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The Nature of Economies by Jane Jacobs

The Nature of Economies (original 2001; edition 2001)

by Jane Jacobs

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306560,557 (3.61)1
Looks at the connections between economics and nature and examines whether economic systems are shaped by the same forces at work in nature.
Title:The Nature of Economies
Authors:Jane Jacobs
Info:Vintage (2001), Paperback, 208 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Nature of Economies by Jane Jacobs (2001)

  1. 00
    Ishmael by Daniel Quinn (aneurysm1985)
    aneurysm1985: Both are about similar social-ecological issues. And both are the result of the authors (Jacobs and Quinn) enlightening readers about non-fiction topics through the use of fictional characters and Platonic dialogue. Both novels are written with the overarching purpose of educating their readers about unfamiliar topics.… (more)

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Showing 5 of 5
Little too eclectic for may taste. Platonic dialogue of friends is superfluous - it doesn't add clarity nor interest. ( )
  parp | Aug 29, 2016 |
A fairly interesting approach to writing about a certain way to view economic structures, Jacobs invents a cast of characters (named, I have to assume, after dead 18th century English folks...plus a Kate. Or maybe these are common names in contemporary Toronto - the late Jacob's adopted hometown? I dunno.) in a series of dialogues, or rather, politely interrupted monologues offered up by some cat named Hiram to the perpetuity potentially offered by Armbruster's tape recorder (yeah, really). Ostensibly it's about the guy's theory that, while not directly modeled on natural processes, general economic structures are governed by the same systems that govern nature, in fact, that necessarily govern everything. I think that was the general thrust.

To make these curious discussions support this concept, or to at least prove interesting to the reader, Jacobs seemingly draws examples from a grab bag filled with everything from some unpublished 1950-something lecture to numerous recent articles from the The Globe and Mail. So all this comes off as unbridled randomness ever-so-slightly reined in by these peculiar seminar-like scenarios. Nonetheless, I found it engaging – if only because my exposure to non-architecture/urban stuff is woefully inadequate. I would recommend, at the conclusion of each chapter, looking to the non-footnoted notes in the back as she dedicates a brief description and source(s) for each specific item thrown out during these “conversations.” ( )
  mjgrogan | Jul 17, 2009 |
A good continuation of her previous work, Systems of Survival. The Nature of Economies is not quite as good, but it's still very worthwhile. The idea of import replacement has stuck with me ever since I read this. ( )
  thebookpile | Apr 25, 2008 |
Jacobs, Jane. The Nature of Economies. The Modern Library, New York, 2000. This book draws parallels between ecosystems and economies. These are two things that I have always thought very similar; on a first reading, there is little in Jacobs's book that adds fundamental clarity to my thoughts --- she just raises the same intuitive notions that I've long had. The one section that I found new and exciting, however, was the section on economic expansion. Measuring the fundamental health of an economy in terms of import-stretching makes perfect intuitive sense and it adds much insight to the contemplation of macroeconomics. Reading this short book is worth it for that idea alone. I intend to chase down the references in the notes to see if I can find more interesting general principles for complex systems that can be applied to ecosystems, economies, and perhaps even the development of computer software (the chic ``complexity theory'' everybody's talking about these days).
  BrianDewey | Jul 30, 2007 |
Jacobs tries to turn what should have been a work of pure theory/commentary, into a novel with narrative, to make it readable. It is a bit awkward, but if you can get beyond that it is another good book from this great thinker. ( )
  danielmacy | Jun 30, 2006 |
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