The Great Economists: How Their Ideas Can Help Us Today
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A Times Best Business Book of 2018
What can the ideas of history’s greatest economists tell us about the most important issues of our time?
‘The best place to start to learn about the very greatest economists of all time‘ Professor Tyler Cowen, author of The Complacent Class and The Great Stagnation
Since the days of Adam Smith, economists have grappled with a series of familiar problems – but often their ideas are hard to digest, before we even try to apply them to today’s issues. Linda Yueh is renowned for her combination of erudition, as an accomplished economist herself, and accessibility, as a leading writer and broadcaster in this field; and in The Great Economists she explains the key thoughts of history’s greatest economists, how their lives and times affected their ideas, how our lives have been influenced by their work, and how they could help with the policy challenges that we face today.
In the light of current economic problems, and in particular economic growth, Yueh explores the thoughts of economists from Adam Smith and David Ricardo through Joan Robinson and Milton Friedman to Douglass North and Robert Solow. Along the way she asks, for example: what do the ideas of Karl Marx tell us about the likely future for the Chinese economy? How does the work of John Maynard Keynes, who argued for government spending to create full employment, help us think about state investment? And with globalization in trouble, what can we learn about handling Brexit and Trumpism?
In one accessible volume, this expert new voice provides an overarching guide to the biggest questions of our time.
The Great Economists includes:
John Maynard Keynes
‘Economics students, like others, can learn a lot from this book’ – Professor Paul Collier, author of The Bottom Billion
‘Not only a great way to learn in an easily readable manner about some of the greatest economic influences of the past, but also a good way to test your own a priori assumptions about some of the big challenges of our time.’ – Lord Jim O’Neill, former Chairman at Goldman Sachs Asset Management, former UK Treasury Minister, and author of The Growth Map
‘An extremely engaging survey of the lifetimes and ideas of the great thinkers of economic history.’ – Professor Kenneth Rogoff, author of The Curse of Cash and co-author of This Time is Different
‘This book is a very readable introduction to the lives and thinking of the greats.’ – Professor Raghuram Rajan, former Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, and author of I Do What I Do and Fault Lines
‘Read it not only to learn about the world’s great economists, but also to see how consequential thought innovations can be, and have been.’ – Mohamed el-Erian, Chief Economic Adviser at Allianz, former CEO of PIMCO
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