Monday, October 10, 2011

What is Robert H. Frank reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: Robert H. Frank, author of The Darwin Economy: Liberty, Competition, and the Common Good.

His entry begins:
Djibouti, by Elmore Leonard. Leonard, who was born in 1925, has been writing great novels for more than 60 years. At some point he’s bound to lose his edge. Two or three books back, I thought he might have begun to. But his 2010 entry, Djibouti, was for me one of his best ever. Dara Barr, 36, is an award-winning documentary film-maker who travels with Xavier LeBo, her black, 6’6”, 72-year-old assistant, to shoot a documentary about Somali pirates. Theirs is one of two intriguing relationships that evolve through this intriguing tale. The other tracks the oil billionaire Billy Wynn and his model/actress girlfriend Helene, who are in the purest form of transactional relationship I’ve seen portrayed in fiction. Helene wants a rich husband. Billy wants a perfect woman and has invited Helene to sail around the world with him to audition for the role. He’s sure that, like others before her, she’ll fail. There’s no way they’ll end up happy, you think. But...[read on]
Among the early praise for The Darwin Economy:
"[P]rovocative.... Frank is an economist for the rest of us.... The Darwin Economy ... focus[es] on one paradox of economic life: behavior which makes sense for a particular individual can harm the community as a whole."
--Chrystia Freeland, Reuters

"Frank's worthy and unfashionable aim is to argue the economic case for some forms of government regulation, to defend taxation, and even to advocate certain forms of tax increase."
--Howard Davies, Times Higher Education

"I've been reading Robert Frank's books for years, and he just gets better and better. I strongly recommend The Darwin Economy: it's clear, persuasive, and cleverly entertaining, and it provides a new and original insight about a central issue in economics. Read and enjoy."
--Thomas C. Schelling, Nobel Laureate in Economics

"The Darwin Economy debunks popular nostrums of both left and right, and takes particular aim at the notion that a well-functioning competitive market system will necessarily produce socially optimal results. Frank suggests novel approaches to America's problems that go well beyond the tired ideas of the present debate."
--Francis Fukuyama, author of The Origins of Political Order
Learn more about the book and author at Robert H. Frank's website.

Writers Read: Robert H. Frank (July 2007).

Writers Read: Robert H. Frank.

--Marshal Zeringue