Holly Cline's Reviews > Pop Internationalism

Pop Internationalism by Paul Krugman
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May 14, 10

Read from April 29 to May 15, 2010

I enjoyed this quite a bit. It's true that it became repetitive at times, but that's the nature of putting together a collection of independent essays and speeches revolving around the same overarching topic. There will be overlap.
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In particular, I enjoyed the essays that reminded us how the Soviet Union and Japan were perceived decades ago. With these not so distant in the past examples, I really think Krugman achieves what he set out to do. That is to take his economist's view of international trade and bring it to the lay person. The final essay of the book also does a good job of this with his comparison of 1894 Chicago & 1994 LA.

However, I don't know that this book is really as accessible as Krugman wanted it to be. There are a few essays that dip a little too far into economic theory for his goals. I myself was an economics major. I have been formally taught about most of the models he references so for me, it is easy to follow along with his (admittedly oversimplified) arguments. But I'm not convinced some of my friends or family members would be able to follow along with ease or even at all. Krugman does mention a few times just why explaining economic theory to non-economists is so hard. He even acknowledges that some things he discusses will fly right over a lot of heads.

All in all, I think Pop Internationalism does a reasonably good job discussing international trade on a level that a wider range of people can understand. He's certainly done a better job than anyone else I've ever read or heard. But there's a long way to go before economists find a way to communicate with the masses.
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Reading Progress

05/07/2010 page 110
46.41% "After finals, I'll be able to finish this quite quickly."

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