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All the cool kids are doing it

Last week I picked up the new Michael Lewis book, The Real Price of Everything: Rediscovering the six classics of economics. Had to put it back down again because, dang! It was heavy. Turns out he simply introduces the six classics of economics and includes each one in this single binding.

I really did put the book down, but not before reading the introduction to An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. I knew I couldn't finish reading this book by the library's schedule and I figured I'd be better off buying my own copy. He really sells it; I'm eager to delve beyond the first 30 pages he claims most people read. Lewis makes the point that Smith wrote as a moral philosopher. He couldn't write as an economist, since the field did not yet exist.

I did some research and I think the single Lewis volume is the least expensive way to go, even though I'll have to set it on a table to read it--or risk interrupting the blood circulation to my legs should I set it in my lap. I mentioned to Brian that I planned to read Wealth of Nations and he said that he had done just what Lewis described. "I read the first three chapters in the first of many volumes. And those chapters were long. And you know what else?" He paused and looked down the counter past Victoria (we were at the diner after church). "The sentences were long, too?" I guessed. He shook his head: "The print was extremely small." I can't say I haven't been warned.

Anyway, that's my plan. Later on I learned that P.J. O'Rourke has just written a commentary or some such on the same book. That didn't scare me away, it just made me want to read the real thing more. Of course, when Oprah recommends it that'll truly be something.

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