Seasons of a Scholar

Seasons of a Scholar

Some Personal Reflections of an International Business Economist

John H. Dunning

In his perceptive and easily readable autobiography, John Dunning walks the reader through the four seasons of his professional and private life. With just the right touch of humour, he recounts his boyhood experience during the eventful days of the Second World War, his three-year spell in the Royal Navy, as well as his years as a student and research assistant at University College London. He then goes on to describe his times as teacher and researcher at Southampton, Reading and Rutgers Universities, and the origin and evolution of the Reading School of International Business scholarship.

Chapter 1: ‘At First the Infant’: Early Childhood

John H. Dunning

Subjects: business and management, international business, economics and finance, history of economic thought, international business


1. ‘At first the infant’:1 early childhood As I retrace my life over the past eight decades, I feel as if I am drawing apart a veil over my past feelings, experiences and relationships. Yet time plays strange tricks with one’s memory. Some of the distant happenings of my life are crystal clear; others, only a few hours old, are already blurred. Most of my recollections are pleasant to recount; but there are a few I would prefer to forget. Yet my memories are the record of a personal journey through the seasons of my earthly life.2 Others, including the readers of this volume, may have shared a fragment of these memories, but, at the end of the day, they are uniquely mine; and, for good or bad, come what may, no one can take them away from me. ******** What, I wonder, were my parents’ expectations of their first child? After ten years of marriage I can imagine their joy and excited anticipation, knowing of my impending birth in the summer of 1927. But who was this baby? Who was me? They were not to know if the child my mother was carrying was to be a boy or a girl. I understand from one of my aunts that my father wanted a daughter and my mother a son! Looking at early photographs of me (p. 52), I might be forgiven for thinking that my father wanted to pretend I was a girl – at least for the first few...

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