Prophet of Innovation: Joseph Schumpeter and Creative Destruction
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Prophet of Innovation: Joseph Schumpeter and Creative Destruction

4.06 of 5 stars 4.06  ·  rating details  ·  109 ratings  ·  21 reviews
Pan Am, Gimbel's, Pullman, Douglas Aircraft, Digital Equipment Corporation, British Leyland--all once as strong as dinosaurs, all now just as extinct. Destruction of businesses, fortunes, products, and careers is the price of progress toward a better material life. No one understood this bedrock economic principle better than Joseph A. Schumpeter. "Creative destruction," h...more
Hardcover, 624 pages
Published May 8th 2007 by Harvard University Press (first published January 6th 10)
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John and Kris
I was shamed into reading this book. And I’m glad I was. During most conversations I have on a daily basis I feel completely comfortable with the topic – that is I know something about the topic or can steer the conversation toward something I’d rather discuss. A month ago we were invited over for dinner and I was put on the spot. I had no idea who Joseph Schumpeter was or what he thought about anything – much less about his view on innovation, Marx, and the future of capitalism. That night, soo...more
Samin Kashmy
Good book to know about the initial thoughts on capitalism and schumpeter particularly!Loved it.
McCraw, one of the most respected business historians, finds a perfect subject in Jo Schumpeter, one of the top economists of the last century (along with Keynes, who occupied the other end of the economic thought spectrum). The biography presents Schumpeter's personal life (with many women as his carers, lovers and influencers followed by many tragedies through his life with some women he loved most being lost to death) and the context of his times (2 world wars and Germany's political and econ...more
Of greatest interest to me is the context or frame-of-reference the biographical material provides for one of Schumpeter's most influential business concepts, "creative destruction," which he introduced in his most popular book, Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy," first published in 1942. Scholars have divided opinions as to the influences on Schumpeter's development of this concept. They probably include Karl Marx, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Werner Sombart.

According to Schumpeter, there is a...more
This is a (very long) summary of “Prophet of Innovation - Joseph Schumpeter and Creative Destruction” by Thomas McCraw, Harvard University Press, 2007. In fact, these are extracts from the book and I mentioned the pages as much as I could. If you are courageous enough to read until the end, you might be interested in buying the full book. Schumpeter is clearly the Prophet of Innovation and Thomas McCraw’s book is a great piece of historical and economic analysis. It is about Schumpeter life, whi...more

Joseph Schumpeter(1883-1950)was a central European economist who spent the last eighteen years of his life at Harvard University. He was born in the Austro-Hungarian empire, in what is now Czechloslovakia to German-speaking parents (his father's family had lived in the area for centuries), but after his father died when he was four his mother moved to Austria and made sure he received an elite education. His degree from the University of Vienna was actually in law, but the topic in that time an

Adriaan Jansen
In this biography of 20th century economist Joseph Schumpeter, Thomas McCraw strikes a good balance between Schumpeter's life&times on the one hand and his thoughts, theories and ideas about economics on the other.

Schumpeter's academically active life spans the first part of the 20th century. As a resident of Vienna, Bonn and Boston, he had first hand experiences of WW 1, the great depression and WW 2. Besides the history of Schumpeter's life, the book gives several interesting insights int...more
Schumpeter was something else - great economist, teacher, mentor and a true innovator. Finding out more about him through this book makes me want to read his classic - Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy. So many of the terms we take for granted were dear to Schumpeter - creative destruction, innovation, capitalism, venture capital, business strategy and business history to name a few. He was truly a Renaissance Man - raised and educated in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, world traveler, lawyer, p...more
Tyson Strauser
Schumpeter was a truly incredible thinker. While not a strict Austrian nor German economist, Schumpeteter's powerful research on the importance of the entrepreneur and the characteristics of the business cycle are still relevant today. Though less well-known than Keynes, Schumpeter's idea of creative destruction and the power of the entrepeneur to drive innovation will likely stand the test of time. Unfortunately, history repeats itself and the current wave of Keynesian government intervention t...more
I'd say 3.5 stars for this book. The concept of creative destructionism alone is worth digesting if it's not something you've come across (The Ecnomist has a weekly column in his name). New developments, particularly creative ones vs. adaptive, will inherently be disruptive from everything from the car replacing the carriage to the computer usurping the typewriter. Beside the ideas reading about Schumpeter's life is fairly inspiring between his work ethic, affability among economists of all stri...more
Jesper Balslev
Wow, simpelthen wow.
Read this for an academic reading group and it was very well received. I liked the parts talking about his thinking and the historical surroundings than the particulars of his relationships, but it was fun to plow through. I have some background material on my blog.
Aug 11, 2013 Neil added it
Shelves: thesis-ma
I started this on the basis of "Creative Destruction" - an interesting biography of an economist in economically interesting times.
The book placed the phrase and concept in the context of the man, his experiences and history.
Kevin Kosar
A very good biographer of an incredible man and thinker. My review of this book appeared in The Weekly Standard...
Schumpeter has long been my intellectual hero, so my five stars are hardly impartial. But if you have any interest in economics and innovation and history, this is a must-read. Highly recommended!
The greatest economists that we've never heard of. Schumpeter is seeing an awakening. Too bad Keyes' failed policies were in vogue in 1930-1970.
Ryan Wright
Must read for folks in this academic area and in the practice of creativity.
Interesting biography, but could have been half as long.
Bob Costello
Great Book. Good range of economic theory.
Dec 12, 2008 Epperson219 is currently reading it
I won't stop learning about economics
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