Matt's Reviews > The Worldly Philosophers

The Worldly Philosophers by Robert L. Heilbroner
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's review
Feb 20, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: politik, wisdom-philosophical-investigatons, historyonics-world
Read in March, 2005

Well written doesn't do it justice. Lucid, pretty comprehensive, multi-faceted, learned, juicy, addictive.

Economics sucks, we all know why Carlyle called it "the dismal science"....because its bloody dismal.

But Heilbroner succeeds beautifully at writing it in such a way that its effortless. I felt like I grasped a little more about Smith and Marx and Schumpeter (!) than I would have if I had tried other means of getting myself aquainted with these supremely influential men.

Also, he gets into biographical details which usually do a lot for me since my dearst and first love was fiction. I can associate what I'm learning better when I've got a context with which to place it. I mean, thinkers aren't just thought machines....they have hearts and livers and mouths and hands.

Bias, interestingly, doesn't even come close to entering the picture. Thanks for that! I read through the entire thing looking eagerly for lefty sympathies and turns out there were none to be seen, at least overtly.

But, joke's on me, cause I ended up finding out he's a democratic socialist after all! And a pretty hard core one, at that.

So it's more to his credit that he can have convictions and not let it poison his pen and blind him, as it were.

Exceptional book about exceptional subject that is very much the exception for math-haters like myself.

I need to go back there and refresh my understanding since this is the real deal stuff that affects our everyday lives....not that you needed reminding.
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Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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David Sarkies I've actually read Adam Smith a while back and found that his book was not all that dry, but rather it was full of observations about the way the economic world worked. In fact it was quite interesting.

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