Sunday, October 09, 2011

Rajiv Sethi on worldly philosophers

Rajiv Sethi in Notes on a Worldly Philosopher:
"The very first book on economics that I remember reading was Robert Heilbroner's majesterial history of thought The Worldly Philosophers. I'm sure that I'm not the only person who was drawn to the study of economics by that wonderfully lucid work. Heilbroner managed to convey the complexity of the subject matter, the depth of the great ideas, and the enormous social value that the discipline at its best is capable of generating.

I was reminded of Heilbroner's book by Robert Solow's review of Sylvia Nasar's Grand Pursuit: The Story of Economic Genius. Solow begins by arguing that the book does not quite deliver on the promise of its subtitle, and then goes on to fill the gap by providing his own encapsulated history of ideas. Like Heilbroner before him, he manages to convey with great lucidity the essence of some pathbreaking contributions. I was especially struck by the following passages on Keynes:"

Robert Solow's review Working in the Dark

Discussion of Solow review Solow: Keynesian Economics Has Become Dramatically Relevant Again Today as well as a discussion of Rajiv Sethi's post in Economist's View.

P.S. A quick summary of the part in Solow's review on Keynes
Solow on Keynes and Uncertainty by Donald Marron
Another readable book introducing economic ideas which I read along with Heilbrinner's book is "Man's Worldly Goods" by Leo Huberman. Two books of comletely different nature which look at economics and development in practice "North of South" by Shiva Naipaul and "Country Driving" by Peter Hessler.

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