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I started with Keynes' General Theory, then I was about to put down some Veblen and realised I wasn't sure which one to recommend. Likewise Galbraith.

So - suggestions welcome!

Feel free to stray in any direction you like - philosophy, science, etc.

We're talking a generally educated 18 yr old with intelligence, but not necessarily much background, so starter books first. Feel free to name advanced books, but please link them to a starter book.

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Wed Nov 20th, 2013 at 04:56:10 PM EST
The Affluent Society by Galbraith is really good, easy to read and fun.

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by A swedish kind of death on Thu Nov 21st, 2013 at 06:26:28 AM EST
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Plus, Economics in Perspective and Money: Where It Came, Whence It Went.

Both eminently readable.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Fri Nov 22nd, 2013 at 05:00:10 AM EST
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My first book on economics was Heilbroner's The Worldly Philosophers. I would still recommend it for a starting point. It is a series of biographical sketches set in time and accompanied by a discussion of the contributions of each economist covered. Another relatively early work for me was Muller's Adam Smith in his time and ours

The Global Minotaur by Yanis Varoufakis is a really good read with an excellent survey of economic history and the accompanying political economics from WW II to the present. To understand the social dimension of what economics has wrought I recommend Karl Polanyi's superb The Great Transformation 1944. It is a combination of the early social and economic history of England on the eve of the Industrial Revolution through the transformation of English society into a market economy plus the impact of that transformation in other countries.  It will show the reader just what that meant. A foundational work neglected because it is too revealing.  

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Nov 22nd, 2013 at 12:44:54 AM EST
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