Review of Keynes/Hayek: The Clash that Defined Modern Economics

Here is my review from Goodreads: Wapshott’s new and popular book Keynes/Hayek: The Clash that Defined Modern Economics covers multiple disciplines and I love that(my reviews of Peter Robinson’s books are almost obnoxious because of that love). Centering around the life of the two giants (biography), the developments of the UK and US (history) are explained. Interweaved is economics behind both men’s brilliant writing and commentary. While some chapters (especially the one about Keynes/Hayek argument over the definitions in Keynes’ Theory of Price) can be a bit dry, the book has an overall wonderful, driven narrative. Here we have the king of economics and a little unknown Austrian who struggles with English fighting it out. While Keynes was seen as the winner for years, Hayek has made a come back especially since his Nobel award in 1974. Wapshott does a great job showing that development. It is also interesting to see the personal stories about two men who aren’t really thought of as living people, but more as theories. I won’t spoil the great story about the two men during WWII. Also for me, it was fun to hear again stories about Hayek and Friedman that I’ve read in Friedman’s memoirs.

At the beginning of the book, Wapshott says we will figure out who won the argument. I know who I think won, but Wapshott seems to think it still up in the air. Throughout the book he gives an even-headed assessment of both men’s contributions and failures as economists. I’d check it out if you like economics and history.


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