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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... open society during World War II seems linear. The "rationality of scientific
revolution" dominates the narrative. Only the theories that withstood the test of
time and criticism— above all, Popper's own criticism— made it into the
The history of Keynesian economics would seem to reply, no. ... Robert
Skidelsky's biography of Keynes mentions Giblin's multiplier only once— and
only by implication, in a footnote.2 This position seems just, for there is no
positive evidence ...
(22) Despite his adventures in the stock market Ralph seems to derive most
satisfaction from groping for the imaginative life and never knowing whether he
has found it. Joan asks: "Aren't you happy, Ralph?" and he replies, "No, are you?
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Is Autobiography Antiacademic and Uneconomical?
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