The new revised edition of The Armchair Economist is now on sale in paperback and electronic versions. Last week’s glitch (where the electronic versions were of the wrong edition) is fixed.
For almost twenty years, Armchair has been widely recognized among economists as the book to give your mother when she wants to understand what you think about all day. In this new version, fully updated for the 21st century, I’ve completely rewritten several chapters to make them even clearer, livelier and more contemporary.
I (and you if you buy the book) am deeply indebted to Lisa Talpey who read every chapter multiple times, insisting that I keep rewriting until everything met her meticulous standards of clarity. Chapters I’d thought were pretty good are vastly improved thanks to Lisa; these include:
- Why Popcorn Costs More at the Movies (and Why the Obvious Answer is Wrong)
- Was Einstein Credible? (The Economics of Scientific Method)
- The Indifference Principle (Who Cares if the Air is Clean?)
- Why Taxes Are Bad (The Logic of Efficiency)
Others are almost completely rewritten to focus on issues that are in the news today; these include
- The Mythology of Deficits
- Unsound and Furious: Spurious Wisdom from the Media
By way of general housecleaning, I’ve excised all references to cassette tapes, Polaroid film, and Walter Mondale.
You can read the preface here. You can buy the book here. Here are direct links to the updated Kindle and Nook editions. (These editions are advertised as “published November 2007″, but don’t panic; that’s just the lingering shadow of last week’s glitch. They’re actually the brand-new 2012 edition.)
Dan Seligman at Fortune called the first edition of The Armchair Economist “enormous fun from its opening page”; Alfred Malabre of the Wall Street Journal called it “the most enjoyable and sensible book by an economist about economics that I’ve read in donkey’s years”; Milton Friedman called it “an ingenious and highly original presentation of some central principles of economics for the proverbial Everyman”; George Gilder called it “a crisp, lively, pungent display of the economist’s art”. This second edition is, I believe, all that and more.
The Armchair Economist is indeed the perfect gift for your mother, or for your father, or for the new college grad in your life, or even for yourself. Enjoy it, and come join the discussion right here.