What We Are Reading Today: GDP: A Brief but Affectionate History

What We Are Reading Today: GDP: A Brief but  Affectionate History
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Updated 14 August 2020

What We Are Reading Today: GDP: A Brief but Affectionate History

What We Are Reading Today: GDP: A Brief but  Affectionate History

Author: Diane Coyle

Why did the size of the US  economy increase by 3 percent in one day in mid-2013—or Ghana’s balloon by 60 percent overnight in 2010? Why did the UK financial industry show its fastest expansion ever at the end of 2008—just as the world’s financial system went into meltdown? And why was Greece’s chief statistician charged with treason in 2013 for apparently doing nothing more than trying to accurately report the size of his country’s economy? The answers to all these questions lie in the way we define and measure national economies around the world: Gross Domestic Product. This entertaining and informative book tells the story of GDP, making sense of a statistic that appears constantly in the news, business, and politics, and that seems to rule our lives—but that hardly anyone actually understands.
Diane Coyle traces the history of this artificial, abstract, complex, but exceedingly important statistic from its 18th- and 19th-century precursors through its invention in the 1940s and its postwar golden age, and then through the Great Crash up to today.
The reader learns why this standard measure of the size of a country’s economy was invented.
 

 


What We Are Reading Today: Four Kings

What We Are Reading Today: Four Kings
Updated 23 January 2021

What We Are Reading Today: Four Kings

What We Are Reading Today: Four Kings

Author: George Kimball

By the late 1970s, boxing had lapsed into a moribund state and interest in it was on the wane. In 1980, however, the sport was resuscitated by a riveting series of bouts involving an improbably dissimilar quartet: Sugar Ray Leonard, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Thomas Hearns and Roberto Duran.
These four boxers brought out the best in each other, producing unprecedented multimillion-dollar gates along the way. Each of the nine bouts between the four men was memorable in its own way and at least two of them — Leonard-Hearns I in 1981 and Hagler-Hearns in 1985 — are commonly included on any list of the greatest fights of all time. The controversial outcome of another — the 1987 Leonard-Hagler fight — remains the subject of heated debates amongst fans to this day.
Leonard, Hagler, Hearns and Duran didn’t set out to save boxing from itself in the post-Ali era, but somehow they managed to do so. In Four Kings, award-winning journalist George Kimball documents the remarkable effect they had on the sport and argues that we will never see their likes again.