Essential Writings of Thorstein Veblen
Edited by Charles Camic and Geoffrey M. Hodgson
Hardback published 2011 by Routledge
Now available in paperback!
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"it has surely become the single most valuable book to consult when coming to terms with this hyper-creative and troubling thinker"
Contemporary Sociology (January 2013).
This volume is the definitive collection of the writings of Thorstein Veblen (1857-1929). Among the most influential economists and social theorists of the twentieth century, Veblen pioneered the development of evolutionary and institutional economics.
The 38 selections in the volume include complete texts of all of Veblen's major articles and book reviews from 1882 to 1914, plus key chapters from his books The Theory of the Leisure Class (1899), The Theory of Business Enterprise (1904), and The Instinct of Workmanship (1914). These writings present a wide range of Veblen's most significant contributions, especially with respect to the philosophical and psychological foundations of economics, sociology, and other social sciences. The volume showcases Veblen's use of evolutionary ideas, particularly from Darwinism, an aspect of his work that retains a high degree of relevance and importance for researchers today, making a major contribution to our understanding of the role and importance of institutions and of technological change.
A thoroughly comprehensive volume, this is the only collection to present Veblen's writings in chronological order, so that their development can be correctly understood. The editors provide extensive introductory essays that include item-by-item commentaries that place each selection in its intellectual-historical context and in relation to subsequent developments in economics.
Charles Camic is John Evans Professor of Sociology at Northwestern University, USA.
Geoffrey M. Hodgson is a Research Professor in Business Studies at the University of Hertfordshire, UK.
“There is today a renaissance of interest in the writings of the great institutional economists who were prominent in the first part of the 20th century, and then faded from view as neoclassical economics took over the field. Among these, the writings of Thorstein Veblen are perhaps the most interesting and most relevant to reflection on the current state of economics. This volume, which makes many of his writings readily available, is most welcome.”
Richard Nelson, Columbia University, New York, USA
“This selection of Veblen’s essays, edited by two leading institutional scholars, is particularly welcome. After a crisis of the economy and after an evident crises of the economics which is supposed to explain it, many scholars are looking for alternative approaches which were abandoned for empty formalistic and a-historical theories. Re-reading these essays by Veblen can greatly contribute to the success of their efforts. They show how economics could be an evolutionary science which helps to understand and transform real-life economic systems.”
Ugo Pagano, University of Siena, Italy
“Geoff Hodgson and Charles Camic have produced an extremely interesting and valuable collection of Thorstein Veblen’s writings, originally published between 1882 and 1914. The collection is designed to provide insight in to the development of Veblen’s central and essential ideas, hence the chronological arrangement, the focus on work up to 1914, and the valuable commentaries provided on the texts. This book supersedes all previous collections of Veblen’s writings, and is an essential tool for Veblen scholars.”
Malcolm Rutherford, University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
“When reading the pieces in this fine selection of Veblen's writings it comes as a major surprise how intellectually stimulating Veblen is to the present day. Camic and Hodgson deserve praise for laying out before our eyes the enormous scope of Veblen's thought. Readers will find this selection an excellent guide to Veblen's legacy for economics and social sciences more broadly.”
Ulrich Witt, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Jena, Germany