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Proposal to make class readings easier -- February 14, 2002

     In view of the fact that many ECON 120 students are having
difficulty reading and retaining Rondo Cameron's "A Concise Economic
History of the World", I think it would make sense for us to
downplay that text over the next several weeks.

     Instead, I propose that we focus most of our effort on
Heilbroner & Milberg's "The Making of Economic Society".  That
completed, we could then move on to Daniel Fusfeld's The
Age of the Economist.

     Both Heilbroner and Fusfeld are very readable and
will provide us with an excellent introduction to economic history
from the Middle Ages down to the late 20th century.

     Once we have completed those two short books at a leisurely
pace, we could then return late in the semester, as time permits,
to only certain highlights from Cameron. By that time, I would have
posted on this web site a Summary of key points from Cameron, which
should make things vastly easier. I would no longer expect you to
master the entire text, conceding that that original goal was too

     Every class is different and I am trying to adjust my approach
to the background, needs, and goals of this particular class. I
believe these proposed changes in our course (the syllabus noted
that changes would likely be made as we progressed through the
semester) will make for far smoother sailing.

     Further, with these adjustments, I am confident that most Econ
120 students will still learn quite a bit without feeling
overloaded. And most students should end up doing fairly well in
the course.

     Under this proposal, we would discuss Heilbroner's chapters 3
& 4 this week.

     Let's discuss these issues on Tuesday.