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Help wanted - Beginners guide to economics

A reader writes:

Can you recommend a good beginners guide to economics?

The more I try to keep track of the world the more I realise that the subject dominates and apart from being able to draw the price:supply and demand graph (sometimes even getting it right) I am a bit of a novice on the topic.

Although I have something of the right about me politically I'd prefer any book that explained the principles clearly enough for an engineer rather than a polemic.

Any suggestions would be welcomed by him, me and I'm sure a lot of others.


Thomas Sowell's Basic Economics - a Citizen's Guide to the Economy is the one. It's written for an American readership but this is only a minor distraction from what is a very clear and accessible text.

P.J O' Rourke's "Eat The Rich - A Treatise On Economics" is informative and also very funny.

Concur with both of the above recs. David Friedman's Hidden Order, the Economics of Everyday things is also good - http://www.mises.org/misesreview_detail.asp?control=36&sortorder=issue

Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt is outstanding and easy to read.

Read Sex, Drugs & Economics by Diane Coyle (amazon uk). Besides being hilariously funny, it is an extremely well-written and informative.

Thanks guys,

I think I know where I'll be spending my bonus this christmas.

Thanks for putting the request up, Tim


Eat the Rich, definitely.

Postive Economics - Richard Livsey

"Economics for Real People: An Introduction to the Austrian School" by Gene Callahan

Adam Smith's "Wealth of Nations"

All joking aside...

it's quite hard to find a good book that isn't either a bit glib or a bit too much like a textbook....

Stephen Landsburg's The Armchair Economist is pretty good, as is the David Friedman book.

Steer clear of Coyle, Sowell and anything Austrian of course.

Lipsey's textbook is good, but Mankiw is a good alternative.

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