Crossing Boundaries: Selected Writings
During the last half century, Albert O. Hirschman has single-handedly redefined thescope and limits of political economy, in theory and in practice. His contributions as both ascholar and an economic advisor have definitively shaped an innovative program for social change andeconomic development. Gathered here for the first time in one volume are recent writings ofinterdisciplinary range, erudite sophistication, and limitless curiosity.In two essays oncommensality and the "invention" of democracy in classical Greece, and on the workings and making ofthe Marshall Plan, Hirschman shows how his personal and political experience allow him to forge newconnections between the past and the present, between intellectual life and lived experience. Thethird piece, "Trespassing," is an interview Hirschman gave in Italian in 1993, which he hastranslated and edited for this volume. Although in the past Hirschman has resisted autobiographicalmeditation, here he recounts--with frankness, humor, and insight--some of the most compelling andformative moments of his life divided between the "European" and the "American" years. Not only doeshe discuss how his personal experiences have shaped and influenced his thinking about economic andsocial development, democracy and capitalism, he also reveals the "key terms" of hisscholarship--concepts he is constantly rethinking, subverting, and reinventing.