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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Although there is a publication record related to the teaching of Chicago
economists, the individuals discussed comprise a very small set of the
economists teaching at Chicago— Knight, Viner, and Simons are the ones most
For the purposes of this discussion I shall take five, in chronological order. These
concern the Cambridge wrangles over liquidity preference in the 1940s and
1950s; Johnson's choice of his fields of academic specialization; his work on his
I discussed this at some length in "Marshall Biography after Keynes" (
Groenewegen  2003). Despite the literary brilliance of Keynes's Marshall
memoir, praised eloquently by both Virginia Woolf and Lytton Strachey, that
memoir is ...
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Is Autobiography Antiacademic and Uneconomical?
The Production and Use
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