My Defending the History of Economic Thought has just been released. As an author, possibly the most interesting part about writing a book is to find the text saying things you had never thought about yourself until you came to write them down. This book is more exceptionally like that than any of the others I’ve written. This is how the text on the back of the book would have read had there been more room:
The aim of this book is to explain the importance of the history of economic thought in the curriculum of economists. Most discussions of this kind are devoted to explaining why such study is of value to the individual economist. It is, of course, but that is not the main point of this book. This book reaches out past the individual to explain the crucial role and importance of the history of economic thought in the study of economics itself. As the book tries to explain, without its history at the core of the curriculum, economics is a lesser subject, less penetrating, less interesting and of much less social value.
It is the orientation that historians of economics give to economics in general that may be its great value. The mainstream is continuously challenged because historians of economics keep bringing other perhaps wrongly neglected economic traditions into the conversation.
The sad reality is that almost no economist being educated today has detailed knowledge of the people who built the ideas found in their texts nor do they know how those ideas evolved. Worse yet, they know almost nothing of those ideas no longer found in our modern texts, many of which had once been central in economic discourse but which have since been moved onto the back shelf for no better reason than because they are no longer part of the mainstream. This book explains not just why anyone who wishes to understand economic theory must understand the history of economics but also, and much more importantly, why the history of economic thought must be preserved as a core component within the economics curriculum if economic theory is to progress.
This fascinating and thought-provoking book will prove invaluable reading for academics, researchers, lecturers and students across the expansive economics field.
The details on where to get a copy of the book may be found here.