The Washington Post

This bestseller list shows how economics is incredibly polarizing

Timothy Geithner's new book, "Stress Test: Reflections on Financial Crises,"  rocketed to the top of the bestseller list this week in no time, joining another economics tome, Thomas Piketty's "Capital in the Twenty First Century."

On's bestseller list, the two books are joined by John Green's novel "The Fault in Our Stars," Dr. Seuss and various "Frozen" themed books, among other entries. But Geithner's book — a story of his time fighting financial crisis while serving in the Federal Reserve and as treasury secretary in the Obama administration — and Piketty's, which looks at economic inequality, are the only ones distinguished by anything less than a four-star review.

As of 1 p.m. Tuesday, Piketty's book has only 3½ stars, while Geithner's only enjoys 2½ stars. It's proof, if you ever need it, that economics is polarizing, at least online! One of the more rambunctious reviews of Geithner's book reads: "Boycott this book!!! Why support this idiot?? If he had done his job as regulator of the big brokerage firms they never would have blown up and destroyed the economy. Just say no!"

By the sales count, many are ignoring this reviewer. And other accounts of the book  — by the New York Times, and me — are somewhat more measured.

And as for a control, consider that the book on former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden — written by the controversial journalist and privacy activist Glenn Greenwald — has five stars. 

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* chief executive Jeffrey P. Bezos owns The Washington Post.




Zachary A. Goldfarb is policy editor at The Washington Post.



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