I’ve just written a book review for the eh.net website which I would not normally mention except that it attracted this comment from Tom Humphrey, one of the great historians of economics writing today:
A beautifully crafted and eminently fair review by Steve Kates. He takes a strong stand. But he does so in a spirit that few scholars could object to even if they disagree with him. In overall quality and readability his review rises far above the level of the average review. Wish all reviews could be so good. Nothing is as helpful and valuable as a good book review, if done right. Reviewing is an un- and under-appreciated art.
You will just have to forgive me from mentioning it like this, but such words from such an authority seldom come my way. This is how my review begins:
There was a time that one might have said that economic theory was comprised of a series of concepts that help explain the way communities provision themselves and became more prosperous over time. Economic theory as it developed came in the wake of the pamphleteers of more ancient days who saw the world around them and thought there had to be a better way of getting things done. They therefore wrote polemical accounts aimed at addressing various problems as they saw them, to try to persuade others to take up the approaches they were attempting to advocate….
Economists are the inheritors of the latest manifestations of the theory of the economy that more or less satisfies most of the profession. There are now theories of such astonishing abstraction that it is almost impossible any longer to look into what economists believe they know and truly understand how the economic world is structured or what can and should be changed to improve the operation of the productive aspects of our economies.
If you would like to read the entire review, you can find it here.