By Timothy Shenk
Even Maurice Dobb's critics, and there have been many, stated that he was once one of many world's most vital Communist economists. From his outpost on the collage of Cambridge, the place he was once a protégé of John Maynard Keynes and mentor to scholars starting from Eric Hobsbawm to Amartya Sen, Dobb made himself into one among British communism's ultimate intellectuals. previously, this amazing existence has been all yet forgotten. but following Dobb's lifestyles from his beginning in 1900 to his dying in 1976 does greater than simply recuperate the profession of 1 of contemporary Britain's such a lot paradoxical thinkers. It unearths a stunning heritage that casts new mild at the connections that sure economics, politics, and gear jointly within the 20th century—a heritage whose legacy nonetheless endures, lengthy after the Soviet Union's fall.
"A incredible and richly illuminating depiction of Dobb's lifestyles and ideas, written within the top culture of scholarship at the historical past of monetary concept. In supplying a wealth of latest information regarding Dobb, Shenk arrives at impressive new insights concerning the transformation of either Marxist scholarship and the economics occupation in the course of his lifetime." - Angus Burgin, Johns Hopkins University
"A fantastic account of the lifestyles and regarded Maurice Dobb. but, this e-book strikes a long way past traditional biography to discover, in such an stress-free and fascinating means, the complete historical past of monetary concept. via Dobb's novels, performs, letters, lectures, released works, and unpublished ruminations, Shenk invitations the reader during the small window of Maurice Dobb's attention-grabbing lifestyles, which has a fantastic view onto the historical past of the 20 th century." - Johanna Bockman, George Mason University
"Timothy Shenk has written a full of life and soaking up account of a principal determine within the terribly gifted team of mid-twentieth century Cambridge Marxists. he's to be thanked for furnishing us with this sort of clean and lucid learn of a seminal life." - Robin Blackburn, collage of Essex
"This notable biography of Maurice Dobb is soaking up and instructive. the writer has captured uncannily Maurice's character and his remarkably complete and tense political existence. Timothy Shenk is to be congratulated on writing this type of effective paintings of scholarship, which i believe certain Maurice, notwithstanding he could were embarrassed, might however have licensed of." - Geoffrey Harcourt, college of Cambridge
"graceful and considerate . . . Maurice Dobb: Political Economist (Palgrave, 2013), by means of Timothy Shenk, grabbed my curiosity and held it to the very end." - David Warsh, writer of data and the Wealth of Nations
"an remarkable accomplishment . . . Maurice Dobb: Political Economist is without doubt one of the most crucial books at the heritage of capitalism released this yr, and it's going to be assigned to each seminar devoted to the exploration of that transforming into sub-field. just like the most sensible non-academic writers at the historical past of financial idea (the New Yorker’s John Cassidy involves mind), Shenk possesses the infrequent present of without difficulty translating tricky theorizations of the marketplace into transparent English." - Kurt Newman, U.S. highbrow background weblog
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Extra resources for Maurice Dobb: Political Economist (Palgrave Studies in the History of Economic Thought)
Modest avowals of lack of knowledge didn't indicate a retreat from his past positions. Sweezy informed Dobb that he was once now not “altogether happy with the solutions the dialogue has supplied” and that he deliberate “some day to put aside the time to reconsider my perspectives and maybe restate or complex upon my questions. ” That day, notwithstanding, must wait till he was once now not on trial. 70 Even with out a right solution, Sweezy and Dobb had already entire a lot. Their debate, and the various responses it caused, confirmed that Marxist scholarship had come of age, and never simply within the English-speaking international. Arguments as soon as limited to intramural squabbles between Communists have been now the topic of significant scholarly disputes. technology and Society used to be no longer an educational magazine like previous and Debates a hundred and fifty five current, yet that didn't cease teachers from bringing up Sweezy and Dobb, as happened a number of instances in prior and manifest itself. seventy one within the coming many years numerous younger historians, particularly these of a thorough bent, may pore over those articles. They have been types of a brand new type of history – a heritage that deployed Marx’s different types with rigor whereas checking out them opposed to the easiest modern examine, consistently trying to find how you can increase upon the Marxist canon whereas keeping its analytic middle. It was once a heritage that tracked the evolution of capitalism with a lepidopterist’s precision, dissecting each one step in its growth from beginning to the current second of, as Sweezy had saw on the outset, “transition from capitalism to socialism. ”72 whereas acknowledging that modes of construction have been unavoidably extra coherent in idea than in fact, those historians insisted that they captured anything crucial approximately historic switch, and even perhaps unlocked the secrets and techniques of social revolutions. in the meantime, Dobb occupied himself with the “routine-rut” he grumbled approximately to Rothstein in 1955, passing the time with lecturing, supervising, and dealing on his personal fabric, notwithstanding and not using a e-book undertaking in sight. He may have requested himself if the Keynesians in his division weren't the single ones, “fighting time and again the battles of 12 to fifteen years in the past, the battles turning into stale to monitor and reeking more and more of useless concerns. ” After his preliminary burst of productiveness within the postwar, Dobb had persisted to write down, yet his inspiration proceeded alongside well-worn grooves laid out through earlier efforts. Debating already formulated positions on Soviet monetary improvement or capitalism’s historical past was once a more convenient job than staking out new claims or chasing novel matters. His highbrow stasis matched the mood of the alternately wearying and terrifying chilly battle that occupied loads of his political mind's eye. but the obduracy of the political scene was once an phantasm. underneath a possible inflexible floor, tensions have been mounting. He didn't understand it but, however the subsequent decade will be very diverse from the last – occasionally extra exhilarating, frequently extra painful, in most cases extra complicated. yet a minimum of it will no longer be uninteresting.