Economists' Lives: Biography and Autobiography in the History of Economics
This collection of essays, a supplement to History of Political Economy, brings together prominent scholars from economics, sociology, literature, and history to examine the role of biography and autobiography in the history of economics. The first of its kind, this volume looks at the relevance of first-person accounts to narrative histories of economics. The essays consider both the potential and the limits of life writing, which has traditionally been used sparingly by historians of economics, and examine types of biographies, the relationship between autobiography and identity, and the writing of biography.
Contributors to this collection question whether biography is essential to understanding the history of economic ideas and consider how autobiographical materials should be read and interpreted by historians. Articles consider the treatment of autobiographical materials such as conversations and testimonies, the construction of heroes and villains, the relationship between scientific biography and literary biography, and concerns related to living subjects. Several essays address the role of biography and autobiography in the study of economists such as F. A. Hayek, Harry Johnson, Alfred Marshall, John Maynard Keynes, Oskar Morgenstern, and François Quesnay, concluding with several accounts of the interconnection of the historians' projects with their own autobiographies.
All 2007 subscribers to History of Political Economy will receive a copy of "Economists' Lives: Biography and Autobiography in the History of Economics" as part of their subscription.
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Paul John Eakin takes us back to the nineteenth century and asks how the
changing economy might be reflected in the economic lives of ordinary people, a
question wonderfully illustrated by Henry Mayhew's "little watercress seller.
Similar remarks can be made about Twelve Contemporary Economists (Shack
leton and Locksley 1981), American Economists of the Late Twentieth Century (
Samuels 1996), Italian Economists of the Twentieth Century (Meacci 1998), ...
The historian Karl J. Weintraub (1975, 847) attributes the rise of Western
autobiography at the end of the eighteenth century to two key developments, "the
recognition of a strong historical dimension of all human reality" and "a modern
mode of ...
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Is Autobiography Antiacademic and Uneconomical?
The Production and Use
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