The Classical School
‘Williams has chosen an engaging cast of characters; his collection is full of well-lived lives and grisly endings … Consume it as a whole or dip in and out. Either way, he leaves you a lot wiser.’ – Philip Aldrick, Times
Opinions vary about who really counts as a classical economist: Marx thought it was everyone up to Ricardo. Keynes thought it was everyone up to Keynes. But there’s a general agreement about who belongs to the heroic early phase of the discipline. Adam Smith, David Ricardo, Malthus, Mill, Marx: scarcely a day goes by without their names being publicly invoked to celebrate or criticise the state of the world or the actions of governments.
Few of us, though, have read their works. Fewer still realise that the economies that many of them were analysing were quite unlike our modern one, or the extent to which they were indebted to one another. So join the Economist’s Callum Williams to join the dots. See how the modern edifice of economics was built, brick by brick, from their ideas and quarrels. And find out which parts stand the test of time.
A crash course in the lives and ideas of thinkers-from Marx to Malthus-that everyone has heard of and a lively briefing on people, like Sismondi and Naoroji, that deserve to be better known. Succinct, critical, and entertaining -- Richard Davies, author * Extreme Economies * Short, punchy, and very well-written ... a terrific read. -- Kevin O'Rourke, author * A Short History of Brexit * These lively essays ... are consistently insightful and manage to make complex ideas clear. -- David Miles, author * Macroeconomics * Williams has chosen an engaging cast of characters; his collection is full of well-lived lives and grisly endings ... Williams relishes these little details and keeps the history lesson tearing along at pace. With roughly ten pages per economist, he writes with a style that is clear and has an eye on the student market ... Consume it as a whole or dip in and out. Either way, he leaves you a lot wiser. -- Philip Aldrick * The Times *
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