Thorstein Veblen
Theorist of the Leisure Class
John Patrick Diggins
With a new introduction by the author


Fired by Stanford and the University of Chicago but recommended by his peers to the presidency of the American Economic Association, Thorstein Veblen remains a baffling figure in American intellectual history. In part because he was an eccentric who shunned publicity, he has also been one of our most neglected. Veblen is known to the general public only as coiner of the term "conspicuous consumption," and to scholars primarily as one of many social critics of the reform-minded Progressive Era. This important critical biography--originally published as The Bard of Savagery and now appearing in paperback for the first time--attempts both to unravel the riddles that surround his reputation and to assess his varied and important contributions to modern social theory.

John Patrick Diggins is Distinguished Professor of History at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. His previous books include Mussolini and Fascism: The View from America, The American Left in the Twentieth Century, Up from Communism: Conservative Odysseys in American Intellectual History, and The Liberal Persuasion: Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., and the Challenge of the American Past (Princeton).