Keynes, By Peter Clarke
Sunday 14 March 2010
Shares in John Maynard Keynes are rising, and Peter Clarke's elegant, succinct biography could not be more timely. The first half is a chronological account of Keynes's life, reminding us what a polymath the man was. As well as the most influential economist of the 20th century, he was a mathematician and philosopher whose first published work was a treatise on probability, an essayist and journalist, an adviser to governments, and friend of most of the leading intellectuals of his day. (Bertrand Russell described him as the cleverest man he ever knew, and said that every time he argued with Keynes he felt as though he was taking his life in his hands.)
The second part of Keynes is an explanation and analysis of his theories and their influence. It is dry, technical and bristling with distinctions (between saving and investment, between ex ante and ex post outcomes, between the spending behaviour of individuals and aggregate spending), but Clarke has done a decent job of making the ideas accessible. He argues that Keynes was right to maintain that public works ultimately pay for themselves, and his conclusion, that a form of updated Keynesianism is needed now, is well-earned.
After giving gay film R-rating despite no sex or violencefilm
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC
- 2 Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
- 3 London restaurant 34 creates champagne glass modelled on Kate Moss’ left breast
- 4 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 5 James Foley beheading: Fox news presenter Megyn Kelly annoyed by Ferguson update during broadcast about murdered journalist
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC
JK Rowling writes new Harry Potter story on Pottermore: Introducing 'Singing Sorceress' Celestina Warbuck
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
American film board gives gay film Love Is Strange R-rating despite no sex or violence
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians