Well, over 3 million actually. So it’s hardly surprising that a new wave of pop-economics books have hit the shelves.


The Undercover Economist by Tim Harford is no Freakonomics but it is an interesting companion. It starts pretty slowly, spending a couple of chapters exploring a few tortured metaphors for Supply and Demand, but gradually becomes an insightful and useful analysis of how modern life is so fully affected by economics. Most importantly, it’s a readable book that brings what can be a tedious science to life.

And maybe that’s the critical thing. The lessons in books like this and Freakonomics are real and applicable. The lame struggles that GCSE Maths exams and the like go to in order to appear relevant are effortlessly surpassed in these well-written pop-Science books. In fact I’d go a step further, it would not be the worst decision in the history of the National Curriculum to add these and similar books. (A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson comes to mind) As exercises in education, they are refreshing and an extremely pleasing modern phenomenon.