The Real Price of Everything: Rediscovering the Six Classics of Economicsby Michael Lewis
In his New York Times bestsellers Liar’s Poker and Moneyball, Michael Lewis gave us an unprecedented look at what goes on behind the scenes on Wall Street. Now he takes us back across the centuries to explore the four classics that created and defined not just Wall Street, but the entire economic system we live under today. Brought together with Lewis’s illuminating editorial commentary, they form an essential reference for any student of economics—in fact, for anyone who wants to understand the market forces and government policies that have shaped our world, and will continue to shape our future.
1776: The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith
1798: An Essay on the Principle of Population by Thomas Malthus
1817: Principles of Political Economy and Taxation by David Ricardo
1899: The Theory of the Leisure Class: An Economic Study of Institutions by Thorstein Veblen
1936: The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money by John Maynard Keynes
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Smith, Ricardo, Keynes; Veblen, Malthus, Mackay; such a book containing each authors' most notable work, all of which successively developed, beginning with Smith, created the landscape of which our 21st century economic perspectives critique. Each author gives a different view, of which some are still relevant, while others not so much; nonetheless, each book will inspire deep reflection, as it should; for each inquires into the nature of man and the consequence thereof. Read them; enjoy them; of them, ask questions; the effort will avial.
These texts first appear wordy until you realize every word is essential. Today's current economy is illuminated by these books that seem so remarkable for their complete relevance to everything in our world. Not just the economy but everything. It is as if Adam Smith wrote his book for the Wall Street Journal last week, not in the days of Thomas Jefferson. I now understand Michael Lewis' ability to so completely understand everything and see it all in economic terms. Lewis rightfully changes nothing of these historic gems but his introductions help the reader understand their importance. Long but worth the effort.