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New Ideas from Dead Economists:
More than 150 years ago, Scottish essayist Thomas Carlyle dubbed economics the "dismal science." But it certainly isn't that way in the skilful hands of Todd G. Buchholz, author of New Ideas from Dead Economists. In this revised edition of his book first published in 1989, economics is accessible, relevant and fascinating. It's even fun--for example when he uses the cast of Gilligan's Island and Henny Youngman jokes to explain complex economic theories. "Why not have the last laugh on Carlyle by using the dead economists themselves to reverse their bad reputations and to teach the lessons they left to us?"
Buchholz surveys and critiques economic thought from Adam Smith's invisible hand of the 18th century to the depression-fighting ideas of the Keynesians and money supply concepts of the 20th-century monetarists. He also relates classic economic principles to such modern-day events as the fall of communism, the Asian financial meltdown and global warming. Buchholz includes plenty of anecdotes about the lives of the great economists: Karl Marx, for instance, was an unkempt slob; David Ricardo, the early 19th-century English politician and economist, was among the rare economists to get rich trading stocks; and Maynard Keynes was so homely his friends called him "Snout." Here's a lively and authoritative read for those interested in the past, present and future of economics. --Dan Ring, Amazon.com [via]