Keynes: A Very Short Introduction

Keynes: A Very Short Introduction
Robert Skidelsky
Oxford University Press, 2010
Level: leicht
Perspective: Post-Keynesian Economics
Topic: (De-)growth, Crises, Criticism of Capitalism, Economic History, Money & Debt, Reflection of Economics
page count: 194 pages
ISBN: 9780199591640


John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946) is a central thinker of the twentieth century, not just an economic theorist and statesman, but also in economics, philosophy, politics, and culture. In this Very Short Introduction Lord Skidelsky, a renowned biographer of Keynes, explores his ethical and practical philosophy, his monetary thought, and provides an insight into his life and works. In the recent financial crisis Keynes's theories have become more timely than ever, and remain at the centre of political and economic discussion. With a look at his major works and his contribution to twentieth-century economic thought, Skidelsky considers Keynes's legacy on today's society. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Book summary

Short and accessible primer to Keynes' life and work. Written by Robert Skidelsky as the author of one of the most eminent biographies of Keynes, the book is rich in historical examples and contextualization. It also does not confine itself to the narrow realm of economics, but also shows how Keynes' economic ideas are situated in a broader philosophical, ethical and political theory and account of human behaviour.

Comment from our editors:

Though there will always be debate about the accuracy and relevance of his economic thinking, so much at odds with most of the neoclassical foundations of the subject, there cannot be any question as to the depth and breadth of John Maynard Keynes's intellect. As much philosopher as economist, Keynes is a fascinating thinker to learn from, questioning many tenets of economics still broadly in fashion today. His analysis of individual economic psychology is just as intriguing as his insight that macroeconomic aggregates behave different from the mere sum of their parts (think the pitfalls of macroeconomic saving).

Robert Skidelsky without doubt is one the fellow economists most knowledgeable about Keynes. Having written a massive biography about the man as well as many other books and essays long and short, Skidelsky knows his subject inside-out and provides a congenial glimpse into Keynes's thinking.

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