Certainly this is a classic and Kate Winslet does an admirable job presenting it, but the guilt and the angst in this novel become exhausting to listen to. On the positive side, it can be said, that after listening to this novel, I would never kill my husband, but would opt instead for a nice tidy divorce. Given that, I could see where my husband would find 'Therese Raquin' an even more valuable work than I did.
Catherine the Great, was an impressive woman. She was brilliant, studied seriously, and made a significant impact on Russia and it's people. She was also somewhat scandalous. This book covers her life and Russian history from her birth (in Prussia) in 1729 to her death in 1796. It's a great read, engaging and fast paced and full of fascinating details about life at court, the living conditions in Moscow and St Petersburg and her relationship with other thinkers and leaders of the time. I enjoyed it and learned from it.
I have had only one other economics course in my life, but it was enough to see that this is not thoughtful presentation of the topic.
The book is quite outdated to begin with.
But even given that, the author provides very little help with the complex economic problems that are being dealt with today. In his view, wages and prices and so forth will automically be 'right' based on the market. And there is no need for state intervention ever (except for maybe police and fire support). He assumes the investment banks will operate with integrity - instead of creating toxic cdos and selling them to pension funds. He apparently assumes the millions of dollars (taxed at a low capital gains rate) made by traders is actually a good thing and is somehow fair even though some of these people made a fortune on the sale of the fraudulent investments. We do need government (or someone) to monitor the free market and a thoughtful and complete economics book would cover those issues as some of the most important.
The book is also presented in a condescending way. In his view the economists that don't agree with him are 'confused' at best or 'bad' at worst. He can't accept that there may be other points that should be considered. Silly economists. Why do they even bother to have discussions.
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