Americans have been asked to make the choice between the path of increasing protectionism and the road to freer trade. Roberts’s fable puts the reader in the driver’s seat, with the advantages and drawbacks of each route entertainingly but carefully put forth. A tour de force that helps to punch holes in the currently fashionable case for protectionism.
A Fable of Free Trade and Protectionism
David Ricardo comes back as a ghost to argue about the costs and benefits of trade with an American television manufacturing exec in 1960. A primer on international trade written in the form of a novel, it was named one of the top ten books of the year by Business Week and one of the best books of the year by the Financial Times when the first edition came out in 1994. Not my best novel but lots of economics here.
The insight from this book has touched my life…I would like my daughter’s teachers to adopt this book for material for their debate team.
Russell Roberts’s clever allegory clearly points out the fundamental danger threatening free trade: the favoring of the few at the expense of the many. More importantly, he makes a difficult subject understandable…and enjoyable!
The chapter on self-sufficiency as the road to poverty should be printed in all newspapers and be required reading in classrooms.