My reply to a request for the title of my latest book

I received an email with the following heading: “Can you please advise me of the title of Steve Kates’ latest book?” After almost a week I wrote the following in answer to the original query.

This was passed on to me and am grateful for the request which would have been extremely simple to reply to, as follows:

Thank you for your request: this is the tile: Classical Economic Theory and the Modern Economy and this is the link to the publisher’s website:

However, what then almost immediately came to mind was how best to get the points I am trying to make across, assuming that is actually why you were interested in the title. So what follows is the evolved reply that immediately came into my head which you will hopefully be able to read below which I will eventually be able to put up on the blog.
My latest book is Classical Economic Theory and the Modern Economy and this was the summary at the publisher’s website [ ]
Economic theory reached its highest level of analytical power and depth in the middle of the nineteenth century among John Stuart Mill and his contemporaries. This book explains classical economics when it was at its height, followed by an analysis of what took place as a result of the ensuing Marginal and Keynesian Revolutions that have left economists less able to understand how economies operate.

The chapters explore the false mythology that has obscured the arguments of classical economists, clouding to the point of near invisibility the theories they had developed. Steven Kates offers a thorough understanding of the operation of an economy within a classical framework, providing a new perspective for viewing modern economic theory from the outside. This provocative book not only explains the meaning of Say’s Law in an accessible way, but also the origins of the Keynesian revolution and Keynes’s pathway in writing The General Theory. It provides a new look at the classical theory of value at its height that was not based, as so many now wrongly believe, on the labour theory of value.

A crucial read for economic policy makers seeking to understand the operation of a market economy, this book should also be of keen interest to economists generally as well as scholars in the history of economic thought.


This is, of course, the history of economics which has a fairly heavy dose of political philosophy mixed in with the economics. It is also historic and explains how economic theory ended up in the mess it is now in. It is not really for someone who has not previously studied economic theory (which, for all I know, you may well have done) and I imagine requires quite some background in the way that economic theory became what it has become. Therefore, on the assumption that your interest is in economic theory in relation to policy, then the book I would recommend, which is not my most recent, is the third edition of my classroom text: Free Market Economics: An Introduction for the General Reader. This is the publisher’s summary:


In this thoroughly updated third edition of Free Market Economics, Steven Kates assesses economic principles based on classical economic theory. Rejecting mainstream Keynesian and neoclassical approaches even though they are thoroughly covered in the text, Kates instead looks at economics from the perspective of an entrepreneur making decisions in a world where the future is unknown, innovation is a continuous process and the future is being created before it can be understood….

The aim of this book is to redirect the attention of economists and policy makers towards the economic theories that prevailed in earlier times. Their problems were little different from ours but their way of understanding the operation of an economy and dealing with those problems was completely different.

There is then, in relation to economic theory, my Economics for Infants which is discussed at the publisher’s website [ ]. It is not really for infants, of course, but is done in the form of a children’s book. This is the summary put up by the publisher:

A perfect book to read to your children and grandchildren!

How do you explain the complexities of the economic order to a child? In this retro-inspired illustrated book, Associate Professor Steven Kates attempts this task in a storybook form. A basic primer on economics for the youngest of readers.

The text is to the point but what makes the book so valuable are the drawings by Liam Capello who has a phenomenal gift for representing text pictorially, who is now pursuing another career direction. But I have to say, especially with the drawings accompanying the text, that it explains some very complicated things in a very simple way. 
Finally, let me just mention this, which you can just download from the CIS in Sydney at this web address:  – This discusses the operation of the price mechinism which is dealt with in the first two books discussed above but this goes into it much more deeply. It explains precisely why no socialist system has ever worked or can ever be expected to work by showing how pricing and entrepreneurial decision-making is the key to understanding how things actually operate.
Anyway, I hope this has been of some help to you. Your request has certainly been of some help to me.
And if you have any further questions, feel free to drop me a note.
With kindest best wishes.

1 thought on “My reply to a request for the title of my latest book

  1. You could of just written: Keynes was director of Eugenics Society for 7 year’s; and confused not just with economics but with his sexual orientation so not to be reliable… But that is a much shorter book 🙂

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