Universal Man The Lives of John Maynard Keynes In Universal Man noted biographer and historian Richard Davenport Hines revives our understanding of John Maynard Keynes the twentieth century s most charismatic and revolutionary economi

  • Title: Universal Man: The Lives of John Maynard Keynes
  • Author: Richard Davenport-Hines
  • ISBN: 9780465060672
  • Page: 372
  • Format: Hardcover
  • In Universal Man, noted biographer and historian Richard Davenport Hines revives our understanding of John Maynard Keynes 1883 1946 , the twentieth century s most charismatic and revolutionary economist Keynes helped FDR launch the New Deal, saved Britain from financial crisis twice over the course of two World Wars, and instructed Western nations on how to protect themsIn Universal Man, noted biographer and historian Richard Davenport Hines revives our understanding of John Maynard Keynes 1883 1946 , the twentieth century s most charismatic and revolutionary economist Keynes helped FDR launch the New Deal, saved Britain from financial crisis twice over the course of two World Wars, and instructed Western nations on how to protect themselves from revolutionary unrest, economic instability, high unemployment, and social dissolution Isaiah Berlin called Keynes the cleverest man I ever knew both superior and intellectually awe inspiring Eric Hobsbawm, the twentieth century s preeminent historian, considered him as influential as Lenin, Stalin, Roosevelt, Hitler, Churchill, Gandhi, and Mao Keynes was nothing less than the Adam Smith of his time his General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money, published in 1936, became the most important economics book of the twentieth century, as important as Smith s Wealth of Nations in inaugurating an economic era.Keynes s brilliant ideas made possible 35 years of prosperity after the Second World War, the most sustained period of rapid expansion in history And now, and in the wake of the 2008 global economic collapse, he is once again shaping our world Every day, we are likely to hear about Keynesian economics or the Keynesian Revolution, terms that testify to his continuing influence on both economic theory and government policies Indeed, with the thorough discrediting of his opponents Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman, Alan Greenspan, and other supporters of the notion that capitalism is self regulating, and needs no government intervention nations across the world are turning to Keynes s signature innovations above all that governments must involve themselves in their economies to stave off financial collapse.Previous biographies have explored Keynes economic thought at great length and often in the jargon of the discipline Universal Man is the first accessible biography of Keynes, and reveals Keynes as much than an economist Like many Englishmen of his class and era, Keynes compartmentalized his life Accordingly, Davenport Hines views Keynes through multiple windows, as a youthful prodigy, a powerful government official, an influential public man, a bisexual living in the shadow of Oscar Wilde s persecution, a devotee of the arts, and an international statesman of great renown Delving into Keynes s experiences and thought, Davenport Hines shows us a man who was equally at ease socialising with the Bloomsbury Group as he was persuading heads of state to adopt his policies Exploring the desires and experiences that compelled Keynes to innovate, Davenport Hines is the first to argue that Keynesian economics has an aesthetic basis.In this book we come to understand not just the most enduringly influential economist of the modern era, but one of the most gifted and vital men of our times a disciplined logician with a capacity for glee who persuaded people, seduced them, subverted old ideas, and installed new ones a man whose high brilliance did not give people vertigo, but clarified and lengthened their perspectives Engaging, learned, and sparkling with wit and insight, Universal Man is the perfect match for its subject.

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    About "Richard Davenport-Hines"

    1. Richard Davenport-Hines

      AKA R.P.T Davenport Hines

    757 thoughts on “Universal Man: The Lives of John Maynard Keynes”

    1. I didn’t finish this book. The two stars represent the experience up to p. 210, which showed no sign of improving. Normally, I drop books like this before p. 100 and put them aside without review. I’m writing this because I wanted to know about Keynes and this book was such a let down.It is organized around his different roles: “The Official”, “The Public Man”, “the Lover” (where I gave up), “The Connoisseur” and “The Envoy”. This means that you run into things like Keyne [...]


    2. While this biography makes clear that Keynes led a very interesting life, it has only very superficial things to say about the most interesting part of it, namely his thoughts, theories, and initiatives. In contrast, his very active sex life and relationships are covered in unnecessary and sometimes boring detail.


    3. Interesting take on doing a biography and much better than only talking about his public life and his theories in the abstract. A little bit scattered and more of a news article in how it talks more about his and others impressions then what they did. But having read some other books about that time period getting stuff done was all about who you know and out maneuvering the others. Once the Americans became a superpower it shifted to being able to get stuff done and pay for it where they are st [...]


    4. As the title says, Keynes was certainly a universal man- a philosopher, an intellectual, an economist, a politician and a patron of the arts (he was instrumental in setting up the Arts Council). His private life was equally eventful, having numerous relationships with both men and women. One of the few people to have an economic and political theory named after him- Keynesian.Richard Davenport-Hines' approach is interesting- dividing his life into seven sections rather than writing a traditional [...]


    5. I always assume when I am bored or fine it a hard slog to get through a book that it is my fault, the timing was bad, my interest in the subject has flagged. I skimmed a lot of this one speed reading is not the way to dig deep into a book and absorb its contents. I will keep it and try again next time I find myself wallowing in Bloomsbury with it denizens and hangers-on.


    6. Pretty confusing as an audiobook. I don't know if it was the narrator or the book it self. But some chapters seems more or less like lists of things. Such as the chapter on his love life. I don't know what the important parts of that chapter was.



    7. Although I found this biography somewhat verbose, it's an interesting portrayal of one of the most influential economists of all time.


    8. Though not very good in helping one penetrate Keynes' thoughts, economic theories etc, does an excellent job in contextualizing him.


    9. This is a pretty readable account of Keynes. Probably the two most interesting things I learnt are:1. He was a massive pacifist. His Dad cancelled their subscription to the Times because of the glee which they reported the deaths of the other side in the war. He almost resigned his government position due to forced conscription. It also interested me how at the time newspapers described those who wouldn't fight as ‘slackers’ which is almost exactly the same language used today for those who [...]


    10. An interesting book having as a topic the life of one of the most famous XXth century economists, the author being interested in presenting not just Keynes's economic theories and academic output - little presented here, except maybe the magisterial The Economic Consequences of Peace - but also the complexities of his everyday life, his aspirations, the huge impact he had on shaping the world economics, his non-stop effort to push forward humanist and liberal ideals, an effort which cost him his [...]


    11. Public man who revealed too much. Good economist, good convincer, good with people including his homosexual tendencies for most of his life. Very influential on economic thinking after WWI andtil his death.Lord Chalmers, Keynes wartime chief of the Treasury, used to say that every man ought to drive two horses abreast, one his work and the other some scholarly enthusiasm which would give relief from his duties. p. 66. . . what previously I didn't believe possible, that politicians behave in priv [...]


    12. Very enjoyable. One gem:[Keynes was made a baron in 1942. As a perk, he got to help design his own coat of arms.] "Keynes wished to commemorate the two institutions that most mattered to him by taking scholars of Eton and King's [Cambridge] as his supporters. However Wollaston [Garter King of Arms, in charge of heraldry] vetoed the Eton scholar from sporting a top-hat, as Keynes had requested, and tried to stop the King's scholar from wearing a mortar-board. Keynes was dissatisfied by the sketch [...]


    13. The non-chronological, theme-based organisation makes it difficult to gain a clear picture of Keynes's life, but does allow his manifest attributes to be delineated well and with clear admiration by Davenport-Hines. A terrible pity to have lost him scarcely halfway through his potential span of useful service, but a great fortune that the times in question produced such a gifted man at all.





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