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How and Why Our Economy Works (and Doesn't Work), in Words and Pictures

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Stimulus plans: good or bad? Free markets: How free are they? Jobs: Can we afford them? Occupy Wall Street ... worldwide! Everybody's talking about the economy, but how can we, the people, understand what Wall Street or Washington knows--or say they know? Read Economix. With clear, witty writing and quirky, accessible art, this important and timely graphic novel transforms the dismal science of economics into a fun, fact-filled story about human nature and our attempts to make the most of what we've got ... and sometimes what our neighbors have got. Economix explains it all, from the beginning of Western economic thought, to markets free and otherwise, to economic failures, successes, limitations, and future possibilities. It's the essential, accessible guide to understanding the economy and economic practices. A must-read for every citizen and every voter.

From Publishers Weekly

Aug 20, 2012 – Economics is terrifying. Even if one doesn't consider the bleak state of the current world economy, just attempting to create a mental picture of the complex systems of market forces, government agencies, and human psychologies that drive the economy can be like trying to visualize a map of the universe. But Goodwin and illustrator Burr argue that the economy is easy enough to understand if you break it down into bite-sized chunks, roughly the dimensions of a comic panel. They tell the story of the economy starting with its first documented examination by Adam Smith and working their way up to 2011. That devotion to thoroughness makes this a dense yet quite accessible read. Goodwin brilliantly contextualize economic theories with historical narrative, while Burr's simple but elegant illustration employs classical techniques like caricaturing politicians and symbolizing big businesses (as a gleeful factory) to help the reader visualize difficult concepts. If the book has a prime message, it's that the economy is quite understandable and when things go wrong, the effort and thinking of a whole society must be applied to bring everything back into line.

Customer Reviews

Perfect for Lay People

This was a great experience reading this book on economics. There is a lot to it, however I found the cartoon caricatures of various economic theroies to be brilliant.

A very worthwhile read for those intereesetd in how the modern western economy came to be.

Impossible to put down!

You will not want to put this book down! I considered myself fairly knowledgeable about history and economics separately, but this book did so much to connect the two, in an entertaining and informative way, that I wanted to read it through in one sitting!

I've long felt that the comic book/graphic novel style is the best way to tell stories about history. From Larry Gonick's "A Cartoon History of the Universe" to the comic version of the 9/11 Commission Report, the comic format seems to do wonders to help audiences see the connections between different parts of history with one another, and with the present. But Goodwin and Barr add economics -- a truly "dismal" science -- to the mix, and make it not just interesting, but totally engaging.

This book should be required reading in middle school or high school. It's easily better than either the history or the economics education that most of our nation's students are getting, and fun reading to boot. Even those whose personal biases are challenged in this book will both learn things they may not have known, and reconsider their simplistic dogmas. This book presents, in black-and-white images, a topic that is never black-and-white!

Really Excellent

Everyone should read this book. Entertaining yet thoughtful, I laughed out loud in spots and ended up feeling hopeful. Loved the entire experience.

View in iTunes
  • $12.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Finance
  • Published: Sep 01, 2012
  • Publisher: ABRAMS
  • Seller: Harry N. Abrams, Inc.
  • Print Length: 304 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.2 or later and iOS 4.2 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings

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