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Blending past and present, this brief history of economics is the perfect book for introducing students to the field. "A Brief History of Economics" illustrates how the ideas of the great economists not only influenced societies but were themselves shaped by their cultural milieu. Understanding the economists' visions - lucidly and vividly unveiled by Canterbery - allows readers to place economics within a broader community of ideas. Magically, the author links Adam Smith to Isaac Newton's idea of an orderly universe, F Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby" to Thorstein Veblen, John Steinbeck's "Grapes of Wrath" to the Great Depression, and Tom Wolfe's "The Bonfire of the Vanities" to Reaganomics. The second edition is right up-to-date with a lively discussion of the economic crises of 2007-2010. Often humorous, Canterbery's easy style will make the student's first foray into economics lively and relevant. Readers will dismiss 'dismal' from the science.