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9780375702433

The Nature of Economies

Jacobs, Jane Author

9780375702433: The Nature of Economies

From the revered author of the classic The Death and Life of Great American Cities comes a new book that will revolutionize the way we think about the economy.

Starting from the premise that human beings "exist wholly within nature as part of natural order in every respect," Jane Jacobs has focused her singular eye on the natural world in order to discover the fundamental models for a vibrant economy. The lessons she discloses come from fields as diverse as ecology, evolution, and cell biology. Written in the form of a Platonic dialogue among five fictional characters, The Nature of Economies is as astonishingly accessible and clear as it is irrepressibly brilliant and wise–a groundbreaking yet humane study destined to become another world-altering classic.

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Review:

Over the past 40 years, Jane Jacobs has produced an acclaimed series of analytical essays that examine the development of complex human systems and environments in a manner that's as literary as it is visionary. Her latest, The Nature of Economies, continues this artistic and provocative tradition by dissecting relationships between economics and ecology through a multilayered discourse around the fundamental premise that "human beings exist wholly within nature as part of a natural order." In a style reminiscent of the cinematic My Dinner with Andre, Jacobs gives us a captivating ongoing conversation between five contemporary New Yorkers who sip coffee and voice accepted, fact-based theories along with subjective but solid opinions regarding the way our society's fractal-like development is actually dependent upon "the same universal principles that the rest of nature uses." Digressing onto various and sundry paths as such dialogues always do--albeit, this time, on a very specific and methodical route as prescribed by Jacobs--the characters mull over business cycles, animal husbandry, habitat destruction, the implications of standardization and monopoly, competition in nature, the obsolescence of computers, and much, much more. This book is recommended for the eclectically curious who welcome the opportunity to eavesdrop on such stimulating table talk, even while lamenting the fact they can't join in. -- Howard Rothman

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"Provocative…engaging…. [Jacobs] is the archetypal iconoclast."– The Boston Book Review

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