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The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money Paperback – August 11, 2009

3.6 out of 5 stars 172 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

'"The General Theory" is nothing less than an epic journey out of intellectual darkness. That, as much as its continuing relevance to economic policy, is what makes it a book for the ages. Read it, and marvel.' - From the introduction by Paul Krugman --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946) was an economist, mathematician, civil servant, educator, journalist, and a world-renowned author. His two great works, A Treatise on Money and The General Theory of Unemployment, Interest, and Money, revolutionized the study and practice of economics and changed monetary policy after World War II. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (August 11, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 144867185X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1448671854
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (172 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,317,984 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Hiroo Yamagata on September 23, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I bought the kindle edition. It lacks ALL footnotes. chapters like appendix to ch 19, basically makes many of the arguments in the footnotes. They are totally gone. Do not buy the Kindle edition, not at least until you confirm what you are getting.
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Format: Hardcover
The BN edition has errors in the equations, errors that make the book incomprehensible. Find another edition of Keynes's General Theory.
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Format: Paperback
The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money is one of the great works in economics, and is a must read for anyone who pretends to know anything about macroeconomics. But this edition of the book is flawed. Keynes's footnotes are missing! Some of them are integral to understanding the book, so leaving them out is a major mistake. Another reviewer has already complained that some of Keynes's equations were mangled. How could a publisher mangle a great work like this?
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In spite of Keynes' caveat in the preface ("This book is chiefly addressed to my fellow economists. I hope that it will be intelligible to others.") I owed it to myself to give it a read. _The General Theory_ is dense reading. Fortunately, Keynes is clear in his exposition, his positions well articulated.

As a non-economist, I was struck by several things. First was Keynes' demolition of "classical" economic theory on the means of increasing employment, political economy, and the relationship of supply to demand. (Think Say, Malthus, and especially Ricardo and Pigou.) This was totally unexpected, but given the revolutionary nature of his argument, entirely understandable. Second, I was stuck by the way in which Keynes structures his theory - it was much more reminiscent of philosophy than economics, as the terms Keynes uses are first clearly defined and deliniated before the relationship between ideas (and his postulates on the cause and effect between them) is discussed. Lastly, I was pleasantly suprised by the wit and cleverness of his writing.

That said, I found it difficult reading, primarily because I am not fluent with many of the concepts Keynes discusses (the "elaasticity of effective demand" as it relates to the Quantity Theory of Money for example). WIth patience, plenty of revisiting the definitions of economic terms and careful deliberate thought, I was able to follow the gist of Keynes' General Theory. It made for slow going. Whether you agree (or not) with Keynes' theories have become as much a political exercise as an economic one, and are waters I'd rather not wade into here. In terms of the merits of the book, for the lay reader, you really have to want it to wade through it - it may be suprising at how poorly represented Keynes' ideas are represented in the popular imagination (for example, that Keynes supported deficit finance). That alone an incentive for giving _The General Theory_ a try.
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Format: Paperback
Are We All Keynesians Now?
Most educated Americans know something of John Maynard Keynes, the great British economist whose hugely influential work “T"The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money", strongly influenced economic theory and practice during the last half of the twentieth century, particularly with regard to the role of government in stimulating and regulating a nation's’s economic life. Nevertheless it remains true that almost all of the "intelligentsia" in general, and most economists in particular, have never read the book, despite the fact that it is readily available in today’s mega-bookstores such as of course, Amazon.com (at a reasonable price and) in a good quality paperback.
Indeed, by a curious twist, the people who seem most to have made some attempt to read Keynes' oeuvre are those who appear most outraged by it and determined to revile it. If one is skeptical about this, (read the reviews), where veritable "frothing at the mouth" denunciations seem to dominate. These would hardly be worth reading except for the mindset they reveal, which goes far toward illuminating some of the attitudes of the 1930's otherwise inexplicable at the beginning of the twenty-first century. Their very virulence convinces one that Keynes was clearly on to something; if an author enrages half the world he must be at least half right.
Keynes detractors are right about one thing: "General Theory..." is a tough read, though not for some of the reasons they indicate. Keynes actually uses very little mathematics, the alleged prevalence of which is one of the points usually cited in criticism.
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Format: Paperback
I do realize that very little attention will be paid to this review (it being number 30 something), but I shall persevere in my noble effort to restore some order in the court of economics and public opinion.
After seeing the amount of vitriol hurled at this book I wondered for a second if I have somehow misunderstood it, or carelessly missed a passage in which Keynes urged us to kill babies. No, John Maynard Keynes did not kill babies, nor was he as such disproved (merely disagreed with).
The abuse showered upon him is a clear and unfortunate evidence of the ideological division between (politically) liberal and conservative approach to economics, which in itself is not an exact or precise science (some would say it is not even a science) and lacks sufficient rigor to have anything beyond trivial proved or disproved (I, personally, prefer the phrasing along the lines of "convincingly demonstrate") within its framework. With all this in mind economics quite often provides ample room for opposing views, especially when views are not directly conflicting, except when viewed through polarizing lens of ideology.
The "conservative" economists along the lines of Friedman and Hayek, so frequently mentioned as anti-thesis of Keynes preached (in my gross simplification) free markets and government non-intervention, which while a valid perspective hardly merits a nearly religious fervor.
Keynes, or any other sensible theoretical economist, would agree that free-markets are a good idea in principle, which is seldom if ever realized.
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