Paul Samuelson: On Being an Economist (Working Biographies) (英語) ペーパーバック – 2005/1/30
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"This book captures much of the spirit of Paul A. Samuelson. Those who know Samuelson, one of the great economists of the twentieth century, only through his writings may have already sensed his wit, his intellect, his brilliance. This book brings these into focus, through details of his personal history and a wealth of anecdotes from colleagues and students." - Joseph E. Stiglitz (Foreword) "Probably more than anyone else in the twentieth century, he transformed the way economists think and write." - Avinash Dixit "Samuelson set a standard in teaching and citizenship.that few if any will ever match." - Kenneth Rogoff "To know Paul Samuelson is to be engaged in a life-long intellectual conversation with the most important economist of our times." - Richard Zeckhauser About Paul Samuelson: Paul Anthony Samuelson is Institute Professor, Emeritus at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Born in the American midwest in the first half of the twentieth century, he was a provocative student of Jacob Viner and was later wooed from Harvard to MIT. He developed original methodology and instigated controversies in his profession. Samuelson is the author of the best-selling economics textbook of all time, for which he never received an author's advance payment. He is legendary for his expansive, penetrating, undogmatic thinking and generosity of spirit-to students and colleagues alike. He has contributed to national economic policies and business trends and was the winner of the 1970 Nobel Prize in Economics. Paul Samuelson: On Being an Economist is a concise profile of this original thinker whose forceful, profound, skeptical and expansive intellect drove one of the fundamental transformations of twentieth-century economic theory. About the Authors: Michael Szenberg, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Economics and Chair, Finance and Economics Department, Lubin School of Business, Pace University, is editor-in-chief of The American Economist. His books include New Frontiers in Economics, coedited with Lall Ramrattan, with a Foreword by Paul A. Samuelson (Cambridge University Press, 2004). Aron A. Gottesman, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Finance and Economics Department, Lubin School of Business, Pace University, is coauthor of Insurance Logic, Second Edition (Captus Press, 2005). Lall Ramrattan, Ph.D. teaches Economics at the University of California, Berkeley. His books include Reflections of Eminent Economists, coedited with Michael Szenberg (Elgar Publishing Co., 2004).
Michael Szenberg is Distinguished Professor of Economics at the Lubin School of Business, Pace University. He is the author or editor of many books, including Economics of the Israeli Diamond Industry (1973) which won the Irving Fisher Monograph Award and Eminent Economists, Their Life Philosophies (1992). Professor Szenberg has received the Kenan Award for excellence in teaching. He serves as the editor in chief of The American Economist and as a consultant to private and government agencies.
Lall B. Ramrattan holds a PhD from the New School University. He is an instructor at the University of California, Berkeley. He has published articles in several major journals and has served as an associate editor of The American Economist.
Joseph E. Stiglitz is a Nobel Prize-winning economist and the best-selling author of The Price of Inequality, Freefall, and Globalization and Its Discontents. He is a columnist for the New York Times and Project Syndicate and has written for Vanity Fair, Politico, The Atlantic, and Harper's. He teaches at Columbia University and lives in New York City.
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I particularly enjoyed its informal conversational style and use of personal anecdotes. These really brought the reader to feel privy to important people and events. The text also successfully conveyed the Stiglitz' love of Samuelson - his excellence as a human being, over and above his accomplishments as a theoretician.
Chapters 2 and 3 were quite informative to me, successful introductions to key aspects of the science of economics. In just a couple of pages Stiglitz succeeds in conveying the changes from feudalism to mercantilism to free market in a way which showed why a new understanding of economics was needed. He then goes on to show shortcomings in classical theory which called for Samuelson's contributions. The author's presentation of Samuelson's incorporation of mathematical modeling in economics and the revolution that brought was also clear and interesting.
The sections at the end of each chapter "Additional Notes and Sources" are
very helpful to this reader who is not a professional in economics.