Answering a Simpler but More Tractable Question
Paul Krugman Commands You to Surf to...

Paul Krugman Smackdown Watch

What Paul Krugman is reading:

A Few Notes on Income Inequality - Krugman - NYT Web Journal: What I'm Reading

  • "The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money," by John Maynard Keynes: An economic classic that I'm rereading for the first time in, I think, 30 years. There's a reason: I've been asked to write the introduction to a new, 70th anniversary edition. And I have to say that this time around I'm finding depths I was too callow to appreciate when younger. This is truly a profound book, one that changed the world for the better.
  • "The Republican War on Science," by Chris Mooney: There's a man who doesn't hide his views. But Mr. Mooney needs to be listened to. Among other things, he wrote a piece for The American Prospect a few months ago titled "Thinking big about hurricanes: It's time to get serious about saving New Orleans." Alas, nobody listened.
  • "The Algebraist," by Iain M. Banks: Hey, it can't be all work and no play. Science fiction - specifically, Isaac Asimov's Foundation - is what got me into economics in the first place. Mr. Banks, a Scot who isn't that well known in the United States, is probably my favorite contemporary science-fiction writer. If you're interested, I'd suggest "Use of Weapons" as an introduction.

  • I have to smack Paul Krugman down. "Use of Weapons" is not a suitable introduction to the fiction of Iain M. Banks. No no no no no no no. "Use of Weapons," with its amazing protagonist--the man known as Cheradenine Zakalwe--and its interesting excursions into furniture design must only be read by trained professionals. I would recommend "The Player of Games" or "Inversions" or "Consider Phlebas" for a neophyte.

    But not "Use of Weapons." No no no no no no no.