In Grand Pursuit: The Story of Economic Genius, Sylvia Nasar examines the individual personalities and engrossing stories of the great economic minds of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Nasar, who detailed the brilliant, tortured life of mathematical genius John Nash in A Beautiful Mind, writes engagingly about one of the most compelling historical narratives of our time: the making of modern economics. Nasar writes with the flair of a storyteller, recounting with vivid detail and color how economics quite literally rescued humankind, vastly improving the lives of past, present, and future generations.

But the heart of Grand Pursuit, and what brings the narrative to life, are the overlapping stories of the economists themselvesโ€”a quirky mix of philosophers, writers, mathematicians and other ambitious thinkers who together, changed the world. Beginning with Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, Nasar outlines the web of economists that included Dickens, Karl Marx, Alfred Marshall, Beatrice Webb, Friedrich von Hayek, John Maynard Keynes, Milton Friedman and many others. As Nasar explains in our Bibliostar.TV interview:

“Economics initially struck them as rather an alien way of thinking. So what drew them to economics?…Well it was the fact that the problems of the day presented themselves increasingly as economic problems and that’s where the action was. It turns out that almost every single economist, every major thinker…all of them were drawn to economics because they saw it as an opportunity to make the world a better place. They saw economics as a necessary condition for other kinds of reform.”

Grand Pursuit Video Trailer: The History of Economic Progress in Four Minutes

 

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