Mr Dobb examines the history of economic thought in the light of the modern controversy over capital theory and, more particularly, the appearance of Sraffa's book The Production of Commodities by Means of Commodities, which was a watershed in the critical discussions constituted a crucial turning-point in the history of economics: an estimate not unconnected with his reinterpretation of nineteenth-century economic thought as consisting of two streams or traditions commonly confused under the generic title of 'the classical tradition' against which Jevons so strongly reacted.
1. Introductory: on ideology; 2. Adam Smith; 3. David Ricardo; 4. The reaction against Ricardo; 5. John Stuart Mill; 6. Karl Marx; 7. 'The 'Jevonian Revolution'; 8. Rekindling of debate; 9. A decade of high criticism; Note to chapter 9; Index.
'Mr Dobb's book presents a magnificent interpretation of the way in which progress does occur in a discipline. It is probably the most distinguished book on the nature of economic thought that has appeared for a good many years.' The Times Higher Education Supplement