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  • Published:

    Jun 9, 2009
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Book Title and Author Byline

The Myth of the Rational Market

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

Product Description and Author Information

About the Book

“Do we really need yet another book about the financial crisis? Yes, we do—because this one is different….A must-read for anyone who wants to understand the mess we’re in.”

—Paul Krugman, New York Times Book Review

“Fox makes business history thrilling.”

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

A lively history of ideas, The Myth of the Rational Market by former Time Magazine economics columnist Justin Fox, describes with insight and wit the rise and fall of the world’s most influential investing idea: the efficient markets theory. Both a New York Times bestseller and Notable Book of the Year—longlisted for the Financial Times Business Book of the Year Award and named one of Library Journal Best Business Books of the Year—The Myth of the Rational Market carries readers from the earliest days of Wall Street to the current financial crisis, debunking the long-held myth that the stock market is always right in the process while intelligently exploring the replacement theory of behavioral economics.

About the Author

Justin Fox

Photo of 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.


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

“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

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

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

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

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

“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

“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)

“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

“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

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

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

“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