Download The Economic Reader: Textbooks, Manuals and the by Massimo M. Augello, Marco E.L. Guidi PDF

By Massimo M. Augello, Marco E.L. Guidi

The ebook stories the origins and evolution of monetary textbooks within the 19th and early 20th century, as much as the turning aspect represented by way of Paul Samuelson’s Economics (1948), which grew to become the template for the entire textbooks of the postwar interval. The case stories incorporated within the ebook hide a wide a part of Europe, the British Commonwealth, the us and Japan. each one bankruptcy examines quite a few different types of textbooks, from these geared toward self-education to these addressed to college scholars, secondary college scholars, to the quick manuals aimed toward the popularisation of political economic climate between staff and the center sessions. An introductory bankruptcy examines this phenomenon in a comparative and transnational perspective.


"…it makes a speciality of the types of books which have been lengthy ingnored as unworthy of research: textbooks and manuals…The financial Reader represents a welcome try and carry such books again into the light".

Christopher Stray, eu magazine of the heritage of monetary proposal, 2013

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Extra info for The Economic Reader: Textbooks, Manuals and the Dissemination of the Economic Sciences during the 19th and Early 20th Centuries.

Example text

Middle class readers could also find applications and discussions of economic laws in learned journals and news­ papers. They were also the ideal public of those essays and pamphlets that extolled the virtues of market society, like Frédéric Bastiat’s Sophismes économiques (1845, 1848) and Harmonies économiques (1850) – two books often quoted in the press and in parliamentary debates – or Gustave de Moli­ nari’s Les lois naturelles (1887). These books were translated into many lan­ guages, imitated by national authors, and the ideas they contained were propagated by the educational literature we are reviewing.

However it gives an idea of the ways in which political economy was taught to students and communicated to the public opinion through this literary genre. As shown by our previous research (Bianchini 1996; Augello and Guidi 2001), this practical, normative and moral­ istic approach prevailed also in journal articles and in debates within economic associations. The distinctive feature of textbooks was however the systematic view they offered on the whole field of the economic science. Applications and policy recommendations appeared as the necessary consequences of the prin­ ciples and laws that had been formalised by Smith, Say, Ricardo and the other formulators of the ‘classical canon’, or alternatively of the revisions of classical ideas that emerged in the second half of the nineteenth century.

In ‘discursive practices’, languages and tropes positively shape the way in which the world is apprehended by circumscribing and delimiting meanings, and negatively by excluding alternative ways of understanding and interpreting phenomena. Furthermore, diachronic and synchronic discontinuities and incommensurabilities characterise the history of discourses, and the task of the historian of ideas becomes the ‘archaeological’ study of different ‘epistèmes’ and of their conditions of possibility. On the other hand, as Foucault himself noticed (1971: 19–20), every ‘will of truth’ is grounded on an institutional back­ ground made of educational systems, publishing activities, libraries, learned societies and research centres, and it is this institutional setting that determines the ways in which knowledge is promoted, distributed and attributed.

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