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Skousen Economics Book Wins Choice Award

Tuesday, 19 Jan 2010 02:47 PM

Economist, investment analyst and financial journalist Mark Skousen has won the 2009 Outstanding Academic Title award from Choice, which is the reviewing journal for academic libraries, for the second edition of his book “The Making of Modern Economics."

Skousen, who is editor-in-chief of Forecasts & Strategies investment newsletter, is also a columnist for the Financial Intelligence Report newsletter published by Newsmax.

Skousen revised his popular work to give readers more material on Adam Smith, Karl Marx, and John Maynard Keynes, and expanded coverage of Joseph Stiglitz, and to provide information on the lives and ideas of economists often ignored by other texts, such as Knut Wicksell, Philip Wicksteed, Joan Robinson and Paul Samuelson.

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The new book also covers "imperfect" markets, the financial crisis of 2008, and behavioral economics.

Most histories of economics lack a running narrative.

Skousen’s book, on the other hand, contains photographs and vignettes that give readers a deeper feel for the subject of economics.

Skousen measures economists against the moral philosopher Adam Smith, whose “Wealth of Nations” Skousen says overwhelmed him with its power and majesty.

Smith is present from the first chapter entitled “It All Began With Adam” to the final one.

“Every chapter in the book goes back to the Adam Smith model, which consists of three parts: economic freedom, maximum competition and a tolerable administration of justice,” Skousen says.

“If you had these three elements, (Smith believed) you could achieve the highest levels of opulence.”

In Smith, Skousen found both “a single character who could represent the hero” and a plot that offered the opportunity to write a chronological narrative history of economics that measured the economists and theories which came after Smith’s system of natural liberty against how Smith’s ideas advanced or retreated over the years.

Skousen relates how the French laissez-faire school of economics defended Smith, how Karl Marx almost gave Smith’s beliefs a death blow and how Smith was “resurrected” by the Austrian and Swedish Schools of economics in the Marginalist Revolution.

It also covers the development of monetary economics, how Austrian economists Ludwig von Moses and Freidrich Hayek were able to predict the 1929-33 crisis but failed to convince the world of their theories.

“The Making of Modern Economics" also explains how John Maynard Keynes saved the Western world from Marxism, how economist Milton Friedman almost single-handedly restored Smith’s model of market capitalism and how economics has undergone a transformation from a “dismal” science to an “imperial” one with expanding applications in law, finance, history and politics.

The final chapter, Skousen says, is titled “Dr. Smith Goes To Washington” and is about “the near triumph of free market economics.”

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Economist, investment analyst and financial journalist Mark Skousen has won the 2009 Outstanding Academic Title award from Choice, which is the reviewing journal for academic libraries, for the second edition of his book The Making of Modern Economics. Skousen, who is...
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Tuesday, 19 Jan 2010 02:47 PM
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