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Future Little Histories Books Inspired by 'A Little History of Economics’

What books would you like to see in the Series?

October 3, 2017
 
 

A Little History of Economics (Little Histories) by Niall Kishtainy

Published in March of 2017.

Listening to A Little History of Economics will require 592 minutes of your time.  If you read the book with your eyes, count on about 296 minutes.  (As we read about twice as fast with our eyes as our ears).  I challenge you to share with us a better use of 592 (or 296) minutes.

If you think that the Little Histories series is only for the very young, then you would be very wrong.  If you believe that these books are best for those who know little about a particular subject, then I’d say that you have it exactly backwards. 

In the higher education world of my imagination, every graduate student in economics would read A Little History of Economics.  Every economics professor too.  We should never assume breadth of general disciplinary knowledge in this age of academic hyper-specialization.

Reading A Little History of Economics is a master class in explaining complex concepts in simple and understandable terms.  Niall Kishtainy does a commendable job of synthesizing centuries of economic thinking into a series of cogent and concise chapters.  To the extent that academics need to communicate with non-specialists, A Little History of Economics should be required reading.

This is the first Little Histories book that I’ve read in the series.  As I understand, the series was inspired by E. H. Gombrich’s A Little History of the World, first published in German in 1936.  The book did not appear in English until 2005.  Other books in this Yale University Press series include: A Little History of Philosophy, A Little History of Religion, A Little History of Science, A Little History of Literature, and A Little History of the United States.  

Having thoroughly enjoyed A Little History of Economics, I’m hoping that one of you is hard at work at a Little History in your discipline.

If I won the lottery, here are The Little History books that I’d spend the next decade writing:

  • A Little History of Higher Education
  • A Little History of Learning
  • A Little History of Educational Technology
  • A Little History Population

The Little History books that I want to read, but have no business writing, include:

  • A Little History of the Future
  • A Little History of Energy
  • A Little History of Work
  • A Little History of Journalism
  • A Little History of Libraries
  • A Little History of Books
  • A Little History of Innovation
  • A Little History of Transportation
  • A Little History of Housing
  • A Little History of Shopping

Which Little History do you want to read? 

Which Little History might you consider writing?

What are you reading?

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