This looks like an interesting book
The The Literary Book of Economics, by Michael Watts, got a good review from William McGurn in Wednesday's Wall Street Journal. Watts has culled the world's literature for selections that illustrate economic ideas and combined them with his own commentary.
- "The result is a gem of a book, with nice little asides...I had not known that Goethe served as a finance minister, which adds bite to the section in "Faust" where the emperor sees that issuing paper money is no answer to the underlying behavior of his people: "Well do I see, though treasures on ye pour / Ye still are, after, what ye were before."
Watts is a professor of economics at Purdue and Director of the Center for Economic Education there. His home page is here: "Michael W. Watts". He had an article in the fall 2002 Journal of Economic Education (JEE, available online) on "How Economists Use Literature and Drama. While I'm in the JEE's website, let me also draw your attention to Bradley Hansen's "The Fable of the Allegory: The Wizard of Oz in Economics", where he argues that the Wizard of Oz was not a populist monetary allegory, Donna M. Kish-Goodling's "Using The Merchant of Venice in Teaching Monetary Economics", and Edward M. Scahill's "A Connecticut Yankee in Estonia", and James Hartley's "The Great Books and Economics" where
- "The author describes an introductory economics course in which all of the reading material is drawn from the Great Books of Western Civilization. He explains the rationale and mechanics of the course. An annotated course syllabus details how the reading material relates to the lecture material."