The Making of Modern Economics: The Lives and Ideas of the Great Thinkers / Edition 2

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Now updated to include more information on Adam Smith, Karl Marx, Joseph Stglitz, imperfect markets, and behavioral economics, Mark Skousen's popular work provides an accessible introduction to the major economic thinkers of the past 225 years--including little-known and often amusing facts about their personal lives.
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Editorial Reviews

Proclaiming that "it all started with Adam," Skousen runs through the history of Western economics by ranking thinkers from Say and Bastiat to Milton Friedman against Adam Smith and his "system of natural liberty." Rather than reeling out a dry history of the dismal science, Skousen (Rollins College, Winter Park, FL)<-->an enthusiastically partisan free-marketeer<-->tells this as a running narrative, with the heroic figure of Smith at its center. (He even provides notes on the background music appropriate for each chapter; Smith's own story gets Copland's "Fanfare for the Common Man.") His history examines the contributions made by each thinker to the role of economist, the science of economics, and economic theory overall. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780765622273
  • Publisher: Sharpe, M. E. Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/28/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 494
  • Sales rank: 725,023
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Figures, Illustrations, Photographs, and Tables
1 It All Started with Adam 13
2 The French Connection: Laissez Faire Avance! 45
3 The Irreverent Malthus Challenges the New Model of Prosperity 67
4 Tricky Ricardo Takes Economics Down a Dangerous Road 91
5 Milling Around: John Stuart Mill and the Socialists Search for Utopia 115
6 Marx Madness Plunges Economics into a New Dark Age 131
7 Out of the Blue Danube: Menger and the Ausrians Reverse the Tide 167
8 Marshalling the Troops: Scientific Economics Comes of Age 193
9 Go West, Young Man: Americans Solve the Distribution Problem in Economics 223
10 The Conspicuous Veblen Versus the Protesting Weber: Two Critics Debate the Meaning of Capitalism 243
11 The Fisher King Tries to Catch the Missing Link in Macroeconomics 267
12 The Missing Mises: Mises (and Wicksell) Make a Major Breakthrough 285
13 The Keynes Mutiny: Capitalism Faces Its Greatest Challenge 319
14 Paul Raises the Keynesian Cross: Samuelson and Modern Economics 351
15 Milton's Paradise: Friedman Leads a Monetary Counterrevolution 379
16 The Creative Destruction of Socialism: The Dark Vision of Joseph Schumpeter 413
17 Dr. Smith Goes to Washington: The Triumph of Market Economics 431
Index 459
About the Author 487
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 26, 2012

    Excellent introduction to economics

    Mark Skousen's The Making of Modern Economics intends to provide an interesting layman's approach to economics. He does this by detailing the life stories of the economists as much as their theories. This promotes his objective admirably, but can be slightly maddening if you want more details on the theories themselves.

    As someone with some understanding of economics, I found it understandable, enlightening and enjoyable. It cleared up some of the details of theories that I didn't quite understand, while introducing me to the thoughts of other, less popular, economists.

    Criticism: As a Morman, Skousen's descriptions of some of the economists' lives are colored by comparison to his 'clean living" standards. Similarly, some of the personal characteristics that are described as quirks in his free-market heroes are described more derisively in his descriptions of others.

    Unabashedly free-market.

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  • Posted February 2, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Great Read of Economic History

    Nicely written and researched.

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  • Posted August 11, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Easy to understand historical summary

    A wonderful book to provide a basic understanding of economics. By providing the personal story of key economists along the way the book provides better appreciation of the contributions each made. After reading, I feel better equipped to understand and evaluate points made in the media regarding our current economic problems and solutions.

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