Following up on The Economist’s infamous book review


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Thousands of readers paid a visit to this site yesterday, thanks to Cory Doctorow’s article, The Economist defends America’s enslavement of Africans, which referred them to my article on the matter. Thanks, Cory!

I can’t think of a better description

A photo of my legroom in United’s “Economy Minus” class.

If you ever need to describe The Economist to someone, you might do well to borrow Leah Finnegan’s lede from her recent article:

The Economist is an intentionally fusty British news-aggregation magazine for people who pretend their Economy Plus airline seat is a wing chair by the roaring fire in a manor house.

The funny #economistbookreviews continue!


If there’s an upside to The Economist’s terrible book review, it’s that it’s given rise to a burst of creative writing. Ever since they published the review, and even more so after their retraction, Twitter users have been writing capsule reviews of well-known works (tagged with #EconomistBookReviews), in ways they imagine The Economist would’ve written them:

The other hashtag: #NotAllSlaveOwners

The other popular hashtag made in response to The Economist’s review is #NotAllSlaveOwners, which plays on the recent #NotAllMen, which summarizes this attitude:

Hipster Reagan was Economisting before it was cool

ronald reagan

Rick Perlstein observes:

So The Economist got in trouble for a review that complained a book on slavery was unkind to the people who owned the slaves. Guess who said something similar about “Roots”? Ronald Reagan, quoted in the Washington Post, February 14, 1977, p. A3:

“Very frankly, I thought the bias of all the good people being one color and all the bad people being another was rather destructive.”

Thanks to for the find!

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