Prophet of Innovation: Joseph Schumpeter and Creative Destruction
Pan Am, Gimbel's, Pullman, Douglas Aircraft, Digital Equipment Corporation, British Leyland--all once as strong as dinosaurs, all now just as extinct. Destruction of businesses, fortunes, products, and careers is the price of progress toward a better material life. No one understood this bedrock economic principle better than Joseph A. Schumpeter. "Creative destruction," he said, is the driving force of capitalism.
Described by John Kenneth Galbraith as "the most sophisticated conservative" of the twentieth century, Schumpeter made his mark as the prophet of incessant change. His vision was stark: Nearly all businesses fail, victims of innovation by their competitors. Businesspeople ignore this lesson at their peril--to survive, they must be entrepreneurial and think strategically. Yet in Schumpeter's view, the general prosperity produced by the "capitalist engine" far outweighs the wreckage it leaves behind.
During a tumultuous life spanning two world wars, the Great Depression, and the early Cold War, Schumpeter reinvented himself many times. From boy wonder in turn-of-the-century Vienna to captivating Harvard professor, he was stalked by tragedy and haunted by the specter of his rival, John Maynard Keynes. By 1983--the centennial of the birth of both men--"Forbes" christened Schumpeter, not Keynes, the best navigator through the turbulent seas of globalization. Time has proved that assessment accurate.
"Prophet of Innovation" is also the private story of a man rescued repeatedly by women who loved him and put his well-being above their own. Without them, he would likely have perished, so fierce were the conflicts between his reason and his emotions. Drawing on all of Schumpeter's writings, including many intimate diaries and letters never before used, this biography paints the full portrait of a magnetic figure who aspired to become the world's greatest economist, lover, and horseman--and admitted to failure only with the horses.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - beaurichly - LibraryThing
Schumpeter, the Austrian economist who coined the term "creative destruction," lived through the first era of globalization and the crippling effect of poor policies that prolonged the Great ... Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - NellieMc - LibraryThing
Superb biography on a man who even though he died in the early 50's continues to influence a great many economists (and therefore government and business decision-makers) but is surprisingly little ... Read full review
Shaping His Character
War and Politics
Letters from Europe
To Leave Harvard?
Against the Grain
The Courage of Her Convictions
Capitalism Socialism and Democracy
War and Perplexity
The Adult 19261939 Capitalism and Society
What He Had Learned
New Intellectual Directions
Policy and Entrepreneurship
The BonnHarvard Shuttle
Suffering and Solace
The Sage 19391950 Innovation Capitalism and History
How and Why He Embraced History
Business Cycles Business History