The Clash that Defined Modern Economics
As the crash of 1929 plunged the world economy into turmoil, two men emerged with competing claims on how to restore balance. John Maynard Keynes, the mercurial Cambridge economist, believed that government had a duty to spend. He met his opposite in a little-known Austrian economics professor, Friedrich Hayek, who considered attempts to intervene pointless and potentially dangerous.
From their first face-to-face encounter to the heated arguments between their ardent disciples, Nicholas Wapshott unearths the contemporary relevance of Keynes and Hayek, as present-day arguments over the virtues of the free market and government intervention rage with the same ferocity as they did in the 1930s.
"In Keynes Hayek Nicholas Wapshott sets himself the formidable task of explaining important and abstruse ideas clearly, reliably and entertainingly. He succeeds well."
"It [Keynes Hayek] harnesses the author's skills as a journalist in a lucid and accessible introduction to Hayek's work...Again, the author has done his homework in getting on top of the vast literature about Keynes..."
"...path-breaking account of the long intellectual duel between Friedrich Hayek and Keynes..."
"Nicholas Wapshott's Keynes Hayek is an ambitious, well-written and enjoyable attempt to grapple with fundamental debates about economic and social organization. It is an entertaining account of the work of two powerful thinkers who made lasting contributions to those debates."
Tim Congdon, Times Literary Supplement
"He [Wapshott] is an acomplished writer who drives his narrative at a pace and draws judiciously on a crowded shelf of studies of his protagonists and their work...fascinating reading..."
The Literary Review
"His [Nicholas Wapshott's] account of the origins and early application of the competing theories is readable, intelligent, and even-handed."
"I heartily recommend Nicholas Wapshott’s new book, Keynes Hayek: The Clash that Defined Modern Economics.... Many books have been written about Keynes, but nobody else has told the story properly of his relationship with Hayek. Nick has filled the gap in splendid fashion, and I defy anybody—Keynesian, Hayekian, or uncommitted—to read his work and not learn something new."
John Cassidy, The New Yorker
"Wapshott does a good job of explaining the duo's sometimes complex theories...Overall, it's well worth a read."
"...an enjoyable and clear read..."
The Business Economist
"Nicholas Wapshott has written an exciting book and brought to astonishing life the economics advocated by these two sharply contrasting characters."
"...the book is an expertly blended narrative history of economic theories and the academic institutions that promoted them..."
Vienna Review of Books
"Wapshott had done a nice job in arguing that a theoretical spat between Keynes and Hayek in 1931 was, as the book's subtitle has it, "the clash that defined modern economics""
Tim Congdon, Standpoint
"...a scholarly and entertaining book..."
December 2011 • £19.99 • ISBN 978 0 393 07748 3 • 352pp • 156 x 235mm
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August 2012 • Paper • £12.99 • ISBN 978 0 393 34363 2 • 400pp • 140 x 210mm
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