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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He suggested that we account for theoretical advances (or theoretical "moves"
thinkers made) by constructing the problem-situation, then explaining the solution
as a response to the problem. This disposes of determinism. Agents "move.
The difficulties methodological individualists encounter when they move from
biographies to discourse, from individuals to institutions, are universally shared (
by historians and economists alike). Institutions and traditions represent, in part,
20 The story moves from fin de siecle Vienna, through the London School of
Economics (LSE), Hayek's encounters with ... the losing side of the socialist
calculation debate, and his warnings failed to stem the move toward central
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