Although I nearly choked on the price tag, I needed this text for a class, so I bought it. I believe it to be over-priced. That said, if you need this book for a class, cost less relevant to your purchasing decision.
Therefore, I shall focus on the general merit of the textbook, regardless of price. It has several good points:
1. It uses tried-and-true methods of "teaching". Bold keywords with definitions highlighted in margins, frequent visual aids, real world examples illustrating business principles thoughout the text, etc. It repeats key concepts frequently enough to help ensure retention.
2. The language chosen is fairly accessible. While it is not particularly witty, it nevertheless, is a well-paced read, and I did not find myself bogged down re-reading sections over and over trying to understand.
3. It has a neat section: "Concepts to use now." Recognizing you may forget what you just learned between taking the class and being able to apply it in the real world, the book recommends a bunch of experiential learning activities to allow you to practice and cement the material. (If you are an instructor, this will surely be an attractive feature, allowing you to use the book's own lesson plans and assignments.)
4. The book really does cover the BASICS, and builds from there. It defines what a business is, what economics is, what a manager does, etc. In theory, someone who has never set foot in an office or a store could understand how business works beginning with this text. HOWEVER, I am taking this class after having a decade of business experience, and I believe that if I had not been previously exposed to some of these concepts, I would really struggle with full understanding and retention.
And now for the bad.
1. The editors dropped the ball on this. Someone added a bunch of self-tests in the preface, which apparently were never read by anyone before going to print. The "grading" for the self-tests has such blunders and rating True-False answers for a Multiple Choice test, and having scores that fail to add up properly.
2. The editors dropped the ball. Did I say that already? In addition to a hastily-forged preface, there were typos and inaccuracies. And I think the writers failed to use a modern style guide. Dangling participles and subjects so far away in the sentence from their verbs that it takes a Hail Mary leap to connect them... (Yes, that sentence was brutal. Hopefully you understand why.)
And finally the ugly.
1. The book is seriously, but seriously biased against anything but a free-market, pro-US economy and fiscal policy. Ostensibly written for Canadian audiences, it discusses NAFTA and protectionist policies while FAILING TO MENTION THE US SOFTWOOD EMBARGO AGAINST CANADA. Instead, it discusses how the French once made it hard for the US to export goods. Ridiculous.
2. The text actually says that a command economy (government/centrally controlled) offers "no incentive...to work hard or produce quality [goods]". I am not kidding. It's on page 15, Chapter 1. It left me deeply concerned about how much to trust the rest of the the text - especially since it is recognized the Canada, as a socialist country, has some government-controlled industries, and I would like to be able to do business with them too. Whoever writes the economics section, go find your polar opposite and co-write this. Make an attempt to offer a balanced business education that prepares students for your highly-touted "global economy".
3. This book is absurdly patronizing. It *might* be okay for kids fresh from (or still in) high school, but if you are considering this text for mature business students, it will rub them the wrong way. It keeps referring to "what we will need to know if we want to get our first job", how "different this is than a club at school" and so forth. The problem with this, is that although it is an introductary business text, the concepts are introduced so quickly and with such lack of depth that the student would need fore-knowledge to really keep up. Which means they would already know a little about business. Which means they are not kids who have never, ever held any sort of job or at least seen others at work. My message to the writers: the business concepts are great - just please know your audience.
If you ignore the preface completely (tear it up and burn it for heat), and know enough to remain skeptical about the socio-political assertions of the writers, the text is actually pretty decent. It uses appropriate adult-education techniques, is visually interesting, and offers many opportunities for discussion and continued learning.
Another really good aspect of the book is its integrative focus on business concepts. It is useful to see how all the pieces work together from the beginning. I understand this is a somewhat unique offering, and for that reason alone, I would recommend looking at this book.
Finally, the text is very timely (as much as published books can be), with clear attention paid to using current examples and supplementary items. This immediacy will help students feel that the concepts they are learning will actually still apply to the "real world" and can be used practically.
I give the text 3.5 stars. Perhaps it is actually better than most business books out there, but I want to see superlative results when I spend nearly $150 on a book, and when it is being used to train our new business leaders on how to behave and what to assume.