IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Economic History or History of Economics? A Review Essay on Sylvia Nasar's Grand Pursuit: the Story of Economic Genius

  • Orley Ashenfelter

    (Princeton University)

In this essay I review Sylvia Nasar's long awaited new history of economics, Grand Pursuit. I describe how the book is an economic history of the period from 1850-1950, with distinguished economists' stories inserted in appropriate places. Nasar's goal is to show how economists work, but also to show that they are people too--with more than enough warts and foibles to show they are human! I contrast the general view of the role of economics in Grand Pursuit with Robert Heilbroner?s remarkably different conception in The Worldly Philosophers. I also discuss more generally the question of why economists might be interested in their history at all.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section. in its series Working Papers with number 1367.

in new window

Date of creation: Jan 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pri:indrel:568
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Firestone Library, Princeton, New Jersey 08544-2098

Phone: 609 258-4041
Fax: 609 258-2907
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Ted Gayer, 2002. "Graduate Studies in the History of Economic Thought," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 34(5), pages 35-61, Supplemen.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pri:indrel:568. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Bobray Bordelon)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.