The Invisible Heart: An Economic Romance

Russell D. Roberts, Author
Russell D. Roberts, Author MIT Press (MA) $47 (282p) ISBN 978-0-262-18210-2
Reviewed on: 02/01/2001
Release date: 02/01/2001
Hardcover - 1 pages - 978-0-585-38169-5
Paperback - 282 pages - 978-0-262-68135-3
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Hailed as an ""economic romance"" by the publisher, yet reading more like a dissertation on big business versus the consumer, this snappy, well-written novel casts economic polemic in fictional form. Laura Silver is a newly hired English teacher at the prestigious Edwards High School in Washington, D.C. On the street one day, she strikes up a conversation with Sam Gordon, fellow instructor of economics at Edwards. Despite Sam's fanatical devotion to free-market capitalism, bleeding-heart liberal Laura finds she enjoys their verbal sparring. Over the course of the school year, Laura and Sam run into one another on campus and around town, each time learning more about the other and delving further into political and economic topics. Meanwhile, an out-of-the-ordinary subplot pits ruthless Charles Krauss, CEO of mega-corporation HeathNet, against smart and savvy Erica Baldwin, director of the consumer watchdog agency, the Office of Corporate Responsibility, with their vicious sparring illustrating Sam and Laura's abstract arguments. It's an understatement to say that this is a novel with an agenda the agenda is the story here. Readers with a basic sympathy for deregulation and capitalist hegemony will enjoy Sam and Laura's intellectual adventures best, but students of economics across the board may find this fictionalized debate engaging and informative. (Mar.)
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