Keynes and his Battles


Keynes and his Battles

9781858982663 Edward Elgar Publishing
The late Gilles Dostaler, formerly of the Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada
Publication Date: June 2007 ISBN: 978 1 85898 266 3 Extent: 384 pp
This fascinating book brings together and examines all aspects of the life and work of one of the most influential thinkers of the last century, John Maynard Keynes, whose theses are still hotly debated. It combines, in an accessible, unique and cohesive manner, analytical, biographical and contextual elements from a variety of perspectives.

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This fascinating book brings together and examines all aspects of the life and work of one of the most influential thinkers of the last century, John Maynard Keynes, whose theses are still hotly debated. It combines, in an accessible, unique and cohesive manner, analytical, biographical and contextual elements from a variety of perspectives.

Gilles Dostaler studies in detail the battles that Keynes led on various fronts – politics, philosophy, art, and of course economics – in the pursuit of a single and lifelong goal: to radically transform society to create a better world, a world pacified and freed from the neurotic pursuit of financial wealth and economic rentability, with art at its pinnacle. Containing detailed presentations of the Bloomsbury group and the political history of Great Britain, Keynes and his Battles is an essential reference to this most important of 20th century figures whose central message remains as topical today as it ever was. The study also contains a unique chronology of Keynes’s life and historical events, portraits of Keynes by his friends and contemporaries, as well as a full bibliography of all his books, chapters contributed to books, journal articles and reviews.

Scholars, students and researchers of economics, history of economic thought, political science, sociology, history, philosophy and the history of arts will find this an absorbing and revealing work. The book should also interest journalists, decision makers in society and all those who are preoccupied by the problems of our time.
Critical Acclaim
‘The book provides a fresh and interesting approach to the man and his thinking. . . serves as a useful, highly readable and thoroughly researched introduction to Keynes.’
– Richard Toye, Journal of Liberal History

‘By examining Keynes’s life and ideas through the lens of his battles, Dostaler casts new light on Keynes’s tremendous body of work. The book is an impressive achievement that uncovers and explores hitherto neglected aspects of Keynes’s work. . . Keynes and his Battles is a valuable contribution to our understanding of Keynes. The book illuminates the interconnections between Keynes’s life and work, and enables the reader to rediscover him. Moreover, Dostaler’s thorough research has exposed aspects of Keynes’s life and work that will be new even to specialists.’
– Dany Lang, Review of Political Economy

‘. . . Dostaler has lavished dedication on his book to present us with a detailed picture of Keynes’s public and private life, “from ethics to aesthetics”, without neglecting philosophy, politics and economics. . .’
– Antonio Maria Fusco, Journal of European Economic History

‘This excellent volume is neither a biography of the great Cambridge intellect nor an economic text. Rather, this original volume provides a comprehensive and very readable account of the diverse intellectual influences that occupied Keynes’s life. . . There is much to learn about Keynes from this volume. . . Clearly, students and teachers of economics will enjoy this book, but it will also interest the general reader seeking a non-technical treatment of Keynesian macroeconomic issues. In addition it will provide both specialist and general readers with an insight into what it means to be an intellect operating on a world scale.’
– Economic Outlook and Business Review

‘This book brilliantly analyses and describes Keynes the human, bringing light to bear on his manifold activities and looking at Keynes’s life in terms of persistence and continuity rather than inconsistency and discontinuity. . . The book is very readable, and is a valuable and innovative contribution to understanding Keynes as a human being endowed with extraordinary and multifaceted talents.’
– Toshiaki Hirai, The History of Economic Thought, Japan

‘This is an admirable book about an admirable human being.’
– Bruce Littleboy, Economic Analysis & Policy

‘This is an excellent book that is likely to challenge the reader’s conception of Keynes’s work.’
– Elke Muchlinski, European Journal of the History of Economic Thought

‘. . . the book has appended a chronology of Keynes’ life set alongside main historical events, and each interlude concludes with short encyclopedic entries on distinguished artistic and political contemporaries of Keynes. These reference materials and its sweeping subject matter make it a book of interest to advanced undergraduate and graduate students.’
– Tiago Mata, History of Economic Ideas

‘A satisfying and highly readable book, especially for non-economists and non-British readers approaching Keynes from a wider perspective. . . Dostaler’s book is also quite accessible and should be of interest to undergraduates as well as the more specialized reader. . . the interpretative exposition is meticulously researched, original and lucid.’
– M.G. Hayes, EH.Net

‘Keynes and his Battles is beautifully, passionately written.’
– Geoff Dow, Journal of Australian Political Economy

‘An extremely informed and readable account of Keynes’s life and achievements, skillfully presented in their context. A teaching aid as well as a reference book, which manages to be both enjoyable and useful.’
– Cristina Marcuzzo, Università di Roma, “La Sapienza”, Italy

‘Keynes and his Battles is distinctive from other biographies because it seems written as a musical piece.’
– Tiago Mata, History of Economic Ideas
Contents: 1. Introduction 2. Ethics: The Sources of Keynes’s Vision First Interlude: Bloomsbury and the Apostles 3. Knowledge: Uncertainty, Probabilities and the Moral Sciences 4. Politics: Beyond Liberalism and Socialism Second Interlude: The Political History of Great Britain During the Time of Keynes 5. War and Peace: From the Boer War to Versailles 6. Money: Economic Motor and Social Pathology 7. Labour: The Battle Against Unemployment 8. Gold: An International Monetary System in the Service of Humanity 9. Art: Theoretician, Consumer and Patron of the Arts 10. Conclusion: From Keynes to Keynesianism Appendix 1. Keynes and his Time: Chronology Appendix 2. Maynard as Seen by his Friends and Contemporaries Bibliography Index
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