Customer Review

37 of 45 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Lacking depth and accuracy, but entertaining, 22 Dec 2011
This review is from: Keynes Hayek: The Clash that Defined Modern Economics (Kindle Edition)
The book tries to suggest that the whole of economic agrument on policy falls into two camps. Austrian and Keynesian. This is simplistic and misleading. However the idea of seeing the debate on policy from the two camps is interesting and entertaining.

The book lacks depth of explanation of either Keynes or Austrian theory. This means that anyone who does not already know them (and by this I mean what Keynes wrote, not what Keynesians wrote after his death) will find the significance of many of the comments reported from the debate difficult to understand properly.

The author also fails to consider the complexity of the various schools of economics. While he explains that Keynes successfully introduced the idea of looking at the economy from 'the top down' - macroeconomics - he does not clearly explain the reliance of Keynes on the demand side alone. Consequently he misses an important aspect of the criticism of Keynes in terms of markets and understates the important move to reconsider the supply side as a policy issue. Instead the author seems to think it is part of the monetarist counter-revolution, which it is not.

But perhaps the most disappointing aspect of the book is the sloppy mistakes. The author attributes views to people they never had in broad generalizations and makes mistakes on dates and people. For example, getting the date of Margaret Thatcher becoming Prime Minister wrong, which was not the same day as Hayek's birthday as he claims (a month and four days out respectively), and making Ben Bernanke Chairman of the Fed on Friedman's 90th birthday, over three years before he actually got the job! Such mistakes makes one wonder how many other inaccuracies got past the proof readers and has devalued the entire work.
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 29 Dec 2011 10:13:16 GMT
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on 6 Feb 2012 12:46:31 GMT
Steve Keen says:
So in what way is this entertaining? Is the whole thing bespattered with inaccuracies, or are there just two?

In reply to an earlier post on 6 Feb 2012 12:50:22 GMT
It was entertaining in the way it explained the ideological battle between Keynes and Robbins and their various supporters.
Inaccuracies are widespread, many of them in the generalizations it makes and the representation of views. These are offered without qualifications or context and are, frankly, ill-informed. The specific examples I gave were for the purpose of illustration.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Feb 2012 08:27:10 GMT
Steve Keen says:
Overall though it would appear I'd be better off reading something else?

In reply to an earlier post on 2 May 2012 18:36:00 BDT
Steve
Well said. Critical debate and we read generalised reviews with no serious economic anaylsis and hyper critical of errors. I hope that Liam Fox and his ' supply side ' intervention over the weekend was more soundly reasoned. That said the date and image of Thatcher quoting St Francis are unfortunately etched on a lot of our minds.
Thanks Dick
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