©2009 Carmen M. Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff; (P)2009 Gildan Media Corp
"This Time Is Different doesn't simply explain what went wrong in our most recent crisis. This book also provides a roadmap of how things are likely to pan out in the years to come....This Time Is Different is an important addition to the literature of financial history." (Wall Street Journal)
This book has a funny title, This Time is Different, but as you read it, it will become plain why it is appropriate. Because, as the authors argue very effectively, everytime an economy has been on the verge of a bubble, and a precious few prognosticators are calling it, the mass of investors say, "this time is different." Certainly true of the present bubble (or the present aftermath) and of 10s and 100s before.
This book is also approachable for the non-economist (I am an economist) if you skip the chunks that the authors themselves recommend you skip in the early parts. That is harder to do with an audiobook, but it can be done (the audiobook is sectioned).
I gave this book 3 stars not because it is bad, or mediocre, but because the actual book is laden with tables and charts. To do it justice I found it necessary to listen to it and look at the book every once in awhile to see the figures (it helped that my employer's research library had a copy). When the narrator, who is good, tries to relate what is in the tables and charts, things get ponderous.
I highly recommend the book. The audiobook is a good complement to it, or vice versa. The audiobook alone is what gets the 3 stars.
What a great book - really puts a lot of tendencies in the economics of the day into a historical perspective. In this respect, it really clears a lot of fog and makes many things clear. However, this book has a very large amount of diagrams and charts which not only illustrate the text, but develop its ideas in a graphical form. Without these graphs the book sounds weird with constant referrals to the stuff you can not see. More so, parts of text - historical anecdotal chunks of data - are simply omitted... So, before spending your credits, find an e-book somewhere on the net - without this aid you are only getting 50% of this book, which is a pity, as this book, being a quite serious research, is, at the same time, is instantly accessible even to a humble armchair economist like myself.
I had to buy this book from Amazon because I tried listening to it and it's nearly impossible. There are references to charts and formulas that are referred to constantly, not just once in a while. This is an important book and very accessible to the modern lay reader, but not a good book in Audible format.
I just downloaded the tables.... more than 200 hundred pages!
How can this be sold as an audio book. Please put up a big warning before people download it.
Max Fisher of Rushmore Academy
The print version of this book would make for an excellent text for future MBA candidates. Unfortunately, it makes for a poor audiobook for the rest of us.
This work is highly admirable for its scope and rigor. However it's far too pedantic and lacking in narrative to accommodate the audio format.
In fact, it might be too pedantic and lacking in narrative for any non-academic setting.
I say that well aware of the fact that some bookish folk will find that the post-doctoral feel suits them. Be that as it may, the extreme over-reliance on tables disqualifies this work as an audiobook, I think most everybody will agree.
As I listened to a narrator say the words "On table..." or, "In graph...," again, I knew I had selected the wrong book. The authors freely admit that they have avoided a narrative approach as to why economies of small and large scale fall into the same boom and bust cycles. Instead they have relied upon a visual approach, using tables and graphs for the presentation of their arguments and analysis.
While the premise of the tome is intriguing, without a hard copy or e-book of the original text, this is a poor translation to the aural format.
This material is 5-star excellent with good narration, but you should buy the physical book as there are many references to charts and tables, so the format gets 2 stars. I listen to audiobooks during my daily commute, so I did not get to see the material referenced.
The content of the book is great with its long historical view on souvereign debt defaults. After hearing the audiobook it is clear to me that the current developments in Greece etc are not a unique events.
I agree with previous reviews that the audiobook format was very bad. The references to tables and charts gets the listener out of track. Audible and/or the authors should have edited the text before making it into an audiobook.
Grade for content: 5 stars
Grade for format: 0 (zero) stars
All in all: 2 stars
Not for someone without an economics background. Written like a term paper and too confusing for mainstream readers. Constant reference to charts/graphs/tables is annoying and confusing.
"Not for the general reader"
Be warned: this is a good book but very clearly an academic text not intended for the general reader. I get the feeling that the publishers may have rushed this out to cash in on all the post financial crisis books. It is a shame as it has a really interesting story to tell and would have benefited from a different edition - indeed book - aimed at the general reader with far less emphasis on data and statistics. (Underemployed journalists take note!). Another problem is that the book relies on sets of charts and data that can't be read out loud as they would be a nonsense. I do think the audible / publishers need to think about this a bit more, perhaps at least provide a PDF to download of the charts maybe?
However it is a good book and if I were reading the paper version it would have got a better rating!
"This is not an audiobook"
If you compare table 1.2a with 1.2b you will see that the period spent in crisis by developing countries after a sovereign default is comparable to... on the other hand, if you want an audiobook that whiles away the hours of gardening you probably want something more like Malcolm Gladwell.
"A great Economics book, unfortunately without data"
Tis is a really interesting, in-depth study of financial, currency and debt crises. It is possible to follow the content in an audiobook, but it is unfortunate that one can only imagine the graphs and tables that are referred to. Would it not be possible to download these as PDFs together with the audiobook?
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