- Hardcover: 256 pages
- Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (January 15, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780765616944
- ISBN-13: 978-0765616944
- ASIN: 0765616947
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 37 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #856,458 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Big Three in Economics: Adam Smith, Karl Marx, and John Maynard Keynes Hardcover – January 15, 2007
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This is an engrossing human story that also provides a crash course in Economics for lay readers like myself.
Very interesting and highly recommended.
1. The book accomplishes what it says it will -- it gives a general history of economics from the publication of "The Wealth of Nations" in 1776 until today. The book gives a relatively brief biography of each of the "Big Three", explains the fundamental principles of each figure's economic model, and then gives the reactions and counter reactions to the each of "Big Three" by economists contemporary at the time.
2. The history is clear and well-written. So long as you have a basic understanding of the fundamentals of economics, you won't need to do research outside of the book to understand what it is saying.
The not so good:
3. As some other reviewers have said, the author is opinionated. As this is a history, I suppose that is unavoidable, but the author is unashamedly opinionated. He likes Adam Smith. Any deviation from Adam Smith's philosophy and the author tends to use more inflammatory language in describing it. What is most bizarre though is that he frequently states that Adam Smith's system creates an "optimistic world" and criticizes opposition to Adam Smith by labeling them as "pessimistic" or such. The author's bias should be taken into consideration by the reader.
4. Some parts of this book are copied word-for-word from the author's other book, "The Making of Modern Economics".
of its content. Although I believe the author could have made an even better effort
to neutrality (on his personal views).
I also like the easy reading, its rhythm and chronology (well written, I think...). I was
a little turned off by the inconsistency in the description of some concepts. It is my
understanding that according to the author some ideas merit more depth than others.
However, the author fell to accurately reveal the evidence against some those ideas.
I just thought he was dismissive, opaque and perhaps sometimes bord with views he did not agree with.
I would recommend this book to senior undergraduates students in economics and
to those interested in social and world affairs.
He is clearly a free-market, neoclassical enthusiast, which he indicates from the outset with his totem pole statue thing. His beliefs, as indicated by his totem pole, tell us early on to question his "facts," as well as his conclusions.
My problem with the book was that it was written as if history had just ENDED and his "team" of thinkers had once-and-for-all WON. Historian writers should know better.
What I really, really want right now after just having finished the book, in November 2012, is an update! This was written in 2007, on the eve of the second greatest financial collapse in our history. When we look at the underpinnings of this crisis, which is still quite alive for many of us, we see multiple examples of "free market capitalism" gone very very wrong. What would he say now about the sophisticated financial modeling that he openly praises at the end of the book? About the invisible hand naturally creating appropriate pricing of assets? And the list of my questions goes on and on.
Like so many, he may have appeared to have the answer at that time - like Irving Fisher before the collapse of 1929. But I'd like to hear the rest of the story.....................