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Mass Flourishing:
How Grassroots Innovation Created Jobs, Challenge, and Change
Edmund Phelps

Book Description | Table of Contents
Introduction [in PDF format]

ADDITIONAL REVIEWS:

"Phelps's book deserves credit for showing that the strength of an economy doesn't depend on small differences in the tax rate, or the tactics of a country's central bank. Phelps rightly points out that economic dynamism depends on much deeper issues like a culture's affinity for risk taking and respect for individual achievement. And he wields convincing statistics that suggest actors in our political economy, from our government, to corporations, to workers, have to some extent lost their reverence for these values."--Chris Matthews, Time.com Money & Business

"[F]ascinating, versatile and profound . . ."--Felix Martin, New Statesman

"I . . . find his values-driven view of national prosperity fascinating--and applicable to corporate and personal prosperity. If innovation and the prosperity it yields stem from the values to which we subscribe as individuals, organizations, and nations, it stands to reason that we should be paying a great deal of attention to the particular values we adopt and espouse."--Theodore Kinni, Strategy-Business.com

"[E]xciting . . ."--William Watson, National Post

"[W]ide-ranging. . . . Mass Flourishing: How Grassroots Innovation Created Jobs, Challenge and Change, a distillation of years of research and thought about the changes in values and attitudes that once unleashed wide-scale creativity and risk-taking and which are under severe threat today."--Brian Milner, Globe & Mail

"A great book that will annoy big business and absolutely infuriate the left. I loved it."--Diana Hunter, Financial World

"The book is wide-ranging and highly eclectic: in just two pages (pp. 280-281) you'll find references to Cervantes, Shakespeare, Hume, Voltaire, Jefferson, Keats, William Earnest Henley, William James, Walt Whitman, Abraham Maslow, Rawls, Nietzsche, and Lady Gaga! . . . Anyone interested in the synthesis of free markets and social justice will find this eminent thinker's distinctive version of that synthesis both illuminating and thought-provoking."--Brink Lindsey, Bleeding Heart Libertarians blog

"Phelps, a Nobel laureate in economics, defies categorisation. In this extraordinary book--part history, part economics and part philosophy--he proclaims individual enterprise as the defining characteristic of modernity. But he fears this dynamism is lost. One does not have to agree to recognise that Phelps has addressed some of the big questions about our future."--Martin Wolf, Financial Times

"Phelps has given us a clear warning of the dangers of corporatism. I hope that more people hear and heed the warning."--Arnold Kling, Econlog

"[I]t wasn't until today that I started looking at Mass Flourishing by Edmund Phelps, about the central role of innovation in modern growth and, more, in the enabling of the good life. Obviously I should have read it last week. It looks right on theme, and it is pleasing to pick up an economics book that has a chapter on Aristotle."--Enlightened Economist

"One does not have to agree to recognise that Phelps has addressed some of the big questions about our future."--Financial Times

"Mass Flourishing offers a brilliant dissection of the origins, causes, and eventual decline of modern capitalism--an inclusive economy characterized by the complex unfettered interactions among diverse indigenous innovators, entrepreneurs, financiers, and consumers. . . . This book should be accessible to general readers and is especially stimulating for graduate students and those interested in economics, sociology, history, political science, and psychology."--Choice

"It applies many important aspects of Virginia political economy, making a contribution to understanding not only the positive, but also the normative implications of the rules of the game."--Rosolino Candela, Public Choice

"It challenges many of our prized assumptions about what makes economies succeed."--David P Goldman, Standpoint

"This is a recommended read, not only because it was written by Edmund Phelps, the 2006 Nobel Laureate in economics, but for encouraging reflection on fundamental issues related to modern life and the contemporary interpretation of Aristotle's 'the good life'. The author is such an experienced and iconic guide that it makes the journey through the subjects covered in the book an excellent read for anyone."--Jacek Klich, Central Banking Journal

ADDITIONAL ENDORSEMENTS:

"Anyone who finds today's economic debates too small-minded for the immense challenges we face should be drawn to this important work. Only Edmund Phelps would place ultimate blame for the Great Recession on the loss of the right concept of the good life. Phelps has been ahead of his time as an economic thinker for a half century. This may be his deepest, boldest, and most important work."--Lawrence H. Summers, Harvard University

"Few scholars have had the capacity to place the concept of the 'good life' in the context of both philosophical and economic thought. That is what Edmund Phelps has done in his masterly analysis of what he terms a 'modern economy,' once exemplified by Americans' capacity to innovate, to challenge, to dream--and to grow. But he warns that this model needs to be refreshed and changed to restore its potential."--Paul Volcker, former chairman of the Federal Reserve

"In this magisterial sweep of historical storytelling, Edmund Phelps draws upon his rich and deep cultural hinterland--from Robin Hood to Karl Marx to Friedrich Hayek--to explore why some countries develop dynamic economies driven by incessant innovation and inspiration while others still lag far behind. Economic history has rarely been more penetratingly understood and engagingly told."--Nicholas Wapshott, author of Keynes Hayek: The Clash That Defined Modern Economics

"This extraordinary, paradigm-shifting book provides fascinating and fresh insights into the relationship between economic systems, innovation, and creativity. Drawing from a dazzling array of historical and contemporary evidence, Edmund Phelps shows that misguided economic ideas have fractured societies and stifled well-being, and he provides a framework for going beyond the current predicament to create a better world. This book should be read by the widest possible audience."--Ian Goldin, director of the Oxford Martin School, University of Oxford

"In this powerful book, Edmund Phelps disrupts lines of debate between right and left. He shows how human initiative and creativity hold the key to future economic prosperity and social progress, and argues that what is holding us back are not the demands of the needy, but rather the stranglehold of conservative attitudes and entrenched privileges, which have steadily narrowed the field for individual innovation and accomplishment."--Philip K. Howard, author of The Death of Common Sense

"This book is what Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations should have been about, if it were to have been an even more important book. Mass Flourishing contains much history, but it focuses more on what society should do today, and it provides a call to action."--Robert J. Shiller, author of Finance and the Good Society

"This book is very good indeed, drawing on a lifetime of thought and experience and a wide knowledge outside economics as well as, of course, in it. Phelps's argument about the relationship between personal flourishing, the dynamism of a society, and the innovative capacity of that society is well argued and clearly enunciated."--John Kay, author of Obliquity: Why Our Goals Are Best Achieved Indirectly

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File created: 10/15/2014

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