Includes bibliographical references (p. 467-526) and index.
Preface: The nine parts of mankind -- I. Hope : Prologue: Mr. Sentiment versus Scrooge -- Perfectly new: Engels and Karl Marx in the age of miracles -- Must there be a proletariat? [Alfred] Marshall's patron saint -- Miss Potter's profession: [Beatrice] Webb and the housekeeping state -- Cross of gold: [Irving] Fisher and the money illusion -- Creative destruction: [Joseph] Schumpeter and economic evolution.
II. Fear : Prologue: War of the worlds -- The last days of mankind: Schumpeter in Vienna -- Europe is dying: [Maynard] Keynes at Versailles -- The joyless street: Schumpeter and [Friedrich] Hayek in Vienna -- Immaterial devices of the mind: Keynes and Fisher in the 1920s -- Magneto trouble: Keynes and Fisher in the Great Depression -- Experiments: Webb and [Joan] Robinson in the 1930s -- Economists' war: Keynes and [Milton] Friedman at the Treasury -- Exile: Schumpeter and Hayek in WWII.
III. Confidence : Prologue: Nothing to fear -- Past and future: Keynes at Bretton Woods -- Road from serfdom: Hayek and the German miracle -- Instruments of mastery: [Paul] Samuelson goes to Washington -- Grand illusion: Robinson in Moscow and Beijing -- Tryst with destiny: [Amartya] Sen in Calcutta and Cambridge -- Epilogue: Imagining the Future.
The epic story of the making of modern economics, and of how economics rescued mankind from squalor and deprivation by placing its material fate in its own hands rather than in fate. Nasar's account begins with Charles Dickens and Henry Mayhew observing the condition of the poor majority in mid-nineteenth-century London, the richest place in the world. She describes the often heroic efforts of Marx and others to put those insights into action, with revolutionary consequences. From John Maynard Keynes to India's Nobel Prize winner Amartya Sen, she shows how the insights of these activist thinkers transformed the world--from one city, London, to the developed nations in Europe and America, and now the entire planet. In Nasar's dramatic narrative we witness men and women responding to personal crises, world wars, revolutions, economic upheavals, and each other's ideas to turn back Malthus and transform the "dismal science" into a triumph over mankind's hitherto age-old destiny of misery.