Economic history or history of economics? A review essay on sylvia nasar's grand pursuit: The story of economic genius

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

In this essay, I review Sylvia Nasar's long awaited new history of economics, Grand Pursuit: The Story of Economic Genius. I describe how the book is an economic history of the period 1850-1950, with distinguished economists' stories inserted in appropriate places. Nasar's goal is to show how economists work, but also to show that they are people too-with more than enough warts and foibles to show they are human! I contrast the general view of the role of economics in Grand Pursuit with Robert Heilbroner's remarkably different conception in The Worldly Philosophers: The Lives, Times, and Ideas of the Great Economic Thinkers. I also discuss more generally the question of why economists might be interested in their history at all.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)96-102
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Economic Literature
Volume50
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 22 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics and Econometrics

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