The Worldly Philosophers: The Lives, Times And Ideas Of The Great Economic Thinkers

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Touchstone, Aug 10, 1999 - Business & Economics - 368 pages
The bestselling classic that examines the history of economic thought from Adam Smith to Karl Marx—“all the economic lore most general readers conceivably could want to know, served up with a flourish” (The New York Times).

The Worldly Philosophers not only enables us to see more deeply into our history but helps us better understand our own times. In this seventh edition, Robert L. Heilbroner provides a new theme that connects thinkers as diverse as Adam Smith and Karl Marx. The theme is the common focus of their highly varied ideas—namely, the search to understand how a capitalist society works. It is a focus never more needed than in this age of confusing economic headlines.

In a bold new concluding chapter entitled “The End of the Worldly Philosophy?” Heilbroner reminds us that the word “end” refers to both the purpose and limits of economics. This chapter conveys a concern that today’s increasingly “scientific” economics may overlook fundamental social and political issues that are central to economics. Thus, unlike its predecessors, this new edition provides not just an indispensable illumination of our past but a call to action for our future.

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User Review  - madepercy - LibraryThing

What I particularly like about this book is how Heilbroner begins with the term “political economy”, then relegates it to “economics” (as happened in history), only to revive the term at the end where ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Philogos - LibraryThing

This book provides a fascinating introduction to the history of economic thought, albeit from an American point of view. Starting with Adam Smith and tracing the evolution of economics through Malthus ... Read full review


The Economic Revolution
The Wonderful World of Adam Smith

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About the author (1999)

Robert L. Heilbroner is the Norman Thomas Professor of Economics, Emeritus, at The New School for Social Research and is the author of more than twenty books. He lives in New York City.

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