Home > Uncategorized > Nominations received so far for Top Ten Economics Books of the Last 100 Years

Nominations received so far for Top Ten Economics Books of the Last 100 Years

Listed below in order so far received are the nominations for the poll announced yesterday as follows.

A top ten list of economics books chosen by the RWER’s global community of economists would be useful for promoting its real-world commitment.  We can over the coming weeks create one here by taking part in a poll.

The poll will work like this.  You may nominate up to 10 books (first published after 1915) by leaving a comment below.  Remarks – which must be short – supporting your nominations are optional.  Nominations will remain open for several weeks, after which a “short list” of 40 or 50 titles will be announced and voting by PollDaddy will commence.   Each voter will have 10 votes.  Voting will remain open for several weeks, before the “Top Ten Economics Books of the Last 100 Years” will be announced.

Nominations received after 31 hours  – Please add books to this list by leaving a comment below.

– John Maynard Keynes, General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money (1936)
– Kenneth Arrow, Social Choice and Individual Values (1951)
– John Kenneth Galbraith, The Affluent Society (1958)
– Amartya Sen, Collective Choice and Social Welfare (1970)
– Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen, The Entropy Law and the Economic Process (1971)
– Michal Kalecki, Selected Essays on the Dynamics of the Capitalist Economy (1971)
– Paul Davidson, Money and the Real World (1972)
– Hyman Minsky, John Maynard Keynes (1975)
– Tony Lawson, Economics and Reality (1997)
– Piero Sraffa, Production of Commodities by Means of Commodities (1960)
– Karl Polanyi, The great transformation: the political and economic origins of our time (1944)
– Arthur C. Pigou, The Economics of Welfare (1920)
– Ronald Coase, The Nature of the Firm (1937)
– F. A. von Hayek, The Constitution of Liberty (1960)
– F. A. von Hayek, The Road to Serfdom (1941)
– E. J. Mishan, The Costs of Economic Growth (1967)
– E. F. Schumacher, Small is Beautiful (1973)
– Herman E. Daly, Steady State Economics (1977)
– C. A. Gregory, Gifts and Commodities (1982).
– Abba Lerner, Economics of Employment (1951)
– Joan Robinson, The Accumulation of Capital (1956)
– Joseph A. Schumpeter, Capitalism, Socialism & Democracy (1942)
– G. Godley and M. Lavoie Monetary Economics (2007)
– Nicholas Kaldor, Scourge of Monetarism (1982)
– Kenneth J. Arrow, Essays: Volume 1, Social Choice and Public .Decision Making (1986)
– Kenneth J. Arrow, Essays: Volume 2,  Equilibrium Analysis (1986)
– M. Djilas, The New Class (1957)
– S. Bowles and H. Gintis, Schooling in Capitalist America (1976)’
– J. Barkley Rosser, From Catastrophe to Chaos: A General Theory of Economic Discontinuities (1991)
– Hahnel, R. and M. Albert, Quiet Revolution in Welfare Economics (1990)
– John Kenneth Galbraith, Money: Whence it Came, where it Went (1976)
– Frederick Soddy, Wealth, Virtual Wealth and Debt: The Solution of the Economic Paradox (1926)
– Hilaire Belloc, The Restoration of Property (1936)..
– Kenneth E Boulding, The Image (1953),
– James Robertson,Transforming Economic Life: A Millennial Challenge (1998)
– Philip Mirowski, More Heat Than Light (1989)
– Peter Drucker, The End of Economic Man (1940).
– Nancy Folbre, Who Pays for the Kids? (2004)
– Susan George, How the Other Half Dies (1977)

Please add books to this list by leaving a comment below.

  1. Jeremy Stark
    May 11, 2016 at 8:07 pm

    Angus Maddison, The World Economy, a Millenial Perspective

  2. NatHat3
    May 11, 2016 at 8:11 pm

    James K. Galbraith, the Predator State

  3. Jamie Morgan
    May 11, 2016 at 8:16 pm

    Perhaps a world system theorist:
    Immanuel Wallertstein
    or Andre Gunder Frank

    then there is Myrdal

    does anyone have suggestions for these authors?

    • blocke the
      May 12, 2016 at 1:55 pm

      Or geographical based economists like Bloch, Marc. French Rural History: An Essay on Its Basic Characteristics (1931), tr. Janet Sondheimer (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1966). Translation of Les caractères originaux de l’histoire rurale française, 1931. ISBN 0-520-01660

      • blocke the
        May 12, 2016 at 11:34 pm

        We need more German books like Sombart, Werner: Der moderne Kapitalismus. Historisch-systematische Darstellung des gesamteuropäischen Wirtschaftslebens von seinen Anfängen bis zur Gegenwart. Final edn. 1928, repr. 1969, paperback edn. (3 vols. in 6): 1987 Munich and Max Weber’s.

      • blocke the
        May 15, 2016 at 7:12 am

        Another work that was immensely important and influencial outside the English Speaking World was Eugen Schmalenbach„ Der Kontenrahmen (1929, , russ. 1928; Japan. 1953, which led to Uniform Charts of Accounts, permitting comparison’s of firms and industriies essential to management.

    • May 12, 2016 at 5:06 pm

      I added a couple to my list…

  4. Ryk van Jaarsveld
    May 11, 2016 at 8:19 pm

    There should be only one: “Human Action” by Ludwig von Mises. No person should call himself/herself an economist who has not studied this monumental work by one of the greatest minds of the 20th Century!

    • May 22, 2016 at 10:20 pm

      i would maybe disagree. i think they should all be ones i wrote. i hane’t started them yet but plan to finish them within the next 100 years; by that time its possible all the books on this list will have been lost to memory due to war and ecological collapse—mine will be only books put on noah’s ark II.

  5. May 11, 2016 at 8:25 pm

    Nelson & Winter “An Evolutionary Theroy”

  6. Susan Feiner
    May 11, 2016 at 8:48 pm

    so glad to see the such a balance of contributions by women, people of color & non anglo europeans.

    • May 11, 2016 at 9:12 pm

      I would love to see your list of books that meet these criteria.

      • May 16, 2016 at 9:19 am

        There already is one: Sen’s “Collective Choice and Social Welfare” (1970) — but we should add Arthur Lewis’s “The Theory of Economic Growth” (1955)

  7. Graeme Smith
    May 11, 2016 at 9:03 pm

    Hyman Minsky, Stabilizing an Unstable Economy

  8. May 11, 2016 at 9:11 pm

    Manias, Panics and Crashes: Charles Kindleberger
    The Great Deformation: David Stockman for a non orthodox, conservative but sane appreciation of recent US economic history.
    Debt: The First 5000 Years: David Graeber

    • May 12, 2016 at 1:55 pm

      Yes, David Graeber’s book!

  9. Tom Walker
    May 11, 2016 at 9:22 pm

    John Maurice Clark, Studies in the Economics of Overhead Costs

    Karl William Kapp, Social Costs of Private Enterprise

    Anatol Rapoport, Fights, Games and Debates

  10. May 11, 2016 at 9:41 pm

    Tawney, R. H., Religion and the Rise of Capitalism (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1961)

  11. Paul Davidson
    May 11, 2016 at 9:48 pm

    how about Paul Davidson , The Keynes Solution? Ut is a trade book rather than an academic book but as already sold over 20,000 copies?

  12. P W Reed
    May 11, 2016 at 9:57 pm

    Baran Sweezy Monopoly Capitalism

  13. Anton Hellesøy
    May 11, 2016 at 10:01 pm

    Anwar Shaikhs Capitalism, competition, conflict, crisis.

  14. May 11, 2016 at 10:12 pm

    Ah, I meant this one by Tawney: Tawney, R. H., The Acquisitive Society (London: G. Bell and Sons, 1921)

  15. May 11, 2016 at 10:34 pm

    Measurement and Meaning in Economics (1999) by Deirdre McCloskey

    You needn’t (and likely won’t) agree with her first-order conclusions, but her inspiring methodological rebellion, intellectual honesty, and light-footed mastery of all she surveys demands careful attention. This book began to reconcile the field to me, a job finished by the recent explosion of empirical care and rigour in the mainstream.

  16. May 11, 2016 at 11:12 pm

    Seven Deadly Innocent Frauds of Economic Policy

    Warren Mosler’s book is available free on-line for download:
    Preface by economist James Galbraith
    Joseph Firestone: Review of Warren Mosler’s book: The 7 Deadly Innocent Frauds of Economic Policy

    Our Sovereign Fiat Currency System and Our Inability to Involuntarily Run out of Money

    As Warren describes it:

    Historically, there have been three categories of money: commodity, credit, and fiat. Commodity money consists of some durable material of intrinsic value, typically gold or silver coin, which has some value other than as a medium of exchange. Gold and silver have industrial uses as well as an aesthetic value as jewelry. Credit money refers to the liability of some individual or firm, usually a checkable bank deposit. Fiat money is a tax credit not backed by any tangible asset. In 1971 the Nixon administration abandoned the gold standard and adopted a fiat monetary system, substantially altering what looked like the same currency. Under a fiat monetary system, money is an accepted medium of exchange only because the government requires it for tax payments. Government fiat money necessarily means that federal spending need not be based on revenue. The federal government has no more money at its disposal when the federal budget is in surplus, than when the budget is in deficit. Total federal expense is whatever the federal government chooses it to be. There is no inherent financial limit. The amount of federal spending, taxing and borrowing influence inflation, interest rates, capital formation, and other real economic phenomena, but the amount of money available to the federal government is independent of tax revenues and independent of federal debt.

  17. May 11, 2016 at 11:15 pm

    Please add– Frederick Soddy,”The Role Of Money”

  18. Ming
    May 12, 2016 at 2:17 am

    Debunking Economics by Steve Keen

    Franky, it is the only thing worth reading out of the economics profession since John Maynard Keynes and Hyman Minsky.

    Neo-classical economics has become a religion steeped in dogma using voodoo mathematics and bad science to present a vail of creditability. Science says, if your observation doesn’t match the theory, your theory is wrong and you should come up with a new explanation. Economics today, says, if your observation doesn’t match the theory, the theory is STILL RIGHT?

    Steve Keen is one of the few to point it out and apply modern mathematics and modern science to economics to understand how the economy actually functions rather than a theoretical view that doesn’t exist (In his extended work: http://www.debtdeflation.com/blogs/ + Minsky: https://sourceforge.net/projects/minsky/).

    Published in 2001, he has the only true explanation of the 2008 GFC and the ‘secular stagnation’ we have to this day.

    One of the few books to understand that MONEY AND PRIVATE DEBT MATTERS in the economy and in his further work, brings Hyman Minsky’s ideas into a mathematical framework.

    • May 13, 2016 at 11:29 am

      Yes, I’m surprised I didn’t include Steve’s book in my list. In my my mind I have perhaps seen it as more like the script of a play or documentary than an argument. These come to life by being performed, and I’ve been remembering the performance rather than seeing the script. What I did suggest is that conceiving this poll in terms of books rather neglects the significance of documentaries like “The Money Masters” and “The Inside Job”, which may also reach a rather wider audience.

  19. May 12, 2016 at 3:20 am

    -Stephen Marglin, Growth, Distribution and Prices, Harvard University Press (1984)

    -Luigi Pasinetti., Structural Change and Economic Growth: a Theoretical essay on the dynamics of the wealth of nations, Cambridge University Press (1981).

  20. May 12, 2016 at 4:35 am

    Capital in the Twenty-First Century : Thomas Piketty

    • graccibros
      May 13, 2016 at 6:57 pm

      Yes, I think Piketty’s book probably belongs on the list, although it’s very recent, could be we’re still too close in chronology to it to judge. It certainly gave form and content to the rising left criticism of income and wealth trends in the West, though, despite all the skirmishing over its definitions.

  21. Duncan Galbraith
    May 12, 2016 at 6:18 am

    Public Revenue Without Taxation:Ronald Burgess 1993

  22. May 12, 2016 at 6:39 am

    John Perkins, “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man”

  23. blocke the
    May 12, 2016 at 7:02 am

    David S Landes, The Unbound Prometheus
    Alfred D Chandler, Jr. either his Strategy and Structures, 1962 or The Visible Hand, 1977
    Thorestein Veblen’s Theory of the Leisure Class, although first published in 1899, it has many editions.

    • May 12, 2016 at 7:17 am

      -Stephen Marglin, Growth, Distribution and Prices, Harvard University Press (1984).

      -Luigi Pasinetti., Structural Change and Economic Growth: a Theoretical essay on the dynamics of the wealth of nations, Cambridge University Press (1981).

      -Maurice Godelier, Rationality and Irrationality in Economics, NLB (1972).

    • blocke the
      May 12, 2016 at 10:03 am

      I notice that bloggers are putting few books by institutional economists on their lists, which reflects the housekeeping that the neoclassical economists did during their postwar take over when they swept institutional economics under the rug, affecting not only the education of orthodox economists but people on this blog, the dissidents. Institutionalists like those I mentioned need greater representation.

      • May 15, 2016 at 8:41 am

        Interesting. In the Uk in those post-war years the focus was on Keynes vs Marx, and Keynes (plus Leo XIII, Chesterton and Belloc in my Catholic circles), against the classical and neoclassical traditions respectively. Keynes’ General Theory does not even mention Veblen. I took J K Galbraith as a Keynesian (though Google now lists him as an Institutionalist, and knowing more about these now I can see why). But JKG writes Veblen off in “The Affluent Society” as the “uniquely American economist”, which doesn’t suggest his relevance to the Britain of the time. But I certainly listed JKG: in fact, as with JMK I wanted to consider his complete works as one (possibly multivolumed) book!

        A book listed I would like to strike off is Hayek’s “Road to Serfdom”, which is a perverse plagiarism of Hilaire Belloc’s “The Servile State” (1912), seeing good in only capitalism where Belloc had arged a circular relationship in which capitalism and socialism amounted to the same thing when dictatorial rather than democratic.

      • blocke the
        May 15, 2016 at 3:16 pm

        Since you are talking about taking books off the list, I venture to say something negative about the universal enthusiasm for Karl Polanyi’s The Great Transformation. It is a marvelous book for those who despise neoliberalism and I count myself among them. But, as an historian trained in medieval history and with some knowledge of protoindustrialialism during the Old Regime, I have reservations about Polanyi’s work as history. I see it much Iike I do Jacob Burckhardt’s pathbreaking work on the renaissance, which painted all that came before it as the dark ages. Burckhardt’s thesis is a marvelous interpretative vehicle for explaining the birth of the modern world, but it is bad history. I feel the same is true of the Great Transformation. I would keep it on the list, but with these reservations.

      • May 15, 2016 at 6:56 pm

        Yes; but something significant has happened here in the UK which raises the significance of the Catholic economics mentioned above, viz the previous mayor of London Boris Johnson using Hitler’s desire for a single political “authority” as an argument against the same thing happening in the EU as it is developing. (Sadly Johnson didn’t [dare?] mention the banking interests behind that). The EEC as set up post-war by the Catholic-inspired Christian Democrats was based on political principles of solidarity (c.f. Poland) and subsidiarity (overall authority only where necessary). Most of us learned these from papal statements issued as pamphlets (though now on-line as “Papal Encyclicals”). The issues are discussed in a current article on the Brexit debate at p.23 in the Catholic journal ‘The Newman’ (www.newman.org.uk/) and I have recently acquired a 1918 German book, only translated into English in 1988, which was apparently the source of the subsidiarity principle popularised by Pius XI in 1931: Heinrich Pesch’s ‘Ethics and the National Economy’. Remembering when it was written, here’s American Jim Bemis’s review of it:

        “Socialism’s failures are all too familiar. Not so well known is capitalism’s role in the decline and degradation of American culture; economist Heinrich Pesch, though, foresaw the ruin waiting at the end of the capitlaist rainbow. In ‘Ethics and the National Economy’, he offers a third way – the Catholic way – that promotes not only prospe
        rity, but also human dignity. Pesch’s groundbreaking book illuminates our current national debate about ‘corporate ethics’, explaining why ‘free enterprise’ is anything but free, eventually corrupting everything it touches. Even better, Pesch brilliantly points us to an abundant yet human economic system based on eternal moral principles that defend the weak without bankrupting the nation. This is a book the whole country should be reading”.

        I have Catholic reservations somewhat like Bob’s historical ones on Polanyi, but let Pesche say a little for himself on a subject often debated here:

        “[W]e have even in our own day a Durkheim and a Levy-Bruehl, who both teach that science has no other task to perform except to know WHAT IS, and not WHAT OUGHT TO BE. It is on the basis of such thinking that the scientific character of moral philosophy and moral theology has come to be rejected.

        “It goes without saying that this is all wrong. In the natural sciences one deals only with CAUSE AND EFFECT. However, in the social sciences, which include economics, we are dealing in the final analysis with MEANS and RESULTS evaluated in terms of the INTENDED OBJECTIVE. The value judgement, telling us that one or the other means is good with regard to the intended objective, also proclaims scientific truth so long as it is based on knowledge which conforms to reason and experience. … Thus even the “practical science” by no means disregards the knowledge of WHAT IS. It informs us about the regular operation of habits, of laws, of human institutions and the like, in other words about actual cause and effect relationships. However, man has not only the need to know, but also to act. It is for that purpose that practical science serves him inasmuch as it leaves intact the notion of goals. …”.

        Apologies to Edward for the length of this “brief comment”, but I feel a nomination sometimes needs explanation

      • blocke the
        May 16, 2016 at 7:17 am

        I see your point that ethics is integral to the social sciences and that we have a rich heritage of criticism of neoliberalism in economics in social Catholicism that Polanyi neglects — that is my point about Polanyi’s exposition, too, he is ethically strong in his critique of the Great Transformation, but, as I note in my post Economics and Technik, his focus on Britain ignores the deeply rooted alternatives to British economic thought in the 19th century that he seems to think are symptomatic of protofascism rather than social democratic heritages.to be examined today in our discussions about economics.

      • May 16, 2016 at 9:40 am

        Yes. Thanks for this, Bob. My reservations concerning Pesch are likewise about what he DOESN’T say, to clarify a perception of papal authority as authoritarian as against that of head of a family. As I’ve said of our Queen’s exemplary role in post-war Britain, she can now be seen as head of a commonwealth rather than an empire. That was the point in 1958 of Good Pope John’s Council, and of the present pope, Francis, speaking out recently in South America against the evils of self-serving and self-righteous clericalism.

  24. anonymous
    May 12, 2016 at 8:02 am

    Thorstein Veblen (1923) Absentee Ownership: Business Enterprise in Recent Times: The Case of America

    L. Randall Wray (1998) Understanding Modern Money:The Key to Full Employment and Price Stability

    John F. Henry (1990) The Making of Neoclassical Economics

    Geoffrey Ingham (2004) The Nature of Money

    Thorstein Veblen (1921) The Engineers and the Price System

    John R. Commons (1924) Legal Foundations of Capitalism

    K. William Kapp [1950] (1975) The Social Costs of Private Enterprise

    Alfred S. Eichner (1976) The Megacorp and Oligopoly: Micro Foundations of Macro Dynamics

    Frederic S. Lee (1999) Post Keynesian Price Theory

    Wassily Leontief (1941) The Structure of American Economy

    Wassily Leontief (1986) Input Output Economics

    Fred L. Block (1977) The Origins of International Economic Disorder

    Allan Gruchy (1947) Modern Economic Thought: The American Contribution

    Marc R. Tool (2000) Value Theory and Economic Progress: The Institutional Economics of J. Fagg Foster

    C. E. Ayres [1944] (1962) The Theory of Economic Progress

    Kenneth E. Boulding (1950) A Reconstruction of Economics

    Michel Aglietta (1979) A Theory of Capitalist Regulation

    Augusto Graziani (2003) The Monetary Theory of Production

  25. SLE
    May 12, 2016 at 9:23 am

    Joseph A. Schumpeter (1911), The Theory of Economic Development

  26. P W Reed
    May 12, 2016 at 10:34 am

    M A Katouzian (180?) Ideology and Method in Economics. One of the most profound analyses of method I have ever read!

  27. Nietil
    May 12, 2016 at 12:58 pm

    Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen, The Entropy Law and the Economic Process (1971) and
    Piero Sraffa, Production of Commodities by Means of Commodities (1960)
    both appear twice in the list if I am not mistaken.

    • Fullbrook
      May 12, 2016 at 1:09 pm

      thank you

  28. Susan Feiner
    May 12, 2016 at 1:12 pm

    Drucilla Barker and Susan Feiner. Liberating Economics: feminist perspectives on families, work and globalization.

  29. Fullbrook
    May 12, 2016 at 1:35 pm

    These nominations are from Jorge Buzaglo:
    Paul Sweezy, The theory of capitalist development
    Rosa Luxemburg, The accumulation of capital
    Oskar Lange, Political economy.

  30. May 12, 2016 at 1:59 pm

    The evolution of cooperation, by Robert Axelrod

  31. May 12, 2016 at 2:31 pm

    Karl Polanyi The Great Transformation

    I’ll have a more complete list later, but had to throw that in there!

    • graccibros
      May 12, 2016 at 5:42 pm

      Thanks Lawrence. I second the nomination for Karl Polanyi’s The Great Transformation.

    • May 14, 2016 at 6:22 pm

      Yes. No list would be complete without Polanyi’s masterpiece.

  32. Alan
    May 12, 2016 at 2:51 pm

    Marcel Mauss The Gift: Forms and Functions of Exchange in Archaic Societies (1925).

    From the intro to Gregory’s Gifts and Commodities (already on the list):

    In PNG-type societies “we see that a part of mankind, wealthy, hardworking and creating large surpluses, exchanges vast amounts in ways and for reasons other than those with [lxii] which we are familiar from our own societies” (Mauss [1925] 1974: 31). The workings of these economies have been painstakingly described in hundreds of anthropological monographs, and these monographs in turn have been the subject of much interesting theorizing by other anthropologists such as Morgan (1871, 1877), Mauss ([1925] 1974), Lévi-Strauss ([1949] 1969), and others. What is striking about the approach of these anthropologists—and this is another theme of this book—is that their approach is an extension of the project started by Quesnay, Smith, Ricardo, and Marx. Like the early political economists, the central focus of analysis of these anthropologists is the social relations of reproduction of particular social systems. The central concept of their theories is the “gift.” This refers to the personal relations between people that the exchange of things in certain social contexts creates. It is to be contrasted with the objective relations between things that the exchange of commodities creates. The theory of gifts and the theory of commodities are compatible and together they stand opposed to the theory of goods [neoclassical economics] with its focus on the subjective relationship between consumers and objects of desire. The gift economy and the commodity economy should be seen as just two of many possible economic systems that the political economy approach is able to differentiate.

  33. May 12, 2016 at 5:05 pm

    Some that haven’t been mentioned…
    Braudel – Civilization and Capitalism 15th – 18th Century, Vol. I-III
    Braudel – The Longue Duree
    Wallerstein – Historical Capitalism
    Wallerstein – The Modern World System I-IV
    Harvey – A Brief History of Neoliberalism
    Robinson – Economic Philosophy
    Robinson – Essays in the Theory of Employment
    Nitzan Bichler – Capital as Power
    Post – The American Road to Capitalism
    Braverman – Labor and Monopoly Capital
    Frank – Darwin Economy
    Pantich and Gindin – The Making of Global Capitalism
    Chang – 23 Things They Don’t Tell You About Capitalism
    Pickett and Wilkinson – The Spirit Level
    Don’t forget Irving Fisher
    I’ll have to add a few more later…

  34. Brian Stobie
    May 12, 2016 at 5:35 pm

    My first choices are on the ‘popular’ side of the spectrum, rather than the heavily academic, but no bad thing depending on your criteria for ‘top’ ranking…

    Ha-Joon Chang, Economics: The User’s Guide
    Ha-Joon Chang, 23 Things They Don’t Tell You About Capitilism
    Jim Stanford, Economics for Everyone

    … and a few ‘heavier’ ones:
    J.M Keynes, The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money
    Steve Keen, Debunking Economics, The Naked Emperor Dethroned?
    Hyman Minsky, Stabilising an Unstable Economy

  35. May 12, 2016 at 6:01 pm

    Malcolm Sawyer – Macro-Economics in Question

  36. May 12, 2016 at 6:01 pm

    A few I think should be considered and I could not spot in the comments:

    Fred Hirsch, Social Limits to Growth
    Amartya Sen, The Idea of Justice
    Elinor Ostrom, Governing the Commons

  37. May 12, 2016 at 8:21 pm

    Beinhocker – The Origin of Wealth

  38. graccibros
    May 12, 2016 at 9:25 pm

    I’ll also second the nomination of Fernand Braudel’s three volume “Civilization & Capitalism, 15th-18th Century, even though he is pretty tough on Karl Polanyi as to when and if there were widespread functioning markets in Europe before England’s great push, late 18th-early 19th century. Also for David Harvey’s “The Enigma of Capital,” and Daniel Bell’s “The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism.” Although it will be disputed that it is economics, John Gray’s False Dawn: The Delusions of Global Capitalism,” stands out for me at that borderline area of philosophy, economics and political economy. Courageous in its judgements, and right on target, and early, on the dangers of derivatives. So I’m up to five now.

  39. Grayce
    May 13, 2016 at 2:43 am

    Vilfredo Pareto, “The Mind and Society.” In it, he describes the differences among “residues” as relatively permanent ideas that hang on, and “derivations” whose elements change with time, or reflect the work of the mind in dealing with residues. Economic theory lends itself to examination in these two patterns.

  40. May 13, 2016 at 4:06 am

    Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

    A tour de force. Though I do not necessarily agree with everything he says, his criticisms of economic rationality are solidly based. There is something of ‘fuzzy logic’ :: often errant :: in how people choose. Everyone should read this book.

  41. May 13, 2016 at 9:20 am

    V.I.Lenin, Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism (1917)

    Paul M. Sweezy, The Theory of Capitalist Development (1942)

    Paul A. Baran and Paul M. Sweezy, Monopoly Capital (1966)

    Harry Magdoff, The Age of Imperialism. The Economics of U.S. Foreign Policy (1969)

    Harry Braverman, Labor and Monopoly Capital. The Degradation of work in the Twentieth Century (1974)

    Alessandro Roncaglia. The Wealth of Ideas. A History of Economic Thought (Italian 2001, English 2005)

    (I think we should include histories of economic thought among books on economics, and Roncaglia’s is the best in my view)

  42. Fullbrook
    May 13, 2016 at 3:36 pm

    The following are nominations from Grazia Ietto-Gillies

    Keynes General theory (1936)

    Sraffa Production of commodities…(1960)

    M. Kalecki Selected Essays… (1971)

    Paul Sweezy Theory of capitalist development (1942)

    Baran and Sweezy Monopoly Capital (1966)

    Penrose The theory of the growth of the firm (1959)

    Sylos Labini, P. Oligopoly and Technical progress (1957 Italian edition)

    Roncaglia, A. The wealth of ideas (2001 Italian edition)

    Galbraith J.K. The new industrial State (1967)

    Kaldor, N. Strategic Factors in Economic Development (1967)

  43. William
    May 14, 2016 at 3:29 pm

    The Limits to Capital – David Harvey

  44. James Leitner
    May 14, 2016 at 11:02 pm

    Albert Hirschman: Exit, Voice, and Loyalty

  45. May 15, 2016 at 7:36 am

    Just like we had a Revere Prize and a Dynamite Award, so it might be worth setting up a second list of the worst books of the twentieth century. I would nominate Friedman and Rose Free to Choose. I was reminded of this by the following reviews:

    Parker on Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged: “This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.”

    There are two novels that can transform a bookish 14-year-kid’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish daydream that can lead to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood in which large chunks of the day are spent inventing ways to make real life more like a fantasy novel. The other is a book about orcs. (by John Rogers)”

    • May 21, 2016 at 11:21 pm

      I would nominate Milton Friedman’s Price Theory or his “”The Methodology of Positive Economics” [See: http://www.sfu.ca/~dandolfa/friedman-1966.pdf%5D as among the greatest fantasies ever written about economic activity. The ‘scaffolding’ he erects for examining economic activity, or for theorizing about it, is illusory at best, and a chimeraat worst.

  46. May 15, 2016 at 3:27 pm

    I would like to nominate Stephen Zarlenga: The Lost Science of Money: The Mythology of Money, the Story of Power, and also Ellen Brown: The Public Bank Solution

  47. May 16, 2016 at 6:48 pm

    This list is incomplete without “Late Capitalism” by Ernest Mandel

  48. William
    May 17, 2016 at 12:23 am

    The Limits to Growth – Donella H. Meadows, Dennis L. Meadows, Jorgen Randers, and William W. Behrens III (1972)

    The Bubble and Beyond: Fictitious Capital, Debt Deflation and the Global Crisis – Michael Hudson (2012)

    The Invention of Capitalism: Classical Political Economy and the Secret History of Primitive Accumulation – Michael Perelman (2000)

  49. Iraya Marga
    May 21, 2016 at 4:33 pm

    Mandelbrot, Benoît B. (2004). The (Mis)Behavior of Markets: A Fractal View of Risk, Ruin, and Reward.

    • blocke the
      May 21, 2016 at 9:15 pm

      Second this nomination.

  50. Claes Wickzen
    May 23, 2016 at 4:20 pm

    I do not see Paul Craig Roberts nor Michael Hudson on the list. They definitely deserve a place. I would suggest:

    – The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West: Paul Craig Roberts (2013)

    – The Bubble and Beyond: Fictitious Capital, Debt Deflation and the Global Crisis: Michael Hudson (2012)

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