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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Some retrospective identification with past economists is lightly held: Robert
Lucas "once thought of myself as a kind of Austrian, but Kevin Hoover's book
persuaded me that this was just a result of my misreading of Hayek and others" ...
The 1983 centenary of Marx's death and the births of Keynes and Schumpeter
was especially productive of scholarly activity of high quality, involving not only
scholars of the history of economic thought but also leading economic theorists, ...
And another passenger wondered "whether it was necessary that thought and
scholarship should thus maltreat their bodies, and should thus elevate their
minds to a very high tower from which the human race appeared to them like rats
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Is Autobiography Antiacademic and Uneconomical?
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