Book: Economics of Good and Evil

“Sedlacek’s groundbreaking work promises to change the way we calculate economic value.” Harvard

I just started reading a FABULOUS BOOK called Economics of Good and Evil: The Quest for Economic Meaning from Gilgamesh to Wall Street. I love it! It might be my best book of 2011.

Although, if I am honest, most books I have read this year have been CRAP!

I met the author, Tomas Sedlacek, last week in Prague at a BBQ. The host, Sasa Flek, who published Czech Republic’s top selling book last year, which just happened to be his new translation of the Bible called Bible21, invited me over and let me know that one of the countries top economists would be at the BBQ.

Actually, the BBQ was settling into its calm mid-life before I realized that the red-haired pony-tailed young guy who was grilling my chicken thighs and chatting to me about Zizek, Derrida, and the importance of integrating economics and ecclesiology,  was actually the Tomas Sedlacek I had heard about. [DUH!]

Silly me! I was expecting someone old and boring.

Screen shot 2011 07 13 at 6 15 28 PM

That’s Tomas in the retro-sailor-inspired blue and white shirt.

He doesn’t look like an economist but he sure cooks a mean BBQ.

Anyway, his book, unlike many of this year’s readings, is crap-free and presents quite a unique view of the subject of economics. Apparently it is based on his PhD dissertation which was rejected by Charles University in Prague because, as a treatment of economics, it lacked NUMBERS! Heh heh!!

But the book is not about numbers. Its about economics and theology and postmodern philosophy and ancient Jewish mythology and Greek philosophy and Mesopotamian poetry and Adam Smith’s ideas on ethics. . . and a whole lot more. Tomas believes that if you want to understand economics, you need to go back a long way and read widely of all the disciplines.

So, I just started the book and I think I will do a quick blog interview with Tomas if he is up for it. Which means that you should start reading his book now and send me a question or two that I can ask him in the interview. And lets go from there.

His book has been forwarded by ex-president Vaclav Havel, published by Oxford Press and has sparked good reviews by Financial Times and New York Times. Thats impressive! And BTW Tomas will be speaking at Greenbelt Festival in 2012 so you can meet him there.

Now send me those questions and lets get working on a kick-ass interview!


Andrew Jones launched his first internet space in 1997 and has been teaching on related issues for the past 20 years. He travels all the time but lives between Wellington, San Francisco and a hobbit home in Prague.


  • David s. says:

    He is a great guy! He came to my school last Spring for a mini conference on Christianity and economics! He spoke of the Matrix, the seven years of plenty and of famine, and how economists are like modern day prophets. I dont knownif you remember us- my girlfriend and I saw you at Cornerstone- we are on the road on a tandem bike- I have added you to my google reader, and I look forward to reading your posts! I’ll be sure to try and get my hands on that book to read this fall!

  • Andrew says:

    i think i remember some crazies on a tandem bike last week at Cornerstone in USA. That you guys??????

  • On an academic level, in my opinion the best economics book is the Economics textbook from Samuelson and Nordhaus

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