Synopses & Reviews
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.
“If ever a book answered a crying need, this one does. Here is all the economic lore most general readers conceivably could want to know, served up with a flourish by a man who writes with immense vigor and skill, who has a rare gift for simplifying complexities.”
—The New York Times
“A brilliant achievement.”
—John Kenneth Galbraith
“Robert Heilbroner's The Worldly Philosophers
is a living classic, both because he makes us see that the ideas of the great economists remain fresh and important for our times and because his own brilliant writing forces us to reach out into the future.”
“Sinclair Lewis's Arrowsmith
inspired several readers to become Nobel laureates in biology. Robert Heilbroner's new edition of The Worldly Philosophers
will inspire a new generation of economists.”
John Kenneth GalbraithA brilliant achievement.
“The Worldly Philosophers,
quite simply put, is a classic....None of us can know where we are coming from unless we know the sources of the great ideas that permeate our thinking. The Worldly Philosophers
gives us a clear understanding of the economic ideas that influence us whether or not we have read the great economic thinkers.”
Includes bibliographical references (p. 331-343) and index.
About the Author
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.
Table of Contents
II The Economic Revolution
III The Wonderful World of Adam Smith
IV The Gloomy Presentiments of Parson Malthus and David Ricardo
V The Dreams of the Utopian Socialists
VI The Inexorable System of Karl Marx
VII The Victorian World and the Underworld of Economics
VIII The Savage Society of Thorstein Veblen
IX The Heresies of John Maynard Keynes
X The Contradictions of Joseph Schumpeter
XI The End of the Worldly Philosophy?
A Guide to Further Reading