An economist in troubled times : writings /

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Bibliographic Details
Author / Creator: Say, Jean Baptiste, 1767-1832.
Other Authors / Creators:Palmer, R. R. 1909-2002.
Format: Book
Imprint: Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, [1997]

J.-B. Say is remembered most commonly as a disciple of Adam Smith and in particular as the author of what later economists have called Say's Law: often simplified as the idea that "supply creates its own demand." Here the distinguished historian R. R. Palmer shows that Say was an interesting figure for a multitude of reasons. Say modified and extended some of Adam Smith's insights, became a friend and correspondent of Thomas Malthus and David Ricardo, and was the first professor of political economy in France. His life coincided with the French Revolution and its long aftermath and with the Industrial Revolution in Great Britain, on both of which he had much to say. He is exceptional among economists in that for several years he was in business for himself as a factory owner and so took part in the activities that he and other economists analyzed. Say always wrote in nontechnical language for a thoughtful but unspecialized audience, and Palmer's well-known skills as a translator serve well to present a collection of fascinating and hitherto untranslated material.

Say's Treatise on Political Economy , for instance, was first published in 1803. This first edition was suppressed by Napoleon, but in its fourth edition it was translated in England and widely read for many years in the United States. The pieces here include selections from the suppressed first edition, as well as Say's comments on contemporary events and on the development of economics as a social science.

Physical Description:viii, 167 pages ; 25 cm
Bibliography:Includes bibliographical references (pages 157-164) and index.
Author Notes:R. R. Palmer is Professor of History Emeritus at Yale University. Among the many books he has published with Princeton University Press are The Age of the Democratic Revolution (a two-volume set) and Twelve Who Ruled: The Year of the Terror in the French Revolution . He has also translated and edited numerous books, including The Two Tocquevilles , Father and Son: Hervé and Alexis de Tocqueville on the Coming of the French Revolution (Princeton).