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Thread: History of economic thought ...

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    History of economic thought ...

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    Im looking for a good/great/the best book on the history of economic thought. Any suggestions? I see a few on Amazon (E.K. Hunt, Rothbard ... ) but its hard to trust the reviews. Thanks.

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    We used 'The Evolution of Economic Thought' by Brue & Grant for the course I took on the history of economic thought. I really enjoyed the textbook, so I definitely recommend it. Not to mention, history of economic thought was my favorite undergraduate economics course.

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful. Good post? Yes | No
    Check out 'The Worldly Philosophers' by Robert Heilbroner.

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    I second 'The Worldly Philosophers.' It is not a comprehensive history of economic thought, but it does put a lot of things into perspective and it is just an excellent, fun book. For something more modern, you could also check out 'Inside the Economist's Mind' which is a collection of interviews with prominent economists. However, macroeconomists are way overrepresented (as the interviews are reprinted from a macro journal) and interviews are of varying quality. Still, it gives you a really good insight into how modern economics developed as a discipline. I especially liked the interview with Samuelson. Something similar would be 'Lives of the Laureates' but I did not have the opportunity to read that book yet, so I cannot comment on it. I tried reading one textbook on the subject, but found it quite dull
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    An Urch Guru Pundit Swami Sage
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    If you are interested in history of macroeconomic thought, I'd highly recommend "Modern Macroeconomics" by Snowdon & Vane, but again it's MACROeconomics.
    I'm reading it right now, and it's very good. It discusses in detail the most important theories since Keynes.

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    I would also go for The Worldly Philosophers--we're using it right now in the Macro class I TA for, and all of the students find it very digestible. It's a very well-written book, although I think some of his inclusions/exclusions are questionable.

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    "A Brief History of Economics" by E. Ray Canterbery is very good, especially if you have a dry sense of humor. He has recently published an extended 3-volume series called "The Making of Economics." The first part came out a few years ago and was also very good, but I haven't had a chance to read the two recent volumes. Very readable, and makes "the dismal science" seem far less dismal.

    However, if you're looking for a more popular or "classic," then go for Heilbroner.

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    Quote Originally Posted by oleador View Post
    If you are interested in history of macroeconomic thought, I'd highly recommend "Modern Macroeconomics" by Snowdon & Vane, but again it's MACROeconomics.
    I'm reading it right now, and it's very good. It discusses in detail the most important theories since Keynes.
    I have the 1995 publication of this book, called "A Modern Guide to Macroeconomics" by Snowdon, Vane & Wynarczyk. It's a bit cheaper on Amazon and the content seems to be basically the same. I hate macroeconomics, but found this to be an interesting read.

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    Sorry if I sound insane but can anyone read these sort of books or just economics students?

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    Quote Originally Posted by norules4suresh View Post
    Sorry if I sound insane but can anyone read these sort of books or just economics students?
    Well, it would be better to have some familiarity with the theories before you study how they evolve. For example, I don't think I would understand "The Worldly Philosophers" well if I hadn't study any economics before.

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