Posted on December 2, 2013 @ 07:25:00 AM by Paul Meagher
This is brief review of a book I finished reading by Micheal Goodwin and Dan E. Burr called Economix: How Our Economy Works (And Doesn't Work) in Words and Pictures, 2012, Abrams Books.
This book is unique in that it provides a history of economic thought from Adam Smith to the present using comic art through out to explain concepts. The layout is like a comic book but contains instructive content about economics in each frame. This format was pioneered by Larry Gonick who is acknowledged as a big influence for Micheal Goodwin, although Dan E. Burr is the illustrator.
The artwork is top notch and very amusing throughout. If you have read introductions to economics you will still want to read this book because of the unique angle that a comic book approach offers to conveying ideas. Because I have read some introductions to economics the book covered some familiar ground, however, when combined with interesting artwork it renders the familiar new again.
Here is a sample of some artwork taken from the book's website economixcomix.com. The artwork in the book is black-and-white but a newer Greek translation of the book will be in color. The page below discusses the Marshall Plan:
The book is divided roughly into two parts. Up until page 199, the book seems fairly apolitical. However, on page 199 Micheal Goodwin announces his intention to offer up a more critical account of modern US economic history and thinking. From pages 200 to 291 the book covers US economics from 1980 to the present. In this section of the book, Micheal is very critical of Reganomics, Greenspan, the Fed, Wallstreet bailouts, the increasing gap between rich and poor, the Worldbank, and the Bush policies. In this section you may be a bit offended depending upon your political orientation, but again the combination of content and artwork is so good that you will nevertheless want to read to the end to see how the economic villains are caricatured.
The book is one that you will likely want to re-read or at least scan through again after you have read it once just to appreciate the fantastic artwork. I give this book two hearty thumbs up and if you are looking for a good book to give to someone for xmas who is interested in politics and economics, then you can't go wrong with this book.