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Hayek vs Keynes: A Battle of Ideas
by Thomas Hoerber
Reaktion Books, 2017
Cloth: 978-1-78023-730-5 | eISBN: 978-1-78023-778-7

ABOUT THIS BOOK | AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY | REVIEWS | TOC
ABOUT THIS BOOK
Few thinkers better encapsulate the two polarities of economic and social thought in the twenty-first century than Friedrich Hayek and John Maynard Keynes. Wrestling with the horrors of world wars, the atrocities of fascist regimes, the hungers of the Great Depression, and the turbulence of political ideologies as they grew evermore pitted against one another, both sought a cure for modernity’s terrible problems and a safeguard against future catastrophes—a task that would leave them with completely different conclusions. In this book, Thomas Hörber offers a clear historical account of the work of these two great figures of modern economic thought.
           
Hoerber looks at the two central works that would alter the course of economic thought: Keynes’s The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money and Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom. Placing them within the context of the devastation that followed World War I, he explains how the historical conditions in which these books were written help us better understand how their lessons can illuminate the economic and political phenomena of our own era, such as the recent financial crisis, globalization, and European integration. He shows how Keynes’s emphasis on government regulation through monetary and fiscal policy and Hayek’s great cautions against the tyrannies that can so easily arise from central planning have led to competing schools of economic thought. Making accessible classic economic theory and employing a qualitative method of economics, he offers an articulated account of how history has led to our current economic environment.
           
With a broad perspective and incisive but clear examinations of important economic theories, this book places the two great economists of the twentieth-century within their historical context, illuminating how much we have learned—and can still learn—from them both.
 

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