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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Of what use are such lives to economists, beyond that which attaches to
directories such as who's who or the membership lists of the American Economic
Association? One is that, as was mentioned above, they come closer to telling us
However, they are important: they introduce economists of whom, for various
reasons, more substantial lives will never be written and. at their best,
encapsulate more clearly than a large volume the essence of a life as seen by
Perhaps literary lives have proved most fertile, as in The Knox Brothers by
Penelope Fitzgerald, Bloomsbury by Quentin Bell, or the numerous literary
groups whose life has been told by Humphrey Carpenter, especially The Inklings:
C. S. ...
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