Subject: Re: Recommendations for Basic Economics Guide.
From: Alex <xela@MIT.EDU>
Date: Sun, 13 Oct 2002 11:38:12 -0400

>     xela> Both are by Prof. Timothy Taylor of Macalaster College, (a
>     xela> first-tier liberal arts school in Minnesota).  He must be a
>     xela> hell of a lecturer in person to come through so well on tape
>     xela> while I'm driving in Boston traffic.  They're "Economics"
>     xela> and "Legacies of Great Economists" (personally, I found that
>     xela> I could make a lot more sense out of economics by
>     xela> understanding the historical context in which economic ideas
>     xela> developed, and if I were doing it again, I'd listen to
>     xela> "Legacies" first);
> If that's the Tim Taylor I think it is, I wonder if he got his PhD
> yet?  The guy I'm thinking of _was_ one hell of a lecturer, got the
> Stanford U. GTA award once, and was always too busy communicating
> economics to write his dissertation.  

Must be the same guy.  According to the Teaching Company's blurb,
"... he was winner of the award for excellent teaching in a large
class ... given by the Associated Students of Stanford University";
the blurb also lists a BA and Master's, but no PhD.  

> If you can stomach his politics[2], Friedman's "Capitalism and Freedom"
> and "Free to Choose" give lots of examples of economic thinking in
> practice.

I grew up in a family that came as close as any working-class
Americans ever have to being Socialists, so you wouldn't expect me
to be a fan of Friedman.  But I thoroughly enjoyed _Capitalism and
Freedom_, and I'm pretty sure it contributed a lot to the maturing
of my economic views.  Unfortunately I read it so long ago that I
no longer remember anything specific about it --- which is why I
didn't recommend it in my earlier mail:  "It's a great book but I
can't remember why" isn't IMHO a very useful recommendation.
Nevertheless, nearly 20 years after reading it, I remember it as a
book that challenged me to actually think about things I'd taken
for granted my whole life --- and on that basis alone, I'll second
Stephen's recommendation.