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The Best Book on the Market - How to Stop Worrying and Love the Free Economy Paperback – 18 Jul 2014


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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
  • Product Dimensions: 16.8 x 12.3 x 1.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
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Review

."..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)

Review

"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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4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By gerryg VINE VOICE on 14 Jun. 2008
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 By Terence Arthur on 2 Jun. 2008
Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Hardcover
"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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By Lark TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 28 Feb. 2009
Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Hardcover
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 By Dr. John Spiers on 23 May 2008
Format: Hardcover
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 By Craig Smith on 5 Jun. 2008
Format: Hardcover
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 By Evil Uncle R on 21 May 2008
Format: Hardcover
I loved this book. For someone who wants to understand the fundamentals of market thinking, this cannot be beaten
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