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The Making of Modern Economics: The Lives and Ideas of Great Thinkers 2nd Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0765622273
ISBN-10: 0765622270
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Editorial Reviews

Review

THE MAKING OF MODERN ECONOMICS is a reference bible. What an absolutely ideal gift for college students. --The National Review, 06/03/02

About the Author

Mark Skousen has taught economics and finance at Rollins College since 1986. He earned his Ph.D. in economics from George Washington University in 1977. His books include "The Structure of Production," "Economics on Trial," and "Puzzles and Paradoxes in Economics." He is also the editor of "Forecasts and Strategies," a monthly investment newsletter, and a columnist for "Forbes" magazine.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 2 edition (December 31, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765622270
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765622273
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.8 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #851,006 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Mark Skousen has done the impossible. He has made the history of economics interesting. His fascinating sidenotes bring the great economists to life as real people and in his easy writing style he clearly lays out the evolution of economic thought over the last two centuries. Of great importance to me was his objective presentation of the dichotomy between big government, Keynesian, socialist, marxist economic thought and that of small government, laissez-faire, capitalist and monitarist thinkers. Understanding these ideas is extremely important today. Read this book!!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I rarely rate books. I had to rate this one.

I am someone who came late to finding economics interesting. Having got to that point, I was the proverbial blind man walking around the proverbial elephant, trying to figure out what it is by feeling the trunk or the leg. A bit of Keynes and a bit of Friedman. I needed a map (excuse the mixed metaphors). This book is a wonderful map. How do Smith & Ricardo and Say and Menger and von Mises all fit together, and how did the thinking evolve? And even more relevant: when a politician advocates an economic program, how do I form an opinion for or against? As a non-economist, this book has given me traction on answering that question. So now Bohm-Bawerk is sitting on my bookshelf alongside Rothbard and Keynes, ready for the deeper dive. I know where my opinions fit (for now) in the spectrum from Marx to von Mises.

My thanks to Mark Skousen. I am now reading his "The Structure of Production" - equally fascinating.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book could (and probably should) be a required text for a college level Economics 101 class. That said, this book stands out as a very approachable work. Skousen introduces the reader to the key principles of competing economic theories in a lively and compelling narrative that traces the development of the discipline from Adam Smith to the present.
Far from being a dry text, it puts the economic concepts and economists in their historical context. The concepts and their relative merits are discussed in some detail but as a reader you do get regular breaks as you are introduced to the players and learn about their lives
If you are curious about economics; if you would like to better understand the principles that underlie many of today's public policy debates and you enjoy reading history or biographies, this is a book that you will find to be entertaining and rewarding.
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Format: Paperback
I have the unabridged Audible version of the book.
Never have i looked so eagerly to finish any book.
This book is the most interesting, and most informative of all economics books i have read, put together.
It is eminently simple, fun and is filled with dry wit and sarcasm many a time.
I hope they make it a text book, as students would love this.
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Format: Paperback
The first edition of this book was published in 2001 and is the edition read for this review. The Making of Modern Economics is an Austrian perspective on the history of economic theory from Adam Smith forward. It is written and designed as an introductory text for the general reader. Each chapter ends with a list of references. This is not an introduction to economics (as in “what is economics?”) or to the Austrian school of economics, but an historical overview which offers only a sketch of the competing views. There is no discussion of deeper philosophical issues such as methodology and economic causality in this book.

Economists discussed include: Adam Smith [1723-1790], Jean-Baptiste Say [1767-1832], Frédéric Bastiat [1801-1850], Robert Thomas Malthus [1766-1834], David Ricardo [1772-1823], John Stuart Mill [1806-1873], Jeremy Bentham [1748-1832], Karl Marx [1818-1883], Carl Menger [1840-1921], Eugen Böhm-Bawerk [1851-1914], Alfred Marshall [1842-1924], William Stanley Jevons [1835-1882], Léon Walras [1834-1910], Vilfredo Pareto [1848-1923], Francis Y. Edgeworth [1845-1926], Henry George [1839-1897], John Bates Clark [1847-1938], Frank A. Fetter [1863-1949], Thorstein Veblen [1857-1929], Max Weber [1864-1920], Irving Fisher [1867-1947], Ludwig von Mises [1881-1973], Friedrich A. Hayek [1889-1992], John Maynard Keynes [1883-1946], Paul Samuelson [1915- xxxx], Murray Rothbard [1928-1995], Milton Friedman [1912-2006], and Joseph Schumpeter [1883-1950].
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've never read a more clear, concise review of economics. To the point; the author has taken what many others have needlessly complicated, and presented difficult theories with precision and clarity.
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Format: Paperback
What a wonderful book. It felt and read like a textbook but with a more traditional, conservative look at this fantastic field. Skousen is a talented writer, not too basic and explains the difficult topics in easy to understand ways. I would say this is a great book for an intermediate student since it does go into the people that made the concepts, not just the concepts. The author did a great job of including (I think) all the important players in this field. I was a bit disappointed in the amount of material on Schumpeter but nonetheless, it was a great book. I took several pages of notes which is always a great sign of a wonderful book. In summary, if you are interested in economics, you will love this book.
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