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Essays in History is a collection of papers and articles providing a breathtaking span across the twentieth century and delving into such diverse topics as economic and financial crises in the sixteenth century, retirement reading for bankers, and a first-hand account of the genesis and formation of the Marshall Plan. Who else to explore such far-flung topics, and bring such intelligence and wit to them, as Charles Kindleberger?
Readers will find here a strong view on the need for economic history to guide theoretical research. They will also detect Kindleberger's doubtfulness regarding economic theory based on assumptions that all participants in society are honest, well informed, and make their judgments independently. Finally, they will be led to the conclusion that, in light of these views, those who think that finance and the economy should be completely unregulated are misguided.
A foreword by Peter Temin, professor of economics at MIT and former student and colleague of Kindleberger's, provides a warm and informative introduction to the life and work of this formidable economist and delightful writer.
Charles P. Kindleberger is Ford International Professor Emeritus of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.