Basic Economics, Fourth Edition

  • by Thomas Sowell
  • Narrated by Tom Weiner
  • 23 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The fourth edition of Basic Economics is both expanded and updated. A new chapter on the history of economics itself has been added, and the implications of that history examined. Among other additions throughout the book, a new section on the special role of corporations in the economy has been added to the chapter on government and big business.
Basic Economics, which has now been translated into six foreign languages, has grown so much that a large amount of material previously found in the back of the book has now been put online instead so that neither the book itself nor its price will have to expand. The central idea of Basic Economics, however, remains the same: The fundamental facts and principles of economics do not require jargon, graphs, or equations and can be learned in a relaxed and even enjoyable way.


What the Critics Say

“Clear and concise…Among economists of the past 30 years, [Sowell] stands very proud indeed.” ( Wall Street Journal)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Love & hate for this right wing thesis

I have to say that it's been a long time since a book influenced me enough to prompt me to actually write a review of it. I write this review in some sense due to a feeling of outrage that it stands unchallenged and might be taken as an authority on the subject for us lesser mortals, for whom Mr Sowells contempt is barely guarded.

"Basic Economics for the uncouth, undeserving and otherwise retarded public" might have been a more appropriate title given the overall flavour of this sweet and sour alphabet soup that Mr Sowell has vomited upon us. Make no doubt about it, as the author has no such second thought: the peoples and governments of the world are dense to the point of disbelieving mathematics in favour of the Marxist dogma that is presumably peddled as democracy in our society.

The author hammers home a belief system with trite examples that oversimplify most of the subjects, condemning any other belief than his own to cheap ridicule. The degree of simplification that he uses in his black and white interpretation of the world is almost childish, to the point of ruining even his most well made arguments. It is this constant contempt in which he treats his reader that most of all spoils what could have been a great book.

But it is still a compelling read (listen?) and I have spent more time with this audiobook than I have any other in the past year. As long as you aren't as stupid as he assumes you are, you should be able to get the best bits out of this book, and if nothing else it will be a sound introduction to economics, even with it's right wing barb.

A must-read for anyone interested in how money and economics works, and a good introduction, if somewhat biased.
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- Kevin

Not bad, but not great

I would disagree with some of the other reviews, i feel the book is quite balanced and generally portrays economic principles as economic principles and attempts to stray away from political views accept to highlight an economic point or use political mistakes of the past to deepen understanding of how an economically driven outcome would have been better than the politically driven policy.

My main gripe with this book however and why it may feel to some as though the author has an underlying agenda, is that it repeats itself a number of times and the examples used do not often move away from the political arena. A much better grounding in economics would start with the areas of economics that individuals can understand, like their own day to day dealings and gradually build to more in depth examples.

Due to the feeling of the book repeating itself it is also far to long for the content it covers, and is also very light on some behavioural economics and in explaining different approaches to standard issues in economics. All in all this makes the book very ominous and repetitive and unfortunately in my opinion is not a complete introduction. However there are not many books that attempt to provide a complete overview of economics or the economy without using maths and this is probably the best of those.
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- mr

Book Details

  • Release Date: 28-12-2010
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.