Review of Cocktail Party Economics for The Economist As an economics training book, Cocktail Party Economics highlights the concepts of economics, bringing them to light in a simple way without taking away from the importance of each theory and thought. This is a book written to engage its readers and interest them in the idea of the economic thought process. Addressed to “ students everywhere, especially those who like economics … or want to,” this book is exactly that. Cocktail Party Economics is a skillful portrayal of the process of economic thought, which entertains young readers due to the author’s sometimes silly and sarcastic moments.
Economics may sometimes appear to be a difficult subject filled with elaborate terms and descriptions hard to grasp the understanding of, yet the book brings the subject to life and turns it into a less complex compilation of concepts in a cocktail party setting. Each chapter begins with a quote which ties in the ideas of the following paragraphs and each chapter ends with a simple yet important sentence, tying in the concepts in which the reader has just been educated on. In Chapter 5, the beginning quote states: “ There is hardly anybody good for everything, and there is scarcely anybody who is absolutely good for nothing. This was spoken by Philip Dormer Stanhope, a British statesman. The quote at the beginning of the chapter provokes the mind of the reader to begin to think of The Absolute of Comparative Advantage (Chapter 5). At the end of the chapter, there is a picture of a cocktail napkin with a sentence upon it, stating: “ Comparative advantage will determine what people will supply. ” This sentence is the anchor to a chapter full of ideas about comparative advantage, bringing the chapter to a close, simply and delightfully.
The idea of using the cocktail napkin to close each chapter is simply genius; it unites the ideas of the chapters with the overall theme of the book. Gossip Column: an imaginative idea used to enlighten the reader about long-deceased members of humanity who have contributed a great deal to the economics society. There are many Gossip Columns within the book; each one displaying the lives of an economist and their contributions to today’s economic society. These are especially important to this work of literature because they highlight the key concepts developed by deceased economists and ow these concepts are used in today’s day and age. The reader is consumed by the column and what it has to offer: a chance to understand the idea of economics on a greater scale. Visualization is an essential factor of Cocktail Party Economics, as it is aimed at a student audience. Visuals in which a student sees within the text help the individual to expand their learning and retain more information. The use of charts offers the reader a chance to refer to them in the case of confusion or misunderstanding.
These visual aids help each reader on their journey of understanding the theories of economics. Either in the form of a chart or picture, Cocktail Party Economics challenges readers to apply their knowledge to understand the text better through the visual aids. Overall, Cocktail Party Economics is a great tool to use when trying to grasp the idea of economics and the impacts of the theories on modern society. The book contains a great deal of aids in the form of quotes, Gossip Columns, charts, and pictures, helping the reader to better their understanding.
The authors make the text easy to read, using a somewhat story-telling setting. The title, Cocktail Party Economics, is very well suited to the book and explains what the book is about: being able to bring economics into a conversation at such a setting as a cocktail party. The book then furthers to explain the concepts of economics, explaining them in a way that is not dull; therefore, could be brought up in conversation at a cocktail party. Cocktail Party Economics is a book about big ideas and exceptionally scales them down to a level a student will understand.