The Great Economists: How Their Ideas Can Help Us Today by Dr. Linda Yueh
(Viking, 2018)

The Great Economists: How Their Ideas Can Help Us Today

by Dr. Linda Yueh

An expert new voice presents an overarching account of the biggest questions of our time - all in one accessible book

Since the days of Adam Smith, economists have grappled with a series of familiar problems - but often their ideas are hard to digest, even before we try to apply them to today’s issues. Linda Yueh is renowned for her combination of erudition, as an accomplished economist herself, and accessibility, as a leading writer and broadcaster in this field. In The Great Economists she explains the key thoughts of history’s greatest economists, how our lives have been influenced by their ideas and how they could help us with the policy challenges that we face today.

In the light of current economic problems, and in particular economic growth, Yueh explores the thoughts of economists from Adam Smith and David Ricardo to contemporary academics Douglass North and Robert Solow. Along the way, she asks, for example, what do the ideas of Karl Marx tell us about the likely future for the Chinese economy? How do the ideas of John Maynard Keynes, who argued for government spending to create full employment, help us think about state intervention in boosting investment and productivity? And with globalisation in trouble, what can we learn about handling Brexit and Trumpism?

The Great Economists includes:
Adam Smith
David Ricardo
Karl Marx
Alfred Marshall
Irving Fisher
John Maynard Keynes
Joseph Schumpeter
Friedrich Hayek
Joan Robinson
Milton Friedman
Douglass North
Robert Solow


Is economics a science in which each new generation’s discoveries build on those of the old? Or a humanistic study in which old ideas remain valid and relevant today? Linda Yueh’s account of the thinking of the great economists demonstrates that both perspectives are true.”
- John Kay
Economics students, like others, can learn a lot from this book”
- Professor Paul Collier, author of The Bottom Billion
Not only a great way to learn in an easily readable manner about some of the greatest economic influences of the past, but also a good way to test your own a priori assumptions about some of the big challenges of our time.”
- Lord Jim O'Neill, former Chairman at Goldman Sachs Asset Management, former UK Treasury Minister, and author of The Growth Map
An extremely engaging survey of the lifetimes and ideas of the great thinkers of economic history.”
- Professor Kenneth Rogoff, author of The Curse of Cash and co-author of This Time is Different
This book is a very readable introduction to the lives and thinking of the greats.”
- Professor Raghuram Rajan, former Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, and author of I Do What I Do and Fault Lines
Read it not only to learn about the world's great economists, but also to see how consequential thought innovations can be, and have been.”
- Mohamed el-Erian, Chief Economic Adviser at Allianz, former CEO of PIMCO