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Palgrave Macmillan

Maurice Dobb

Political Economist

ISBN 9781137297013
Publication Date December 2013
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Series Palgrave Studies in History of Economic Thought Series

Even Maurice Dobb's critics, and there were many, acknowledged that he was one of the world's most significant Communist economists. From his outpost at the University of Cambridge, where he was a protégé of John Maynard Keynes and mentor to students ranging from Eric Hobsbawm to Amartya Sen, Dobb made himself into one of British communism's premier intellectuals. Until now, this remarkable life has been all but forgotten. Yet following Dobb's life from his birth in 1900 to his death in 1976 does more than just recover the career of one of modern Britain's most paradoxical thinkers. It reveals a surprising history that casts new light on the connections that bound economics, politics, and power together in the twentieth century—a history whose legacy still endures, long after the Soviet Union's fall.

Timothy Shenk is a graduate student in history at Columbia University. This is his first book.

Introduction: The Communist Party Economist 
1. The Making of a Marxist 
2. An Unfinished Page 
3. Captain of His Earth 
4. Marxism Today 
5. Developments 
6. Debates 
7. Poznań Mementos 
8. In Transition
Conclusion: At Trinity Chapel, And After


"A brilliant and richly illuminating depiction of Dobb's life and ideas, written in the best tradition of scholarship on the history of economic thought. In providing a wealth of new information about Dobb, Shenk arrives at striking new insights about the transformation of both Marxist scholarship and the economics profession during his lifetime." - Angus Burgin, Johns Hopkins University, USA
"A magnificent account of the life and thought of Maurice Dobb. Yet, this book moves far beyond conventional biography to explore, in such an enjoyable and engaging way, the entire history of economic thought. Through Dobb's novels, plays, letters, lectures, published works, and unpublished ruminations, Shenk invites the reader through the small window of Maurice Dobb's fascinating life, which has a spectacular view onto the history of the twentieth century." - Johanna Bockman , George Mason University, USA
"Timothy Shenk has written a lively and absorbing account of a central figure in the extraordinarily talented group of mid-twentieth century Cambridge Marxists. He is to be thanked for furnishing us with such a fresh and lucid study of a seminal life." - Robin Blackburn, University of Essex, UK
"This outstanding biography of Maurice Dobb is absorbing and instructive. The author has captured uncannily Maurice's personality and his remarkably full and traumatic political life. Timothy Shenk is to be congratulated on writing such a fine work of scholarship, which I feel sure Maurice, though he would have been embarrassed, would nevertheless have approved of." - Geoffrey Harcourt, University of Cambridge, UK
"graceful and thoughtful . . . Maurice Dobb: Political Economist (Palgrave, 2013), byTimothy Shenk, grabbed my interest and held it to the very end." - David Warsh
"an extraordinary accomplishment . . . Maurice Dobb: Political Economist is among the most important books on the history of capitalism published this year, and it should be assigned to every seminar dedicated to the exploration of that growing sub-field. Like the best non-academic writers on the history of economic thought (the New Yorker's John Cassidy comes to mind), Shenk possesses the rare gift of effortlessly translating difficult theorizations of the market into clear English." - Kurt Newman
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