Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Basic Economics by Thomas Sowell

Continuing my efforts to better understand the economy as a whole, and make up for some of the things I didn’t study during undergrad, I spent a pleasant hour flipping through various books on the economy. This one seemed the most complete and most basic at the same time.

Six months later, I finally finished The Big Book of Economics! At six hundred pages of not-that-dense economic theory for beginners, this one took a while. Certainly not as long as if I’d read a complex book of economic theory for smart people, but still an accomplishment of sorts.

Dr. Sowell of Stanford University is a dedicated scholar of Milton Friedman and similar schools of thought. He’s bright and his style feels approachable without being overly dimmed down.

In twenty-five chapters he covers such topics as Prices & Markets, Industry & Commerce, Work & Pay, Time & Risk, National Economies, International Economies.

The book was informative, and I now feel like I have a much firmer grasp of basic economics. I’d be remiss not to mention a few problems though. First, the book has a particularly right-leaning conservative bent and occasionally gets on a high-horse. Second, the organization is odd, such that section overviews come at the end of the section, with the sections themselves preferring to jump straight into sub-topics without any preamble or indication as to the fascinating twists and turns the subject matter will take.

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