Landsburg, S.E., (2012) The Armchair Economist

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Landsburg, S.E., (2012) The Armchair Economist

Postby Teiana on Tue Sep 04, 2012 1:57 pm ... t/8924977/

So disappointed by this book! can't recommend it although it could have its uses. I was looking for something which would give me a simple glossary of economics terms, expanded with simple examples... something that was well referenced and scientific but also designed to be read by the non-expert. This book isn't that.

If you are looking for something to suggest topics for discussion, it could be a great book, and i imagine it would be a great 'book club' read because it would be sure to raise many many points for debate! However i find the whole thing so badly written as to be almost unreadable. Most of the text is just questions or rewording of questions, not much is answered. Instead of referencing things neatly the author says vague stuff like "Edward Learner [...] once published an [...] article..." i mean how much quicker would it have been to say (for example) "In 1983 Edward Learner...." and there's not even a proper bibliography, just an appendix with 'notes on sources' ...yeah i'm being nitpicky but the whole thing feels clumsy. The style just comes across as vague. Anyway if i were writing a school report on it i'd say 'means well, could do better'. It seems to have less to do with economics and more to do with 'presenting moral dilemmas' without actually showing any mechanism for solving them. I confess i am writing this having not yet read every last page... but even at the stage i am i feel i have learned nothing at all about economics. I think my disappointment is exacerbated by having just read james gleicks masterpiece 'the information' during which i felt i was learning something on almost every page. (sigh).

my search for enlightenment continues...
H.R.H. 8-)
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Re: Landsburg, S.E., (2012) The Armchair Economist

Postby jsp_1983 on Thu Sep 13, 2012 12:48 am

I could recommend gentle introductions/ easy reads to economics, but I think the problem with doing so is that they're usually written from the perspective of a particular school of economic thought, so inevitably, there will be frowns at recommendations or the suspicion that there's some underhand brainwashing going on. That said, Henry Hazlitt's Economics in One Lesson is well-known as a good introduction. I can certainly recommend it as an easy read and it brings in some well-known ideas from established economists and theorists.

I can sort-of recommend A Very Short Introduction to Economics. It won't provide you with technical terms, but will touch on some of the broader concepts of 'lived' economics.
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