and opinions with highly accessible and interesting examples. In addition, he does so without sacrificing an iota of rigor in the analysis of his data and the development and presentation of his postulates.

In short, a book well worth reading.
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on February 19, 2011
Maybe I'm just getting old. I don't know, I used to love books with this sort of reach & overarching theme: was a big fan of Jared Diamond, Jeremy Rifkin & Thomas Friedman, and read all their books, thinking all the while that each page was relevatory & insightful, and that I would remember the information for the rest of my life.

As I've alluded, it's been a few years since I have read this sort of book. Maybe I just outgrew them. Anyway, it seemed to me that The Price of Everything was a completely dry & only-slightly-engaging list of statistics, rather than a book. The conclusions the author comes to, by and large, I found to be either common-sensical or thoroughly pessimistic, or both. I found myself wondering if I would remember any of the statistics quoted (I do not), or even the overarching themes in service of which those statistics were employed (I do not). I seem to remember just lots and lots of mediocre writing, peppered with numbers, coming around, at the end of each chapter, to "prove" some thing about the state of soceity/mankind/the universe.

That's why I like the authors I mentioned in the first paragraph: they all (less so with Jeremy Rifkin, I'm afraid) seem to, at their best, bring together statistics AND ANECDOTES (largely missing from The Price of Everything) and pieces of information from various natural sciences to prove a thesis, and they are fun to read. I don't believe this book had a consistent thesis, and was not fun to read.

I kept at it, as I had bought it new and felt like I needed to get my money's worth. But, in the end, I wondered what it possibly added to my life. The Price of Everything? Why is a book that reads like a patchwork of wikipedia articles & blogs priced above zero?
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on April 26, 2012
Nothing new. It was just a rehash of many other books I've read. You would be better off listening to Planet Money and Freakonomics.
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