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Keynes Hayek: The Clash that Defined Modern Economics Hardcover – October 11, 2011
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"Told brilliantly." Alan Caruba's Warning Signs.
"Mr. Wapshott has written an important book. It is compelling not only as a history of two distinctive thinkers and their influence, but as a narrative of political decision-making and its underlying priorities. Underlying Mr. Wapshott's analysis are vital questions for this moment in American history." Nancy F. Koehn, The New York Times
A long overdue and well-researched book that usefully gathers together much hitherto scattered information. --John Cassidy
I heartily recommend Nicholas Wapshott s new book, Keynes Hayek: The Clash that Defined Modern Economics.... Many books have been written about Keynes, but nobody else has told the story properly of his relationship with Hayek. Nick has filled the gap in splendid fashion, and I defy anybody Keynesian, Hayekian, or uncommitted to read his work and not learn something new. --John Cassidy"
Nicholas Wapshott s new book, Keynes Hayek, does an excellent job of setting out the broader history behind this revival of the old debates. Wapshott brings the personalities to life, provides more useful information on the debates than any other source, and miraculously manages to write for both the lay reader and the expert at the same time. Virtually every page is gripping, and yet even the professional economist will glean some insight... --Tyler Cowen"
Mr. Wapshott has written an important book. It is compelling not only as a history of two distinctive thinkers and their influence, but also as a narrative of political decision-making and its underlying priorities. Underlying Mr. Wapshott s analysis are vital questions for this moment in American history: What kind of society do we want? And what do we owe to our fellow citizens and our collective future? --Nancy F. Koehn"
Nicholas Wapshott s Keynes Hayek is a smart and absorbing account of one of the most fateful encounters in modern history, remarkably rendered as a taut intellectual drama. Wapshott brilliantly brings to life the human history of ideas that continue to mold our world. --Sean Wilentz, The Rise of American Democracy"
Nicholas Wapshott brings the Keynes-Hayek fight of the twentieth century back to life, making the clash both entertaining and highly relevant for understanding economic crises of the twenty-first century. --John B. Taylor, Stanford University, Getting Off Track"
In the fluency of his writing and his ability to make complex financial questions easily comprehensible, Nicholas Wapshott has done economics itself a great service, by opening the subject up to the general reader, as seen through the prism of one of the most important intellectual gladiatorial contests of modern times. --Andrew Roberts, The Storm of War: A New History of the Second World War"
From the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Keynes's ideas prevailed, at least until the "stagflation" of 1973-74. They came out on top not only because of Keynes's winning persona but also because Hayek's prescription for curing the Great Depression--a "bottom up" approach for government to do nothing and to let the market work its will, find bottoms, and regain an upward path--were politically untenable. Doing nothing is often perceived as not caring. However, it beats doing the wrong thing. As some sage once said, "Don't just do something. Stand there.Read more ›
My review is quite simple. I awarded five stars because the author takes a very difficult, yet critically important philosophical debate, and makes it intellectually available to just about everyone! This book is dream for the average reader unwilling to commit to wading through the difficult and deep waters of Keynes, Hayek, Smith, Friedman, etc. etc. And at the same time, Mr. Wapshott provides solid research and reasonably reliable scholarship. A grand accomplishment, indeed. I hope others will consider reading this very valuable introduction to the political economy philosophies espoused by both these two fascinating economists.
Hayek's major clash with the socialists occurred in the mid-1930's in the so-called economic calculation debates with the market socialists, most notably Oskar Lange. The market socialists clearly won this debate, in which all parties assumed the validity of neoclassical economic theory. Curiously, the great Josef Schumpeter concluded that socialism was inevitable (he develops this theme in Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy, 1942), while Hayek concludes (correctly) that it is neoclassical theory that is wrong. Hayek spent the next decade developing his own extremely cogent critique of central planning, writing his most important article: F. A.Read more ›
It's not a bad job of covering the background of the principals, with interesting tidbits about Keynes' relationships with Strachey, Woolfe and other members of the Bloomsbury group. Wapshott calls Keynes an unabashed and promiscuous homosexual without particulars, citing only a relationship with artist Duncan Grant. There is minimal coverage of his marriage to ballerina Lydia Lopokova including letters with sexual content. Wapshott could have included an example or two to spice up a dry subject. Keynes' sense of humor is acknowledged as in calling himself "Barren Keynes".
Wapshott references Keynes' biographer Robert Sikorsky. Sikorsky does a better job of describing Keynes and his economic ideas as well as his many other attributes. Besides a treatise on probability, Keynes introduced uncertainty and attempted to reconcile ethical principles with economics. He was also involved in literature and art as well as finance. In describing Keynes' finances Wapshott doesn't point to his failures before achieving success investing for himself and his university. Keynes was much more than an economist, which Wapshott finally acknowledges on nearly the last page.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is not everyday reading but for the afficinados its a very good text. Maybe a few students will plagiarise from it?Published 18 days ago by Max Rawnsley
Exhaustive review of Keynes and Hayek's lives, work, ideas and agenda. A must read for any person interested in economics. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Martin Miliev
Exactly what I am looking for. Recommended by my accounting also Econ professor.Published 1 month ago by Wei Ran
CONCISE, entertaining, explains TODAY'S POLEMICS. NEXT ECON CHAPTER AFTER E con 101! A must read for anyone interested in economy cs and or investing. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Frank Reginato
Very well written and a must read if you interest in economicsPublished 2 months ago by Dean E. Ball
I have previously ordered dozens of Kindle books but this one is special....I have not been able to actually load this onto my kindle after many attempts. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Bruce P Kraemer
Excellent writing on the controversial and poorly understood subject.Published 5 months ago by Steve Diput
This is a thoroughly enjoyable history that is highly relevant for understanding macroeconomic policy in the 21st century. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Jon Anda
Here is the review of a student, who really wants to understand, but has no economics background whatsoever.
I read about half of the book and I stopped reading it. Read more