Publication Details and Purchasing Information

The Myth of the Rational Market

A History of Risk, Reward, and Delusion on Wall Street

Product Description and Author Information

About the Book

The financial crisis of 2008 and subsequent Great Recession demolished many cherished beliefs—most significantly, the theory that financial markets always get things right. Justin Fox's The Myth of the Rational Market explains where that idea came from, and where it went wrong. As much an intellectual whodunit as a cultural history of the perils and possibilities of risk, it also brings to life the people and ideas that forged modern finance and investing—from the formative days of Wall Street through the Great Depression and into the financial calamities of today. It's a tale featuring professors who made and lost fortunes, battled fiercely over ideas, beat the house at blackjack, wrote bestselling books, and played major roles on the world stage. It's also a story of free-market capitalism's war with itself.

About the Author

Justin Fox

Justin Fox

Justin Fox is editorial director of the Harvard Business Review Group, and a contributor to Time magazine and PBS's Nightly Business Report. Previously, he was a columnist at Time and an editor and writer at Fortune. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with his wife and son.

Reviews

“Do we really need yet another book about the financial crisis? Yes, we do — because this one is different. Fox’s book is not an idle exercise in intellectual history, which makes it a must-read for anyone who wants to understand the mess we’re in.” —Paul Krugman, New York Times Book Review

“Justin Fox is a truly insightful fellow who can see things with his own eyes—a rare, very rare attribute.” —Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of The Black Swan

“A lucid, lively and learned account.” —Barron’s

“His analysis is singularly compelling, and the rare business history that reads like a thriller... A must-read for anyone interested in the markets, our economy or government, this dense but spellbinding work brings modern finance and economics to life.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Superbly accurate and readable... Clearly the result of many years of research and reading,... it is a model of what the popularization of social science can be, but too rarely is, and it will continue to be read when the current crisis is many years behind us.” —American Scientist

“An intellectual tour-de-force...” —The Economist

“A fascinating historical narrative.” —Roger Lowenstein, The Washington Post

“A tough, tasty steak of a book.” —Dan Neil, Los Angeles Times

“Fox makes business history thrilling.” —St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“A thoughtful, often fascinating, always illuminating history of the idea of market rationality.” —Cory Doctorow, boingboing.net

“Impressively broad and richly researched.” —Financial Times

“...a rich history of the world’s most seductive investing idea...the book chronicles the rise of rational market theory over the decades and captures the sizzle and pop of the intellectual debate ...” —Bloomberg

“Good wonky fun.” —Barry Ritholz, The Big Picture blog

“This wise and witty book is must reading for anyone who wonders what makes financial markets tick. Even those who have wrestled with this question for years will be glad to have read Fox’s compelling history.” —Peter Bernstein, author of Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk

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