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The Classical School

The Turbulent Birth of Economics in Twenty Extraordinary Lives

Callum Williams



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02 June 2020
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.

The Classical School is a breezy, bracingly irreverent introduction to those founding intellects - how they lived, what they thought, what they got wrong and which of their ideas we still need.
By:   Callum Williams
Imprint:   Profile
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Edition:   Export/Airside
Dimensions:   Height: 234mm,  Width: 153mm,  Spine: 24mm
Weight:   430g
ISBN:   9781788164733
ISBN 10:   1788164733
Pages:   288
Publication Date:   02 June 2020
Audience:   College/higher education ,  Professional and scholarly ,  Primary ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Callum Williams is senior economics writer for the Economist. Scrutinising the rationale behind economic and political developments from Brexit to Jeremy Corbyn's economic policy, he has seen the ghosts of the founders of economics being invoked in all sorts of doubtful ways. Follow @econcallum on Twitter

Reviews for The Classical School: The Turbulent Birth of Economics in Twenty Extraordinary Lives

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 of * Extreme Economies * short, punchy, and very well-written ... a terrific read. -- Kevin O'Rourke author of * A Short History of Brexit * These lively essays ... are consistently insightful and manage to make complex ideas clear. -- David Miles author of * Macroeconomics * This sometimes eclectic collection of economists gives a sense of the turbulent start of the economics field. Written with a journalist's attention to colour and quotations, The Classical School is an entertaining read. -- Linda Yueh * Economist *

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