23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism Summary and Reviews

23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism

by Ha-Joon Chang

23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism by Ha-Joon Chang X
23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism by Ha-Joon Chang
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Book Summary

Thing 1: There is no such thing as free market.
Thing 4: The washing machine has changed the world more than the Internet.
Thing 5: Assume the worst about people, and you get the worst.
Thing 13: Making rich people richer doesn't make the rest of us richer.

If you've wondered how we did not see the economic collapse coming, Ha-Joon Chang knows the answer: We didn't ask what they didn't tell us about capitalism. This is a lighthearted book with a serious purpose: to question the assumptions behind the dogma and sheer hype that the dominant school of neoliberal economists - the apostles of the freemarket - have spun since the Age of Reagan.

Chang, the author of the international bestseller Bad Samaritans, is one of the world's most respected economists, a voice of sanity - and wit - in the tradition of John Kenneth Galbraith and Joseph Stiglitz. 23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism equips readers with an understanding of how global capitalism works - and doesn't. In his final chapter, "How to Rebuild the World," Chang offers a vision of how we can shape capitalism to humane ends, instead of becoming slaves of the market.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Chang presents an enlightening précis of modern economic thought - and all the places it’s gone wrong, urging us to act in order to completely rebuild the world economy: 'This will [make] some readers uncomfortable…[;] it is time to get uncomfortable.’" - Publishers Weekly

"While 23 Things is a good overview of the big issues in economics for a general audience, those who are new to the subject may want to seek out other authors to develop a more balanced view of the topic." - Library Journal

"Myth-busting and nicely-written collection of essays." - Independent (UK)

"Shaking Economics 101 assumptions to the core … Eminently accessible, with a clearly liberal (or at least anticonservative) bent, but with surprises along the way - for one, the thought that markets need to become less rather than more efficient." - Kirkus Reviews

"For anyone who wants to understand capitalism not as economists or politicians have pictured it but as it actually operates, this book will be invaluable." - Observer (UK)

"A lively, accessible and provocative book." - Sunday Times (UK)

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Author Information

Ha-Joon Chang

Ha-Joon Chang teaches in the Faculty of Economics at the University of Cambridge. His books include the bestselling Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism. His Kicking Away the Ladder received the 2003 Myrdal Prize, and, in 2005, Chang was awarded the Leontief Prize for Advancing the Frontiers of Economic Thought.

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