Monday, June 13, 2005

I'm it

Arnold book tags me.

Hmm. Should I be honest or should I signal? I'll be honest.

I liked "The Last Lion", a biography of Winston Churchill by William Manchester who died before he could conclude it. A remarkable man living at a remarkable time.

I forget what this book was called, but it was a collection of book reviews, essays, and short non-fiction by George Orwell stretching from around Homage to Catalunia to the start of the Second World War. I felt I really understood what it was like to live at that time during those events.

I also read a bunch of old essays by Ronald Coase. They were written in the 60s and it's interesting to note how little of what he thought would happen has. 40-50 years ago the big questions were solved -- trade is good, tariffs are bad, taxes need to be broad and low. But here we are and little has changed.

I like Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson because it was fast and interesting and had code breaking and submarine cableing. His Mother Earth Mother Board essay is also really good. The Baroque Cycle is too long.

I read anti-trust by Posner, who is a good writer, and a fine introduction to law and economics.

It seems like I have not read much fiction, or that the fiction I have read has had a good dose of non-fiction in it. I think this is pretty common as people get older.

Most of my economic education was not from books, but from people. Murphy, Becker, Posner, Coase, Thaler and excellent but less famous folks like Goolsbee, Picker, Marciano, were where I really learned by applied price theory and its limits -- a gift that keeps on giving.

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