Robert Skidelsky
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Books

The Observer

Universal Man: The Seven Lives of John Maynard Keynes review – more than the sum of its parts
Monday, March 09, 2015

 
 Splitting a biography of the influential economist into parts pays dividends
 
I admit I came to Universal Man: The Seven Lives of John Maynard Keynes with a certain prejudice. I knew Richard Davenport-Hines as an accomplished writer and biographer. But he has no background in economics. How could he write a successful life of the most fascinating and influential economist of the 20th century, the economist who gave governments the tools to fight slumps? (Not that they always use them!)
 
Can one write an effective study of a supreme achiever in any sphere – whether it is mathematics, philosophy, literature, or tennis – without having some feel for the beauty of the idea for which they are trying to find the perfect expression?
 
True

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Universal Man: The Seven Lives of John Maynard Keynes review – more than the sum of its parts
Monday, March 09, 2015

 
Splitting a biography of the influential economist into parts pays dividends
 
I admit I came to Universal Man: The Seven Lives of John Maynard Keynes with a certain prejudice. I knew Richard Davenport-Hines as an accomplished writer and biographer. But he has no background in economics. How could he write a successful life of the most fascinating and influential economist of the 20th century, the economist who gave governments the tools to fight slumps? (Not that they always use them!)
 
Can one write an effective study of a supreme achiever in any sphere – whether it is mathematics, philosophy, literature, or tennis – without having some feel for the beauty of the idea for which they are trying to find the perfect expression?
 
True

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The Olympics should have taught us the benefits of picking winners
Robert Skidelsky
Observer | Monday, August 20, 2012

 
Despite the Olympic euphoria, there is growing pessimism about the short-term prospects of the British economy. The new orthodoxy is that Britain is too sickly to be cured by a short-term fix; policy should concentrate on bringing about sustainable long-term growth.
 
This rules out an immediate boost to public spending and swings the debate to the more familiar territory of the causes of Britain's relative economic decline, with the right pressing for freer markets and a reduction in the size of the state, and the left rediscovering the virtues of industrial policy.
 
But there is no need to place the short run and the long run in such dramatic opposition. Britain faces both a short-run problem of deficient demand and a long-term problem

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Beyond the Crash: Overcoming the First Crisis of Globalisation by Gordon Brown
Robert Skidelsky
The Observer | Sunday, December 12, 2010

 
The phrase "horses for courses" is as valid for politics as for other activities. It's as impossible to think of Gordon Brown at the recent Fifa meeting in Zurich pleading England's cause for the World Cup as it is to imagine David Cameron expounding the nitty-gritty of capital adequacy ratios at a meeting of the G20. When the economic crisis erupted in 2008-9, Brown, like Churchill in 1940, was the right man in the right place at the right time. He'd had 10 years as chancellor of the exchequer. He'd read widely and thought deeply about economics, finance, globalisation. He was the one national leader who came to the crisis with a plan and the authority to push it through.
 
This is his story of how he did it, told soberly, clearly,

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