The Worldly Philosophers is a useful book — not only to college students, but to any person wishing an understanding of economics. Basically the book offers three benefits:
- A simple but comprehensive explanation of the ideas of the Great Economists. It gives the reader an insight into the lives of these economists and the history of economics. Robert L. Heilbroner places their concepts in a proper context, thereby explaining how their philosophies evolve along with historical events. Throughout the book, the author weaves into the narrative the freshness of language, wit, and originality which makes for interesting reading. He discusses economic concepts in plain, understandable language.
- A valuable introduction to any course in economics. Students will find a basic explanation of capitalism, socialism, communism, prosperity, depression, and the practical workings of an economy. In marked contrast to the dry, technical, and theoretical treatment of economics by most textbooks, The Worldly Philosophers offers a vibrant, practical explanation of the world of economics — past, present, and future. A student will find it extremely profitable to study the book along with these notes prior to enrolling in a course or taking an exam in economic principles and problems.
- An overview of the political, social, and ethical concepts of economic thought. For the person pursuing an education on the history of the lives, times, and ideas of the great economic thinkers of the Western world, this book contains a capsulized version of the major tenets.
The Worldly Philosophers is an engaging, readable text. As such, it presents readers with a comprehensive explanation of the development of modern economic philosophy. This guide is designed to supplement the book in order to instruct students in unfamiliar basic concepts, such as mercantilism, as well as in periods of historical development in the social sciences, notably the scientific revolution, Renaissance, commercial revolution, and the Great Depression.
The text of this guide offers many insights into the realm of basic economics. A particular challenge is the bridging of gaps as the author leaps from idea to idea. The organization of this guide simplifies materials through chapter summary, analysis on background information, further explanations of relevant points in each chapter, and, finally, an overview and evaluation of the book as a whole. Overall, the guide seeks to sharpen the reader's comprehension of economics as a science.