A History of Economic Thought
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This is an important and unparalleled work which situated Marx’s economic theory in relation to the economic theories that pre-date him – from mercantilism to John Stuart Mill. First published in 1929, the book dates from the fertile period of Marxist economic theory that produced the works of Preobrazhensky, Kondratiev and Bukharin. However as a review of pre-Marxist economics it stands out from the many books which dwell only on the contemporary industrialisation debates. This is a selective reading of economic thought, offering analysis of those elements in past economics that accord with the areas of interest to Marxism. Each section gives a brief analysis of a specific school of thought, with particular attention to the social and ideological climate within which it evolved. The book differs from orthodox accounts in not merely mentioning historical background but using it as a central explanation of the evolution of economic theories. As a counterpoint to Rubin, Catherine Colliot-Thelene has written a daring essay which located a crucial flaw in the logical structure of Marx’s Capital. I.I. Rubi, born in 1886, became an active participant in the Russian revolutionary movement. After the Bolshevik seizure of power he worked as professor of Marxist economics, and in 1926 became a research associate at the Marx-Engels Institute. In 1930, Rubin was imprisoned, accused of belonging to an organization that never existed, forced to “confess” events that never took place, and finally removed from among the living. His other books include Essays on Marx’s Theory of Value, Contemporary Economists in the West and an anthology, Classics of Political Economy from the Seventeenth to the Mid-Nineteenth Century.
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