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Publisher's Summary

Thing 1: There is no such thing as the free market.
Thing 4: The washing machine has changed the world more than the Internet.
Thing 5: Assume the worst about people, and you get the worst.
Thing 13: Making rich people richer doesn't make the rest of us richer.

If you've wondered how we did not see the economic collapse coming, Ha-Joon Chang knows the answer: We didn't ask what they didn't tell us about capitalism. This is a lighthearted book with a serious purpose: to question the assumptions behind the dogma and sheer hype that the dominant school of neoliberal economists - the apostles of the freemarket - have spun since the Age of Reagan.

Chang, the author of the international best seller Bad Samaritans, is one of the world's most respected economists, a voice of sanity - and wit - in the tradition of John Kenneth Galbraith and Joseph Stiglitz.

23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism equips listeners with an understanding of how global capitalism works - and doesn't. In his final chapter, "How to Rebuild the World", Chang offers a vision of how we can shape capitalism to humane ends, instead of becoming slaves of the market.

Ha-Joon Chang teaches in the Faculty of Economics at the University of Cambridge. His books include the best-selling Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism. His Kicking Away the Ladder received the 2003 Myrdal Prize, and, in 2005, Chang was awarded the Leontief Prize for Advancing the Frontiers of Economic Thought.

©2011 Ha-Joon Chang (P)2011 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Shaking Economics 101 assumptions to the core … Eminently accessible, with a clearly liberal (or at least anticonservative) bent, but with surprises along the way—for one, the thought that markets need to become less rather than more efficient." (Kirkus Reviews)
"An advocate of big, active government and capitalism as distinct from a free market, Chang presents an enlightening précis of modern economic thought - and all the places it's gone wrong, urging us to act in order to completely rebuild the world economy: 'This will make some readers uncomfortable... it is time to get uncomfortable.'" (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Good information - a little dry

What did you love best about 23 Things They Don't Tell You about Capitalism?

I liked the book, but I may not be the intended audience. I struggled to get through it. Very dry.

1 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • R.S.
  • Saint-Laurent, Quebec, Canada
  • 10-13-11

Lucid and Clear

This book is a lucid and clear disquisition on what goes for "free market" thinking. It examines 23 commonly expressed platitudes about economics and where they fail to explain economic and financial processes. It thereby provides interesting insights to the financial failures of 2008 and the present days. The reading matches the writing, making it difficult to put down. I now want to review the arguments on paper, as they are worthy of closer study.

5 of 21 people found this review helpful

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essential add-on to public standard economics

this book provides great insights and alternative ways of interpreting economic observations in a concise and coherent manner. healthy focus on developmental economics.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Thoughtful skepticism to free market economics

The book is well written and easy to read. Chang pointed out many examples against idealistic free market economics. While I am believer in free market, I still find this book informtive and interesting. Afterall, skepticism is an important part of intellectual critical thinking in any discipline.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Stephen
  • Chesley, Ontario, Canada
  • 02-08-12

Must read for many.

What did you love best about 23 Things They Don't Tell You about Capitalism?

Should be mandatory reading for all politicians and bankers.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Not applicable.

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

He does not stumble over the big words.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Global finances 101.

1 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Lars
  • Southfield, MI, United States
  • 01-09-12

What They Don't Tell You

I agree with most of the analysis and conclusions of this book. The author promises to talk plainly about the economic points he is making -- but the "econ-o-speak" is definitely still present. Some of the information could have been better translated into everyday English.

1 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Sami
  • Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
  • 01-09-12

Not like anything else I read

This book is a must read for developing nations that are following blindly what is done at the developed countries economies without considering their action.

I read this book with an open mind. Its rationale, articulate and precise thoughts made me listen carefully to every word with all my senses. Surely, after done reading it, you will believe that the market is not as free as we like to think it is, but rather as long as humane efforts are based on individualism and the interest of big powers vs. those who are crushed in developing and underdeveloped nations, the world will never have hope for the future. It is only by the collective minds and powers of all people can we overtake this critical stage in humanity's life.

Finally, it is interesting to listen to this book from a southern American accent while the author is Korean!

1 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Very interesting and enlightening

What did you love best about 23 Things They Don't Tell You about Capitalism?

A great informative book, that helped me see deeper into economics and policies. I saw it as a center of the isle view into what is going on.

2 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • William
  • Leawood, KS, United States
  • 12-26-11

Excellent critique of present day economics

What made the experience of listening to 23 Things They Don't Tell You about Capitalism the most enjoyable?

A liberal's view of what's right and wrong with both free market and government controlled economics.

2 of 10 people found this review helpful

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Um, yeah, they don't tell you!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I'd recommend it to anyone interested in economics. I don't personally read nonfiction much, nor do friends I know. This one though, is something people should hear.

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

We've been getting a load of bull **** about what works for a thriving economy. The concepts here are really easy to understand, and make a lot more sense than most of what you've been hearing lately. It's not a manifesto for a welfare state, or for the disregulation of everything. Just a talk about

Which character – as performed by Joe Barrett – was your favorite?

There is only one character, the writer. I was surprised when, some hours into the book, I discovered the author is Korean. But the author is not the narrator: Joe Barrett does not sound at all Korean. However, Joe made it very easy to understand, which I appreciated.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

It would be a documentary, for sure.

Any additional comments?

All voters should read it.

1 of 7 people found this review helpful