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Publisher's Summary

Ever since we produced our course Thinking About Capitalism, customers have expressed interest in a follow-up course that could help them understand socialism in the same way. After much consideration, we determined that it actually would be more beneficial to create a course that compares and contrasts the two major global economic theories, examining them in ways that move past the polemics many of us are used to and looking at these systems as they relate to one another and the world at large.

Politics and economics are inextricable, so it can be difficult to find the right person to tackle such a complex and often polarizing subject as objectively as possible. Luckily, we found Professor Edward Stuart, an economist and teacher who specializes in comparative economics. Professor Stuart brings not only economic expertise, but personal experience gleaned from teaching, traveling, and consulting all over the world, and it is this wide lens of experience that helps make Capitalism vs. Socialism such an engaging new entry in our library of courses.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2018 The Great Courses (P)2018 The Teaching Company, LLC

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    4 out of 5 stars

History of application of both economic systems

I was searching for a book that would answer a question that I constantly stumble upon in internet: which system is better? After reading I can confirm that neither is good, but a combination of both works best.

The author compares both systems, by looking at how they were applied in life. Some of the examples he uses are China, England or the Soviet Block countries. While this is an absolutely valid and correct approach, I thought I would get something different. I imagined the book will be more theoretical and will tackle more the feasibility of ideas presented by both systems. Truth be told, we get this in the first chapters of the book, but it was not enough for me. I would also like to see/hear more analysis of the economies of the other soviet block countries.

Overall, while I had some objections, I that this is a really great book with nice performance. It is my first book from the Great Courses, I think it raises the bar pretty high. I will definitely keep it in my library.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A great primer focused on thinkers and history

Professor Stuart makes comparative economics interesting and accessible. Having taught and travelled widely throughout Europe and Asia, he has a lifetime of firsthand experience (not to mention a fund of entertaining anecdotes) concerning Soviet Russia and post-Mao China. His explanations of complex economic concepts are rendered using homespun analogies that I found easy to grasp, and his suggestion in lecture 14 that twenty-somethings use Keynes’ Marginal Propensity to Consume as a tool for identifying compatible life partners seemed like very sage advice. Professor Stuart’s focus on the human dimension of these two economic systems – the thinkers, their theories, the history, and above all the impact on the daily lives of citizens – made this an enlightening and enjoyable lecture series. The puns were fun, too.

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Great Lecture

Loved every lesson. Would definitely recommend it to my friends. Great for an undergrad or grad student studying Comparative Economies. .

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More History than Econ

I am neither historian nor economist, but I did expect more explanation of the ideas and workings of economics and especially the differences between capitalism and socialism. While there was some talk of economic functions it was almost lost under the verbose repetition of European and some world history- but with little in the way of building an overview of the two systems

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Good Story

It was nice that the professor had a lot of experiences so he could relate back to them durring his lecture.

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could be twice as long<br />

Good story overall.. covered a lot but also skipped quite a lot.. good professor but could've been longer. Non Authoritarian, Democratic Socialism will win this battle.

2 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • The Blue Reviewer
  • 05-04-18

Brilliant!

Imagine yourself in a concert hall and everybody is sitting down. You see the stage well enough, but you'd see it better if you stood up. But if everyone else stood up at the same time, everybody will see less than when everyone was sat down.

I paraphrased the analogy used to to explain the "Paradox of Thrift". This is what makes this audio book so brilliant. It is peppered with such analogies.

Professor Edward is excellent, his delivery flawless and he likes to use puns and then apologise for them :)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Mick
  • 05-04-18

Great lecture, engaging lecturer!

loved it, couldn't stop listening, had it wrapped up in no time. Definately worth the time to listen to.