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There's a cedilla under the c in Marcal by the way.

Subtitled "a story about women and economics" this is a peculiar book. It argues that economics as it is practiced is based on the existence of a fictional "economic man" and that when this collides (as it has) with a culture that defines man and woman and all their qualities in opposition to each other, so that "woman" is excluded from the definition of "economic man", the result is disastrous for our understanding of the world and ourselves, and for the management of our affairs.

It very convincingly contrasts the personal with the political.

I find it a very convincing argument (albeit one with which I am in prior agreement, so am obvioulsy biased), interestingly made, with some very quotable quotes, but you do rather have to fight through the rhetoric to get to it. It is very self-consciously told as a story about a story, and the relatively simple point made by each individual chapter is sometimes somewhat obscured by the telling.

You don't have to read this book to get Marcal's headline point, but there is a lot of interesting detail, interesting (and referenced) facts, and some lovely, and informative, one-liners. It's also very short and to its point, which is useful in a world of bloated texts.

"Seventeen percent of unemployed British women quit their last job in order to care for someone else. For men that figure is one percent." (page 173). That one has a particularly personal resonance for me right now.

She says nothing about solutions. Her story is told to highlight the problems. Solutions are up to us. Recommended for everyone who thinks there is something wrong with the way we allocate resources in this world.

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( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
ms_cataclysm
18th Sep, 2016 12:57 (UTC)
"Seventeen percent of unemployed British women quit their last job in order to care for someone else. For men that figure is one percent." (page 173). That one has a particularly personal resonance for me right now.

Resonates with me too.
ms_cataclysm
18th Sep, 2016 13:46 (UTC)
Kari lent me this book and I'm about halfway through. Some bits I think are very good, but I agree about the writing style. It would probably be better if I was reading it in the original French.
coth
20th Sep, 2016 07:56 (UTC)
I thought that. And one of my long list items is to read a book in French. But it won't be this year, or probably this book.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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Caroline M

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