An Undismal Comic

Most people don’t know anything about economics. Motivated by his own ignorance, Michael Goodwin decided to find out more about “the dismal science.” The result is Economix (Abrams ComicArts), a surprisingly entertaining use of the graphic novel format for education in a sometimes tricky but always important field.

Goodwin begins with Adam Smith, explaining the fundamentals of free trade while putting Smith’s ideas into historical context. The book goes on to discuss David Ricardo, Karl Marx, John Maynard Keynes, Thomas Malthus, F.A. Hayek and others with surprising fairness. 

The book’s accounts of the Great Depression and the recent financial crash will frustrate those of the Austrian persuasion (who think governments, not markets, are largely to blame). But Goodwin skillfully explains some of the more subtle and unfamiliar economic concepts that frequently fly over the heads of laymen, while Dan E. Burr’s informative and engaging illustrations keep the reader grounded.

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