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Customer Review

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Generally good but in no way exceptional. Very US-centric, 7 Feb. 2010
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This review is from: Naked Economics - Undressing the Dismal Science (Paperback)
At the bottom of the book's cover, it reads: "Explains our world in a way that is (gasp!) actually entertaining." (Book)

"Naked Economics" certainly does not explain the world. It does however provide an overview of the basic economics of our capitalistic world. This in fact narrows down further, as the book is very US-centric. On the good side, it is witty and full of everyday and historical examples that makes it easy and enjoyable to read, even for those lacking basic economics knowledge. Some examples are very similar to subjects that you can find at (subsequent best-seller) "Freakonomics", e.g. the estate agent conflict of interests. On the other hand, you could find yourself expecting deeper analysis, especially when it comes to the Macroeconomics chapters.

In previous reviews (here and at amazon.com) there is a dispute as to whether the author is pro- or anti- government. He in fact explains why governments are essential for economies to function. On the other hand, here and there in the book it becomes apparent that he would like as less government as possible, which is normal given the infamous tradition of the Univ. of Chicago in economics, where he teaches.

Chapter 11 is essentially a dithyramb to globalization; but then again you would expect that when bying such a book. While the chapter provides interesting information, as you read it becomes evident that the author's choice of the arguments of the opposite side in which he responds is biased. The anti-globalization movement is presented more or less as a bunch of naive or mindless youths. As for the environmental problem, he explains why policies should be decided locally, giving no counter-argument whatsoever.

One aspect that I found annoying about this book is that in several cases the author seems to be making PR through it. The most explicit example comes from page 116: "I caddied for more than a decade (most famously for George W. Bush, long before he was the mature world leader that he is today)". Irrespectively of how inept this remark about the world's most unpopular US president is, I bought this book to gain some insight in economics, not public relations.
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Location: London, UK

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