Worldly Philosopher: The Odyssey of Albert O. Hirschman [NOOK Book]

Overview

Worldly Philosopher chronicles the times and writings of Albert O. Hirschman, one of the twentieth century’s most original and provocative thinkers. In this gripping biography, Jeremy Adelman tells the story of a man shaped by modern horrors and hopes, a worldly intellectual who fought for and wrote in defense of the values of tolerance and change. This is the first major account of Hirschman’s remarkable life, and a tale of the twentieth century as seen through the story of an astute and passionate observer. ...

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Worldly Philosopher: The Odyssey of Albert O. Hirschman

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Overview

Worldly Philosopher chronicles the times and writings of Albert O. Hirschman, one of the twentieth century’s most original and provocative thinkers. In this gripping biography, Jeremy Adelman tells the story of a man shaped by modern horrors and hopes, a worldly intellectual who fought for and wrote in defense of the values of tolerance and change. This is the first major account of Hirschman’s remarkable life, and a tale of the twentieth century as seen through the story of an astute and passionate observer. Adelman’s riveting narrative traces how Hirschman’s personal experiences shaped his unique intellectual perspective, and how his enduring legacy is one of hope, open-mindedness, and practical idealism.

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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Justin Fox
Compared with more easily classifiable economists of his generation like Milton Friedman and Paul Samuelson, [Hirschman's] name just doesn't come up that often. Then again, neither of those guys has yet been the subject of a doorstop of a biography like Worldly Philosopher, the hugely engaging 740-page epic that Jeremy Adelman has just delivered. The battle for posterity is far from over, and Hirschman has a formidable ally in Adelman, a Princeton historian who knows how to construct a narrative.
New York Review of Books - Cass Sunstein
[An] astonishing and moving biography. . . . Hirschman's work is more than interesting enough to justify a book (or two, or ten), but Adelman's achievement is to demonstrate, in novelistic detail, that he also lived an astounding life, full of narrow paths and ridiculously improbable twists and turns.
Wall Street Journal - Roger Lowenstein
[A] massive, erudite biography.
Marginal Revolution - Tyler Cowen
This is the book I have looked forward to most all year and so far it does not disappoint.
American Prospect - Robert Kuttner
Worldly Philosopher will be the definitive work on Hirschman for some time. . . . If you liked Edmund de Waal's The Hare with Amber Eyes, you will find Adelman's story of Hirschman's early life riveting—a book-club quality read. . . . Worldly Philosopher is a prodigious piece of research, lovingly told and immensely worthwhile for the new light it sheds on the odyssey of a writer whose small ideas add up to major insights.
Mint - Prashanth Perumal
Adelman's biography does a thorough job in shedding light not just on the academic and intellectual prowess of the great thinker, but also in informing the reader about the man whose life away from the intellectual world exhibited the same milieu of refreshing variety.
From the Publisher

"In Worldly Philosopher, Jeremy Adelman offers a brilliant--and brilliantly detailed--portrait of Hirschman, making a convincing case for his place among the giants of twentieth-century social science. After reading Adelman's biography, one is hard pressed to come up with a social scientist who led a richer, fuller, or more meaningful life."--Peter A. Coclanis, HAHR

"This is a good book from many different stand points. . . . Many readers will find Worldly Philosopher to be longer than it needs to be, although they would presumably give conflicting opinions about what ought to have been cut, depending on whether they were interested in the book mainly as a summary of Hirschman's ideas, as the life story of a fascinating person, or as a discussion of changing tendencies in modern intellectual, political, and economic life. The book is all of these things and well worth reading for any of them."--Woodruff D. Smith, American Historical Review

Library Journal
Albert O. Hirschman (1915–2012) was an influential economist and a prolific writer. Adelman's (Spanish civilization & culture; director, Council for Int'l. Teaching & Research, Princeton Univ.; coauthor, Worlds Together, Worlds Apart: A History of the World) engrossing biography illustrates how Hirschman's global background, natural linguistic ability, education, and worldly experiences shaped his thoughts and enabled his thinking "outside the box" to arrive at original and often provocative ideas. Hirschman believed in the idea of life's many possibilities, such that positive economic change often emerged from "unbalanced growth" or disequilibria. His ideas attracted attention from governments, international institutions, and academia worldwide and resulted in opportunities for him to advise top officials, for example, policymakers at the World Bank. Hirschman held many academic appointments, including one at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University until his retirement. His personal life, including his escape from Nazi Germany in 1933 and the obstacles he faced because of McCarthyism, about which Adelman learned from examining newly released secret government files, are especially riveting. Photos of Hirschman and his family and friends are carefully integrated into the text. VERDICT Hirschman's story will appeal to many general readers, but especially to economists.—Caroline Geck, Camden St. Sch. Lib., Newark, NJ
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781400846849
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 4/7/2013
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: Course Book
  • Pages: 760
  • Sales rank: 675,071
  • File size: 7 MB

Meet the Author

Jeremy Adelman is the Walter Samuel Carpenter III Professor of Spanish Civilization and Culture and director of the Council for International Teaching and Research at Princeton University. His books include "Worlds Together, Worlds Apart: A History of the World" and "Sovereignty and Revolution in the Iberian Atlantic" (Princeton).
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi
Introduction Mots Justes 1
1 The Garden 16
2 Berlin Is Burning 52
3 Proving Hamlet Wrong 85
4 The Hour of Courage 119
5 Crossings 153
6 Of Guns and Butter 187
7 The Last Battle 219
8 The Anthill 252
9 The Biography of a File 284
10 Colombia Years 295
11 Following My Truth 325
12 The Empirical Lantern 353
13 Sing the Epic 382
14 The God Who Helped 415
15 The Cold Monster 455
16 Man, the Stage 489
17 Body Parts 525
18 Disappointment 531
19 Social Science for Our Grandchildren 567
20 Reliving the Present 599
Conclusion Marc Chagall's Kiss 639
Afterword Sailing into the Wind 653
Notes 659
Bibliographic Essay 699
Index 709
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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2013

    Illumines the mysteries of personality

    A caring, careful, beautifully written account of troubled individuals and how patient and doctor together unraveled the traumas they often unwittingly had suffered that underlay their persistent disquietude. I believe this book will have broad resonance in our culture.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2014

    StarClan bios

    SaberStar~ a handsome saber-tooth tiger tom. History: died from drownding and being left in the water. He was the first cat ever in StarClan. Age: ugh. 100,000,000,000 moons. Ok. Go away.

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