What’s the best book on economics? And the best work of economic history?
The best book I’ve read recently on economics was probably Ian Kumekawa’s “The First Serious Optimist: A. C. Pigou and the Birth of Welfare Economics.” Amongst recent economic history books I would have to pick Chris Miller’s very insightful “The Struggle to Save the Soviet Economy: Mikhail Gorbachev and the Collapse of the USSR,” which shows why the Russians could not achieve in the 1980s what the Chinese did achieve, namely (partial) escape from the pathologies of the planned economy. Of course, economists and economic historians these days are discouraged from writing books. Most of what I consume in these fields comes in the form of working papers and journal articles.