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Eminent Economists: Their Life Philosophies Reprint Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0521449878
ISBN-10: 0521449871
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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

This collection of essays by 22 prominent economists is distinctive. These autobiographical essays are open-ended, with each economist invited to discuss his "life philosophy." Surprisingly, such wide-ranging articles do develop several common themes, and all dispel the notion of economists as theoreticians divorced from the workings of the real world. The economists exhibit impressive intellectual depth and breadth of knowledge. Highly recommended for all college and university libraries, especially those institutions with large and/or vigorous economics programs.
- Richard C. Schiming, Mankato State Univ., Minn.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


"This book provides a rare opportunity to sit down with an Arrow, a Samuelson, or a Tinbergen and learn that there is more to economics (and economists) than the world of theorems and econometric models. Michael Szenberg is to be congratulated for making us privy to the life philosophies of twenty-two of the world's most eminent economists. This is recommended reading for economists of all ages; it should be required reading for those at early stages of their careers." Victor R. Fuchs, Stanford University

"Gems from this treasure chest include brief surveys of authors' major contributions; pleas for work which authors consider unjustly neglected by the profession; brief essays on methodology and on personal objectives; and autobiographical sketches including accounts of military service in World War I, high school in occupied France during World War II, and escape from Communist Romania. Eminent Economists: Their Life Philosophies should fascinate anyone interested in economics, autobiography or the creative process." Harry M. Markowitz, Baruch College, City University of New York

"Eminent Economists: Their Life Philosophies, edited by Michael Szenberg, contains revealing autobiographical essays by 22 excellent economists of the older generation, including representatives of the right like Karl Brunner and James Buchanan." David Warsh, The Boston Globe

"Michael Szenberg, is editor in chief of The American Economist, has edited a collection of essays that should stand as a permanent addition to economic literature. A very useful, thoughtful and sincere Introduction by the editor compares some of the thoughts and attitudes expressed concerning vision and technique. We have always stood on the shoulders of our intellectual forebears. Now we can do it more knowingly, confidently, and even, affectionately." The American Journal of Economics and Sociology

"This collection of essays by 22 prominent economists is distinctive....The economists exhibit impressive intellectual depth and breadth of knowledge." Library Journal

"Imagine sitting down on a one-to-one basis with each of twenty-two of the world's most eminent economists--including nine Nobel laureates--and listening as each one tells you his life philosophy. This collection of essays, masterfully edited by Michael Szenberg, along with an introduction, provides the closest alternative. What a colorful array of economists!...This book should serve as a source of study for economists who can pick up many ideas on research and methodology from today's economic masters. It should be required reading for all starting (and also many established) academicians who would obtain tips on teaching and other academic behavior. But because it is a compendium of essays by 'masters,' it contains a wealth of information that extends beyond economics....this book is also enjoyable reading....Professor Szenberg should be congratulated for this volume; it is priceless." Samuel Schwarz, Eastern Economic Journal

"...a treasure trove of 22 immensely enjoyable autobiographical essays....virtually all write in a lively, lucid, and reflective style free of technical jargoneering. Some of the essays are primarily fascinating life histories; and some are outright amusing. Few are pontifical. Almost every essay offers memorable anecdotes. In its own way, almost every essay is wise, absorbing, and entertaining." James W. Brock, Journal of Economic Issues

Product Details

  • Paperback: 324 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; Reprint edition (May 28, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521449871
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521449878
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,702,487 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
A fascinating book, and something that should be mandatory reading for all graduate-level economics students prior to their taking advanced theory classes. A careful reading of this book will give the reader insight into the current state of the profession, an understanding of how it became so, and, perhaps, a more sympathetic view of the "supporting cast" of economists.
One is struck by the wide disparity in the quality and content of these essays. Some are quite insightful: either shedding light on a particular economist's field(s) of interest, or else opening the particular economist's psyche for the reader to see. Tibor Scitovsky's piece is an excellent example of writing that does both; the reader comes away with knowledge of the intellectual underpinnings of Scitovsky's work as well as some clarity into what motivated him in the first place. His is, in my opinion, the most thought-provoking piece in the book. Also notable, William Baumol's essay is a clearly written, lucid exposition of his worldview, and even the most ideologically opposite reader comes away with an appreciation for Baumol the man.
Other essays are turgid and difficult to wade through (like much of economic writing, I'm afraid). Maurice Allais' work was so uninteresting as to make me wish I were reading something else. To be fair, it must be noted that Allais' piece was translated and may have been brilliant in the original French.
Some of the economists obviously took lightly the task of setting their life philosophies in print, while others took advantage of the opportunity to try to wrest validation for their now-discredited theories.
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By A Customer on June 3, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I enjoyed reading this book because it comprises twenty-two essays in which economists illustrate their lives and personal philosophies. The economists who come from quite different points of the ideological extent display inspiring intellectual depth and breadth of knowledge. They expose their life philosophies and consider on their conceptions of human nature, society, justice and the source of the creative impulse. The self-portraits expose details of the economists' personal and professional lives that capture the meaning of the total person. Furthermore, they illustrate the result of their labor, and they change one's notions of what an economist can do or be. Overall, I found this book very interesting and I believe it should be in the collections of all academic libraries.
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Format: Paperback
This book provdies a rare glimpse into the minds of many of the top thinkers in economics. By presenting their collective rememberances in a cohesive, easily approached set of essays, the author providers readers with a concise perspective on many fundamental topics in economics. A MUST for anyone trying to figure out 'why things are the way they are"!
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