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April 5, 2001

Jack Covert Selects: Jack Covert Selects - The Invisible Heart

By: 800-CEO-READ @ 9:17 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

The Invisible Heart: An Economic Romance by Russell Roberts, MIT Press, 260 Pages, $22.95 Hardcover, February 2001, ISBN 0262182106
The Invisible Heart is a book of many oddities. First, it is a novel with a business subtitle. As you know, most novels just have a title, while most nonfiction books have subtitles. This business book/novels subtitle is An Economic Romance. At this point, you may be asking yourself just what I was before reading this book: What am I getting myself into here? Second, it is published by the esteemed MITyup, that Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyPress. Again, you may be wondering: What? What is MIT doing publishing this breed of business book? Good question; I was wondering the same thing. Third, when you pick up any book, be it a novel or non-fiction, the blurbs on the back of the book, (specifically, who blurbed the book), can tell you a lot about that book. This book has two blurbers: Milton Friedman, the economist, the Washington Bureau Chief of Wired.com. These two diametric contributors to the book cover do make sense after youve read the book. As I mentioned, everything about this business book is a little strange, however, everything about this novel is also intriguing.
So, why an Economic Romance? Well, Roberts presents two main characters (who are reluctantly drawn together as with all good romance novels), and, appropriately, two opposing points of view regarding the subject of big business versus the consumer. Dan Gordon, the lead male character, maintains an economic viewpoint that is very similar to the Libertarian view. The author gives Dan many opportunities to expound on his beliefs. While my beliefs are not in keeping with Dans and the authors, I must admit that this book has made me scratch my head and, thus, define my own beliefs. I guess that is about all an author can really ask for. Dans pro-capitalism standpoint is countered by the female lead, Laura Silver, and this personal polemic is embroidered upon as a parallel story unfolds pitting a government watchdog agency versus the CEO of a big business business. This is a great book for the Rush fan on your shopping list, and even those who are not will find the argument an engaging one.