A deep and widespread crisis affects modern economic theory, a crisis that derives from the absence of a 'vision' - a set of widely shared political and social preconceptions - on which all economics ultimately depends. This absence, in turn, reflects the collapse of the Keynesian view that provided such a foundation from 1940 to the early 1970s, comparable to earlier visions provided by Smith, Ricardo, Mill, and Marshall. The 'unraveling' of Keynesianism has been followed by a division of discordant and ineffective camps whose common denominator seems to be their shared analytical refinement and lack of practical applicability. Heilbroner and Milberg's analysis attempts both to describe this state of affairs, and to suggest the direction in which economic thinking must move if it is to regain the relevance and remedial power it now pointedly lacks.
• Distinguished and world-renowned economists analyze how and why the economics profession has failed • Accessible writing and historical perspective make the compact book important for all graduate students and professionals in the field • Highly controversial: the liberal critique is scathing and bound to provoke comment; Heilbroner has strong name recognition as he is author of over 20 books
1. What is at stake; 2. Classical situations; 3. The Keynesian consensus; 4. The great unraveling; 5. The crisis of vision; 6. The nature of society; 7. The science of capitalism.
'Heilbroner and Milberg have written on great issues in a relatively small volume … Their central thesis is that historical events since then have not given rise either to an all-embracing vision or, as a corollary, a dominant analytical framework and approach. The object of the book is to analyse why this crisis - their word - has arisen and to suggest what the new vision and accompanying approach should be … the volume [is] stimulating and challenging. It reflects a shrewd understanding of the conceptual basis of the modern literature.' G. C. Harcourt, The Economic Journal