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.

Interlude First: Bloomsbury and the Apostles

Gillies Dostaler

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


Bloomsbury is the name of an area in London with the British Museum located at its southern border. It contains a number of attractive, tree-filled squares. The oldest of these, Bloomsbury Square, was established in 1661. The others (Fitzroy, Bedford, Brunswick, Tavistock, Russell and Gordon Squares) date from the nineteenth century. From the end of the eighteenth century, this residential area was frequented by many of the greater figures in English literature and art. Bloomsbury gave its name to a set of artists, writers and intellectuals who lived mainly in this quarter during the first half of the twentieth century.1 This ensemble was not a structured organization or school of thought, but a group of friends (and lovers) who shared certain values and who profoundly marked British cultural life. Keynes was closely associated with it until the end of his life, as were many of his closest friends. It was his private world.2 The group’s centre consisted, apart from Keynes, of Vanessa and Clive Bell, Virginia and Leonard Woolf, Molly and Desmond MacCarthy, Adrian Stephen, Lytton Strachey, Duncan Grant, Roger Fry, E.M. Forster and Saxon Sydney-Turner.3 Several others would, at varying distances, gradually attach themselves to this core group. Of course, as it was not a structured group, the delimitation of its borders varies according to commentators. Certain of the group’s founding members, such as Clive Bell, would deny its very existence. This attitude undoubtedly had something to do with the fact that, as early as the 1920s, Bloomsbury was...

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