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Twilight of the Money Gods: Economics As a Religion and How It All Went Wrong Hardcover – July 13, 2017
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'A terrific read... the author reviews, with awesome confidence and a fluent, articulate style, nothing less than the economic and political history of the world since the beginnings of capitalism.' -- Colin Leys * Red Pepper * 'Wide-ranging and entertainingly written' -- David Orrell * World Finance * `Rapley, Renaissance Man par excellence, combines a masterful, suspenseful writing style with encyclopaedic knowledge to deliver this tour de force in economic, political and religious history.' -- Ian Boyne * Jamaica Gleaner * 'Takes readers on a fascinating journey through the history of economic thought... Rapley manages this in a remarkable manner... It's a damn good read, and an easy one, even for those who would be usually daunted by any prospect of "a history of economic thought".' -- Roger Southall * Business Day (South Africa) * 'Fascinating.' -- Giles Fraser * BBC * `Rapley's book kept me spellbound, and I awaited the right moment to read the next chapter, while I pondered during my daily routine what I'd read in the previous one. He's a wonderful writer, that perfect combination of traveller, journalist and academic.' -- Nina Rothe * Huffington Post * 'A must-read for all... Rapley reveals vast knowledge and is a master of powerful imagery.' -- Avinash Persaud * Prospect *
About the Author
John Rapley has made a vocation of working, and living, at the frontier where theory meets practice. After beginning his career at Oxford University's International Development Centre, he left for the developing world, where he spent the next two decades working as an academic, journalist and ultimately the co-creator and director of a policy think tank. Along the way, he worked at universities on three continents and, upon returning to the UK, lectured at the University of Cambridge's Centre of Development Studies. He now lives in London as a writer.
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Along the way he provides a brief readable economic history which includes a history of economic thought and thinkers which spans the age of Gutenberg to Trump. Any book covering this much territory is either going to be idiosyncratic or deeply dull, so I am glad to report idiosyncracy. I agree that Gutenberg and Martin Luther merit discussion; Francis Fukuyama and Jerry Rubin, perhaps not. All the usual thinkers are discussed--Adam Smith, Marx,Keynes,Friedman, etc. This is not an experts only book. There are footnotes for the curious and no equations even there.
This is a very worthwhile book, but it did disappoint me in several ways. First, I was really hoping for a more detailed History of Economic Thought-- many readers might not. Second (perhaps related), I do rebel at the notion it is all about irreconcilable religions (and really only two of them). Once upon a time Alchemy and Chemistry were competing religions but too much lead and not enough gold--evidence--settled that.I expect the Alchemists also attempted counter revolution.