Little History of Economics
Niall Kishtainy

Book cover image

Narrated By: Steven Crossley

Duration: 9 hours and 52 minutes

What to expect

A lively, inviting account of the history of economics, told through events from ancient to modern times and the ideas of great thinkers in the field

What causes poverty? Are economic crises inevitable under capitalism? Is government intervention in an economy a helpful approach or a disastrous idea? The answers to such basic economic questions matter to everyone; yet the unfamiliar jargon and math of economics can seem daunting. This clear, accessible, and even humorous book is ideal for young readers new to economics and to all readers who seek a better understanding of the full sweep of economic history and ideas.

Economic historian Niall Kishtainy organizes short, chronological chapters that center on big ideas and events. He recounts the contributions of key thinkers including Adam Smith, Ricardo, Marx, Keynes, and others, while examining topics ranging from the invention of money and the rise of agrarianism to the Great Depression, entrepreneurship, environmental destruction, inequality, and behavioral economics. The result is a uniquely enjoyable volume that succeeds in illuminating the economic ideas and forces that shape our world.


Economic history, Business and Management

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“A whistle-stop introduction to the great works and thinkers of each age, this is a clear and accessible primer.”

Financial Times (London)

“A pleasurable and easy way to become familiar with important economic ideas such as comparative advantage, unemployment, aggregate demand, inflation, and income inequality.”

Foreign Affairs

“A great introduction to economics for beginners. This book is punchy and fun and yet thorough in explaining what economists have contributed to our understanding of the world.”

Robert Shiller, Nobel laureate in economics

“Those who refuse to learn from the past are doomed to repeat it. Economics can help guide policy in a sensible direction; but the misuse of economics has also left individuals, companies, and countries in ruin. To understand what economics has got right—and to avoid repeating its mistakes—read this book.”