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John Maynard Keynes (Great Thinkers in Economics) Hardcover – October 2, 2007

4.3 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


'Davidson convincingly shows how Keynes's radical assault on classical economic theory was undermined by mainstream interpreters anxious to make his doctrines politically acceptable. Keynes's own 'general theory' is compellingly explained; its obfuscators attacked with Davidson's familiar panache.' - Lord Skidelsky, author of John Maynard Keynes 1883-1946: Economist, Philosopher, Statesman

'This could be the best one-volume treatment of Keynes's economics since Keynes himself. Clear, logical and faithful, Paul Davidson introduces the real Keynes to a new generation. And do we ever need him.' - James K. Galbraith, The University of Texas at Austin and Levy Economic Institute

'Global imbalances, the unshackling of capital, the precarious state of modern capitalism: rarely has the world of economics been in more need of the thoughts of John Maynard Keynes. Although Keynes is no longer with us, this book is the next best thing. Paul Davidson is the leading expert on Keynes and Keynesianism and his book should be read by anybody who wants to understand the world as it is, rather than as the economic text books say it ought to be.' - Larry Elliott, Economics Editor, The Guardian

'Paul Davidson's fascinating, encyclopaedic book captures the drama of the appearance of the General Theory, illuminates the controversies still surrounding it, and passionately defends Keynes's radical innovations in economic theory and policy. It is high time for economists and policymakers to go back to Keynes's own words, whose power Davidson so effectively articulates.' - Peter L. Bernstein, President of Peter L. Bernstein, Inc., and author of Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk and Capital Ideas Evolving

'The publication of the first installments in Palgrave Macmillan's new series, "Great Thinkers in Economics," should be a major event for historians of economics.' - Roger Blackhouse, University of Birmingham

About the Author

PAUL DAVIDSON is Visiting Scholar at the New School for Social Research, Bernard Schwartz Center For Economic Policy Analysis, USA. He has previously held Professorships at the University of Pennsylvania, Rutgers University and the University of Tennessee. He is Editor of the Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, a former member of Brookings Economics Panel, and is the author, co-author or editor of twenty-two books and more than 200 articles. His books include Money and the Real World, Post Keynesian Macroeconomic Theory, International Money and the Real World: Economics for a Civilized Society, and Financial Markets, Money and the Real World.

Product Details

  • Series: Great Thinkers in Economics
  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan; 1st edition (September 12, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1403996237
  • ISBN-13: 978-1403996237
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,189,840 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
At a time when the world needs the help of the highest and most intelligent voices of economic wisdom, it's truly a shame such false reviews, as the last, are even allowed to stand, at such a respectable business enterprise as Amazon.com. When one of the world's most respected macro-economists is even compared to the likes of one, "mister b", by "mister b" himself, it's not the point he's allowed to falsely criticize, but that he thinks so much of his own false ego. His points of mathematical economics have been not only refuted by others, but by his own omissions of admissions, in defense of his own bad economics book on Keynes, at this very site. Just go to his book's reviews and comments. Here's a serious culled example of criticism against "mister b's" ideas and book:

The D-Z is Model Built On What Keynes Knew Were False Assumptions
Keynes offers some uncharacteristically sound advice in chapter 21: "It is a great fault of symbolic pseudo-mathematical methods of formalizing a system of economic analysis, such as we shall set down in section VI of this chapter, that they expressly assume strict independence between the factors involved and lose all their cogency and authority if this hypothesis is disallowed ... Too large a proportion of recent 'mathematical' economics are mere concoctions, as imprecise as the initial assumptions they rest on, which allow the author to lose sight of the complexities and interdependencies of the real world in a maze of pretentious and unhelpful symbols (p. 297-298)." This quotation should drive home the point I have tried to make above regarding the independency of certain variables. Keynes has just admitted the model loses all validity if we admit for only an instant that these variables are not independent.
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Format: Paperback
In this brilliant book, Paul Davidson shows that Keynes' ideas would help to get us out of the crisis. Davidson is editor of the Journal of Post Keynesian Economics and the Holly Chair of Excellence Emeritus Professor in Economics at the University of Tennessee.

Keynes showed that capitalism, unaided, cannot produce full employment. Unemployment is not due to wage and price rigidities, but to the operations of financial markets. Saving does not create a demand for more workers to be hired. A penny saved is not a penny earned. Too great a demand for liquidity can prevent saved, i.e. unused, resources being used in the production of investment goods. These resources will be involuntarily unemployed.

Keynes concluded, "If the State is able to determine the aggregate amount of resources to augment the instruments and the basic reward of those who own them, it will have accomplished all that is necessary." But this is a big `if'. It remains to be proved, which he didn't, and experience has refuted it. The state, in capitalist societies, does not decide the levels of capital investment or reward.

Keynes wrote, "Speculators may do no harm as bubbles on the steady stream of enterprise. But the position is serious when enterprise becomes the bubble on a whirlpool of speculation."

To remedy this, he suggested making stock exchanges more inaccessible and expensive, but it is a bit late for that now. He also suggested `a substantial government transfer tax on all transactions'. But this idea, now known as the Tobin tax, will not work. Davidson reminds us that the evidence is that any increase in transaction costs will increase, not decrease, market volatility. So Keynes' remedies are useless.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
a brief, clear, and engaging explanation of the great economists' life and his ideas. A good place to start tot understand the master.
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