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Paul Krugman's Top Book Recommendations

Want to know what books Paul Krugman recommends on their reading list? We've researched interviews, social media posts, podcasts, and articles to build a comprehensive list of Paul Krugman's favorite book recommendations of all time.

These 28 essays, covering Tobin's work in macroeconomics from the early 1940s to 1970 are grouped into three parts - macroeconomic theory, economic growth, and money and finance.

In a period marked by revisionism in economic theory and retrenchment in the public goals of economic policy, Tobin remains committed to the standard he has upheld throughout his professional life. He is an eclectic Keynesian in theory whose socioeconomic concern is to reduce poverty, inequality, and discrimination through the maintenance of full employment and economic growth and through such...
Recommended by Paul Krugman, and 1 others.

Paul KrugmanI took introductory economics with Jim Tobin. He was a great economist and I learned an enormous amount from him, though he isn’t very fashionable these days. This is a collection of his best papers, which I read, admittedly a long, long time ago. But when I go back to it, I realise how much I’ve internalised Tobin’s approach. Some way into this crisis I realised how much I was relying on his way... (Source)

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Foundation/Foundation and Empire/Second Foundation

Isaac Asimov’s seminal Foundation trilogy—one of the cornerstones of modern speculative fiction—in a single hardcover volume.

It is the saga of the Galactic Empire, crumbling after twelve thousand years of rule. And it is the particular story of psychohistorian Hari Seldon, the only man who can see the horrors the future has in store—a dark age of ignorance, barbarism, and violence that will last for thirty thousand years. Gathering a band of courageous men and women, Seldon leads them to a hidden location at the edge of the galaxy, where he hopes they can preserve human...
Recommended by Orson Scott Card, Paul Krugman, and 2 others.

Orson Scott CardIsaac Asimov wrote many good books, but this is the one that stands as his finest, and the one that most rewards periodic rereading. (Source)

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A landmark of Enlightenment thought, Hume's An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding is accompanied here by two shorter works that shed light on it: A Letter from a Gentleman to His Friend in Edinburgh, Hume's response to those accusing him of atheism, of advocating extreme skepticism, and of undermining the foundations of morality; and his Abstract of A Treatise of Human Nature, which anticipates discussions developed in the Enquiry. less
Recommended by Paul Krugman, Simon Blackburn, and 2 others.

Simon BlackburnHume thought that overconfidence and dogmatism led to intolerance, to faction, to a lot of the crimes of human history. (Source)

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Distinguished British economist John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946) set off a series of movements that drastically altered the ways in which economists view the world. In his most important work, The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money (1936), Keynes critiqued the laissez-faire policies of his day, particularly the proposition that a normally functioning market economy would bring full employment. Keynes's forward-looking work transformed economics from merely a descriptive and analytic discipline into one that is policy oriented. For Keynes, enlightened government intervention in a... more

Eric WeinsteinFolks frequently ask “What are the books that changed your life?” If I tell them, they are usually radically disappointed. I find that curious. I just cleared out of an office, and these are books that mattered enough to me to bring home. So here they are. (Source)

Paul KrugmanIt is a difficult book, because it’s the first book that tries to figure this stuff out. You don’t teach Keynesian economics from Keynes anymore. Keynes was actually working on The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money before the Great Depression, but, obviously, the Great Depression gave it urgency. It’s a first stab – it’s one hell of a first stab – but because it is a first stab,... (Source)

Mark BlythThis is an incredibly important book because it shows us that Adam Smith was only right in a special case. (Source)

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Essays in Persuasion (1932)

This reissue of the authoritative Royal Economic Society edition of Essays in Persuasion features a new introduction by Donald Moggridge, which discusses the significance of this definitive work. The essays in this volume show Keynes' attempts to influence the course of events by public persuasion over the period of 1919-40.

Warren BuffettReading Keynes will make you smarter about securities and markets, I'm not sure reading most economists would do the same. (Source)

Peter KellnerThis volume spans the aftermath of the First World War and his assault on the Versailles Treaty and the damage it was going to cause, through to the 1920s and 30s and the arguments over the gold standard, right to his writing on how to pay for the Second World War. (Source)

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