Economics, then and now | Book Review: More by Philip Coggan

The book covers financial crises like Lehman Brothers, Europe’s debt crisis contagion, property crisis in Ireland, etc (Photo: Express archives)

History is all about wars and kings and destruction. Economics is always about inflation and growth. How does one then narrate economic history? The subject can be a drag and it is difficult to maintain interest as we are dealing with centuries of events and developments. This is where Philip Coggan achieves the impossible by weaving a superb story of the 10,000-year rise of the world economy in around 380 pages. Being a journalist with Financial Times and The Economist gives him a head start. When you get to know that he had authored the columns Bartleby and Buttonwood, which cover niche subjects, it seems natural that the end product is brilliant.

This story has been told in various chapters, starting from the basics of how economics developed in primitive times, beginning with trade which needed a…

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