I spent the past weekend in Toronto, attending the meetings of the Canadian Economics Association, and I took advantage of the occasion to track down the book that was the subject of Nick's earlier post. (The bookstores here in Quebec City cannot be relied upon to provide such fare).
To echo Nick's review, it is a good book. And I admit to being surprised at how good it is. There are any number of uniformed, incurious non-economists who feel perfectly comfortable performing hatchet jobs on ideas that they clearly do not understand, so it's a very good thing indeed to come across a book that is written by a non-economist who has taken the trouble to inform himself about what economists actually say.
I'm very tempted to go through a chapter-by-chapter review, simply because so many of the the points he makes are ones I've been making here over the years. But I won't: read the book.
A weakness that is worth mentioning is one that Nick noted: the symmetric structure of the book simply doesn't work. Joseph Heath will tell anyone who will listen that his primary audience is economically-illiterate leftists, and this is pretty clearly born out by the lop-sided structure of the book: the first six chapters documenting the right-wing fallacies don't have the punch of the ones that eviscerate those dear to the left. For example, the chapter on international trade could have just as easily been assigned to the list of left-wing fallacies - although I think my suggestion would have been to add another section on 'non-partisan fallacies'. The lop-sided structure is probably inevitable, since left-wing hostility to economics is older and more deeply-rooted than right-wing hostility to economics. But it is no doubt a smart strategic move to soften up leftists readers by starting with a demolition of some of the dumber elements of right-wing economics.
One thing I have learned from this book is that Canada's book review editors are singularly bone-headed. I haven't seen a single review that would lead me to believe that its author understood what Joseph Heath wrote.