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Blending past and present, this brief history of economics is the perfect book for introducing students to the field.

A Brief History of Economics illustrates how the ideas of the great economists not only influenced societies but were themselves shaped by their cultural milieu. Understanding the economists' visions — lucidly and vividly unveiled by Canterbery — allows readers to place economics within a broader community of ideas. Magically, the author links Adam Smith to Isaac Newton's idea of an orderly universe, F Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby to Thorstein Veblen, John Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath to the Great Depression, and Tom Wolfe's The Bonfire of the Vanities to Reaganomics. The second edition is right up-to-date with a lively discussion of the economic crises of 2007–2010.

Often humorous, Canterbery's easy style will make the student's first foray into economics lively and relevant. Readers will dismiss “dismal” from the science.

  • Introduction
  • Feudalism and the Evolution of Economic Society
  • Adam Smith's Great Vision
  • Bentham and Malthus: The Hedonist and the “Pastor”
  • The Distribution of Income
  • Ricardo versus Malthus
  • The Cold Water of Poverty and the Heat of John Stuart Mill's Passions
  • Karl Marx
  • Alfred Marshall: The Great Victorian
  • Thorstein Veblen Takes on the American Captains of Industry
  • The Jazz Age: Aftermath of War and Prelude to Depression
  • John Maynard Keynes and the Great Depression
  • The Many Modern Keynesians
  • The Monetarists and the New Classicals Deepen the Counterrevolution
  • Economic Growth and Technology: Schumpeter and Capitalism's Motion
  • The Many Faces of Capitalism: Galbraith, Heilbroner, and the Institutionalists
  • The Rise of the Casino Economy
  • The Global Economy
  • Climbing the Economist's Mountain to High Theory
  • The Housing and Credit Crises of 2008
  • The Great Recession of 2007–2010
  • The Future of Economics

Readership: Undergraduate and foundation level students, and laymen.

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    It's Ok

    It's an ok book on economics history but it teeters back and forth from being a history book one minute to an economics theory book another. Also, there seems to be biased personal opinion present in the later chapters on the recent recession.


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