Posted: Sep 30, 2013 12:16 pm
by Newmark
economixcomix wrote:Hi there. I'm the author. (Why yes, I do obsessively Google my own name; how did you know?)

Obviously, I have a massive bias, so please take my answers with a grain of salt.

>Is it factually correct, or is Goodwin just making it up?

One thing that's not clear in the book, unfortunately, is that the book's website contains not just a reading list but panel-by-panel references ( So the facts cited in the book are, in my completely impartial opinion, well supported. However:

>Does he omit important parts of economics,

Hooboy do I ever. There were a million judgment calls about what to include and what to leave out, and I certainly left out many important things simply because they didn't fit in my story (like, it broke my heart to have to leave out Thorstein Veblen). I also left out plenty of facts that, while not crucial, give a more complete picture of certain people or ideas. For example, I didn't have space to give full justice to Herbert Hoover, who practically invented modern international aid, I wind up saying that Hayek's ideas are complex rather than showing how complex they were, and I give presidents the credit or blame for everything that happened in their administration rather than go into detail about the Townsendites' influence on Social Security or whatever.

But every book leaves out important things--the economy is just too damn big to fit in a book.

>and are the quotes he has (from e.g. Smith, Marx, Keynes) given in proper context?

Well, I think so, with one possible exception: in the Wall Street Journal quote on page 281, panel 3, the full quote is β€œIn some factories, the party chief is a big help: he might act like a cooperative labor-union president who will pressure you for better wages and housing, but will intervene with great authority when workers are causing problems for you.” I quoted this as "In some factories, the party chief is a big help: he . . . will intervene with great authority when workers are causing problems for you.” I think that's a fair redaction, but it does make the WSJ look a bit more like a tool than it actually was.

>Are there any well-founded conservative (or other) rebuttals?

None that I, with my obsessive Googling, have come across. Reason, which is a libertarian organ that skews conservative, mentioned my "surprising fairness," which was gratifying, and even financial journals have given it good reviews. In fact, the only bad reviews I've come across have been the occasional civilian on Goodreads and Amazon, and I haven't found their objections compelling. But feel free to check them out; your mileage may vary. (You can sort for those that gave one or two stars.)

Anyway, thanks for your interest! I'm still kind of amazed that anyone reads my strange book.

Thanks for the clarifications! I must say that I hadn't quite expected an answer from the author :)

I haven't checked the webpage yet (and thus not noticed your references), but I'll get around it. But I have seen the (1- and 2- star) reviews on Goodreads, and found them a bit lacking, which is why I came here to ask around.