The Wonderful World of Adam Smith?
Like many students in the 1960s, I read Robert Heilbroner’s Worldly Philosophers.1 He covered a lot of ground in his entertaining and authoritative style and he filled in the background to many of the names (Smith, Malthus, Ricardo, Marx, Mill, and Marshall) mentioned en passant by our lecturers. Examiners, however, did not require us to know anything about the careers, circumstances or contributions of the great economists (regrettably, then as now, economics was taught largely without the history of its ideas), but Heilbroner’s biographies overcame the universal imperative of students to avoid reading the non-examinable. For that I remain impressed, and grateful.
KeywordsForeign Trade Great Economist Conservative Economist Worldly Philosopher Cotton Mill
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