Eat the Rich: A Treatise on Economics

Eat the Rich: A Treatise on Economics

by P. J. O'Rourke
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

In the tradition of his contemporary classic Parliament of Whores, the man who The Wall Street Journal calls "the funniest writer in America" is back with Eat the Rich, in which he takes on the global economy. P. J. O'Rourke leads you on an hysterical whirlwind world tour from the "good capitalism" of Wall Street to the "bad socialism" of Cuba in search of the

See more details below

Overview

In the tradition of his contemporary classic Parliament of Whores, the man who The Wall Street Journal calls "the funniest writer in America" is back with Eat the Rich, in which he takes on the global economy. P. J. O'Rourke leads you on an hysterical whirlwind world tour from the "good capitalism" of Wall Street to the "bad socialism" of Cuba in search of the answer to an age-old question: "Why do some places prosper and thrive, while others just suck?" With stops in Albania, Sweden, Hong Kong, Moscow, and Tanzania, P.J. brings along his incomparable wit and finds hilarity wherever he goes.

Editorial Reviews

Peter Passell
Eat the Rich is a delightful collection of anecdotes and one-liners. Those who insist on leavening their entertainment with redeeming social significance can always watch public television.
New York Times Book Review
Philadelphia Inquirer
A witty jaunt. . .makes you wish [O'Rourke] had been your economics professor.
Forbes FYI
O'Rourke has done the unthinkable: He's made money funny.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Having chewed up and spat out the politically correct (All the Troubles in the World) and the U.S. government (Parliament of Whores), O'Rourke takes a more global tack. Here, he combines something of Michael Palin's Pole to Pole, a soupcon of Swift's A Modest Proposal and Keynsian garnish in an effort to find out why some places are 'prosperous and thriving while others just suck.'

Stymied by the 'puerile and impenetrable' prose of condescending college texts, O'Rourke set forth on a two-year worldwide tour of economic practice (or mal-). He begins amid the 'moil and tumult' of Wall Street ('Good Capitalism') before turning to dirt-poor Albania, where, in an example of 'Bad Capitalism,' free market is the freedom to gamble stupidly. 'Good Socialism' (Sweden) and "Bad Socialism" (Cuba) are followed by O'Rourke's always perverse but often perversely accurate take on Econ 101 ('microeconomics is about money you don't have, and macroeconomics is about money the government is out of'). Four subsequent chapters reportedly offer case studies of economic principles, except that Russia, Tanzania, Hong Kong and Shanghai all seem to prove that economic theory is just that. There's lots of trademark O'Rourke humor ('you can puke on the train,' he says of a trip through Russia, 'you can cook tripe on alcohol stoves and make reeking picnics of smoked fish and goat cheese, but you can't smoke'). There's also the feeling that despite (or maybe because of) his lack of credentials, he's often right. O'Rourke proves that money can be funny without being counterfeit.

Booknews
A humorous look at wealth--what it is and how to get it. The author begins with Wall Street, then explores the economies of Albania, Sweden, Cuba, Russia, Tanzania, Hong Kong and Shanghai. There is a very limited bibliography contained in the acknowledgements. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
L.S. Klepp
...[T]he places he visits in this book are meant as one-chapter illustrations of his treatise on economics...they're on the same map as the caricatured destinations of his previous travel collections...he remains the most insular, prejudiced, comically acute travel writer. --Entertainment Weekly
Dave Shiflett
...P.J. O'Rourke...[is] still in possession of the old spirit, the old edge, and the timeless ability to root out a commie and give him a swift kick in the teeth. These talents are on brilliant display in P.J.'s latest book, Eat the Rich... -- The American Spectator
Kirkus Reviews
America's leading right-wing humorist (not a very crowded field, admittedly) turns to that dismal science, economics. There's no need to find your college notes, however, since Samuelson had it all wrong, according to Prof. O'Rourke (Give War a Chance; All the Trouble in the World). The libertarian comedian first offers a succinct primer on the workings of Wall Street that is largely accurate and entirely fun. It's a difficult subject: 'One minute we're loading our possessions on top of the Ford and fleeing the dust bowl. The next minute we're buying dust futures on the Chicago Commodity Exchange.' So reporter O'Rourke travels, tax deductibly, to diverse parts of the world to determine why some places prosper and some just stink. Albania, ruined by avarice and pyramid schemes, is awful. Sweden is a pleasant place but too socialist to make it, according to our dubious analyst. Cuba is a mess; Tanzania, another mess; Russia, a puzzle (and a mess); Hong Kong, a prime example of capitalism (but destined to be a mess); Shanghai, clean (but a financial mess). The author disses the Third World, and the Second, too, wonderfully, and concludes, like many before him, that the free market is a moral device like no other. Well-defined rules may be necessary, but laissez-faire is the ultimate answer. A nature lover chained to a tree will save one tree, says O'Rourke; a financial pirate, however, provides "schools, roads and U.S. Marines, not to mention Interior Department funding to save any number of trees and the young idealists chained thereto.' (We are not told who, save the idealist, is going to divert enough from the leathernecks and the clear-cutters to save those trees).It's all selective blarney, of course, and a funny, pungent paean to the glory of free enterprise as well.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780871137609
Publisher:
Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Publication date:
07/28/1999
Series:
O'Rourke, P. J.
Edition description:
First Paperback Edition
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
336,805
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.90(d)

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >