Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Just Reviewed “Balance” at SBR

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Though it took me a few hours to do, I managed to write a book review for BALANCE: The Economics of Great Powers from Ancient Rome to Modern America, a book written by economists Glenn Hubbard and Tim Kane, over at Shiny Book Review this evening.  (Or SBR for short, as per usual.)

You might be wondering, “So, Barb. Why did you want to review this book, anyway? You’re no economist. Why does this interest you?”

Well, as a writer, I’m interested in all sorts of things. I’ve made a study lately of economics — the good, the bad, what works, what doesn’t, and anything that combines history with economics (such as WHY NATIONS FAIL, by Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson, also reviewed at SBR) is usually going to pique my interest.

I found BALANCE to be an entertaining overview, but some of the actual history behind their theories wasn’t always in balance. (Pardon the pun.) This is the main reason why BALANCE gets a B-minus, when WHY NATIONS FAIL received an A-plus, as the former has at least three things wrong that I picked up on right away, while the latter didn’t have any — and believe you me, I checked.

Note that both Hubbard and Kane worked on Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign as economic advisors, so some of what they have to say about contemporary politics and policies needs to be taken with a grain of salt. But what they had to say about political ossification and the whole concept of “rent-seeking” was completely accurate, and is the main reason why I recommend that every writer — and everyone interested in history and/or economics and/or the history of economics, for that matter — should read this book.

Anyway, go take a gander at my review, will you? Then go take a look at BALANCE — it should be available at many public libraries, or if you’d rather, there is an edition for Kindle and e-books.

Enjoy!

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Written by Barb Caffrey

February 10, 2014 at 12:21 am

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