Steve Medema's New Book Offers Concise Discussions of Economics Topics

Steve Medema has long been known for his wide-ranging knowlege of the history of economics.

Now he has the book to prove it.

The Economics Book: From Xenophon to Cryptocurrency, 250 Milestones in the History of Economics, contains 250 short essays on what Steve considers the most important events, persons, and ideas in the history of the discipline.

Mercantilism, the Enlightenment, communism, econometrics, Keynesianism, macroeconomics, game theory, cliometrics, mechanism design theory, the Keynesian Resurgence that emerged in the wake of the Great Recession--they and many more are all featured in the book.

Accompanying each essay is a full-page image on the facing page.

Steve says that his publisher was firm that each essay be under 350 words.

The process of crafting each entry under such a tight word limit not only excited him but made him a better writer.

"Fortunately for me, I love to rewrite. When you're forced to be concise, you really can get clear on what's truly important and what's a necessary word and what's not."

As Steve says in the introduction to the book, he wrote the essays with a simple principle in mind: to "explain to my mother (not an economist) a particular point and why it matters in roughly 300 words without putting her to sleep."

Steve intends the book to do double-duty: it is not only for people who want a quick way to learn more about economics in its full historical scope but a resource students can consult when searching for term-paper topics.

"Now, when my students say they don't have anything to write about, I can hand them my book and say, 'Here are 250 subjects you can write a paper on.'"

The book ends with a brief bibliography. A complete bibliography can be found on Steve's website.

The Economics Book is published by Sterling and is available from Barnes &, or (we hope) your local bookseller.