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Explore the ideas of some of the greatest thinkers in economics. Gain the insights and research of contemporary economists and commentators. WINNER - SILVER MEDAL, AXIOM BUSINESS BOOK AWARDS 2018 Economics drives the modern world and shapes our lives, but few of us feel we have time to engage with the breadth of ideas in the subject. 50 Economics Classics is the smart person Explore the ideas of some of the greatest thinkers in economics. Gain the insights and research of contemporary economists and commentators. WINNER - SILVER MEDAL, AXIOM BUSINESS BOOK AWARDS 2018 Economics drives the modern world and shapes our lives, but few of us feel we have time to engage with the breadth of ideas in the subject. 50 Economics Classics is the smart person's guide to two centuries of discussion of finance, capitalism and the global economy. From Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations to Thomas Piketty's bestseller Capital in the Twenty-First Century, here are the great reads, seminal ideas and famous texts clarified and illuminated for all.


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Explore the ideas of some of the greatest thinkers in economics. Gain the insights and research of contemporary economists and commentators. WINNER - SILVER MEDAL, AXIOM BUSINESS BOOK AWARDS 2018 Economics drives the modern world and shapes our lives, but few of us feel we have time to engage with the breadth of ideas in the subject. 50 Economics Classics is the smart person Explore the ideas of some of the greatest thinkers in economics. Gain the insights and research of contemporary economists and commentators. WINNER - SILVER MEDAL, AXIOM BUSINESS BOOK AWARDS 2018 Economics drives the modern world and shapes our lives, but few of us feel we have time to engage with the breadth of ideas in the subject. 50 Economics Classics is the smart person's guide to two centuries of discussion of finance, capitalism and the global economy. From Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations to Thomas Piketty's bestseller Capital in the Twenty-First Century, here are the great reads, seminal ideas and famous texts clarified and illuminated for all.

30 review for 50 Economics Classics: Your shortcut to the most important ideas on capitalism, finance, and the global economy

  1. 5 out of 5

    Otto Lehto

    The book does what it promises. Although there are no real "shortcuts" to a proper understanding of economics, this book contains some pretty decent summaries of 50 important economic thinkers. They will get you a long way to understanding what the key issues and debates are in the field. The one big problem I have with the text is that it suffers from a pretty blatant free market and right wing bias. This is evident in the selection of the authors, with much more space given to pro-market autho The book does what it promises. Although there are no real "shortcuts" to a proper understanding of economics, this book contains some pretty decent summaries of 50 important economic thinkers. They will get you a long way to understanding what the key issues and debates are in the field. The one big problem I have with the text is that it suffers from a pretty blatant free market and right wing bias. This is evident in the selection of the authors, with much more space given to pro-market authors than anti-market authors. This bias also clouds the neutrality of the text. Half of the anti-market chapters are written in a way to predispose the reader to think that the anti-market theories have been debunked by subsequent theory and evidence. None of the pro-market chapters contain such heavy-handed editorial commentary. Well, I would have preferred a more balanced approach.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    A few years ago, I read Sylvia Nasar's book "Grand Pursuit: The Story of Economic Genius" and enjoyed it immensely. When I saw this book as a Goodreads giveaway, I couldn't help but enter. Economics is an endlessly fascinating topic once you begin to dive a little deeper. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and it is a great way to "read" all those economics texts that you never seem to have time to dive into. The selection of texts was excellent and included my favorite - Hayek! A few years ago, I read Sylvia Nasar's book "Grand Pursuit: The Story of Economic Genius" and enjoyed it immensely. When I saw this book as a Goodreads giveaway, I couldn't help but enter. Economics is an endlessly fascinating topic once you begin to dive a little deeper. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and it is a great way to "read" all those economics texts that you never seem to have time to dive into. The selection of texts was excellent and included my favorite - Hayek!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Glen

    I won this book in a goodreads drawing. Good book summarizing the points of many of the most important economic thinkers of the last several centuries. I was a little surprised they included the debunked neo-Marxist Picketty, but maybe that's what passes for important these days, when many economists are opining that it's possible that economics is a dead field, that we know pretty much everything there is to know. I won this book in a goodreads drawing. Good book summarizing the points of many of the most important economic thinkers of the last several centuries. I was a little surprised they included the debunked neo-Marxist Picketty, but maybe that's what passes for important these days, when many economists are opining that it's possible that economics is a dead field, that we know pretty much everything there is to know.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Tom

    List of the 50 books covered: 1. Liaquat Ahamed - Lords of Finance (2009) Fixed ideas in economics can have disastrous results 2. William Baumol - The Microtheory of Innovative Entrepreneurship (2010) Entrepreneurs are the engines of growth and must be valued 3. Gary Becker - Human Capital (1964) The most important investment we ever make is in ourselves 4. John Bogle - The Little Book of Common Sense Investing (2007) The most successful investing strategy is also the easiest 5. Eric Brynjolfsson List of the 50 books covered: 1. Liaquat Ahamed - Lords of Finance (2009) Fixed ideas in economics can have disastrous results 2. William Baumol - The Microtheory of Innovative Entrepreneurship (2010) Entrepreneurs are the engines of growth and must be valued 3. Gary Becker - Human Capital (1964) The most important investment we ever make is in ourselves 4. John Bogle - The Little Book of Common Sense Investing (2007) The most successful investing strategy is also the easiest 5. Eric Brynjolfsson & Andrew McAfee - The Second Machine Age (2014) Technological revolutions must allow for the advance of everyone 6. Ha-Joon Chang - 23 Things They Don’t Tell You About Capitalism (2012) Many nations succeeded by bucking the rules of orthodox economics 7. Diane Coyle - GDP: A Brief But Affectionate History (2014) How we measure economic output has consequences for people and nations 8. Ronald Coase - The Firm, The Market and The Law (1990) Why firms exist; the role of transaction costs in economic life 9. Peter Drucker - Innovation and Entrepreneurship (1985) Success comes from taking management and ideas seriously 10. Niall Ferguson - The Ascent of Money (2008) Finance is not evil, it built the modern world 11. Milton Friedman - Capitalism and Freedom (1962) Free markets, not government, protect the individual and ensure quality 12. JK Galbraith - The Great Crash, 1929 (1954) It’s government’s job to stop speculative frenzies ruining the real economy 13. Henry George - Progress and Poverty (1879) The best and fairest way to ensure opportunity is a tax on land 14. Robert J Gordon - The Rise and Fall of American Growth (2016) Living standards keep rising, but the greatest gains have already happened 15. Benjamin Graham - The Intelligent Investor (1949) We grow in wealth through long-term investing, not speculating 16. Friedrich Hayek - The Use of Knowledge in Society (1945) Societies prosper when they give up planning and control, and allow decentralization of knowledge 17. Albert O Hirschman - Exit, Voice and Loyalty (1970) Consumers have many options to get what they want 18. Jane Jacobs - The Economy of Cities (1968) Cities have always been, and always will be, the drivers of wealth 19. John Maynard Keynes - The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money (1936) To achieve social goals like full employment, governments must actively manage the economy 20. Naomi Klein - The Shock Doctrine (2008) ‘Neoliberal’ economic programs have proved a disaster for many developing countries 21. Paul Krugman - The Conscience of a Liberal (2007) The postwar consensus on how to grow an economy has been hijacked by ideology 22. Steven Levitt & Stephen Dubner - Freakonomics (2006) Economics is not a moral science, more an observation of how incentives work 23. Michael Lewis - The Big Short (2011) Modern finance was meant to minimize risk, but it has only increased dangers 24. Deirdre McCloskey - Bourgeois Equality (2016) The world became wealthy thanks to an idea: entrepreneurs and merchants are not so bad after all 25. Thomas Malthus - An Essay on the Principle of Population (1798) The world’s finite resources can’t cope with an increasing population 26. Alfred Marshall - Principles of Economics (1890) To understand people, watch their habits of earning, saving and investing 27. Karl Marx - Capital (1867) The interests of labor and capital are perennially in conflict 28. Hyman Minsky - Stabilizing An Unstable Economy (1986) Rather than creating equilibrium, capitalism is inherently unstable 29. Ludwig Von Mises - Human Action (1940) Economics has laws which no person, society or government can escape 30. Dambisa Moyo - Dead Aid (2010) Countries grow and get rich by creating industries, not by addiction to aid 31. Elinor Ostrom - Governing the Commons (1990) To stay healthy, common resources like air, water and forests need to be managed in novel ways. 32. Thomas Piketty - Capital in the Twenty-First Century (2014) The scales of wealth are tipping towards capital; if inequality widens there will be social upheaval 33. Karl Polanyi - The Great Transformation (1944) ​Markets must serve society, not the other way around 34. Michael E Porter - The Competitive Advantage of Nations (1990) Competition and industry clusters make a rich nation 35. Ayn Rand - Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal (1966) Capitalism is the most moral form of political economy 36. David Ricardo - Principles of Political Economy and Taxation (1817) A free-trading world will see each nation fulfil its potential 37. Dani Rodrik - The Globalization Paradox (2011) Globalization agendas are often floored by national politics 38. Paul Samuelson - Economics (1948) A combination of classical and Keynesian ideas creates the best-performing economies 39. EF Schumacher - Small Is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered (1973) A new economics must arise which takes more account of people than output 40. Joseph Schumpeter - Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy (1942) No form of political economy matches the dynamism of capitalism and its process of ‘creative destruction’ 41. Thomas Schelling - Micromotives and Macrobehavior (1978) Small behaviors and choices of individuals ultimately produce ‘tipping points’ with major effects 42. Amartya Sen - Poverty and Famines (1981) People starve not because there isn’t enough food, but because economics circumstances suddenly change 43. Robert Shiller - Irrational Exuberance (2000) Psychology, not fundamental values, drives markets 44. Julian Simon - The Ultimate Resource 2 (1997) The world will never run out of resources, because it is the human mind that drives advance, not capital or materials 45. Adam Smith - The Wealth of Nations (1778) The wealth of a nation is that of its people, not its government 46. Hernando de Soto - The Mystery of Capital (2003) Clear property rights are the basis of stability and prosperity 47. Joseph Stiglitz - The Euro (2016) Europe’s failed currency and its ideological underpinnings 48. Richard Thaler - Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics (2015) How psychology has transformed the economics discipline 49. Thorstein Veblen - Theory of the Leisure Class (1899) The great goal of capitalist life is not to have to work - or to take on the appearance of not needing to 50. Max Weber - The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (1904) Culture and religion are the most overlooked ingredients of economic success

  5. 5 out of 5

    NormaCenva

    This is such a great compilation, it is visible that a lot of care and research were combined to produce it. Very much enjoyable. Will check out the rest of the series for sure. N.B. it is already going to a very happy and excited friend, for a read!

  6. 5 out of 5

    bks

    It summarizes the book and tells you how they relate to each other. That is the whole point of "how to talk about books that you haven't read" by Pierre Bayard. It summarizes the book and tells you how they relate to each other. That is the whole point of "how to talk about books that you haven't read" by Pierre Bayard.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Zulhilmi Zakaria

    This book really helpful in providing insights to readers regarding economics ideas and great minds that have been improving directly or indirectly our modern civilization. The dialectic that has been brought by the author really challenge our mind how these various ideas that shaped our economics. In reading Marx's Capital, i absolutely hit by his arguments about how bad capitalism and the discrimination to the worker. At the same time, when it comes to von Mises's Human Action, it really convi This book really helpful in providing insights to readers regarding economics ideas and great minds that have been improving directly or indirectly our modern civilization. The dialectic that has been brought by the author really challenge our mind how these various ideas that shaped our economics. In reading Marx's Capital, i absolutely hit by his arguments about how bad capitalism and the discrimination to the worker. At the same time, when it comes to von Mises's Human Action, it really convince me that the idea of free market is already rooted in human nature. If we want to reject it, we would reject human nature. Also on same camp such as Smith's The Wealth of Nation, Ayn Rand's Capitalism The Unknown Ideal, Friedman's Capitalism and Freedom. However, the socialist or socialistic economist ideas quiet unrejectable, the writings such as Piketty's Capital is very compelling. He came with the idea of global tax to reduce the domination of capital over labor which he believed could stop "the endless inegalitarian spiral." I, myself rather positioning myself in pragmatic economist. We could see how they are supporting Capitalism but being critical with it. Also, on the opposite camp, Socialism. I just want to quote what Keynes said about this matter, in a nutshell, the elegant models of how economies work often wrong. Markets are not self-correcting, but need constant intervention and management to ensure high consumer demand, investment and employment. This idea also being proposed by Krugman, Stiglitz, Ha-Joon Chang and many more.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mike Koellhoffer

    What a wonderful book, especially for any business majors. "50 Economics Classics: Your shortcut to the most important ideas on capitalism, finance, and the global economy" by Tom Butler-Bowdon picks 50 of some of the most definitive classic books on economics divided into five major categories: The Spirit of Capitalism, Growth and Development, Adventures in Money & Finance (booms, busts, and gradual growth), Government, Markets & the Economy, and Behavioral Economics. The book then provides a q What a wonderful book, especially for any business majors. "50 Economics Classics: Your shortcut to the most important ideas on capitalism, finance, and the global economy" by Tom Butler-Bowdon picks 50 of some of the most definitive classic books on economics divided into five major categories: The Spirit of Capitalism, Growth and Development, Adventures in Money & Finance (booms, busts, and gradual growth), Government, Markets & the Economy, and Behavioral Economics. The book then provides a quick synopsis of each book including quotes, other books of a similar vein and even a short bio of the author. Great resource material for everyone interested in business and finance but who does not have the time to read each of these books. Provides the reader with enough basic information to appear knowledgeable and well-read without requiring months of dedicated reading time. Cliff notes for economics!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Zulfiqar Khan

    A helpful revision for economics enthusiasts and a valuable resource for those seeking an introduction to classic economic books and concepts therein. These range from Adam Smith's Wealth of the Nations to Pickety's Capital in the 21st century. The 50 chapters on 50 books were essentially teasers, just long enough to acquaint the reader with the core principles in the books, and to make one decide whether to buy them or not. A helpful revision for economics enthusiasts and a valuable resource for those seeking an introduction to classic economic books and concepts therein. These range from Adam Smith's Wealth of the Nations to Pickety's Capital in the 21st century. The 50 chapters on 50 books were essentially teasers, just long enough to acquaint the reader with the core principles in the books, and to make one decide whether to buy them or not.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Omkar Patil

    Interesting book- exposes you to a host of ideas in economics, the prominent ones being free-market/planned economies, (non)Malthusian ideology, behavioural economics and some historical perspective. It's a great book if you want to get an overview of economics, or just regret not doing an eco course in your uni. 5/5! Interesting book- exposes you to a host of ideas in economics, the prominent ones being free-market/planned economies, (non)Malthusian ideology, behavioural economics and some historical perspective. It's a great book if you want to get an overview of economics, or just regret not doing an eco course in your uni. 5/5!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Cemre Uludag

    Superb introductory overview of the economic ideas of the world we live in. The book is for the beginners in economics and only briefly touches ideas without going in depth. Still a good path finding book to go and explore more topics in the field of economics. Would recommend if you want to improve your literacy in the field.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Bryan

    This is a good overview of many of the major economic thinkers from a variety of time periods and schools of thought. It does not get into a lot of depth on any one, but acts as an introduction to each. This would be a good way to figure out which authors you would like to read more.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Narysmellsbee

    Good intro to economics. Happily surprised at the perspectives it included, such as those from Naomi Klein and other women and anticapitalist view points. Successfully made me want to look up some of these books and dig into them.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    I tried to read this, but I just don't have the mind for it. I just couldn't read it. I did like the "In a Nutshell" parts of the book. I tried to read this, but I just don't have the mind for it. I just couldn't read it. I did like the "In a Nutshell" parts of the book.

  15. 4 out of 5

    M.i.

    Piqued my interest, presented some interesting points but more so I like the fact it showed just how varied economists and their thought process can be.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sambasivan

    Excellent synthesis of great thoughts on economics over the last 200 years. The assessment is fair and objective. The final comments are incisive. Fantastic read.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jade

    Loved the brief summaries and clear explanations, but would’ve enjoyed it much more if author’s subjective commentaries hadn’t been included.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Nilan

    Great introduction to economics

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ole Sandbu

    Excellent summary of an array of issues in political economics.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Herjuno

    Seneng bisa refresh ilmu ilmu pas kuliah lagi

  21. 5 out of 5

    Alice

  22. 4 out of 5

    Nathan Mukoma

  23. 5 out of 5

    Rutesh Durve

  24. 4 out of 5

    Mosse Rodbay

  25. 5 out of 5

    Akkol Alexandru

  26. 5 out of 5

    Alexandra

  27. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Teale

  28. 5 out of 5

    jennet wheatstonelllsl

  29. 5 out of 5

    Alex

  30. 4 out of 5

    Andy Guertin

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