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Dan

Worcester, MA, United States | Member Since 2007

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  • Grand Pursuit: The Story of Economic Genius

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Sylvia Nasar
    • Narrated By John Bedford Lloyd, Anne Twomey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (109)
    Performance
    (79)
    Story
    (78)

    In a sweeping narrative, the author of the mega-bestseller A Beautiful Mind takes us on a journey through modern history with the men and women who changed the lives of every single person on the planet. It’s the epic story of the making of modern economics, and of how it rescued mankind from squalor and deprivation by placing its material fate in its own hands rather than in Fate. Nasar’s account begins with Charles Dickens and Henry Mayhew observing and publishing the condition of the poor majority in mid nineteenth-century London, the richest and most glittering place in the world.

    Joshua Kim says: "A Beautiful Grand Pursuit"
    "Truly extraordinary but a little dull"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    OK, so I won't lie: it's a little dull, and I've studied economics. For those who haven't, I really do wonder if you'll find it compelling. Perhaps another reader who falls into this category could address this? But if you do have an economics background, this book is incredibly rewarding. All the figures you've kind of sort of heard of but don't know precisely what they did--Marshall, Schumpeter, Fischer, etc.--are covered quite well along with Beatrice Webb, one of the most important figures in the history of economic thought who I at least had never heard of.

    A recurring theme, since the book covers lives as well as work, is various famous economists struggling to find love. We don't usually think of them this way, and I wonder whether economists were more or less romantically tormented than their contemporaries.

    The other enjoyable part is learning who really weren't that significant of thinkers, despite their oversized reputations; in particular: Marx and Hayek. I've never bothered to read either, and Nasar makes clear that that's not a problem. There really are no theres there.

    I found the switching back and forth of narrators irritating, and I strongly preferred the female reader to the male one. I'm not sure what led to this odd choice, but I hope this doesn't start a trend.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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