This is a really good book and works on a number of levels. Thaler has spent a lot of time out and about among people working in different sectors and has developed (perhaps aided by the discipline of publishers) a strong ability for story-telling and he captures the importance of the key debates he has been involved in across economics, finance and law very well. The descriptions of some of the key concepts in behavioural economics are well suited to a broad audience and provide a lot of background information that will be of interest also to those who are already very familiar with the concepts. There are echoes of Arjo Klamer's famous book "Conversations with Economists" throughout the book, with Thaler aiming to give a sense of the institutional context and personalities that framed the key debates in these areas. It is fair to say that this is from the view point of one side of the debate and it would be interesting to hear more from the other side. Some of the key protagonists on the rational choice side of economics often emerge as fairly one-dimensional characters in the narrative and you feel you never really get a strong sense of what motivates some of the key figures who dominated rational-choice Economics throughout the 20th century. Having said that, Thaler does tell his side of the story extremely well and gives the context for how some of his key contributions - including his role in the development of behavioural economics, the development of behavioural finance and the development of Nudge - came to happen.
One particularly useful aspect of the book for me was Thaler's description of the role of Thomas Kuhn's "Structure of Scientific Revolutions" in framing his ideas on the role of behavioural economics. Thaler talks explicitly about how he had always viewed the development of behavioural economics as being a paradigm-shifting movement that would initially come about by pointing out several anomalies that cannot be explained by the neo-classical paradigm. It is interesting to see a self-aware paradigm shift in a discipline and the book operates nicely as a description of how this happened. Chapter 17 "The Debate Begins" has some remarkable passages on a 1985 conference bringing rationalists and behaviourists together to debate the behavioural literature and gives a real sense, at least from the behavioural side, of what was at stake in these debates and the passions they aroused. We see similar moments in later chapters on finance and law with academic debates being mixed with high degrees of emotion and rancour.
Overall the book works as an academic autobiography, first-hand account of the development of a paradigm and gentle primer of the core concepts in the areas of behavioural law, economics and finance. It is also more than the sum of these parts as the interconnection between these three functions is highly instructive in places. It is well worth reading for anyone interested in this area.