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The Best Book on the Market - How to Stop Worrying and Love the Free Economy [Paperback]

E Butler
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
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Book Description

18 July 2014
The free market makes the world go around so maybe it's time to understand it a little bit better. Luckily Eamonn Butler is the ideal teacher to get us all up to speed.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Capstone; 1 edition (18 July 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857085816
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857085818
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
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."..Chancellor Geoffrey Howe...has endorsed a new tome by Adam Smith Institute boss Eamonn Butler on the power of free markets." ("The Evening Stand"a"rd", Monday 31st March 2008)"."..well written...full of rather good anecdotes about markets"" (Dr Grumble Blog, September 26, 2008)


"Witty and easy to understand, it challenges the mathematic, quasi-scientific way that economics is often taught"

"Ideal for general readers, the book uses everyday examples and addresses social issues such as sweatshops and fair trade." --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
This item has not been released yet and is not eligible to be reviewed. Reviews shown are from other formats of this item.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Preaching to the choir 14 Jun 2008
By gerryg VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I really liked this book. It was a succinct and lucid exposition of much with which I agree: the primacy of the market (and the inadequacy of equilibrium as an explanation for anything).

But it was also a bit "so what?" It is unlikely to persuade those that disagree, nor upset those that agree. However someone of his apparent calibre could have explored whether there are limits to markets, whether there is any market based justification for redistribution.

It's well written, it won't disappoint, but it's also fairly unchallenging. Freakonomics was interesting, the Undercover Economist was insightful, this is a rah-rah manifesto.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Eamonn Butler, Director of the Adam Smith Institute, has a wonderful ability to express the fundamentals of economics and exchange in ways that lay readers can understand and enjoy - and empathise. This ability combines with an essential technique - to start at the beginning! The path from a single deal between two consenting people (possibly in different countries) to large-scale free enterprise, is a simple continuum. Requiring only the freedom to associate, at every point participants are free to exchange - or not - and the choice may or may not be made with regard to ancillary matters such as specialist advice and contracts. Thus Dr Butler starts with a visit to a street market in Lanzhou, China, and ends (or nearly ends) in discussing multi-national companies. On the way, he covers most of the important consequences of this freedom; for example specialisation and exchange, (to the point where exchange is the fundamental social relation) money, the informative role of prices, and capital accumulation.

Dr Butler is (among other things) a proper economist. By this I mean he has no time for the Keynesian macro-economics churned out by most universities; markets, and life itself, are never in equilibrium, so why build up a "science" on the assumption that they are? There is no Utopia; it's just that markets and freedom from governments are much nearer to it, adjusting constantly in their quests to do better. As he says, "the free-exchange system [markets] has an uncanny power to steer the right resources to the right place at the right time". "Unorganised order", he calls it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent overview of the market economy 6 Aug 2009
"The best book on the market" is a very concise overview of how and why markets work, and how they allocate resources and effort in a very complex world. The book uses only clear everyday language, rather than the technical terms and charts that can cause confusion to those who don't speak the language of economics.
There are some good insights into the true function of some reviled areas of capitalism, eg speculators, and the downsides of government regulation and control are discussed in clear terms.
Eamonn Butler also lays into the traditional view of supply and demand, stating that markets are chaotic, and that the 'equilibrium' often talked about is a fallacy.
There are some details with which I disagree (particularly the advocation of 'Road Pricing') but nonetheless the book is a good grounding in free market theory.
I would recommend this book to anyone with an interest in how the economy works, whichever part of the political spectrum they inhabit.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece of pop-economics 28 Feb 2009
Even if, like me, you dont agree with the core perspective of this author's book I think that having read it you would have to agree that there is no better example of pop economic writing on sale today.

Butler presents a to the point and condensced nuts and bolts analysis of market forces, price mechanisms, specialisation, competition and even market failures or limitations. In doing so he has done a great service to all those who hold free marketeer perspectives. This is as good as a library comprising every book from early economists like Adam Smith to neo-classical economists like Hayek, Mise and Friedmann.

The style and pace of writing are good, the contents and layout of the book are equally accessible and make for an easy entertaining read. Consequently it is pretty persuasive, as a result I would sound a note of caution to the impressionable student or general reader alike as this is without a doubt a partisan read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Read this and master the basics of economics 7 Oct 2011
Bloody good book and how free market capitalism works and why state intervention does nothing but destroy it. Eamonn Butler demostrates this in style.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Book 23 May 2008
Eamonn Butler has the special but scarce ability of explaining complex ideas in elegant and clear language. I am buying copies to give as presents. The title is brilliant, and justified!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Book 5 Jun 2008
Eamonn Butler provides a simple, lucid and entertaining introduction to the complexities of markets. Fun and Informative.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A layman's view 21 May 2008
I loved this book. For someone who wants to understand the fundamentals of market thinking, this cannot be beaten
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Are we all loving the free economy now?
Whats sad about the muppets who have reviewed this book, is that most likely, they still believe in it. Read more
Published on 28 Sep 2008 by Mr. Christopher J. Moorhouse
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful and entertaining
A thoroughly digestible breeze through why markets are so effective, and what tends to hinder them working properly. Read more
Published on 2 July 2008 by J. Rountree
5.0 out of 5 stars A very lucid piece
Very readable without being simplistic. An excellent explanation of complex concepts. I recommend it highly.
Published on 26 Jun 2008 by Peter Young
5.0 out of 5 stars A book for everyman
I wish this book had been available when I was younger. Someone should buy a copy for every sixth-former and university student in the country... and every politician obviously! Read more
Published on 23 Jun 2008 by John Hayes
5.0 out of 5 stars Short, clear, sweet primer to the miracle of the market
Dr Butler's book is brief, taught and engaging; a vivid, first person narrative that draws you in and whisks you through with brio. Read more
Published on 19 Jun 2008 by D. R. Walters
5.0 out of 5 stars Ligthweight book but heavyweight message
This is a 'lightweight'book - only 160 pages including the index - but it delivers a heavyweight message about markets. Read more
Published on 11 Jun 2008 by Dr. G. Kennedy
5.0 out of 5 stars Markets explained for non-economists
This new book is a delight. My son is thinking of studying economics for A Level so I leave it by his desk during the day in the hope he will get a proper feel for the subject... Read more
Published on 11 Jun 2008 by Non-economist
5.0 out of 5 stars A primer and a basic guide,
The Best Book on the Market sets things out in the simplest terms that even the densest politician can understand. The pun-tastic title is a good clue at the nature of this book. Read more
Published on 11 Jun 2008 by Andrew Ian Dodge
5.0 out of 5 stars A 'Five Star Must Read'
To those interested in the art of economics but awed by the complexity and sheer size of Adam Smith's work (and the work of many other economists thereafter) the solution is at... Read more
Published on 10 Jun 2008 by Geovari
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