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Customer Review

on 2 January 2010
For anyone that has read and enjoyed the original Economic Naturalist this book is an extreme disappointment. The whole basis of the book is different; gone are the entertaining stories about how Economics can explain seemingly irrational contradictions, such as the difference in earnings between male and female models. In their place we have a set of reprints of New York Times columns, many of which predate the original book.
Frank has pulled the various columns together into themes and has added some context to each section the result is a set of collected articles which frequently go over the same ground. In some ways the themes make this worse since rather than being spread across months or years, columns on similar subjects are next to each other.
Perhaps the most disappointing thing about the book is that Frank seems to have forgotten his own lesson from learning Nepalese for the Peace Corps. He knows, and states in this book, that people learn better from stories and repetition. Though the repetition is here the stories have in the main been replaced by opinion. Where are the hundreds of questions and answers that Frank says his students use in their term papers?
If you enjoyed the Economic Naturalist I would recommend reading Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner rather than this sequel.
Overall a very disappointing book given the highly entertaining and informative tomb that it is supposed to be the return of.
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