Fifty Things that Made the Modern Economy

Economics has been one of my more recent subjects of interest. The only formal education I received about economics was one semester in high school, which for the most part was personal budgets and making sure your fake baby doesn’t get broken.

Economies are very complicated yet somehow super fragile. It only takes minor speedbump to cause panic. It, also, only takes a small innovation to revolutionize society. This book is a quick read concerning those innovations. Some innovations are simple and logical; other innovations are complex and abstract.

This book is just a simple overview. It barely touches a subject before it moves on to the next. Justifiably, each innovation could probably receive its own book. Honestly, the first two chapters and the last chapter (the plough, gramophone, and lightbulb) are the best chapters. In these chapters, Harford perfectly explains how these innovations transformed society into something completely different. They didn’t simply make things easier or better, they changed the entire game.

This book is a fun read but it is not as good a book by Steven Johnson who has written books very similar to this.