I came to this book as someone interested in the technology history enthuasist. Fifty Inventions turns out to be not only about the tech but includes ideas such as management consultant or passports. The history of the world is a history of ideas. Tim Harford is politically savy and he accurately draws conclusion from the very bottom of the history all the way to the ongoing issues (and he's aware what's important to us well).

Some examples from the books are: the two-part pricing model pioneered by Gillette fools us because it hooks us to buy something first cheap and they keep generating revenue from the replacement cost. He says we we need a law restricting such advertising practice. Another example is the concept of tax haven. 30 percent of wealth in Africa is hidden offshore. He calculates an annual loss of $14 billion in tax revenue. Therefore we need heavier regulation on corporations.

Since his political stance was classic textbook left, I was a bit uncomfortable. Nevertheless, He was elaborative and the book was very well researched, it's truly a pleasant book with a plenty of education.