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The Poets' Guide to Economics

By (author) John Ramsden


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  • John Ramsden’s fascinating, entertaining history of 11 great poets who made significant contributions to economic theory and practice
Full Description

Shelley called poets, ‘the unacknowledged legislators of the world’. Here John Ramsden describes their now largely forgotten contribution to economics. From Defoe to Pound, poets looked at the economic orthodoxy of their day, saw much that was unacceptable, and tried to suggest alternatives. Some of their suggestions led onto perilous ground; but many of their criticisms have since been vindicated. Often witty and always opinionated, these 11 writers offer fresh perspectives on the economic theories that still rule our lives.
The poets included are Defoe, Swift, Coleridge, Scott, Shelley, de Quincey, Ruskin, Morris, Shaw, Belloc and Pound. Together they span a vast range of opinion and knowledge of the world. Some were closely involved with policy, some were radical, even revolutionary, others were reactionary: all of them contributed very personal and often illuminating insights into the dismal science.

About the Author

After reading history and economics at Cambridge and two years in a merchant bank, John Ramsden joined the Foreign Office in 1975. He was posted in Dakar and Vienna, and then spent two years in Hanoi (chronicled in Hanoi After the War, Skira 2017). The rest of his career was spent in Europe, including Berlin, Geneva and Croatia (as Ambassador from 2004-2008). He has also written The Box in the Attic, based on letters from relatives who took part in some of the great events of the last century. 

Look Inside
Pallas Athene
4th Apr 2023
World excluding USA & Canada
198 mm x 129 mm
224 Pages
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