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The Ordinary Business of Life:
A History of Economics from the Ancient World to the Twenty-First Century
Roger E. Backhouse

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"Roger Backhouse has written a history of economics that is sweeping in is historical scope, while also being extremely concise. . . . [A] commendable introduction to the historical context of modern economics."--Stephen Kirchner, Policy

"Roger Backhouse's brief survey of the history of economic thought is well written and accessible to non-specialists. . . . [T]his is a fine book for a busy professional economist who wishes to delve into a short history of economic thought."--Robert E. Prasch, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization


"Roger Backhouse's new history of economics is just what is needed: a short but still comprehensive history of economic thought which can be read with profit not only by economists but also by a variety of noneconomists, such as historians, philosophers, sociologists, and so on. Complex ideas are summarized with exemplary clarity, and the book practically reads itself. The Ordinary Business of Life is a find."--Richard Swedberg, Stockholm University, author of Max Weber and the Idea of Economic Sociology

"In recent years many new sub-fields of economics have undermined the grand 'neoclassical synthesis' of the mid-twentieth century. Readers of this concise yet sweeping survey will see clearly that today's major dissenting schools, like neoclassical economics itself, have deep roots in the discipline's rich classical heritage. Roger Backhouse has written an elegant and thoroughly enjoyable book that will enable a broad audience to appreciate both the continuities of economic thought and its unavoidable inner tensions."--Timur Kuran, Professor of Economics and Law and King Faisal Professor of Islamic Thought and Culture, University of Southern California

"Roger Backhouse provides what is perhaps the most readable history of the dismal science, describing the role of economic ideas in shaping the way we live and think from the ancient world to the present. Although it is obviously difficult to describe how economic models and theories evolved over several millennia, Mr. Backhouse has succeeded admirably. Few books can claim to provide such an accessible and complete cataloging of the role that economic ideas have played in the 'ordinary business of life.' "--George Borjas, Harvard University, and author of Heaven's Door: Immigration Policy and the American Economy

"Backhouse is perhaps the best person in the world to write this historian's history of economic thought. His is the history of the visions, not the technical tools, of the great economic traditions and schools. His deep knowledge of economic theory shows on every page."--Herbert Gintis, University of Massachusetts, author of Game Theory Evolving

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File created: 4/21/2017

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