The Invisible Heart

An Economic Romance

by Roberts

ISBN: 9780262330534 | Copyright 2002

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A love story that embraces the business and economic issues of the day?


The Invisible Heart takes a provocative look at business, economics, and regulation through the eyes of Sam Gordon and Laura Silver, teachers at the exclusive Edwards School in Washington, D.C. Sam lives and breathes capitalism. He thinks that most government regulation is unnecessary or even harmful. He believes that success in business is a virtue. He believes that our humanity flourishes under economic freedom. Laura prefers Wordsworth to the Wall Street Journal. Where Sam sees victors, she sees victims. She wants the government to protect consumers and workers from the excesses of Sam's beloved marketplace.


While Sam and Laura argue about how to make the world a better place, a parallel story unfolds across town. Erica Baldwin, the crusading head of a government watchdog agency, tries to bring Charles Krauss, a ruthless CEO, to justice. How are these two dramas connected? Why is Sam under threat of dismissal? Will Erica Baldwin find the evidence she needs? Can Laura love a man with an Adam Smith poster on his wall? The answers in The Invisible Heart give the reader a richer appreciation for how business and the marketplace transform our lives.

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Contents (pg. vii)
Acknowledgments (pg. viii)
1 Opening Day (pg. 2)
2 Beauty and the Beast (pg. 14)
3 Danger and Delight (pg. 18)
4 Tête à Tête (pg. 32)
5 Underpaid and Overworked (pg. 40)
6 Turning Out the Lights (pg. 52)
7 Exploiting the Consumer (pg. 62)
8 Magic Fingers (pg. 84)
9 The Siren's Call (pg. 90)
10 Down and Dirty (pg. 98)
11 Out in the Cold (pg. 108)
12 The Cornered Beast (pg. 122)
13 The Rules of the Game (pg. 130)
14 Serious Numbers (pg. 144)
15 Sweet Charity (pg. 150)
16 The Numbers Are Heard (pg. 176)
17 Swimming with the Tide (pg. 186)
18 Last Class (pg. 214)
19 Repairing the World (pg. 228)
20 Show Time (pg. 246)
21 Spare Change (pg. 252)
Sources and Further Reading (pg. 258)
About the Author (pg. 272)

Russell Roberts

Russell Roberts is Professor of Economics and the J. Fish and Lillian F. Smith Distinguished Scholar at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. He is the author of The Choice: A Fable of Free Trade and Protectionism and is a frequent commentator on National Public Radio.


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