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Author Topic: Please recommend me literature about economics.
Colonel Graff
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I want to read literature about the economy. I've so far read only one really good book on the economy and what policies have lead up to the current economic crisis. I want to read more literature on the economy because I feel like I am lacking in understanding on this deep subject.
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MightyCow
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Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner is very interesting. It's not your standard economics text, but it has a lot of cool insight into how economics can work in strange ways which might not be obvious at first.
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Samprimary
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Such as how, for instance, superman defeated the KKK.
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Fusiachi
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The Origin of Wealth.

Will discuss more later--gotta run.

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Lyrhawn
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I'm about halfway through Freakonomics and it's fascinating. I just put it down becuase I got the Omnivore's Dilemma for Christmas so I've been reading that, though I won't be able to finish either before the next semester starts. Freaknomics is a good read so far. I'm not sure I agree 100% with everything being said, but it's very accessible and blows your mind a couple times.
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ketchupqueen
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That book makes me [Wall Bash] in many, many places.
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fugu13
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Instead of the Freakonomics, which is mostly a book of magic tricks, I recommend the Armchair Economist, which is also very approachable, but isn't out to make the readers go "ooh, ahh". I suspect Discover Your Inner Economist is also very good, I just haven't read it yet.
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aspectre
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http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/04/opinion/04lewiseinhorn.html?pagewanted=1&em
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Lisa
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Economics in One Lesson: The Shortest and Surest Way to Understand Basic Economics, by Henry Hazlitt.

Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, a collection of essays by Ayn Rand and others, including Alan Greenspan. Don't let the fact that it's Rand scare you off. Read it, and make up your own mind.

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GinaG
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I've always heard good things about Thomas Sowell, such as his Basic Economics.
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Raymond Arnold
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Eh, I haven't read anything other than Sowell's weekly columns, but those always struck me as one sided and arrogant. (The review of Basic Economics, available right in the link Gina provided, does a better job of explaining why than I could)
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Jhai
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I also would not recommend Freakanomics as a good book to get an idea of how economics works. Levitt (the economist who wrote the book) is an extremely talented man, but not all that he does is without controversy, and most of it is not representative of what core economics is about. I do second fugu's recommendation for The Armchair Economist, and, having read Discover Your Inner Economist I can say that it's an excellent book that goes into the basic ideas of microeconomics - but it's more of a book that will help you in your daily life than will help you understand what led up to the current economics crises. I made a couple of economics book recs on this thread

If you want to know more about the financial crises, then I can suggest some online resources that go into in quite a bit of detail, from the basics onward. I doubt there's a book published yet that's free of spin.

If you want to know more about economics in an academics sense (rather than reading a popular science book which will almost always be a scatter shot approach to learning a subject), I can recommend some textbooks that are accessible and relatively interesting & cheap. An older edition of Mankiw's Priciples of Economics would be a very good choice, for instance.

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Mrs.M
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Raymond Arnold, I strongly disagree with you about Thomas Sowell and I would urge you to actually read his books before dismissing them based on his column or any reviews. I've never found him to be arrogant, though I do admit that many, if not most, economists tend to come across this way (Andrew and I are close friends with several very prominent economists and they all admit themselves that this is true, but they're very good sports about the teasing they get from us about it.). As to his being one-sided - he is quite well-known for his strong belief in the importance of empirical evidence to back up a point. If he seems one-sided, it's probably because he has done meticulous research and used that to affirm his position.

Also keep in mind that there are different schools of economics and whichever one the author ascribes to will heavily influence all of his or her work. For example, you will get very different views of the economy from a Keynesian that you will from a Austrian economist.

Basic Economics is an excellent book and I also enjoyed his latest book, Economic Facts and Fallacies.

Colonel Graff, you can always look up the syllabi for intro-level econ classes at different universities and check out those reading lists.

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Samprimary
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quote:
If you want to know more about the financial crises, then I can suggest some online resources that go into in quite a bit of detail, from the basics onward.
To understand the financial crisis, I can not recommend anything more highly than This American Life, which can be listened to for free.

Which you should do now.

Part One: A Giant Pool of Money

Part Two: Another Frightening Show About The Economy

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aspectre
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http://topics.nytimes.com/topics/reference/timestopics/subjects/c/credit_crisis/index.html
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aspectre
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Predictably Irrational
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Shan
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The Worldy Philosophers: The Lives, Times and Ideas of the Great Economic Thinkers, by Robert L. Heilbroner is quite fascinating and offers a good base to grow from via a friendly romp from Adam Smith through Joseph Schumpeter, with many points between.
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