20 January 2009

Reading List and Why I'm not Reading Thomas Friedman

I have recently taken up the study of economics, both academically and individually. I have read Capitalism & Freedom, P.J. O'Rourke on the Wealth of Nations (don't laugh, or do but not at me. It's a great distillation and has prompted me to tackle the great Smith at some future date), the Road to Serfdom (which I must re-read) and The Armchair Economist. I am currently reading The Worldly Philosophers (120 pages in, very good) and next up to bat are: Economics in One Lesson, Freakonomics, Spin-Free Economics, The Chicago School and Human Action (summertime, and I mean the entire summertime) and several other works of Ludwig von Mises. I will also get to The Fatal Conceit by Hayek and Capitalism, Socialism & Democracy by Schumpeter. I am not writing this to show how smart I am (or wish to be) but to serve as an accounting of where I'm coming from and where I wish to be.
I would love to read Smith, Keynes, Riccardo, Malthus and Hume, but to list them here would be a boast that I don't know that I can live up to. Smith, most definitely. The others, well...perhaps someday.
I bring this up because I was having a conversation with a friend and he asked, "Are you going to read The World is Flat?" I had heard some things about this book and have read maybe two articles by Thomas Friedman, but I never quite got him. Another friend sent along an opinion piece by Friedman. I get what he's saying but there's just something there I don't like and can't quite put my finger on.
Thankfully, there's Matt Taibbi.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Please pardon the indulgence of listing the books. There is a better than even chance I won't get through all of them. I will post updates here when accomplished.

UPDATE: I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Basic Economics and Applied Economics, both by Thomas Sowell. I have read most of Basic and am picking up Applied soon. Not that this counts as reading, though we did cover the entire book, but Principles of Macroeconomics by N. Gregory Mankiw (to whose blog there is a link to the right) was a fantastic textbook.
Also I have some works by Gordon Tullock.

Other than that, if any readers have any suggestions that may still be in print in about ten years, please pass them along.

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