Grand Pursuit: A History of Economic Genius

Grand Pursuit A History of Economic Genius The author of the groundbreaking bestseller A Beautiful Mind takes the reader on a journey of discovery how the greatest invention of modern times economics has changed the lives of every single hum

  • Title: Grand Pursuit: A History of Economic Genius
  • Author: Sylvia Nasar
  • ISBN: 9780684872988
  • Page: 301
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The author of the groundbreaking bestseller A Beautiful Mind takes the reader on a journey of discovery how the greatest invention of modern times, economics, has changed the lives of every single human being.In a sweeping narrative, the author of the megabestseller A Beautiful Mind takes us on a journey through modern history with the men and women who changed the livesThe author of the groundbreaking bestseller A Beautiful Mind takes the reader on a journey of discovery how the greatest invention of modern times, economics, has changed the lives of every single human being.In a sweeping narrative, the author of the megabestseller A Beautiful Mind takes us on a journey through modern history with the men and women who changed the lives of every single person on the planet It s the epic story of the making of modern economics, and of how economics rescued mankind from squalor and deprivation by placing its material fate in its own hands rather than in Fate.Nasar s account begins with Charles Dickens and Henry Mayhew observing and publishing the condition of the poor majority in mid nineteenth century London, the richest and most glittering place in the world This was a new pursuit She describes the often heroic efforts of Marx, Engels, Alfred Marshall, Beatrice and Sydney Webb, and the American Irving Fisher to put those insights into action with revolutionary consequences for the world.From the great John Maynard Keynes to Schumpeter, Hayek, Keynes s disciple Joan Robinson, the influential American economists Paul Samuelson and Milton Freedman, and India s Nobel Prize winner Amartya Sen, she shows how the insights of these activist thinkers transformed the world from one city, London, to the developed nations in Europe and America, and now to the entire planet In Nasar s dramatic narrative of these discoverers we witness men and women responding to personal crises, world wars, revolutions, economic upheavals, and each other s ideas to turn back Malthus and transform the dismal science into a triumph over mankind s hitherto age old destiny of misery and early death This idea, unimaginable less than 200 years ago, is a story of trial and error, but ultimately transcendent, as it is rendered here in a stunning and moving narrative.

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    • Grand Pursuit: A History of Economic Genius by Sylvia Nasar
      301 Sylvia Nasar
    • thumbnail Title: Grand Pursuit: A History of Economic Genius by Sylvia Nasar
      Posted by:Sylvia Nasar
      Published :2019-02-04T10:59:15+00:00


    About “Sylvia Nasar

    • Sylvia Nasar

      Sylvia Nasar was born to a German mother and Uzbek father Her family immigrated to the United States in 1951, then moved to Ankara, Turkey in 1960 She graduated from Antioch College in 1970, and earned a masters degree in economics at New York University in 1976 For four years, she did research with Nobel Laureate Wassily Leontief She is currently the Knight Chair in Business Journalism at Columbia University Her husband is economist Darryl McLeod They have three children and live in Tarrytown, New York.



    227 thoughts on “Grand Pursuit: A History of Economic Genius

    • "No. The master narrative of High Liberalism is mistaken factually. A political philosophy based on fairy tales about what happened in history or what humans are like is going to be less than useless. It is going to be mischievous. Anyone who after the 20th century still thinks that thoroughgoing socialism, nationalism, imperialism, mobilization, central planning, regulation, zoning, price controls, tax policy, labor unions, business cartels, government spending, intrusive policing, adventuris [...]


    • The subtitle says this is a grand story of economic genius, but the text is more of a series of interesting anecdotes of the public lives of some famous economists. It was interesting to see how Schumpeter attempted to make policy when he was the Austrian Finance Minister, how Keynes maneuvered in the Bretton Woods conference, or how Beatrice Webb wandered from classical liberalism to inventing the predecessor to the modern 'welfare state'. But the book is very thin in describing the history of [...]


    • In her preface, Nasar describes Grand Pursuit as “the story of an idea that was born in the Golden Age before World War I,” the grand pursuit of “turning economics into an instrument of mastery” that could drive prosperity, rather than the “dismal science” that cautioned against government or even voluntary social intervention. Although she gives a glimmer of the ideas of such founders of classical economics as Adam Smith, Thomas Robert Malthus, David Ricardo, John Stuart Mill, the f [...]


    • This is a popularly oriented book on economic history - in particular by way of a historical look at economists and their times. The premise is to look at the thinkers who developed our ways of thinking about how economic thinking can be used to improve the lots of people through intentional activity -- through intentional economics policies. The immediate mode of discussion is to focus on particular thinkers and their times and from that construct a larger narrative of the story of economic pol [...]


    • Economics Through the Lens of Personality: An Accessible HistoryIt’s well known that Thomas Carlyle, a 19th century British historian, is credited with first calling economics “the dismal science.” What’s much less widely appreciated is that this derogatory label was well justified when he set the phrase down on paper in 1849.Until well into the 19th century, as Sylvia Nasar shows so clearly in Grand Pursuit, economics was, indeed, dismal. The gloomy predictions of Thomas Malthus dominat [...]


    • Sylvia Nasar has written a brilliant and very interesting book about economic history from Marx to the present. A Grand Pursuit is about two concerns (1) what do we do with the poor? and (2) how do we deal with the ups and downs of the economy that cause such disruption in the world? Both topics are front and center in our present situation. Nasar deals with these questions by telling about people, like Marx, Beatrice (NOT Beatrix) Potter Webb, Schumpeter, Hayek, and most especially Maynard Keyn [...]


    • This is hands down the finest book on the actual study of economics that I have ever read. It is a layperson's book. It puts things in perspective. It lays the groundwork to understand when people go on about Keynesianism and Milton Friedman and Monetism and explains who thought up what and who's done what in whose name and lays out the basic principles of everyone and does a wonderful jo of justifying the actual study of economics - important, since there are a lot of haters and Economists have [...]


    • Sylvia Nasar takes you through the "long run" history of economics, most notably the men and women who made great strides in it, stretching from the days of Marx in 1840s Europe and concluding with Amartya Sen in modern day India. I felt that the book begins to really meander and turns a tad incoherent with the post WWII history, and hence the three stars. But it really does start with a bang. All the economics debates today, no matter how polarised their opponents may be, all agree on one basic [...]


    • This is a tough book to review. On the one hand, I immensely enjoyed learning about the various thinkers that Nasar brings to that table. I had vague recollections of Alfred Marshall and Paul Samuelson from my college classes, but truly knew nothing about Joseph Schumpeter coming in. Nasar certainly helps provide an accessible entry into the economic history world.That said, this is a book that was almost doomed to meet its expectations or thesis. The economic thinkers, while all important (thou [...]


    • My friend is absolutely right on many problems of this book - the lack of real analysis, pretty obvious and horrible biases, etc. "e author just skims through the whole thing, telling us what the general population chose to remember about each economist." But I guess her complaint here is exactly the point of the book. It simply wants to introduce what the author thinks we (general pop) would want to know about these men and women. And I decide to continue reading because of the same reason.One [...]


    • In the era of huge national deficits and concerns over a balanced budget, Ms. Nasar’s book couldn’t be more timely. Grand Pursuit, is the story of the science of economics – and how the human race has benefited (and suffered) as a result of the beliefs concerning government actions and its effects.The book opens in the year 1842 in Charles Dickens’ London. Dickens himself set out to awaken men’s souls to the hardships of the working class in the hopes that something would be done to ea [...]


    • This history of economics takes the structure of serial and overlapping biographies of the most important thinkers since the mid-1800s. She starts with Dickens' descriptions of Victorian London, including the Malthusian view that 9/10ths of the population would indefinitely live in abject poverty. The book is broken into three sections - leading up to world war one, the two world wars and the period since world war 2. The strongest section of the book, by far, is the middle one. She focuses on K [...]


    • -De muchas ideas, que principalmente explican las cosas en retrospectiva, y de muchas voluntades.-Género. Ensayo.Lo que nos cuenta. Desde mediados del siglo XIX hasta comienzos del XXI, repaso de la vida e ideas, económicas principalmente (pero también muy sociales, políticas e incluso personales), de varios de los referentes y líderes de opinión de sus respectivas épocas, como Dickens, Marx, Keynes, Schumpeter, Hayek y Friedman entre otros, con la intención de mostrar la evolución del [...]


    • -De muchas ideas, que principalmente explican las cosas en retrospectiva, y de muchas voluntades.-Género. Ensayo.Lo que nos cuenta. Desde mediados del siglo XIX hasta comienzos del XXI, repaso de la vida e ideas, económicas principalmente (pero también muy sociales, políticas e incluso personales), de varios de los referentes y líderes de opinión de sus respectivas épocas, como Dickens, Marx, Keynes, Schumpeter, Hayek y Friedman entre otros, con la intención de mostrar la evolución del [...]


    • Quite an interesting read. The title misleads one into thinking that this book is purely about economic history but in actuality, it provides a rich account of the lives of various economists and the circumstances which led them to invent the various theories which they did. Rather than being a black and white account which most economic narratives tend to be, the book triumphantly elucidates on the importance which political circumstances had on economists and on how politics has played a major [...]


    • A book on economics which begins with Jane Austen and Charles Dickens has this reader's attention. Page 64 and I'm already engrossed in familiar characters' perspectives as each views economic and political issues from withing the historical time and environment each lived. At page 64, the reader is introduced to the influences and circumstances of Dickens and Carlyle, Engel and Marx,Malthus, Kant, Mayhew, John Stewart Mill, Sidgwick, Keynes and Marshall.



    • Книгу будет приятно читать жителям Советского Союза, нестандартный для нас взгяд на историю 19-20 века. Книгу можно разбирать на цитаты.


    • Se agradece un libro de historia de algunos protagonistas de la teoría económica. En ocasiones nos logra colocar en los tiempos y en las encrucijadas que algunos de ellos vivieron, sobre todo en el caso de Marshall, Beatrice Web, Keynes, Joan Robison.No es un libro de Economía, casi nada de economía se discute y no se aprenderá gran cosa de esa materia en este libro. Es en realidad una serie de mini biografías, que quizás por intentar ambientarnos en los tiempos pasados que vivieron algun [...]


    • This Grand Economic Puzzle is IncompleteSilvia Nasar embarked on an ambitious journey to capture 160 years of economic history -- it's leading men and women, it's major successes, setbacks, influences, and impacts -- into a compelling set of standalone stories. She succeeds in assembling a meticulously researched book spanning Marx's days toiling in London's libraries to Keynes and Schumpeter trying to revive Europe's economy after WW I to Keynes trying to save the world's economy after WW II to [...]


    • Possibly mistitled this book did not seem to be so much about a grand idea but rather the stories of leading economists in the era following the Great Depression. I enjoyed it while at the same time have little interest in economics itself. The big idea that I walked away with was the ways that economists viewed statistics to create new and better economic models that are used to steer economies from the wild swings that great booms and busts. That seemed to fit into my own ideas of ways of view [...]


    • A superb book about modern economist and economics. Sylvia not only tells stories of Marx and Marshall, Beatrice and Joan, Schumpeter and Keynes, Hayek and Fisher, and Friedman and Sen, but also illuminates various historical and theoretical development in an engaging style, flowing prose and elegant style.A must read!



    • Great book. It contains lots of details regarding the lives of men and women that had an enormous impact on modern Economics.



    • Sylvia Nasar starts her history of economic thought unconventionally, with British author Charles Dickens and his story A Christmas Carol. Her point is that Britain in the 1840s is one of the earliest times and places in which the extreme poverty of the majority no longer seemed to be permanent. Earlier economists, such as Thomas Malthus, thought that the poverty of the majority was inevitable, as birth rates adjusted to economic circumstances to keep the majority very poor. Nasar is to be congr [...]


    • At it best, this book offers illuminating explanations of a wide variety of economic ideas. At its worst it dives into the most boring trivialities. Nasar thinks it's more important or interesting to describe Beatrice Potters love life than to engage with her ideas. Half of all the quotations Nasar picks are utterly irrelevant for the overarching storyline. One could say that Nasar gives convincing sketches of the contexts from which these thinkers arise, but I don't agree with this. There are e [...]


    • Uneven but agreeable reading, a kind of disjointed one-thing-I-thought-to-mention-after-another narrative that nevertheless focuses on the big shots, Marshall, Fisher, Schumpeter, and Keynes - sometimes in a very forced way - as a structural spine, with several species of "seven dwarfs" to flesh out the diversity profile. The inclusion of Joan Robinson and Amartya Sen didn't do much for me and weakened the final quarter of the story in a kind of gradual, needless dissipation of the book's eponym [...]


    • Ever wonder how the personalities, lives and loves of economists influenced modern economic theory and practice? Me either, but reading Sylvia Nasar's "Grand Pursuit" lets me enjoy some very human life stories while upping my economic savvy.The narrative scaffolding is ambitious: the economic history of the industrial world into which Nasar weaves mini-biographies of influential economists.The underlying thesis is that modern economic understanding is a means to get and keep humanity out of grin [...]


    • Sylvia Nasar est connue pour son habilité de bien narrer les histoires et elle n'a pas changé. Ce livre, malgré son sujet assez difficile à digérer, contient une continuité fluide qui permet au lecteur d'y accrocher. Personnellement, j'ai beaucoup aimé lire sur certains personnages plus que d'autres, spécialement sur les personnages du sexe féminine comme Beatrice Webb et Joan Robinson. J'ai remarqué chez ces deux femmes une tendance vers la dépression lorsque les choses ne vont pas [...]


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