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Who Cooked Adam Smith's Dinner?: A Story About Women and Economics Paperback – 5 Mar 2015

4.9 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Portobello Books Ltd (5 Mar. 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846275644
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846275647
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.6 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 21,587 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

'Polemical and entertaining… and excellently titled' -- Heather Stewart, Economics editor of Observer

'Who cooked Adam Smith's dinner? His mother, of course. From this compelling insight, Katrine Marçal builds her critique of economic man, exposing him for the sham he really is. Erudite, furious, and eminently readable, this book will send a great many economists running for cover' -- Philip Roscoe, author of I Spend, Therefore I am

'Marçal's book is instructive, angry and funny: economic man has met his match' -- Nina Power, author of One Dimensional Woman

'Marçal is right that economics simplifies people. The book isn't short of insights and much of Marçal's analysis is thought provoking' --Prospect

'Witty and perceptive, Who Cooked Adam Smith's Dinner? is a welcome addition to a canon dominated by men. With feminist incisiveness she looks at the mess we're in' --New Internationalist

'In commanding rhetoric punctuated with spiky wit, Katrine Marçal does not seek to yoke every last aspect of our lives to the tyranny of Homo economicus. Rather, she asks why we have fetishised the myth, and suggests that man denuded of his humanity is not such a figure to aspire to after all' --Caroline Criado-Perez, New Statesman

About the Author

KATRINE MARCAL is the lead editorial writer for the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet, where she writes articles on Swedish and international politics, economics and feminism. On publication in Sweden, Who Cooked Adam Smith's Dinner was shortlisted for the August Prize and won the Lagercrantzen Award. She lives in London.


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When one of my grandsons commented that his mother had achieved nothing in her life, I was searching for a way to open his teenage eyes.
This book should do it with facts and humour and more humour.
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MUST read. It's horribly, wonderfully thought-provoking and provoking generally. Complete challenge to the public discourse.
Buy it. ready it. Change your perspective, change your life.
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really excellent. A familiar theme if you are awake ... but framed in such an excellent and thought provoking lively way.
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reading again. Essential reading for anyone.
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Journalistic, but highly readable. It eloquently takes you through a feminist understanding of economic relations and signposts lots of useful academic texts to move on to. Great for publicizing the still radical notion that devalued work which has been assigned to women due to their gender, is actually valuable!
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Ever wonder why (male) footballers and business managers/bankers are paid millions, cosseted and protected - when a (female) cancer nurse or a middle-aged carer is paid a pittance (if paid at all), and has no status? Warning: contains nuggets of insight.

Overall, a necessary analysis of 'everyday injustice': the unending & lifelong discrimination against 52% of the human population, whose vital contribution goes largely unrecognised and un-valued; and the concept of 'there is only one main gender' plus 'something else (lesser) tacked on' called female.Yet, if all women went on strike the world would grind to an immediate shuddering halt - but that's the point: women DON'T, and WHY. And how this is, at the same time, ignored and exploited.

Some of the phrasing of this book is a bit disjunctive, but with improved syntax editing would be easier/punchier to read.
Will probably appeal largely to those already open to feminist principle, social justice, fairness and equality.....
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I remember a similar title on Rosalind Miles great world history of women, Who Cooked the Last Supper? This book measures up, as witty and well researched and presented in small enough chunks you can take a break to think about how huge are omissions of the great economic thinkers. As in all things "female."
She calls out the fiction of the ultra-masculine rational economic man. The market is not the same as physics, as economics was pretending from the 1980s on, nor is it a game. It is made up of many moving parts, its parts being complicated humans within a context that economics abstract theory omits. Her notes, references and bibliography are formidable, but it's her wry wit that makes it all work. I particularly enjoyed learning about Adam Smith's mom and a mysterious beloved cousin. And I so appreciate her analysis of work-life balance for Shanesha Taylor, a representative for millions of women. I admire Marcal's work very much.
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By Autamme_dot_com TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 6 Sept. 2016
Format: Kindle Edition
Can this reviewer butcher the phrase or idiom “No man is an island” and shoehorn it to state that there is also the female of the species to consider too? This book provides a wonderfully serious, yet light-hearted and incredibly informative look at the role women have in society, as viewed through the lens of an economist, going deep back in history and moving forward to the present-day.

The title is based around economist Adam Smith and one of his claims about self-interest and the “economic man” whilst forgetting that often it was “economic woman” doing the work, providing the womanpower (sic) and supporting the male machine at the same time. Yet this is not a barbed, sour-faced book that goes overboard on equality and feminist issues; it is cleverer than that and you can, after all, catch more flies with sugar than salt…

This is more than just a book about economics. It mixes so many disciplines together and makes for an excellent read. This could be an ideal “commuting companion” when you want to mix light-relief and learn something at the same time. It will have you certainly thinking, unless you have a mind of concrete. Despite it being a light-read, it is not a humour book and the content is of a high calibre and standard. Some of the reported information may shock you and even sadden you.

Ignore it at your peril! Buy it at your earliest convenience! Read it, learn it and share its contents!
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