Free Lunch: Easily Digestible Economics Paperback – 2 Aug 2012
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David Smith skilfully cuts through the mind-numbing waffle that surrounds much of modern economics, delivering a highly accessible guide to a subject that many claim to understand but very few do. (Jeff Randall, BBC Business Editor)
Smith ... is an amiable and talented dining companion (Martin Hemming Observer)
Free of jargon, obfuscation and interminable subordinate clauses, his prose is just the job (Ross Leckie The Times)
Revised edition of this classic accessible guide - fully updated to explore how the global crisis of 2008 has affected the economySee all Product description
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I personally found it very useful in drawing out all the connections between consumer spending, tax, interest rates, and how they all impact each other in the mysterious machine known as 'the economy'. Those wanting deeper analysis will want to look elsewhere, but if you're only going to read one book on economics in your life (and let's face it, for most of us one is plenty), this is what you require.
The book deliberately avoided any charts or formulas. However, I think introduction to some economics formulas would have been justified. There is only one real formula, where author states what components make up a country's GDP.
I am not sure whether linking economics theory with lunch theme actually worked. Often it felt bit annoyance.
If you give it a miss, you won't miss much.
If you live outside Britain, then don't buy this edition/version.
For those new to economics, perhaps one of the most refreshing features about the book is that it contains no diagrams and just two simple equations - which is very unusual for a contemporary book on economics. As an undergraduate studying economics, I cannot help think that a diagram in one or two places would have clarified the explanation - however, this may have over-complicated things for the general audience, and I think Smith was right to leave the book diagram free.
Even as a student, who supposedly should know a fair bit about economics, I found the book highly informative, clarifying issues that I am studying at the moment and touching on new topics that I have not yet encountered. To my surprise the book focused on various aspects of current economic theory in a clear and concise manner that will no doubt help me in my studies.
'Free Lunch' contains a wealth of general economic knowledge presented in a highly accessible and often witty writing style. I would therefore recommend this book as an excellent introduction to economics.
The book is set out as a meal plan with appetizers, a main course, desserts, coffee and guest speakers. Guest speakers include many well-known economists such as Carl Marx, Adam Smith, and Maynard Keynes, but the contributions of some less famous economists such as Ricardo are also examined. Smith also provides further details of economic web sites worth visiting and a book list for the interested reader wishing to learn more about economics.
All in all, the book is a fantastic introduction to economics, giving the necessary information to understand the way in which our countries are run and our personal finances are controlled.
This book gave a good, top level grounding in how the different elements of the economy interact. He does this without getting boring or going into too much detail. I found the book very easy to read and it held my attention. This is no easy feat for a book on economics!
However I am left feeling that my taste has been wetted and I need to know more in order to fully understand the subject. The book has done well to stimulate my interest to the extent that it did, but did not provide enough detail to satisfy me.
If you just want a top level, interesting introduction to economics and how it effects Joe Bloggs you won't regret buying this book.
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