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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science
Popular economics writing does not get any better than this. In a dozen somewhat independent chapters, journalist Wheelan presents "Economics 101" in a readable, objective, and delightful manner. Employing basic concepts and assumptions, such as choices, incentives, tradeoffs, prices, costs, and the economics of information, Wheelan cuts a large swath though...
Published on April 17 2004 by B. Viberg

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Should include more about thinking like an economist
This introduction to economics is a good overview of the subject, but it has its flaws. I believe that an important goal of a nontechnical book on economics is to communicate how economists think, primarily to counter news reports and other descriptions of economic matters that tend to be brimming with inaccuracies and misunderstandings of the most basic principles of...
Published on March 13 2003


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science, April 17 2004
By 
B. Viberg "Alex Rodriguez" (New York, NY United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Naked Economics (Paperback)
Popular economics writing does not get any better than this. In a dozen somewhat independent chapters, journalist Wheelan presents "Economics 101" in a readable, objective, and delightful manner. Employing basic concepts and assumptions, such as choices, incentives, tradeoffs, prices, costs, and the economics of information, Wheelan cuts a large swath though contemporary microeconomic and macroeconomic issues, controversies, and fallacies. (He sneaks in more sophisticated theoretical points and jargon, e.g., externalities and the prisoner's dilemma, but in interesting, informative ways.) Topics include environmental problems, health care and insurance, risk and safety, education and productivity, the Federal Reserve System and monetary policy, financial markets and capital, inflation and unemployment, international trade and globalization, income and wealth inequalities, and economic development. Using anecdotes and applications galore, Wheelan treats both the power of markets and the role of government in a market economy (including special interest groups and the politics of economics). Devoid of graphs and mathematical equations (but not documentation), this book is quite simply a terrific, much-needed addition to the economics literature for intelligent general readers and must-reading for the media, government officials at all levels, and those who cast ballots and attempt to influence public policy. Highly recommended for general readers, lower- and upper-division undergraduates, and professionals.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Now I Understand..., Feb. 21 2003
By 
Ronald M. Schroder (Akron, OH United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Naked Economics (Hardcover)
Now I understand what I studied while getting two degrees in economics. If Wheelan had written the book before he was born (my bachelor's degree from Yale was in 1962), unquestionably I would have experienced better grades.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A sound, objective introduction to modern economics, March 16 2004
By 
C. Cesare (Southern California) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Naked Economics (Paperback)
Surprising as it may sound, I was not able to put this book down.
Now, while I didn't buy the book (I checked it out at my local library), I wouldn't mind having it on my shelf as a future reference. Having read some of Milton Friedman's work, I found Wheelan's writing much more refreshing and easier to grasp. Wheelan's book focuses much more on the "science" of economics than the merits of the free-market system, though he is obviously in favor of such markets.
Wheelan's explanation of the FED seemed more attainable to me than what Friedman put forth in Free to Choose.
All in all, anyone looking to a sound introduction to the market economy should check this book out.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Fun Read That Met All of My Criteria!, Dec 30 2003
By 
J. Zelenski (Lakewood, CO United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Naked Economics (Paperback)
Wheelan has done what no one else seems to have been able to do: write a non-technical economics book that avoids the fatal flaws of many others in the genre, presents all of the major areas of economics, does not insult the adult learner, and keeps the reader's attention from cover to cover. As an economics instructor at the principles through graduate level, I've searched high and low for such a book, and finally found in "Naked Economics" one that passes all of my screens. First, there are no graphs or formulas. Yet Wheelan has been able to capture virtually all of the basic lessons that are found in entry-level econ texts. The book covers micro, macro, monetary, labor and global economics. There are a number of fine non-technical econ. books on the market that focus on microeconomics (David Friedman, "Hidden Order" being one example), but have little to say about macro-, monetary or international economics, except in passing. Also, Wheelan offers brief but sound economic advice on personal investing. Thirdly, the book is politically well balanced. Neither the right nor the left get off scott-free, as Wheelan picks apart each side's weaknesses yet gives credit where sound economics supports a particular position. This aspect alone leaves it head and shoulders above its competitors, which in many cases are more polemics than economics. Wheelan is an economic journalist with a Ph.D., and happily, it shows. He weaves economic lessons with daily life and world events so smoothly that the reader is unaware that he or she has been learning the dismal science. Economics text writers can take a lesson from him.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A readable, simple introduction to Economics, Dec 19 2003
By 
sporkdude "sporkdude" (San Jose, Ca United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Naked Economics (Paperback)
This small book is a great introduction to economics in a non text book format. The author's language is fluid and readable, not like a boring, stuffy textbook. He discusses everything from trade, inflation, fed rates, and the role of government. Sometimes informative, this book assumes hardly any economic knowledge from the reader, so it's really a beginner's book to economics. Anyone who took a simple economics course would probably not need to read big chunks of this.
Even though simplistic, it is a quick and fun read and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to get in on the ground floor. In the realm of few non-academic economics book, this book is probably the best. For example, it's definitely better than "The Armchair Economist".
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5.0 out of 5 stars Loved loved loved this book!, Dec 12 2003
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This review is from: Naked Economics (Paperback)
I'm a recovering Psychology major who only had one statistics course in college: and that was a math for dummies.
This is for all those people who can't do equations in their minds. I've always been facinated by economics, but it always seemed so dry and unappealing and eye-crossing.
I've been looking for an econ-for-dummies book for years. Thank you, Mr. Wheelan!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent introduction, Oct. 26 2003
By 
Wyote (a planet rich in iron and water) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Naked Economics (Paperback)
Economics is yet another field in which everyone has an opinion, and like (well, you know). But there is a substantial body of knowledge out there, and there is no reason for us (especially, us as voters) to be ignorant of it.
This could be read in every intro to econ class.
If you're a reader of Krugman's articles and books, but you feel like sometimes you don't really understand what he says, this will be a great book for you. Or if you just don't know about economics, this will be a great book for you.
(But after you read this book, I also recommend Krugman's writing. This book is the bird's eye view of economics, while Krugman looks at a few things in more detail.)
How does the Fed target interest rates and control money supply? I'd wondered this for quite a while, and here I got a straight answer to it.
It's recommended by several economics nobel prize winners, so its content must be solid.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great introduction into economics, Oct. 23 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Naked Economics (Paperback)
This book is perfect for those with little understanding of economics. The author does a fine job of using humor to convey economic theory. He also provides much historic evidence to demonstrate various economic principles discussed in the book. There are plenty of books which serve as an intrduction to economics, this book however stands out because it is such an easy read. I recomend this book to anyone looking for a book to provide them with a basic understanding of economics without the work. Although he seems to have more of a neo-liberal approach to economics, I'm impressed that praises libertarian thinkers such as Friedman and Gary Becker as well as more keynesian type economists such as Krugman and Ackerlof. Most books on economists lack this balance.
I think the author should have spent more time discussing supply side economics. He briefly discusses the laffer curve but immediately dismisses it as a failure. If you closely examine the Reagan tax cuts you will find the national deficit was caused by spending, not the tax cuts. The heavy tax cuts did not increase federal revenue but did stimulate the economy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I Loved This Book, Oct. 21 2003
By 
Zebobo (Huntington Woods, MI) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Naked Economics (Paperback)
By reading this book independently instead of taking an introductory economics course, I learned enough that my current advanced economics teacher has become concerned I am too far ahead of the class. I highly reccomend it to anyone anywhere, and have passed it along to several friends already.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic read., Aug. 27 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Naked Economics (Hardcover)
Both informative and interesting. I went from clueless to well-informed in one week.
I highly recommend to anyone who never took an Economics class, yet would like to know what it's all about.
My apologies for sounding like a bad infomercial, but the book is that good!
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Naked Economics
Naked Economics by Charles Wheelan (Paperback - Aug. 26 2003)
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