Albert O. Hirschman: An Intellectual Biography

Author:   Michele Alacevich
Publisher:   Columbia University Press
ISBN:  

9780231199827


Pages:   352
Publication Date:   06 April 2021
Format:   Hardback
Availability:   Out of stock   Availability explained
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Albert O. Hirschman: An Intellectual Biography


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Overview

One of the most original social scientists of the twentieth century, Albert O. Hirschman led an uncommonly dramatic life. After fleeing Nazi Germany as a youth, he fought in the Spanish Civil War, took part in antifascist activities in Italy, and organized an underground rescue operation in Marseille through which more than 2,000 people, including Marc Chagall, Arthur Koestler, and Hannah Arendt, escaped Europe. Hirschman moved across topics, methodologies, and disciplinary boundaries as fluidly as he crossed among countries and languages. His work is marked by a deep suspicion of all-encompassing theories, valuing instead doubt and a sensitivity to contingencies and unexpected consequences. In this intellectual biography, the economic historian Michele Alacevich explores the development and trajectory of Hirschman's characteristic approach to social-scientific questions. He traces the many strands of Hirschman's thought and their place in his multifaceted body of work, considering their limitations as well as their strengths. Alacevich puts Hirschman's ideas into context, following his participation in the major intellectual and political debates of his times. He examines Hirschman's pioneering work in development studies and his analyses of social change, the history of capitalism, and the workings of democracy alongside his activities in the postwar reconstruction of Europe and economic development in Latin America. A compelling intellectual portrait of a profoundly distinctive thinker, this book also reflects on Hirschman's legacy and lasting influence.

Full Product Details

Author:   Michele Alacevich
Publisher:   Columbia University Press
Imprint:   Columbia University Press
ISBN:  

9780231199827


ISBN 10:   0231199821
Pages:   352
Publication Date:   06 April 2021
Audience:   Professional and scholarly ,  Professional & Vocational
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Availability:   Out of stock   Availability explained
The supplier is temporarily out of stock of this item. It will be ordered for you on backorder and shipped when it becomes available.

Table of Contents

Preface 1. The Formation of an International Political Economist 2. The Politics of Power 3. Pioneer of Development 4. Remaking Development Economics 5. An Interdisciplinary Social Science 6. The History and Theory of Market Societies 7. The Working of Democracy 8. The Legacy of Albert Hirschman Notes Abbreviations Bibliography Index

Reviews

This wonderful book offers new insights on a giant of the social sciences. Michele Alacevich places Hirschman's work in intellectual context and traces its long arc of influence to our day. The book sheds new light not just on his scholarship, but also on Hirschman's iconoclasm, deliberate provocativeness, often frustrating focus on the particular rather than the general, and 'propensity for self-subversion.' It therefore helps us understand the sharp contrast between the brilliance of Hirschman's contributions and his outsider status in the academic disciplines he inhabited or trespassed. -- Dani Rodrik, author of <i>Straight Talk on Trade: Ideas for a Sane World Economy</i>


The quietly vibrant and open-minded scholarship of Albert O. Hirschman, a mix of modesty and assertiveness about political economy, demography, the history of ideas, democracy and social movements, and analytical theory, deserves this book's bracing critical engagement. With a sympathetic yet tough-minded disposition, Michele Alacevich thoughtfully assesses the innovative and often inspiring achievements of Hirschman's field-stretching writings, as well as their lacunae and occasional overstatement. In so doing, his keen appraisal captures not just the range, depth, and verve of the writing but also the urgency of Hirschman's quest for grounded reform across a considerable range of geography and historical circumstances with an unremitting sense of realism. -- Ira Katznelson, author of <i>Fear Itself: The New Deal and the Origins of Our Time</i> This wonderful book offers new insights on a giant of the social sciences. Alacevich places Hirschman's work in intellectual context and traces its long arc of influence to our day. The book sheds new light not just on Hirschman's scholarship but also his iconoclasm, deliberate provocativeness, often frustrating focus on the particular rather than the general, and 'propensity for self-subversion.' It therefore helps us understand the sharp contrast between the brilliance of Hirschman's contributions and his outsider status in the academic disciplines he inhabited or trespassed in. -- Dani Rodrik, author of <i>Straight Talk on Trade: Ideas for a Sane World Economy</i> A superb examination of the vast legacy of a major 20th-century thinker. * Kirkus Reviews (starred) *


Author Information

Michele Alacevich is an associate professor of economic history and the history of economic thought at the University of Bologna. He is the author of The Political Economy of the World Bank: The Early Years (2009) and coauthor of Inequality: A Short History (2018), among other books.

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