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Keynes: The Twentieth Century's Most Influential Economist Paperback – 15 Feb 2010

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (15 Feb. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408803917
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408803912
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.4 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 694,384 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Praise for The Last Thousand Days of the British Empire: 'Clarke has created a brilliant popular history he tells [the story] with such wit, verve and scholarly insight that one seems to encounter a brave new world' Piers Brendon, Sunday Telegraph 'There are few historians writing today who are more elegant and lucid than Clarke a triumph of stylish, thought-provoking history' Richard Aldous, Irish Times 'As this book majestically demonstrates, the empire tortuously, deceptively and often misleadingly progresses towards extinction' Jan Morris, Guardian

About the Author

Peter Clarke was formerly Professor of Modern British history and Master of Trinity Hall at Cambridge. His many books include The Last Thousand Days of the British Empire, The Keynesian Revolution in the Making, 1924-1936, and the widely admired final volume of the Penguin History of Britain, Hope and Glory, Britain 1900-2000. He lives with his wife, the Canadian writer Maria Tippett, in Suffolk, England, and Pender Island, British Columbia.


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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I didn't enjoy this book. It feels to me like a book written to exploit interest in Keynes following the 2008 financial debacle. I was disappointed with the quality of the writing , with the sketchy biography and with the inadequate discussion of Keynes's ideas in the context of the financial maelstrom.

Peter Clarke is a historian. The main text is 180 pages. It's split into 2 main parts: Keynes's life, and his economic policy and thought. Though I've said Clarke is a historian, the book seemed to perk up when changing from the life to the economics.

Keynes was a wonderful writer, and I was continually dismayed that Mr Clarke fails to reach a similar standard. Basically, I recommend that, if you want to know what Keynes said about recession and how to get out of it, then read Keynes's "Essays in Persuasion". If you want to know Keynes's mature (later) thought, read his "The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money". If you'd like more feel for aspects of Keynes's life and achievement, read Milo Keynes's "Essays on John Maynard Keynes".

For me the really interesting question now is "to what extent is Keynes outdated when we're confronted by a financial tsunami as in 2008"? Let me say immediately that Keynes was a tremendously impressive thinker. But Mr Clarke doesn't have much to say about the relationship between Keynes and the present maelstrom. The book doesn't mention derivatives, it doesn't discuss financial architecture (unless fleeting references to bancor qualify), it rarely refers to the theoretical problems of openness as opposed to closed economies. There is no mention of global trade imbalances. There is no mention of China and India.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great little book on Keynes, very engagingly written, only took a couple of evenings to read. Most of it felt fresh even though ive quite recently read Lord Skidelsky's very comprehensive biography. Clarke looks at the same events but from a different angle, sometimes choosing quotes that suggest an alternative perspective to the one Skidelsky takes. For example, whereas Skidelsky repeatedly describes Keynes as a man of the centre who was more comfortable talking to left leaning conservatives rather than moderate lefties, Clarke suggests that Keynes sympathies were maybe left of centre, using a 1935 quote from the man himself where Keynes advised that on some issues he was to the left even of labour. Unlike other recent books on Keynes like Davidson's "Keynes Solution", there is only a small proportion of the book that illustrates the relevance of Keynes idea to our current situation, but then this is much more a biography than an economics book. Cant really fault it except to say I wish it wasnt so short!
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Format: Paperback
I enjoyed reading this book. The first chapters are an interesting overview of Keynes's life, written in quite a racy style, (I thought)and giving a handy, if short,overview of the various aspects of Keynes the man.The later chapters of the book are mainly concerned with Keynes's economics. They are quite an easy and informative read, but I was sometimes left with the feeling that, 'there was just not enough meat in the sandwich', though writing that might be unfair - the author does not set up this short book as a detailed analysis. I coupled my purchase of this book with Robert Skidelsky's, 'Keynes: The Return of the Master'. I thought that the two complemented each other very well and if you buy this volume, then I would recommend that you also buy the other.
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Format: Hardcover
This book, written by an eminent historian, is a superb short introduction to Maynard Keynes. It is valuable to both the comparative novice, as well as those with some knowledge. It fits Keynes into history as well as covering some essential elements of his economics and politics.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Purchased as a gift. All arrived on time and as described. Good introduction to an interesting area of study.
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