False Economy

  • by Alan Beattie
  • Narrated by Peter Johnson
  • 11 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Here is an important book for turbulent times, an accessible and engaging economic history of the world, by the world trade editor of the Financial Times.
Witty, knowledgeable, and fluent, False Economy tells extraordinary stories of economic triumph and disaster, explaining how some countries went wrong while others went right, and why it’s so difficult to change course once you’re on the path to ruin.
Why do oil and diamonds lead to economic disaster more often than boom? Why doesn't Africa grow cocaine? Why might believing in God be good for your balance-sheet?
In 2001 Argentina’s government bankrupted itself, yet for the past 200 years it had enjoyed a vista of economic opportunity almost identical to that of the United States. Why did the US succeed while Argentina stalled?
False Economy explains how human beings have shaped their own fates, however unknowingly, and the conditions of the countries they call home. And though it is history, it does not end with the present day. Beattie shows how decisions that are being made now - which have either absorbed or failed to absorb the lessons from economic history - will determine what happens in the future. What does economic history teach us about the present economic unrest? Who will succeed and why? And who will fail? These are questions that we cannot afford to leave unasked. Or unanswered.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

almost ruined by narration

This is a really interesting book, but the narration is terrible. I totally agree with the previous reviewer. He sounds like a robot, and can't pronounce the names of people and places properly.

The book is good, just on the section where the 'business plan' of cats is compared to that of pandas. Very funny and a great way to talk about adaptability and the ways that both species and countries can get stuck in a rut. The book explains all kinds of economic stuff in an interesting and enjoyable way.

The publishers need to be ashamed of the reader though, and their own slackness for not reviewing the audio book properly.
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- David

Absorbing book but iffy narration

This was an interesting and absorbing book, full of surprising insights and written with verve and humour. Economic history can be a dry subject, but the author keeps it moving, illustrating his points with good anecdotes, making you look at familiar events with a different eye.

Unfortunately the narration was not in the same class. Pacing was very uneven and the tone almost wooden such was the lack of variation - I got the strong impression that he had not read the book before his narration so disjointed was it in places. And without wishing to sound xenophobic, I think an English narrator would have better reflected the style and personality of the author.

So four stars for me; and before you buy do listen to the sample to make sure you're happy with the narration.
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- Tom

Book Details

  • Release Date: 30-03-2010
  • Publisher: Audible Studios