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The Making of Modern Economics: The Lives and Ideas of the Great Thinkers, Second Edition | [Mark Skousen]

The Making of Modern Economics: The Lives and Ideas of the Great Thinkers, Second Edition

Here is a bold, new account of the lives and ideas of the great economists - Adam Smith, Karl Marx, John Maynard Keynes, Ludwig von Mises, Milton Friedman, and many others - all written by a top free-market economist and presented in an entertaining and persuasive style. Professor Mark Skousen tells a powerful story of economics with dozens of anecdotes of the great economic thinkers.
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Publisher's Summary

Here is a bold, new account of the lives and ideas of the great economists - Adam Smith, Karl Marx, John Maynard Keynes, Ludwig von Mises, Milton Friedman, and many others - all written by a top free-market economist and presented in an entertaining and persuasive style. Professor Mark Skousen tells a powerful story of economics with dozens of anecdotes of the great economic thinkers.

Download the accompanying reference guide.

©2009 Mark Skousen; (P)2009 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Both fascinating and infuriating...enaging, readable, colorful...credulous, disingenuous, and tendentious." (Foreign Affairs)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (77 )
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3.9 (34 )
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3.8 (34 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Robert Patton Orange, CA USA 04-23-12
    Robert Patton Orange, CA USA 04-23-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Poor performance ruins what may be an interesting"
    What didn’t you like about William Hughes’s performance?

    The performer's voice is too soft, and too close to a monotone. To his credit, there were no flaws in his reading, but unfortunately his voice just isn't suited for it at all.


    Any additional comments?

    I would not recommend this reading to anyone, I can't imagine how the other reviewers made it all the way through!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jared LAS VEGAS, NV, United States 09-04-12
    Jared LAS VEGAS, NV, United States 09-04-12 Member Since 2007
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    "An economics book with amazing personality."
    Would you listen to The Making of Modern Economics again? Why?

    Economics is sometimes referred to as "the dismal science". This is a book which gives lie to the charge. Skousen treats the history of economic thought with both style and substance, a rare combination most suitable to the simultaneously technical and biographical nature of this book. With astounding clarity and candor, The Making of Modern Economics tells the story of our steps and mis-steps on the road to economic understanding while describing the lives and personalities of the people at the forefront of economic thought with humanizing warmth. Skousen has shined a light on the foundations of the ivory tower of economics, introducing to us personally the great scholars and revoltionaries who built it- and revealing how some of the greatest among them were buried beneath it. Out of dozens, this may be the only economics book which I have read more than once cover-to-cover (perhaps I should say ear-to-ear), and will most likely return to again.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cole Goose Creek, SC, United States 07-01-12
    Cole Goose Creek, SC, United States 07-01-12

    My goal is to be one of the greatest literary giants in writing. Though my books do not sell, my goal now is to help those who are successful in writing, to become even greater.

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    "Skousen's Sells Action Economics"
    Where does The Making of Modern Economics rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Again I have my homework to do. Yet Skousen does for Economics what Tesla did for Innovative Power. He is objective, well researched, and focused on what he wants the reader to do, not to judge the character of an Economist, but do their ideas work? From the beginning of the story, he introduces to great Economics, their habits, their idiosyncrasies. He does not give you Economics straight, but provides a chaser with antidotes, along with pertinent facts. He is far ahead of the game of his Academic Communities than he knows. He is on the verge, if not there, on the Mt. Everest of Greatness!


    What other book might you compare The Making of Modern Economics to and why?

    I like him, had a terrible Economics Professor in 101 Econ back in College. If the Professor, unlike Skousen's The Making of Modern Economics, could have made me majoring in Economics rather than Ancient and U.S. Histories.


    What does William Hughes bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Hughes is fresh, lively, and sounds as if he never tires, he is a welcomed relief, and does what is supposed to, bring the text alive with crisp inflections.


    What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

    Well, Skousen seems to use what I would like to call "Oral Histories" or "Action History" where you, and he, study together events, and the effects of theory making in the world of Economics. This book is a must read for anyone in Government, State, Local and at the Federal Reserve.


    Any additional comments?

    If you teach Economics at any level, think if Skousen could be described as an NBA player; He could be considered to be another Lebron James!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Simpson 05-31-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Market fundamentalist bias throughout"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    A non-biased presentation that doesn't try to demonize Keynes and glorify Friedman and the Austrian/Chicago school.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Something by Keynes to wash the Market Fundamentalist crap out of my brain. Actually I have since listened to Paul Krugman's book "End This Depression Now" and I feel greatly cleansed.


    How could the performance have been better?

    Not be biased.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    It put the great economists into a clear chronology for me and gave me a more personal understanding of their lives and thoughts.


    Any additional comments?

    If Skousen hadn't tried to make the case toward the end of the book, that an unfettered and unregulated free market will somehow produce a stable economy, and that there is such a thing as efficient markets and that there is no such a thing as involuntary unemployment, the book might have gotten a much higher vote from me. Keynes wasn't necessarily right about everything, but he was right about some very important things, and there are some much needed and much ignored Keynesian solutions to our present economic circumstance.

    2 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wayne hamiltonBermuda 12-02-09
    Wayne hamiltonBermuda 12-02-09
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    "review"

    a comprehensive account that is inherently long and at points lacks "punch"

    1 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-5 of 5 results
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  • Annika
    Sweden
    3/29/13
    Overall
    "To be avoided!"

    This book is for those with absolutely no knowledge of economics only. Overly simplified , often misleading and sometimes downright wrong. One can only hope that Audible will soon present a serious title covering the history of economics instead of this 'children's book'.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Rob
    ST LEONARDS ON SEA, United Kingdom
    4/13/13
    Overall
    "Useful and entertaining"

    I was looking for a grounding in economic thinking that wasn’t just a textbook and this seemed to fit the bill. It is unsurprisingly pro free-market and the author makes no bones about his libertarian sympathies and admiration for the Austrian school. But this did not bother me as I have other sources for liberal Keynesian and socialist apologists. The Narrator does a pretty good job of bringing life to what is still quite a dry subject matter. I found this book quite useful and informative but I should add I am relatively new to the technicalities of economics.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Glen
    Aberdeen, United Kingdom
    4/13/13
    Overall
    "Informative but leaning toward unwarrented bias."

    Skousen writes a lucid and highly informative history of the greatest minds in the field of economics however to anyone who understands academic sources, it is clear that he has an agenda to convert the reader to faith in laissez faire capitalism despite its obvious moral and even economic failures. Updated in 2009 just after the biggest economic collapse since the Great Depression, Skousen's optimism seems dated and uninformed. By repeated referring to Adam Smith's writings as a system of "perfect freedom" and upholding Milton Friedman as the pinnacle of economic genius, he positions himself as a naive believer that there are only two economic systems - laissez faire capitalism (good) and Marxist socialism (bad). Thinkers who have attempted to walk either a middle road or somehow deviate from the Smithean orthodoxy are described as failures who wandered from the true path - that path being only laissez faire. The recent government bailouts of major bastions of pure capitalism have demonstrated that perhaps John Maynard Keynes, whom Skousen labels as a failure who pandered to socialism, might still have something to say.



    To be fair to the author, the life histories and side stories are interesting and well worth the read, however the structure of how Skousen relates the life stories of various economists can be at times confusing, introducing a character and then not speaking of him again for a long time while going back to an earlier character. This is particularly confusing in the audiobook format. Also his frequent reference to important charts not visible to the listener means that having the book or the accompanying website in front of you while you listen is an advantage.



    Overall this book is an interesting read for non-specialists in the field and those with an interest in history however the extreme bias in favour of laissez faire capitalism disqualifies it as an impartial primer to understanding economics.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Nick
    Uxbridge, middx, United Kingdom
    4/27/10
    Overall
    "Partisan but interesting and informative"

    The author seems to be clearly a republican, for instance in the opening chapters Adam Smith is painted as godlike (the benevolent father of economics and capitalism) while Karl Marx is the Devil incarnate (though nonetheless acknowledging his place in economic thought albeit at the bottom of the \"totem pole\" ...). However Skousen does acknowledge in the opening chapter that the book is very much his own point of view and that many readers may strongly disagree with him. And the book while clearly partisan is none the less interesting and informative.

    The narators american accent may be slightly grating for some Anglo saxon ears, but grows on you and is quite acceptable after a while

    I can't comment on the whole book as have only listened to 1/3 of it so far, but thus far its an interesting introduction to the foundations of economic thought.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
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