Book review: 50 Things that Made the Modern Economy, by Tim Harford

By Susan February 19, 2018 19:42

Book review: 50 Things that Made the Modern Economy, by Tim Harford

What do barbed wire, radars and the double entry accounting system have in common? They changed the world, to give it the shape we know today. In this Facebook Live, I review Tim Harford’s amazing book, 50 Things That Made The Modern Economy. (Find it on Eason’s or on Dubray Books)

Watch the book review below.


My review of "Fifty Things that Made the Modern Economy" by Tim Harford

Posted by Susan Hayes "The Positive Economist" on Wednesday, February 14, 2018


50 Things that Made the Modern Economy, Tim Harford, Little, Brown, 2017.

I picked up 50 Things in the lovely bookshop in Lahinch, Co. Clare. I was staying in Lahinch at the Cliffs of Moher Hotel for the week-end and the book immediately caught my eye when I walked into the bookshop. Yes, it has “Economy” in the title, so of course I was going to make a beeline for it…

I took my time to savour it and I ended up picking it up and putting it down frequently as I needed to meditate on the mind-blowing ramifications of seemingly small things. Tim Harford, also known as the Undercover Economist, is amazing at pointing out things that we take for granted, and tracing back their origin to surprising, or surprisingly mundane, beginnings.

Who should read this book?

50 Things is great if you’ve been constantly thinking about your own business and you need to switch off for a while – but perhaps you’re not a fan of fiction and you would like a more productive way to relax. 50 Things is it: it will transport you to distant horizons and completely captivate you, just like the best adventure novel – only better because it is about economics (me, partial?).

You will also enjoy the book tremendously if you love having your assumptions challenged and thinking in completely fresh ways.

I kept being surprised and fascinated at how seemingly random things, like the elevator, or market research, kickstarted momentous developments that are such an integral part of our world today, to the point that we couldn’t imagine our life without these things. And still: there was a time when they didn’t exist. 50 Things is an excellent read and an original way of stretching your mind to think five steps ahead.

Watch the video on my Facebook page.

Interested in productivity, business growth, innovation? Watch more book reviews here.

Positive Economist

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By Susan February 19, 2018 19:42