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|Abstract:||In this essay, I review Sylvia Nasar's long awaited new history of economics, Grand Pursuit: The Story of Economic Genius. I describe how the book is an economic history of the period 1850-1950, with distinguished economists' stories inserted in appropriate places. Nasar's goal is to show how economists work, but also to show that they are people too-with more than enough warts and foibles to show they are human! I contrast the general view of the role of economics in Grand Pursuit with Robert Heilbroner's remarkably different conception in The Worldly Philosophers: The Lives, Times, and Ideas of the Great Economic Thinkers. I also discuss more generally the question of why economists might be interested in their history at all. © 2012 AEA.|
|Citation:||Ashenfelter, O. (2012). Economic History or History of Economics? A Review Essay on Sylvia Nasar’s Grand Pursuit: The Story of Economic Genius. Journal of Economic Literature, 50 (1), 96 - 102. doi:10.1257/jel.50.1.96|
|Pages:||96 - 102|
|Type of Material:||Journal Article|
|Journal/Proceeding Title:||Journal of Economic Literature|
|Version:||Final published version. Article is made available in OAR by the publisher's permission or policy.|
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