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She certainly is very well equipped to place the rise of these ideas perfectly into her grand portrait of economic evolution. It often becomes hard to place people and their opinions alongside the major historical events unfolding in each chapter. She didn’t spend as much time on Milton Friedman one of my favorites as I would like, and she spent too much time Joan Robinson and a chapter on Amyarta Sen, mostly, I suspect, as a nod to “diversity. She covers both their thought and their lives.

Frases de Sylvia Nasar

While vusqueda life histories are charted out quite well, along with the academic, political and personal struggles, I felt much of their economic ideology didn’t gain as much of the writer’s spotlight.

It was interesting to see how Schumpeter attempted to make policy when he was the Austrian Finance Minister, how Keynes maneuvered in the Bretton Woods conference, or how Beatrice Webb wandered from classical liberalism to inventing the predecessor to the modern ‘welfare state’. The premise is to look at the thinkers who nsar our ways of thinking about how economic thinking can be used to improve the lots of people through intentional activity — through intentional economics policies.

Similarly, the premise is that a collection of intellectuals through the years were able to determine that man could escape what seemed like an inevitable condition. A Grand Pursuit is about two concerns 1 what do we do with the poor?

Nasar does an admirable job trying to explain the theories her protagonists propose as well as placing them in a larger context, but her inability to pass judgment on a lot of them, or the sense that her judgment is very much not conclusive, can be slightly confusing. The strongest section of the book, by far, is the middle one. At least a quarter of the characters featured I had never heard of at all. Long on anecdotes, short on substance. Earlier nsar, such as Thomas Malthus, thought that the poverty gfan the majority was inevitable, as birth rates adjusted to economic circumstances to keep the majority very poor.

Yet in the epilogue, Nasar teases out two electrifying ideas – the first is that economic developments, like the British Agricultural Revolution and the First Industrial Revolution, solve the problem of the ‘Malthusian trap’, allowing for continued improvements in the standard of living, not just population growth.


That time period sounds more exciting than ever.

Check it out here: The big idea that I walked away with was the ways that economists viewed statistics to create new and better economic models that are used to steer economies from the wild swings that great booms and busts. She does not succeed.

La gran búsqueda / Grand Pursuit : Sylvia Nasar :

There are fun chapters about Alfred Marshall dress habits and trip to America, and only a few expository pages on his ideas. Sylvia Nasar starts her history of economic thought unconventionally, with British author Charles Dickens sylvvia his story A Christmas Carol.

Sylvia not only tells stories of Marx and Marshall, Beatrice and Joan, Schumpeter and Keynes, Hayek and Fisher, and Friedman and Sen, but also illuminates various historical and theoretical development in an engaging style, flowing prose and elegant style.

Forced collectivisations under Mao led to the atrocious famines, planning in the Soviet-Union led to a sharp decrease in productivity in the agricultural sector and scarcity among some classes.

Well, except how many of us can say that? A surprising proportion, maybe half or more, of the economists she covers either started out as socialists, were friends and teachers of socialists, or became one later in life.

Es una ciencia de contradicciones inexplicables que la Sra Nasar parece no gustar. May 30, Kritajnya Raghunathan rated it really liked it.

La gran búsqueda

It is a layperson’s busquedw. Sylvia Nasar, an econ0mist herself, previously wrote A Beautiful Mind, a biography of the extraordinary mathematician John Nash. I felt that the book begins to really meander and turns a tad incoherent with the post WWII history, and hence the three stars.

All the economics debates today, no matter how polarised their opponents may be, all agree on one basic Sylvia Nasar takes you through the “long run” history of economics, most notably the men and women who made great strides in it, stretching from the days of Marx in s Europe and concluding with Amartya Sen in modern day India.

I also liked the movie, although it was quite different and not as good as the book. One thing that initially held my interest is the “big argument” put forward by the author.

While they have been decidedly out vran the mainstream school, and arguably didn’t influence much of the economics that is taught today, they were certainly spot on about certain things.

I had shelved this recently but decided to bump it up to the top of the list because I was looking for a history of economic thought that put Hran in context. Nasar makes no secret of her support of the notion that economic development was the key to eliminating extreme poverty. Nasar is to be co Sylvia Nasar starts her history of economic thought unconventionally, with British author Charles Dickens and his story A Christmas Carol.

Anyone who after the 20th century still thinks that thoroughgoing socialism, nationalism, imperialism, mobilization, central planning, regulation, zoning, price controls, tax policy, labor unions, business cartels, government spending, intrusive policing, adventurism in foreign policy, faith in entangling religion and politics, or most of the other 19th-century proposals for governmental action are still neat, harmless ideas for improving our lives is not paying attention.


The immediate mode of discussion is to focus on particular thinkers and their times and from that construct a larger narrative of the story of economic policy. In that sense too, Nasar’s unwillingness to be hemmed in chronologically hurts the book a little bit, since I found myself struggling to remember economic conditions like post-WWI that were mentioned in a previous chapter, even though those bysqueda apply to the current thinker’s chapter.

I cannot help imagining that society of intellectuals Once again, this is probably a book I would have learned more from if I had done a good review of grab first. The title misleads one into thinking that this book is purely about economic history but in actuality, it provides a rich account of the lives of various economists and the circumstances which led them to invent the various theories which they did.

Economics is a unique science, far more theoretically quantitative and richly supplied with data than most historical ie, non-experimental sciences, but undermined by political bias and the changing of the ground beneath its feet.

Gean topics are front and center in our present situation. This is a tough book to review. Nasar delved into the deepend, reading just about everything she could about these men and women — their academic papers, biographies, coorespondances — to reconstruct what they were doing and thinking at pivotal times in their lives as economists. Return to Book Page. Dec 03, Hran Larson rated it really liked it. Other figures sylviaa are usually discussed, such as Keynes’ teacher Alfred Marshall and his Austrian ka Friedrich Hayek and Joseph Schumpeter are discussed in greater depth than is usual.

But the book is very thin in describing the bsqueda of economic ideas and lq they related to each other. The first part of the book, or first act as Nasar calls it, covers the evolution of economic thought from Marx to pre-WWI. It made me wish for a companion piece that treated the debates themselves over time. Nasar is to be congratulated for highlighting economic thinkers who generally get only bit parts.

Is thinking about alternative systems not necessary to keep al vital and limit the unwanted social effects? But of course, the Austrian schoolers go much further with their libertarian urges than this idea.