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Publisher's Summary

In this fifth edition of Basic Economics, Thomas Sowell revises and updates his popular book on commonsense economics, bringing the world into clearer focus through a basic understanding of the fundamental economic principles and how they explain our lives. Drawing on lively examples from around the world and from centuries of history, Sowell explains basic economic principles for the general public in plain English.

Basic Economics,which has now been translated into six languages and has additional material online, remains true to its core principle: that the fundamental facts and principles of economics do not require jargon, graphs, or equations and can be learned in a relaxed and even enjoyable way.

©2014 Thomas Sowell (P)2014 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Excellent Book on Basic Economics

Not really a "story" but it does tell the history and continuing effect of economics on our lives.

Thomas Sowell presents Economics in a very easy to understand and well illustrated way. This is the 5th edition so is up to date with current examples. There is a lot of information and a plethora of quotable quotes, so probably warrants additional listens to absorb it all.

Tom Weiner is perfect for this type of a book as he reads as one would expect an "expert" in this field might read.

A great book that I will definitely listen to again.

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

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Great Publication

This is one of the best audio books I've purchased so far. I believe it should be required reading and that the principles should be taught early in the educational system. There is a lot of information that explains a lot of economic problems - poverty and unemployment, for example - that could be eliminated through policy adjustments or eliminations. The concepts are so clearly conveyed, in fact, that it's difficult to fathom how or why any great society would implement contradictory regulations.

The narrator spoke at a pace and pitch that facilitated ease of reception of the material (this is subjective, I suppose).

23 of 27 people found this review helpful

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Phenomenal!

People say that is all the time, but this REALLY NEEDS to be required reading (listening in this case), and here is why:

Mr. Sowell expertly explains economics in this 25 hour long monster in a way that everyone can understand and enjoy. Everything he says is very well supported either using simple logic, hypothetical situations and many real world international and domestic examples.

Even if you don't agree with his explanations, you will still come out of this book with a better understanding of economics as you would have to come up with a logical reason to disagree with him, because his beautiful explanations and examples are essentially devoid of emotion, which is a very good thing.

Some of my favorite things of the book are:
- His often repeated statement is his definition of economics: Utilization of scarce resources which have alternative uses.
- His explanation of the difference between prices and costs.
- His examples of the effects of price controls.
- The absolute lack of mudslinging towards liberals, he actually operates under the assumption of people encouraging government intervention all with the best of intentions.
- His reminders how economists are known for being boring because of splashing cold water on policies due to cold hard boring facts.

This thing is almost 25 hours long, takes a while to listen to but it is like music to your ears. It's economics pure and simple and is fascinating.

Thomas Sowell for president! (Hey he's only 85, that isn't too old is it?)

20 of 24 people found this review helpful

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The most eye-opening book I have ever read

A fantastic book by a brilliant author, fantastically read by a brilliant orator.
To anyone who thinks "economics does not interest me", I say: Give this book a try regardless. I promise that, unless you have read other economics books before, this one will feel truly earth shattering. It is well-written, well-researched, easily understandable by everyone and enormous in its educational value. Grab it while you can.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Astonishing brilliance

Would you consider the audio edition of Basic Economics, Fifth Edition to be better than the print version?

I haven't ready the print version. But this translates well into audio; there are no charts or graphs in this economic tome. It's simple logic, presented clearly.

What did you like best about this story?

It's hard to argue with this guy. I have to be careful and not simply accept what he says at face value. Surely there are counter points! But how can you argue with history? That's his brilliance. History repeats itself, and Sowell uses history to demonstrate fallacy. Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it

What about Tom Weiner’s performance did you like?

He has a clear voice. I would imagine reading an economics book is difficult. He does a fine job

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

When I listen to the brilliant words of Thomas Sowell I feel my mind opening up to truth. Thank you, Thomas Sowell.

Any additional comments?

This should be required reading to anyone who votes. I admit I wish I knew someone who could present counter points to this; surely there must be a counter to his obvious brilliant analysis of the fallacy of anything other than free, open markets. He makes everything seem so self evident!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Phenomenal Primer

Superior book on basic economics. Dr Sowell explains principles and gives examples that even an ol' boy with a Nebraska education can understand. Highly recommend this book to everyone, most especially to voters and potential voters. Politicians won't read it so we must...and then hold them accountable.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Beautiful Economics

The Adam Smith of our generation, beautifully composed & presented in very understandable common sense logic.

The book tackles how a government's economic policies directly enhance or inhibit citizens's quality of life back up by a plethora of rich case history examples from rich sources.

I especially agreed with the consistent theme of getting needless government policies out of the way (price controls, central planning, etc.) & let the people be free to build & grow their businesses through the simplicity of supply & demand without letting government officials tangling up progress with needless & counterproductive legislation (Smoot-Hawley Tariff).

I was also surprised to learn that during the Great Depression of 1930s the Fed needlessly increased interest rates adding further crushing pressure on credit/money supply.

This is why we need authors like Thomas Sowell to prevent the mistakes of the past & see the power of the invisible hand of just letting people grow & build their dreams, to buy & sell, & simply let the market economy have room to work on its own. Government needs to have a balanced role in ensuring justice in economic transactions but the best thing it can do is wisely strategize its fiscal & monetary policies; then step out of the way, let people buy & sell, let people build their dreams, let people build their economy. Beautiful Economics.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Smartest man in economics

You don't know what you don't know.
Never has it been more self evident.
Thanks to Mr Sowell for putting this together.

10 of 14 people found this review helpful

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Worldwide Economics!

Wow, It was very insightful. I am new to finance and am trying to become more knowledge about these topics.

10 of 14 people found this review helpful

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highly recommended

The way he articulates keeps you intently listening. very well written and very educational. I highly recommend the book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Francisco
  • 07-28-17

I promise you, this book will change your life.

I highly or more than highly recommend this book to anyone regardless if you are studying economic or not. The explanation are so common sense and clear you will be enlightened. I am really grateful to have taken the time to listen to it and really want to say thank you to all the people behind it and the author. You have succeed beyond your goals. I will re-listen to it couple times until it becomes a song in my head. So grateful.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • astromads
  • 06-03-17

Fantastic

I could have listened to more of this, I never thought economics could be so interesting.
Absolutely loved it.

I would recommend everyone to read this book, gives you a better understanding of how things are not what they seem, would help pick your electoral parties as well.

The man that read this, his voice was perfect to listen to.I could probably listen to his voice from any audio book.

Gave this rating as I could not fault anything about this book.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • David
  • 07-16-17

Simply brilliant.

An incredibly comprehensive and enlightening insight into the subject. Very easy to understand. Everyone should read/listen to this.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • James
  • 05-02-17

Very eye-opening.

I would definitely recommend this to everyone. I like the way that the subject was approached with a very objective lens.

The dispelling of some of the fallacies of government policies using historical examples was the strong point of this book for me.

The only reason that this is not a five star review is that the book can get a bit repetitive towards the end as examples are reused in the same context.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • William
  • 04-17-17

Essential

Everyone needs to hear or read this. For a subject with such simple and easily understood principles, there is so much misunderstanding and appreciation of the complexity that are consequences of those principles.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Max
  • 10-08-16

best economic book I've read so far.

a long, but essential book on economics. should be taught on every university campus in the world as far as I'm concerned.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • A. Dodge
  • 02-25-15

Thomas Sowell Scholar Economics

Much content

Understandable to the laymen

The narrators voice sounds as though it's modded in sound software and is slightly distracting, however the content pulls you back.

4 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-21-18

Now remember kids: scarce resources have altern...

If I were to summarize the book in a sentence, it would be "scarce resources have alternative uses". The book puts a lot of economic realities into perspective, calls for a cooler head and proper analysis when dealing with complex issues. Would recommend

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  • Avity
  • 03-20-18

Red Pill

Really changed my understanding of the world, must have knowledge in the 21st century.
Worth the listen!

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  • Abdullah
  • 02-13-18

Excellent introduction to economics for the average person

The best economic book for individuals with no background in economics. Not a single graph or equation but rather logical arguments that actually makes sense

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  • David Pellowe
  • 08-03-17

Best economics text ever!

Really long, but really easy to listen to & understand. And wait to buy the paper version as well.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Hank
  • 04-19-18

good content but waaaay too long *snore* ...

couldn't finish this book ... got halfway and then decided I'd had enough of the droning narration on such a looong book on new and complex concepts ... lots of great content ... a lot of it though takes timer to digest so this is probably better as an actual book ... I was constantly jumping back on stuff to try and capture it again to try to understand it ... painful ... great content but get the actual book not the audio edition ... much better as a reference hardcopy to have around when you need to check stuff.

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  • ant jackson
  • 03-23-18

Life changing

This book will change the way you see the world. A must read for every student of truth.

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  • Spencer
  • 06-03-16

A very one sided debate

Starts off strong with economic fundamentals laid out clearly, however spends majority of later chapters presenting a very one sided view of all the negative effects of government regulation. The points presented are valid, however it constantly presents and rebut frail token counter arguments to a point that quickly stopped trusting the writer is presenting a balanced view.

I also found the narrator difficult to take seriously.

4 of 10 people found this review helpful