I’ll admit to being generous rating this five stars on Goodreads, but it’s a rare delight to find a book on economics to be so engaging. There is even a call out to Terry Pratchett and a couple of quotes by Douglas Adams, two of my favorite (sort of) philosophers. It’s written as a kind of Platonic dialogue, a narrative in which the ‘reader’ (or just some guy with a mild interest in the subject) poses reasonable questions and provides appropriate comments while the ‘author’ offers responses that are informative but not overly detailed or technical. So sure, the explanations tend to be fairly superficial and gloss over nuances, but the basics are here. What are the essential differences between Keynesian and classical economic theories? What’s GDP and how does it differ from GNI? Is inflation always bad? How might problems like unemployment, poverty, and economic inequality be mitigated? Is perpetual economic growth possible? I found it all interesting and about as delightful to read as a nonfiction book can be. If you’re looking for a serious, in depth study on macroeconomics, this isn’t it. But for a clear introduction, this is hard to beat.
The Undercover Economist Strikes Back