Economix: How Our Economy Works (and Doesn't Work), in Words and Pictures (Paperback)

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Economix: How Our Economy Works (and Doesn't Work), in Words and Pictures Cover Image
By Michael Goodwin, Dan E. Burr (Illustrator), David Bach (Foreword by)
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Staff Reviews

This is a wonderful, accessible and funny run down of the entire history of economics and a succinct explication of the current economic crisis—which ends up showing the painful repetition of history in some detail. If you know what a credit default swap is, or why you might want to avoid the riskiest tranche in a mortgage backed security, this book is too simple for you. If these terms mean nothing to you, or if you don’t know the similarities between the actions of Hank Paulson and Andrew Mellon, this book is necessary reading. It is a great starting point for exploring our current economic situation and its intimate ties to politics. And, again, the author and illustrator have done the impossible: it’s funny and entertaining! It’s actually a page-turner! This would be an excellent book for a teenager too. Go to and you can see the list of references for this well-researched (if biased) book. - Andy

— From Andy's Staff Favorites


New York Times bestseller

Stimulus plans: good or bad? Free markets: How free are they? Jobs: Can we afford them? Occupy Wall Street . . . worldwide
Everybody's talking about the economy, but how can we, the people, understand what Wall Street or Washington knows--or say they know? Read Economix.
With clear, witty writing and quirky, accessible art, this important and timely graphic novel transforms "the dismal science" of economics into a fun, fact-filled story about human nature and our attempts to make the most of what we've got . . . and sometimes what our neighbors have got. Economix explains it all, from the beginning of Western economic thought, to markets free and otherwise, to economic failures, successes, limitations, and future possibilities. It's the essential, accessible guide to understanding the economy and economic practices. A must-read for every citizen and every voter.

Find teaching guides for Economix and other titles at


"Goodwin brilliantly contextualizes economic theories with historical narrative, while Burr's simple but elegant illustration employs classical techniques like caricaturing politicians and symbolizing big businesses (as a gleeful factory) to help the reader visualize difficult concepts." --Publishers Weekly, starred review

" Economix] brings a lively visual sensibility to this intensely abstruse subject matter without condescending to the reader or dumbing the ideas down."

"Flat-out awesome "

"This witty and elegant volume takes on a number of complex issues--in this case, economics, history and finance--and makes them comprehensible for mere mortals." --Miami Herald

"After reading Economix I felt like I understood many fundamental aspects about the way the world works that I had been too lazy to learn about before . . . Economix is a book I'm going to buy and give to people." --Boing Boing

"Having never taken economics in college, I find the world of high finance needlessly complicated and confusing. Thankfully Michael Goodwin saw the need for a basic primary on how the economy currently works and how we got here. A text like this would certainly help high school and college students gain their first taste of financial literacy and it comes recommended for the rest of us."

"Just when the world seems to have fallen apart thanks to the economy, Goodwin and Burr's Economix comes along to give us some understanding of the immense, yet still 'delicate machine' that controls our world so that we can be the rulers with our votes and not the uninformed (or disinformed) ruled."

"Michael Goodwin hasn't just written a great graphic novel--he's written one that should be required for every school, newsroom and library in the United States." --Minneapolis Star Tribune

"It's simply phenomenal. You could read ten books on the subject and not glean as much information."
-- David Bach founder of FinishRich Media; author of nine New York Times bestsellers, including Debt Free for Life and The Automatic Millionaire

"Goodwin has done the seemingly impossible--he has made economics comprehensible and funny."

-- Joel Bakan, author of The Corporation The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power

"An amazing lesson in true-world economics Delightfully presented, powerful, insightful, and important information What a fun way to fathom a deep and often dark subject "

-- John Perkins, author of Hoodwinked and the New York Times bestseller Confessions of an Economic Hit Man

"Smart, insightful, clear, and as close to the truth as economics can get. The bonus: Who would have guessed that economics could be fun, and--here's the joy--really accessible? Goodwin roots us in history and fills us with common sense understanding. As he puts it early on, economics seems horribly complicated mostly because we're looking at it all at once. Broken down into its component pieces, it's relatively easy to understand. And a good understanding of economics is critical to maneuvering in the world today. If I were compiling a list of the 100 most important books you can read in a lifetime, this would be on it."

--Stephen Petranek, editor-in-chief, Weider History magazines, former editor-in-chief of Discover magazine

"Through a potent mix of comics and punchy, concise, accessible prose, Goodwin takes us on a provocative, exhaustively researched, and exceedingly engaging trip through our history and present day, creating an alternately hilarious and scary picture of where we are today as an economy-- and what it all means. More than that, Goodwin makes the arcane, understandable. If your mind either spins or slumbers at the thought of economics, read Goodwin's Economix and all will become clear.

--Nomi Prins, author of It Takes a Pillage: An Epic Tale of Power, Deceit, and Untold Trillions

"Economix is a lively, cheerfully opinionated romp through the historical and intellectual foundations of our current economy and our current economic problems. Goodwin has a knack for distilling complex ideas and events in ways that invite the reader to follow the big picture without losing track of what actually happened. Any reader wondering how our economy got to where it is today will find this a refreshing overview."
--Timothy W. Guinnane, Philip Golden Bartlett Professor of Economic History, Yale University.

About the Author

Michael Goodwin is a writer and editor with a degree in Chinese studies. He has lived in China, India, and now New York City. Dan E. Burr illustrated the classic graphic novel Kings in Disguise. He lives in Milwaukee.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780810988392
ISBN-10: 0810988399
Publisher: Abrams Comicarts
Publication Date: September 1st, 2012
Pages: 304
Language: English