The history of economic genius is a tale of brilliance, egomania and borderline insanity. Since the earliest days, a cast of sometimes highly colourful individuals have pondered on the key to accumulating wealth and power. Paul Strathern has produced an erudite and witty narrative of these thinkers, together with their miraculous, and sometimes ...Read MoreThe history of economic genius is a tale of brilliance, egomania and borderline insanity. Since the earliest days, a cast of sometimes highly colourful individuals have pondered on the key to accumulating wealth and power. Paul Strathern has produced an erudite and witty narrative of these thinkers, together with their miraculous, and sometimes disastrous, ideas. Men like Adam Smith, Karl Marx and John Maynard Keynes were fascinating characters as well as influential thinkers. But there are also a host of lesser-known figures whose theories were as eccentric as they were - the mediaeval monk who invented game theory by studying a ball game; the escaped Scottish murderer who controlled France's finances; numerous crackpot academics; and, of course, Dr. Strangelove himself, John von Neumann, the sinister genius who applied game theory to everything from economics to nuclear strategy. Paul Strathern uncovers the lives and ideas of the great philosophers of money against the backdrop of some of history's most turbulent events: the South Sea Bubble, the French and Russian Revolutions and the Crash of 1929. On the way he provides an enriching and entertaining account of the great, the good and the downright bad in economic theories -from double-entry book-keeping to game theory. In fact, everything you ever wanted to know about economics, but were too afraid to ask.Read Less
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