Grand Pursuit: The Story of Economic Genius and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $35.00
  • Save: $9.59 (27%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 4 left in stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Grand Pursuit: The Story ... has been added to your Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Used: Good | Details
Sold by giggil
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: The book has some small stickers or residue.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Grand Pursuit: The Story of Economic Genius Hardcover – September 13, 2011


See all 16 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover, September 13, 2011
$25.41
$1.42 $0.01


Frequently Bought Together

Grand Pursuit: The Story of Economic Genius + The Worldly Philosophers: The Lives, Times And Ideas Of The Great Economic Thinkers, Seventh Edition
Price for both: $40.43

Buy the selected items together

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Hero Quick Promo
Browse in Books with Buzz and explore more details on selected titles, including the current pick, "Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Adventure," an engaging, interactive dive into the versatile actor's life (available in hardcover and Kindle book).

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; First Edition edition (September 13, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684872986
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684872988
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.6 x 1.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #503,765 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Nasar brilliantly brings to life game-changing economists from Marx to Hayek and from Sidney Webb to Milton Friedman, tracing the evolution of modern economic thinking through the richly detailed stories of the men and woman who reshaped how we think of life’s possibilities. . . . This is an utterly fascinating book on many levels. . . . A Beautiful Mind, Nasar’s previous book, was about an economist named John Nash, but Nasar’s mind is pretty good, too. No lesser mind could have written a book so rich, so compelling, so important, and so much fun.”
--Mickey Edwards, The Boston Globe

“A fascinating excursion into the economic ideas and personalities that have deposited most of us at a standard of living unparalleled in human history…engrossing…Nasar, who wrote A Beautiful Mind, …is drawn to intellectual giants. They stomp across the idiosyncratic and readable pages of Grand Pursuit, which unfurls with a David McCullough-like knack for telling popular history….On these pages, the dismal science shines.”--Karen R. Long, Cleveland Plain Dealer

“Grand Pursuit is a worthy successor to Robert Heilbroner’s The Worldly Philosophers. . . . Nasar’s aim is to put the reader into the lives of the characters of a sweeping historical drama that extends from Victorian England to modern-day India. That she largely succeeds reflects the depth and breadth of her research but also the elegance of her prose.”
--Steven Pearlstein, The Washington Post

“Nasar is a superb writer. . . . The book is a kind of portrait gallery of economic thinkers, each artfully set down in his or her time and place. . . . You can’t help becoming engrossed in their lives.”
--James Grant, The Wall Street Journal

“[This] is the story of the evolution of a radical, planet-reshaping idea…The canvas is epic…The details are fresh, at times startling…At the same time, gnarly but critical concepts…shine through in all their richness and complexity. If only Econ 101 had been this interesting!” Fortune

“Grand Pursuit is a history of economics which is full of flesh, bloom and warmth. The author demonstrates that there is far more to economics than Thomas Carlyle’s “dismal science”. And she does so with all the style and panache that you would expect from the author of the 1998 bestseller, A Beautiful Mind. . . . A wonderful book. Grand Pursuit deserves a place not only in every economist’s study but also on every serious reader’s bedside table.”
--The Economist

“One of the many wonderful things about Nasar’s book is that in it, economic genius isn’t limited to the usual suspects….Even when exploring famous economic minds, Nasar brings out the humanity in the dismal science by showing their ideas are nearly always rooted in formative experiences.”
-- TIME Magazine

“Nasar has written a compelling history of modern economics, a story of the theorists as well as of their theories. . . . Grand Pursuit is artfully rendered and a delight to read. . . . One suspects that future economics textbooks will warrant some revisions. All the same, their authors would profit from consulting Grand Pursuit.”
-- Bloomberg BusinessWeek’s **FIVE STAR** Review

“A timely reminder of the importance of the so-called dismal science. . . . Written almost as a novel and aimed at those without a background in economics, the book charts capitalism's evolution through the eyes of the people who invented it. . . . It is compellingly written, full of detail and vivid anecdotes, and with a refreshing focus on people rather than prices.”
--Gregor Hunter, The Nation

About the Author

Sylvia Nasar is the author of the bestselling A Beautiful Mind, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for biography. She is the John S. and James. L Knight Professor at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Related Media


Customer Reviews

Ms. Nasar writes extremely well, and I found the entire book engrossing.
Byron
The author has not made even the slightest attempt to describe the basic economic ideas of the economists presented in the book.
SantosVega
Sylvia Nasar, author of A Beautiful Mind, in Grand Pursuit provides us a wide ranging history of modern economic thought.
Lynn

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

152 of 158 people found the following review helpful By Tiger CK on September 13, 2011
Format: Hardcover
In the Grand Pursuit, Sylvia Nasar, the widely acclaimed author of A Beautiful Mind, writes a sweeping history of the evolution of modern economics through the lens of the discipline's most famous scholars and theorists. It is ambitious in scope, based on some very solid research and often a compelling read. But at the same time it is overly broad and, ultimately, does not yield many new insights into its subject matter.

The author argues, rightly, that the idea that human prosperity could be created and managed is a relatively new one. Before the mid-nineteenth century most assumed that the vast bulk of humanity was destined to live in poverty and squalor and that there was not much that could be done about this. But during this era, a group of scholars including Marx, Engels, and Schumpeter emerged and contended that the lives of human beings could be improved through the proper management of the economy. Nasar retells how difficult economic circumstances have been at certain points in world history and looks at the efforts of leading economists to contribute to prosperity during their respective eras. In Nasar's broad survey we encounter many of the best-known economists of the past 150 years and learn about their personal lives, their contributions to the discipline, and how they tried to influence policy. Throughout her skillfully constructed narrative, Nasar demonstrates a remarkable grasp of the major ideas of almost every major economist that readers could think of. She describes the importance of John Maynard Keynes, Beatrice Potter Webb (the inventor of the idea of the welfare state), Milton Friedman and Amartya Sen among others both to the discipline of economics and to policy making. In this sense, the book is probably the most comprehensive history of its kind.
Read more ›
11 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
76 of 85 people found the following review helpful By DRDR on September 13, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I liked the concept behind "The Grand Pursuit." Economic science has been increasingly under attack in recent years, so I'm pleased that Sylvia Nasar provided a mass-marketed perspective on the value of economic thought from the mid-19th century onwards. This book, or one like it, should be read by anyone who takes for granted modern economic growth and the ideas that helped make it possible. Yet the book is too much hodgepodge. Nasar's choices of which economists to portray and what aspects of their lives to profile seems arbitrary. She spices up the material by grouping it together in three acts - Hope, Fear, and Confidence - but such framing is no substitute for deeper care in the selection and organization of the material.

The organization is more like a sandwich than a 3-act play: the first five and last three chapters profile individual economists, while the meat of the story is the middle 10 chapters, portraying the interaction between economists like Fisher, Keynes and Hayek both between the World Wars and in the aftermath. The heroes of the early chapters like Marshall had less direct role in policy, but their ideas were crucial to shaping our understanding of the world.

Nasar observes that throughout history, there have been powerful people who looked at the world purely in zero-sum terms. Her heroes understood that the future need not be so bleak. I wish this book made a more coherent and convincing case for such an important truth.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
33 of 38 people found the following review helpful By K. Kehler on October 18, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This is a fine book, something that makes this review hard to write, because I don't wish to appear callous or nitpicking. While I like the book I also feel slightly let down, for while it has genuine merit -- It's a pretty quick read, it's very informative (on certain topics), and it is entertaining and interesting -- it really isn't what the title says it is. Specifically, as others have pointed out, it isn't a history of economic thought or economic theories. It is a series of quite interesting biographical snapshots of various important economic thinkers, warts and all. At its best, this book is good intellectual history: or more accurately, good intellectual historical contextualizing, and so it is definitely worth acquiring, if this interests you. But for a history of economic theorizing, look elsewhere.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
39 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Padman on September 13, 2011
Format: Hardcover
The Grand Pursuit, as Nassar writes, is the ambitious quest to improve the material well-being of everyone in a given society. The tale starts in the mid-1800s when it was assumed that "nine parts of mankind" would live in misery and poverty. But as Burke was making that claim, the Industrial Revolution was gaining steam thanks to the classical economists, and the world was changing forever.

While this book ably covers the big picture economic developments of the last 200 years (the Industrial Revolution, class warfare, the rise of the welfare state), it is really about the economists that thunk the thoughts that made up that history. We find out what kind of people Marx, Marshall, Fischer, Keynes, Schumpeter, Hayek, and Friedman were, and so get a better glimpse of the life and times behind the genius.

In engaging vignettes, the author reveals that Marx wrote Das Kapital without having visited a factory and that his income placed him among the top 2% in Britain; that it was a woman, Beatrice Webb who invented the concept of the welfare state; and that the prize monetarist Milton Friedman was the one who first suggested the automatic income tax withholding (a measure he later denounced).

Since the author focuses on the lives of the economists, one doesn't get a fully-formed economic theory such as the one in Juggernaut: Why the System Crushes the Only People Who Can Save It. The themes and implications do amount to something of an assertion--that industrialism is the source of the widespread increase in well-being, and that capitalism, not socialism is the best mechanism for supporting it.

Altogether, this is a welcomed addition to any economist's bookshelf, and a fantastic follow-up for one of the best storytellers in economics today.
3 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?