as engrossing reads.
Russell Roberts, AM’78, PhD’81, an economics
professor at Washington University in St. Louis and an NPR
commentator, has written two novels that double as classroom
reading. The Choice: A Fable of Free Trade and Protectionism
(Prentice Hall, 1994) is modeled on that holiday classic,
Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life
and has sold 50,000 copies, most for classroom use at 95
different colleges, including the University of Chicago.
Roberts’s latest, The Invisible Heart: An Economics
Romance (MIT Press, 2001), combines a love story—between
a high-school economics teacher and his colleague in the
English department—with lessons on corporate responsibility
and consumer safety.
Sam’s nightmare he was back in college, taking an
English class. He did have his pants on; he had not slept
through an exam. But it was still a nightmare. Sam was taking
a class on the novels of Ayn Rand and Charles Dickens. He
was making a presentation to the class on why capitalism
was good for the poor. Every time he made a point, one of
his classmates would interrupt him and accuse him of being