Edited by Franklin G. Mixon and Richard J. Cebula
Chapter 9: Not so Bleak House: business and entrepreneurship in Dickens
Characters like the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge and novels like the anti-industrial Hard Times have made the works of Charles Dickens something of a punching bag for friends of the free market, and this is understandable. But by allowing our opponents to focus on these parts of Dickens's work, we neglect his important agreement with free market principles on such issues as the power of innovation, the value of work and the importance of personal financial responsibility, and we lose an important and persuasive ally in the process. To cherry-pick, on either side of the battle over markets, just the most ideologically appealing part of a writer's work is to do the work and the writer a great injustice. The chapter offers a more balanced, more complex and more economically sophisticated Dickens.
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