Introductory economics textbooks

I needed to get some very basic knowledge of economics principles, so I looked for introductory economics textbooks (in Czech). The classic Samuelson’s and Nordhaus’s book Economics was the most expensive one and its Czech edition was dated 1991. I wasn’t willing to pay such a big amount of money for an about 15 years old edition, so I tried other options: Robert Holman’s book Ekonomie and Jiří Blažek’s book Základy ekonomie 1.

It was interesting to compare the two books. Blažek’s book is short and it is a pure textbook. Holman’s book is quite thick (there are two versions of it, I’m talking about the thicker one) and is very much based on examples which are often very recent (the book has been regularly updating) and related to current Czech economy. So it allows one to understand things well. It’s useful not only as a textbook, but also for general information and understanding things you can listen on news or read in newspapers.

But there are things I don’t like about the Holman’s book. Despite it’s much larger (and much more expensive) than the Blažek’s textbook, it doesn’t mention some of the things explained there. Blažek’s book mentions more terms and more names, which is important when you want to get more information from Internet. So the Holman’s book is in some sense incomplete. But what is worse, it feels biased. When reading it, you can understand why Václav Klaus has made Holman a member of Czech National Bank Council. On the contrary, when reading Blažek’s book you get no idea which economic theories the author prefers. Nothing against one’s economic opinions (whether you agree with them or not), but when reading a biased book, you simply don’t believe it. Perhaps it’s not bad to doubt about much of the text, but I think a textbook author should just present the subject and unbiased facts and let the readers to think about their implications without prejudice. Too bad, I like the Holman’s book otherwise.

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