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Keynes: The Return of the Master
     

Keynes: The Return of the Master

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by Robert Skidelsky
 

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"This is the worst global turndown since the Great Depression. But it is highly unlikely to be as bad. The years 1929-32 saw twelve successive quarters of economic contraction. If repeated, this would mean the economic slide will continue till mid-2011. But the present contraction will be neither as deep nor as long, and this for two reasons. First, the will to

Overview

"This is the worst global turndown since the Great Depression. But it is highly unlikely to be as bad. The years 1929-32 saw twelve successive quarters of economic contraction. If repeated, this would mean the economic slide will continue till mid-2011. But the present contraction will be neither as deep nor as long, and this for two reasons. First, the will to international cooperation is stronger. Second, we do have Keynes."

Editorial Reviews

Dwight Garner
In Keynes: Return of the Master, Mr. Skidelsky surveys the vast body of Keynes's work. But he boils the thinking down to a few essential points. Central among them is that market economies are fundamentally uncertain; large shocks like the recent meltdown are not anomalies but normal if unpredictable events. Government should intervene in a crisis…supplying a judicious but firm hand on the tiller…This book is provocative in its discussion of the moral aspect of Keynes's thinking. He had the curious and refreshing idea that financial institutions have a duty to the public interest as well as to shareholders.
—The New York Times
Carlos Lozada
Clearly, Skidelsky admires his subject—"universal curiosity"…"formidably intelligent"…"the most intuitive of economists" are a few of his descriptions—but his new book is less about Keynes the man than about the battle of ideas that Keynes and his followers fought and lost during the 20th century. It is also, implicitly, about an issue at the heart of all this soul-searching: How much influence do economists really exert over the real world? Do they drive the policies and preferences of our leaders, or are economists just a bunch of math nerds telling politicians what they want to hear? In short, do economists matter?
—The Washington Post
Library Journal
These books bring 20th-century economist John Maynard Keynes into the current economic debate. During the 1930s, Keynes pioneered the concept of governments forcing interest rates low and using deficit spending to stimulate the moribund economy. The work by Clarke (modern history, ret., Cambridge Univ.; The Last Thousand Days of the British Empire) is the most biographical (though none is a true biography), following Keynes from his early life through his role in influencing economic policy during the Great Depression and World War II. Clarke explains Keynes's association with the Bloomsbury Group, his homosexuality, his investing prowess, and how he formulated his theories in response to the economic turbulence of his times. He shows how Keynes was able to change his mind and go in new directions and how he was able to reach out to governments in changing the economic landscape. This is a generally sympathetic portrayal, giving only brief space to Keynes's critics and using academic, but clear, language.\
From the Publisher

Foreign Affairs
“The book offers clear and cogent critiques of modern macroeconomic thought, along with a brief but useful summary of what went wrong in 2007-9.”

Financial Times, October 18, 2010
“Skidelsky’s succinct, lively, unashamed paean analyses Keynes’s core values and offers a persuasive pitch for the contemporary relevance (and necessity) of his ideas.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780192876898
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
03/28/1996
Series:
Past Masters Series
Pages:
144
Product dimensions:
5.13(w) x 7.75(h) x 0.41(d)

Meet the Author


Robert Skidelsky is the Emeritus Professor of Political Economy at the University of Warwick. His three volume biography of the economist John Maynard Keynes (1983, 1992, 2000) received numerous prizes, including the Lionel Gelber Prize for International Relations and the Council on Foreign Relations Arthur Ross Book Award. He is the author of The World After Communism (1995). He was made a life peer in 1991, and was elected Fellow of the British Academy in 1994.

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