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Summary

The book is for listeners who would like to learn economics for the fun of it - economics understood not as the study of the economy but as a tool for understanding human behavior: crime, marriage, politics, and much else.

Praise for the book:

"The book of the month is Hidden Order: The Economics of Everyday Life. One doesn't normally think of an economics book as light and pleasant reading, but David makes it seem so. If you have any interest in economics at all, you'll find this book both readable and fascinating; and I guarantee you'll learn something from it." (Jerry Pournelle in Byte)

“In David Friedman’s hands, economics becomes a sprightly science. Friedman has the rare knack of introducting fundamental principles with humorous examples. [A] dazzling array that runs the gamut from supermarkets to pirate ships. [A] clear picture of how simple assumptions about individual preferences and human rationality can increase our understanding of ordinary market behavior and a wide range of social institutions from marriage, to crime, to voting.” (Richard A. Epstein, The University of Chicago Law School)

Hidden Order helps us look at everyday experience from the perspective of basic economics. Readers will be surprised to learn how much economics explains about their own behavior as well as about that of others...” (James M. Buchanan, Nobel Laureate in Economics, 1986)

"The author is a talented teacher, and he moves effortlessly from the traffic jams and grocery stores to the efficient-market hypothesis, price theory, and backward-bending labor curves." (Deborah Stead in The New York Times)

“A surprisingly lucid and useful book, and about as appealing as economics gets." (Kirkus Reviews)

David Friedman apparently has written the book for the purpose of teaching you something, something which many textbook writers apparently don’t feel the need to take into consideration.” (Garret Wilson, Booknotes interview)

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©1996, 2019 David Director Friedman (P)2020 David Director Friedman

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  • STH
  • 14-01-21

Interesting book but poor narration

I’m part way through the first chapter and so far the content seems very promising. It sounds like it could be a very interesting book that does a great job explaining basic economic principles and applying them to the “real world” (ie, everyday life rather than finance.)

However, the performance is very poor and significantly brings down the overall quality. The book is narrated by the author himself. This is not unusual, but unfortunately there are two issues:

1) He appears to be an amateur narrator and it shows. It sounds like an average, untrained person simply reading a book aloud. You can also hear moments where he misspeaks and catches himself and other moments where he clearly sliced together edits awkwardly.

2) He used a sub-par mic. It almost sounds like it was recorded on his phone and you can even hear subtle background noise such as the roadway outside his room.

I really want to like this book, but unfortunately I don’t anticipate finishing it. The performance it quite amateur and distracting. I hope that the author is able to invest in creating a second audio version with a more professional performer, equipment, and sound editing. Until then, I would recommend seeking out a paper or Kindle version of this book.