I also found it really readable There are so many interesting things that Keynes worked on But here are just three that you may not know about 1 He managed the Allies budgets during the first world war He was at the Treaty of Versailles where he argued that Allies should cancel some of the debts between countries He resigned in protest when all these debts were heaped on Germany in form of unpayable reparations He argued this would have dire consequences It did Look at the rise of Fascism weep as we see it happening again.
2 He did all the number crunching for the report Beveridge wrote which laid the foundation for our Welfare State 3 In 1930 he wrote a pamphlet called The Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren where he said in the future we would have a new disease technological unemployment That in the future, today, our main problem would be working out what to do with our time.
How wrong he was Because we ve found something to do Blame migrants and minorities for our problems, or blame those blaming migrants Rather than come up with a new politics for the 21st Century A new politics where we accept that the jobs that have gone mostly to China, many to technology are not coming back Where we have a positive vision for new ways to give our lives identity and meaning aside from being in full time work or belonging to a nation state.
An 860 page abridgement of the author s three volume biography of the English economist Keynes was a government official in both world wars, a patron of the arts, an investor, and a college adminstrator as well as an economist His sexuality did a u turn in the 1920s from a history of homosexual relationships, particularly with Duncan Grant, he married the a Russian ballerina.
Really liked this especially the account of intellectual life in the early twentieth century, and within moral sciences in particular Plus wars, depression, culture and someone who made a difference.
A masterfully written and well researched biography This book illuminates the life of a brilliant and strange person and the environments his life was situated in This is a long and slow read but worth it one of the better biographies out there.
Very good read.
I LIKE THIS BOOK.
It may be a long time before I get to the second 80% of this so to speak maybe after austerity and monetarism both fail, over the next 2 3 years, I ll be forced to pick up here where I left off For those interested in Bloomsbury, though, the first 20% of this will be fascinating.
A profound and magisterial study of a very important figure Also VERY, very long I m an economist, and a big fan of Keynesian ideas in general at least as they have been taught to me at university It struck me a few years back that I d never been given an education on the man himself I knew next to nothing about Keynes, only the broad functionings of his economics.
I borrowed this from a friend, excited to finally learn about Keynes the man That aspect of the book is certainly interesting and he s not what I expected he s quite a character, rather than a dry numbers guy as many may believe As you d expect, there is a lot in here about his youth, upbringing, relationships, career, and so on But, as others have mentioned, it gets pretty dry at times Skidelsky does not hold back when describing and discussing Keynes philosophical and economic musings and debates Nor does he hesitate to go into great detail on the development and progression of his theory and economic worldview as it grows, changes, and ultimately settles over the course of his life But even for me, as an economist, there was far too much detail for this to be a casual read This is probably my mistake this book was meant as a definitive guide to the life and times of Keynes It is an abridged version of a three volume edition, surely encyclopaedic in it s ambition I never read it This is not an everyman s guide to the life of Keynes it is a readable but by no means leisurely adaptation And Skidelsky should be commended for this work But it is not an easy or leisurely read, and I found myself skipping large chunks to get to the interesting parts.
While I understand Skidelsky s decision to write it in this way, my one criticism is that he doesn t appear to make an attempt to explain the economic concepts to non specialists I found this disappointing, even un Keynesian in a way, as Keynes was known for writing in a lucid and clear style which anyone could pick up This volume is not written in such a style As a result, I found it difficult to follow much of the technical discussion without slowing down and trying to reason through it As I read this book mostly on my morning commute, I didn t really have the inclination to do so.
Is this a masterful biography of one of the most important men of the last century Yes Is it a definitive work that should surely be considered a reference to those interested in Keynes Yes Is it a lucid and easily accessible book that opens Keynes up to those who are not familiar with his life and his works Not really, and it is for this reason I gave it a 3 rather than a 4 Obviously you can t be all of those things, but personally I was looking for the latter rather than the former.