Keynes and his Battles

Keynes and his Battles

Gillies Dostaler

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.

Chapter 1: Introduction

Gillies Dostaler

Subjects: economics and finance, economic psychology, history of economic thought

Extract

The master-economist must possess a rare combination of gifts. He must reach a high standard in several different directions and must combine talents not often found together. He must be mathematician, historian, statesman, philosopher – in some degree. He must understand symbols and speak in words. He must contemplate the particular in terms of the general, and touch abstract and concrete in the same flight of thought. He must study the present in the light of the past for the purposes of the future. No part of man’s nature or his institutions must lie entirely outside his regard. He must be purposeful and disinterested in a simultaneous mood; as aloof and incorruptible as an artist, yet sometimes as near the earth as a politician. Keynes, ‘Alfred Marshall (1842–1924)’, (1924-25, pp. 173–4) Maynard is a great man, I rather think. They had caught three mice in one trap; this excited him to the verge of hysteria. Now thats true of greatness; combined as it is with buying a whole flock of sheep; ditto of cows; he had been also dictating a letter to the Times; is overcoming the innumerable actors and actresses [at his Cambridge Arts Theatre] who won’t act Phedre; they will act Phedre; had also a complete knowledge of Tuberculosis in cows; meanwhile gave permission for Auntie to drive with Edgar [chauffeur] to Lewes to buy stockings; all details are referred to him; yet he remains dominant, calm; intent as a terrier to every word of L’s...