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Essays in Biography

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Both these volumes, first published in 1931 and 1933, have been enlarged to include later writings of a similar character. The first includes his later Means to Prosperity and How to Pay for War. The second includes his later essays on Malthus, Jevons and Newton as well as his Two Memoirs posthumously published in 1949.


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Both these volumes, first published in 1931 and 1933, have been enlarged to include later writings of a similar character. The first includes his later Means to Prosperity and How to Pay for War. The second includes his later essays on Malthus, Jevons and Newton as well as his Two Memoirs posthumously published in 1949.

45 review for Essays in Biography

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jason Furman

    An often outstanding collection of biographical sketches by John Maynard Keynes, almost all of them of people he knew and worked with. The first set are shorter "Sketches of Politicians", including Churchill but also people I did not know like Bonar Law and Lord Oxford. These are interesting, occasionally particularly insightful, but also somewhat dated. But then the somewhat longer portraits of Malthus, Marshall and Edgeworth--plus some shorter pieces on Ramsey--are superlative mini biographies An often outstanding collection of biographical sketches by John Maynard Keynes, almost all of them of people he knew and worked with. The first set are shorter "Sketches of Politicians", including Churchill but also people I did not know like Bonar Law and Lord Oxford. These are interesting, occasionally particularly insightful, but also somewhat dated. But then the somewhat longer portraits of Malthus, Marshall and Edgeworth--plus some shorter pieces on Ramsey--are superlative mini biographies that give a flavor of the person's life, the substance and influence of their economics, and the role they played in creating the economics profession. In the case of Malthus, Keynes focuses on his debate with Ricardo on whether the economy is always in long-run equilibrium with fully utilized resources, one that Keynes judges Ricardo to have won for a century--to the detriment of economics. On Marshall, he focuses on his teaching, how that related to his writing, and his major contributions to economics. With Edgeworth, particularly notable was the role he played in establishing the Economic Journal and editing it for several decades until the day of this death. And Ramsey, unfortunately, does not get the full biographical treatment but his genius fully shines through in Keynes' appreciation of aspects of his work. Any of this can be read individually the economics biographies, especially, repay reading as a group and a sustained narrative of economics in England, and particularly in Cambridge.

  2. 5 out of 5

    B

    Parts of this were interesting. The bulk of the book is given to a biographical sketch of Alfred Marshall. A large part of the problem, though, is we're not really situated. Keynes talks about these economists (mostly) the same way you and I would talk about actors or ballplayers we've followed. They're Keynes "inside baseball" comments about his peers from the previous generation. If I had more background, the insights might be more apparent. Parts of this were interesting. The bulk of the book is given to a biographical sketch of Alfred Marshall. A large part of the problem, though, is we're not really situated. Keynes talks about these economists (mostly) the same way you and I would talk about actors or ballplayers we've followed. They're Keynes "inside baseball" comments about his peers from the previous generation. If I had more background, the insights might be more apparent.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ryan McGuine

    With the caveat that all those biographized are white men, Keynes's summaries are well-done. He notes the downsides of each person's personality and professional styles, but the pieces are overwhelmingly pleasant and decent. It's a relief to be reminded that snark and meanness haven't always been the norm. With the caveat that all those biographized are white men, Keynes's summaries are well-done. He notes the downsides of each person's personality and professional styles, but the pieces are overwhelmingly pleasant and decent. It's a relief to be reminded that snark and meanness haven't always been the norm.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Robert Alexander

  5. 4 out of 5

    Philippe De Donder

  6. 5 out of 5

    Paul Vittay

  7. 5 out of 5

    Mr Kenneth G Smith

  8. 4 out of 5

    Matthew Lobb

  9. 4 out of 5

    Caleb

  10. 4 out of 5

    James Widdicks

  11. 5 out of 5

    JR

  12. 4 out of 5

    Davis Kedrosky

  13. 4 out of 5

    James Henderson

  14. 5 out of 5

    Bradley Bordiss

  15. 4 out of 5

    Randy

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ted Baas

  17. 5 out of 5

    Pablo Stafforini

  18. 4 out of 5

    Chris McCrum

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jesse

  20. 5 out of 5

    Oliver Sacks

  21. 4 out of 5

    Óscar Iván Pérez H

  22. 4 out of 5

    Somesh

  23. 5 out of 5

    Tony

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kevin

  25. 4 out of 5

    Steven

  26. 5 out of 5

    Dave Comerford

  27. 4 out of 5

    Homoionym

  28. 5 out of 5

    Wikimedia Italia

  29. 4 out of 5

    Matias

  30. 4 out of 5

    Mariana

  31. 4 out of 5

    Faiz Shariff

  32. 4 out of 5

    Fabio Oliveira

  33. 4 out of 5

    Shezi

  34. 4 out of 5

    Michael

  35. 4 out of 5

    Lorenzo E. Fränkel

  36. 5 out of 5

    Alexia

  37. 4 out of 5

    Beenish Khan

  38. 5 out of 5

    Leslie Cooper

  39. 5 out of 5

    Bikem Akten

  40. 4 out of 5

    Kate

  41. 5 out of 5

    Zach

  42. 4 out of 5

    Razvanog

  43. 4 out of 5

    ficulyus

  44. 5 out of 5

    Tao Kai

  45. 4 out of 5

    Morenike

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