Friday, June 18, 2010

King Rat

On the recommendation of a presenter at the APEE meeting in April, I read the James Clavell novel King Rat-- for general economic interest and to consider for use in my MBA class. (Clavell is best known for Shogun, but there was a movie made from this book too.)

For the Fall and Spring semesters, my students get to review a book related to Managerial Economics. (The most popular choice is Peter Lesson's The Invisible Hook on pirates.) I enjoyed Clavell's book but won't use it in the MBA class. It's strength, in terms of economics, is in depicting the benefits of mutually beneficial trade-- especially when a market is otherwise restricted-- and how such efforts are often demeaned and attacked by others. But it doesn't tie in as well to Managerial issues-- and it's a bit rough in places (to use in the classroom).

It's a gripping novel in any case. And if you're looking for a novel that speaks to economics and the ethics of property rights and trade, it's an especially good read.

Has anyone seen the movie?


At June 23, 2010 at 6:16 PM , Blogger Craig Ladwig said...

I saw "King Rat" as a juvenile delinquent and never got it fully out of my mind. Later, as a military conscriptee in Viet Nam, I understood to a small degree the lesson it taught about how economic systems change people.


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