This "short" book is bursting with insights about economics, illustrated by memorable stories and historical events. People who are curious about but confused by economics will learn enough from this volume to be conversant for life. Andrew Leigh is not only an engaging writer, he is charming and fun as well – something that cannot be said of all economists!' – Caroline M. Hoxby, Donya Bommer Professor of Economics, Stanford University
'If you read just one book about economics, make it Andrew Leigh's clear, insightful, and remarkable (and short) work. Learn why we are richer, live longer, have healthier children, are monumentally more productive and are happier than our ancestors.' – Claudia Goldin, Nobel Laureate, Henry Lee Professor of Economics, Harvard University
'Leigh takes the reader on an engaging romp through key moments in the world's economic history that created the economies we see today around the globe. It is essential reading for anyone looking to understand today's economy.'– Betsey Stevenson, Professor of Economics, University of Michigan, and co-author of Principles of Economics
This small book tells a big story. From ancient times to the modern world, The Shortest History of Economics unearths the hidden economic forces behind war, innovation and social transformation. It traces how capitalism and the market system emerged, and introduces the key ideas and people who shaped the discipline of economics.
From the agricultural revolution to the warming of our planet, Andrew Leigh tells the story of economics that ranges across centuries and continents, highlighting the diversity of the discipline. He delves into the radical origins of the game of Monopoly, why the invention of the plough worsened gender inequality, how certain diseases shaped the patterns of colonialism, the reasons skyscrapers emerged first in American cities, and much more.
The result is an illuminating, entertaining book about the economic ideas and forces that shape our world.