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John Maynard Keynes: 1883-1946: Economist, Philosopher, Statesman

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  217 ratings  ·  18 reviews

Robert Skidelsky's three-volume biography of John Maynard Keynes has been acclaimed as the authoritative account of the great economist-statesman's life. Here, Skidelsky has revised and abridged his magnum opus into one definitive book, which examines in its entirety the intellectual and ideological journey that led an extraordinarily
Paperback, Abridged, 1056 pages
Published September 5th 2013 by Penguin (first published 2003)
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Roy Lotz
Keynes’s paradox, which few could grasp and which many would find unacceptable today if expressed in ordinary language, is that horrendous events may have trivial causes, and easy remedies.

This is an ambitious and impressive biography of one of the most influential men of the last century. Robert Skidelsky was a pure historian before turning his attention to economics; and in this book he attempts to do justice to Keynes’s moment in history as well as his ideas. It does not make for light re
Nov 06, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bloomsbury, lives
Wow, this was a bit of a marathon for me. Not an easy book to read, especially if, like me, your economics knowledge is basic. I read it for the Bloomsbury content, which is plentiful in this mammoth biography (abridged and updated from a three volume set), especially before the end of the First World War. The detail is impressive and comprehensive, but a lot of the economics was lost on me. Keynes comes across as extremely intelligent, a diligent worker on behalf of his country, and equally on ...more
Oct 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing
It may be a long time before I get to the second 80% of this (so to speak...) -- maybe after austerity and monetarism both fail, over the next 2-3 years, I'll be forced to pick up here where I left off. For those interested in Bloomsbury, though, the first 20% of this will be fascinating.

A profound and magisterial study of a very important figure... Also VERY, very long

Jul 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
An 860 page abridgement of the author's three volume biography of the English economist. Keynes was a government official in both world wars, a patron of the arts, an investor, and a college adminstrator as well as an economist. His sexuality did a u-turn in the 1920s - from a history of homosexual relationships, particularly with Duncan Grant, he married the a Russian ballerina.
Robbie Williams
Apr 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Really liked this: especially the account of intellectual life in the early twentieth century, and within moral sciences in particular. Plus wars, depression, culture and someone who made a difference.
Susan Steed
Jul 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
I had to pretend to be Keynes for a project and a few people told me this was the thing to read.
It's epic. Nearly 900 pages.
But, they are mostly needed as Keyne's wrote so widely about so much *not* just about economics, but about Philosophy, Probability, even about the life of Newton. Also, Keyne's changed his views on stuff a lot, to his credit.

I also found it really readable.

There are so many interesting things that Keynes worked on. But here are just three that you may not know about:
1. H
Jim Talbott
Excellent book...
Nov 18, 2012 rated it really liked it

Very good read.
Aug 10, 2020 rated it liked it
An exhaustively researched book on the life of Keynes, but unfortunately a very challenging and confusing book to read. Unlike other exhaustively-researched biographies, I had to re-read so many pages in this biography to understand just what exactly the author was talking about. If re-reading those passages failed to clear up my question, which it often did, I would have to resort to researching the issue on the internet. This is the book's greatest failure.

Some of the confusion related to poor
Daniel Frank
Jul 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
A masterfully written and well researched biography.
This book illuminates the life of a brilliant (and strange) person and the environments his life was situated in.
This is a long and slow read but worth it; one of the better biographies out there.

Doris Raines
Dec 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Jan 19, 2021 rated it it was ok
record too many things in a biography, read it too boring and dull!
Clayton Brannon
Jun 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Much more than a biography.
Viktor O.
Mar 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Interesting historical book!!!
Ivan K. Wu
Mar 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Mar 31, 2014 rated it liked it
I'm an economist, and a big fan of Keynesian ideas in general - at least as they have been taught to me at university. It struck me a few years back that I'd never been given an education on the man himself. I knew next to nothing about Keynes, only the broad functionings of his economics.

I borrowed this from a friend, excited to finally learn about Keynes the man. That aspect of the book is certainly interesting (and he's not what I expected - he's quite a character, rather than a dry numbers g
Michael Nielsen
Jan 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Keynes led an extraordinary life. This biography is a match for it. If the size puts you off: I enjoyed it enough that I've read many parts several times. ...more
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Lord Skidelsky is Emeritus Professor of Political Economy at the University of Warwick. His three volume biography of the economist John Maynard Keynes (1983, 1992, 2000) received numerous prizes, including the Lionel Gelber Prize for International Relations and the Council on Foreign Relations Prize for International Relations. He is the author of the The World After Communism (1995) (American ed ...more

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