Worldly Philosopher: The Odyssey of Albert O. Hirschman

Worldly Philosopher: The Odyssey of Albert O. Hirschman

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by Jeremy Adelman
     
 

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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.

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.

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

"[A] magnificent biography."--Lourdes Sola, European Review of International Studies

"Adelman has written an outstanding book whose depth, breadth, and insight mirrors Hirschman's own."--Daniel Bessner, Chicago Journals

"Albert Hirschman's many fans will enjoy this absorbing biography of his life and work."--Roger Sandilands, Journal of the History of Economic Thought

"[A] magnificent exposition."--Joseph Mali, European Legacy

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

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781400846849
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
04/07/2013
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
760
Sales rank:
1,042,901
File size:
6 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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Worldly Philosopher: The Odyssey of Albert O. Hirschman 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.