Summary of Hormegeddon

How Too Much of a Good Thing Leads to Disaster

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Hormegeddon book summary
If a little bit is good, a lot must be…awful!


8 Overall

8 Importance

6 Innovation

9 Style


Best-selling author Bill Bonner examines a serious problem he finds running through history and modern society: “Hormesis,” which is what happens when a little of something thrills, but too much of it kills. Bonner explains his coinage, “Hormegeddon,” as meaning having “too much of a good thing in a public policy context.” His lively lecture, which covers many instances he sees as governmental overreaching, pretty much deflates any belief that human beings can understand and control the world. He sets forth in this engagingly written, contrarian complaint to expose the lies, misunderstandings and ideologies he says have ended up in governmental errors and financial crises. When impassioned, Bonner can swing wide, blunt some sharp corners and make bold assertions, some of which are flatly judgmental. However, he anchors his opinions in historical examples of public policy gone awry. While always politically neutral, getAbstract thinks Bonner’s ardent viewpoint – agree with him or not – will intrigue those who follow social planning, political theory and economics.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How a little of something is good, but a lot of it can be terrible;
  • Why central planning so often goes awry; and
  • What the consequences are when government interferes with the free market.


If you add a little bit of poison to yeast, the yeast grows better. This is “hormesis”: A little of something is good, but if you add a lot of it, that extra can be bad. You need food every day, but if you eat too much, you could get fat and develop diabetes or heart trouble...
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About the Author

Bill Bonner, founder of Agora Publishing, writes the daily financial newsletter Diary of a Rogue Economist. He is the co-author of several bestsellers, including Financial Reckoning Day, The Rise of an Epic Financial Crisis, and Mobs, Messiahs, and Markets.

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