The fourth edition of Basic Economics is both expanded and updated. A new chapter on the history of economics itself has been added, and the implications of that history examined. Among other additions throughout the book, a new section on the special role of corporations in the economy has been added to the chapter on government and big business.
Basic Economics, which has now been translated into six foreign languages, has grown so much that a large amount of material previously found in the back of the book has now been put online instead so that neither the book itself nor its price will have to expand. The central idea of Basic Economics, however, remains the same: The fundamental facts and principles of economics do not require jargon, graphs, or equations and can be learned in a relaxed and even enjoyable way.
©2011 Thomas Sowell (P)2010 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
"Clear and concise...Among economists of the past 30 years, [Sowell] stands very proud indeed." (Wall Street Journal)
"Love & hate for this right wing thesis"
I have to say that it's been a long time since a book influenced me enough to prompt me to actually write a review of it. I write this review in some sense due to a feeling of outrage that it stands unchallenged and might be taken as an authority on the subject for us lesser mortals, for whom Mr Sowells contempt is barely guarded.
"Basic Economics for the uncouth, undeserving and otherwise retarded public" might have been a more appropriate title given the overall flavour of this sweet and sour alphabet soup that Mr Sowell has vomited upon us. Make no doubt about it, as the author has no such second thought: the peoples and governments of the world are dense to the point of disbelieving mathematics in favour of the Marxist dogma that is presumably peddled as democracy in our society.
The author hammers home a belief system with trite examples that oversimplify most of the subjects, condemning any other belief than his own to cheap ridicule. The degree of simplification that he uses in his black and white interpretation of the world is almost childish, to the point of ruining even his most well made arguments. It is this constant contempt in which he treats his reader that most of all spoils what could have been a great book.
But it is still a compelling read (listen?) and I have spent more time with this audiobook than I have any other in the past year. As long as you aren't as stupid as he assumes you are, you should be able to get the best bits out of this book, and if nothing else it will be a sound introduction to economics, even with it's right wing barb.
A must-read for anyone interested in how money and economics works, and a good introduction, if somewhat biased.
"Clear but not very concise"
Clear but not very concise. Tends to repeat some concepts over and over again. Even so it is a good read as it explain economics in simple terms. I have the feeling author is overly keen on classical economics tough.
"Not bad, but not great"
I would disagree with some of the other reviews, i feel the book is quite balanced and generally portrays economic principles as economic principles and attempts to stray away from political views accept to highlight an economic point or use political mistakes of the past to deepen understanding of how an economically driven outcome would have been better than the politically driven policy.
My main gripe with this book however and why it may feel to some as though the author has an underlying agenda, is that it repeats itself a number of times and the examples used do not often move away from the political arena. A much better grounding in economics would start with the areas of economics that individuals can understand, like their own day to day dealings and gradually build to more in depth examples.
Due to the feeling of the book repeating itself it is also far to long for the content it covers, and is also very light on some behavioural economics and in explaining different approaches to standard issues in economics. All in all this makes the book very ominous and repetitive and unfortunately in my opinion is not a complete introduction. However there are not many books that attempt to provide a complete overview of economics or the economy without using maths and this is probably the best of those.
I chose this book because I want an introduction to the subject. This book was perfect covering a wide variety of topics. Quality is excellent. Narrator is easy to listen to. Highly recommended.
"My first ever book about economy"
Being an Computer science student and professional, I never had much interest in Economics but introduction of the book triggered me to read/listen this book. I'm glad I did. I found this book interesting even though I didn't follow completely and I've a plan to listen this book again :).
"Debunks alot of economic myths"
Overall it's an excellent book if you are relatively new to economics or a politician! Even for the more experienced reader the examples are still interesting. I disagree that the author shows contempt for the reader, he certainly shows frustration with many of our elected officials (which is justified in my opinion) but makes it clear that this is not a personal thing, just that most of them are more concerned with being re-elected than making good economic decisions. If this book was mandatory reading in schools then the number of people supporting socialist policies would half within a decade. I have two complaints about the book; 1) sometimes the short-term vrs long-term implications of decisions are not fully explained (so rent control laws lead to builders building less low-cost house prices creating shortages, but in the UK for example the government started forcing builders to build low-cost houses). 2) the narrator conducts a full frontal assault on the english language throughout the book, 'forbade' sounds like 4bad and he takes it upon himself to rename Nokia and Nissan.
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