The secret of economics is that the most powerful insights come from a handful of big ideas that anyone can follow.’

This small book tells a big story. From ancient times to the modern world, The Shortest History of Economics unearths the hidden economic forces behind war, innovation and social transformation. It traces how capitalism and the market system emerged, and introduces the key ideas and people who shaped the discipline of economics.

From the agricultural revolution to the warming of our planet, Andrew Leigh tells the story of economics that ranges across centuries and continents, highlighting the diversity of the discipline. He delves into the radical origins of the game of Monopoly, why the invention of the plough worsened gender inequality, how certain diseases shaped the patterns of colonialism, the reasons skyscrapers emerged first in American cities, and much more.

The result is an illuminating, entertaining book about the economic ideas and forces that shape our world.