Science writer Jon Turney (@jonWturney) reviews I Spend Therefore I Am on his blog here. Its not at all unfriendly, though he would like to see a few more nods to the great political economists of the left. I kept them out, not to make the book more palatable, but to avoid opening up battle on too many fronts at the same time; my energies are focused on the ways economics turns us into something novel, the networked, cyborg homo oeconomics. And he’s right, I don’t know what the way out of all this is – my sense is that we first of all have to find a voice, and that’s where the few mechanisms I do point to might help. But overall, thank you Jon.
Category Archives: Reviews and comments
While I was in Toronto, I had a fascinating chat with Brian Bethune, books editor of MacLeans Magazine. We chatted about economics, markets, medieval marriage rules for clerics – Brian’s topic, not mine – and lots of other things. Well, Brian’s piece is out in print and online, and you can read it here.
Coverage in the Sundays – a game of two halves. First of all, a pretty hostile review from Stephanie Flanders, former BBC Economics Editor and now JP Morgan Chief Strategist, in the Sunday Times. Here’s a pdf of the review: I Spend Therefore I Am, Sunday Times, 16th Feb. Flanders’ main complaint is that I take too broad a view of economics – well, that’s made clear throughout the book. ‘The true cost of calculatively rational, profit seeking, technical valuation methods derived from economic’s wouldn’t have made such a good title. She claims that we need instrumental rationality in, for example, the health service – granted, we do, but we need other forms of value, democratically discussed, as well. And she argues that we have choice. We do indeed, but what’s of interest is how these choices are made: we aren’t just ‘brains in jars’, as they say in science studies.
On the better side, four stars in the Sunday Sport. The review concludes, ‘Loads of economists are queueing up to slag this book off, which alone makes it an economically sound buy’. Nuff said. The review here:
I celebrated publication day with this interview on BBC News’ Meet the Author, hosted by the delightful Nick Higham. It’s available on iplayer until 12 February, and you can find it here. Otherwise, here’s the two of us in full flow.
More mentions of my book in the Saturday papers (2 February 2014). A short but upbeat review in The Times, says ‘simple economics becomes complex moral and political philosophy’, and called me a ‘management guru’. Well, maybe one day. Meanwhile, in the Independent, the economist Vicky Pryce takes me to task, although she does conclude that it is a ‘readable and entertaining’ book, which is also fine by me! You can find the Independent review here.
The first reviews of I Spend Therefore I Am have hit the news stands! They’re both written by philosophers, and I was pretty pleased with them, although they don’t give me an easy ride! The conservative thinker Roger Scruton writes at length in Prospect magazine, which you can find here or on this pdf (Prospect Feb 2014 Scruton), and academic philosopher Edward Skidelski, author of How Much is Enough, reviews my book in the Guardian, here.
I Spend Therefore I Am is described as ‘most intriguing’ by MacLeans in its listing, which you can find here