Tuesday, 8 October 2013

The Undercover Economist Strikes Back (Book review)

I'm a great far of Tim Hartford and his skill for making economics real and relevant to the man-in-the-street. I also thought Adapt, his previous book, was a 'must read'.

So I purchased this book as soon as it was published and looked forward to an excellent read. Unlike his other books this one is concerned with macroeconomics, something which I think virtually every foundation business studies course must cover in some way. Perhaps the book is targeted at that readership, and if that is the case, it is an excellent introductory text. It would also be ideal for anyone trying to get behind the jargon of current news stories.

However, the book just didn't work for me. It is comprehensive and Hartford, as usual, manages to demystify some big issues. But I found the style of writing irritating - it takes the form of an imaginary character conversing with Hartford and posing questions which he answers. That may appeal to some but I hope Hartford drops that approach.

'Adapt' was an excellent book and I could visualise myself reading it again. That's not an accolade I think 'The Undercover Economist Strikes Back' shares. Nevertheless, given Hartford's previous excellent track record as an author, I still expect to buy his next book.

PS I noticed that it's available as an airport edition at a significantly reduced price - so if you're travelling soon you could pick up lower price version on your travels.

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