By Force of Thought: Irregular Memoirs of an Intellectual by János Kornai

By János Kornai

János Kornai, a exotic Hungarian economist, all started his grownup existence as an ardent believer in socialism after which grew to become a critic of the communist political and economic climate. He misplaced kin within the Holocaust, contributed to the ideological practise for the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, and have become an influential theorist of the post-Soviet monetary transition. He has been a journalist, a researcher prohibited from instructing in his domestic kingdom, and a tenured professor at Harvard. through strength of concept strains Kornai's lifelong highbrow trip and provides a subjective supplement to his educational research.Disenchanted with communism, Kornai released Overcentralization (1956), the 1st publication written by way of anyone residing in the back of the Iron Curtain to be brazenly severe of Soviet-style economics. even though it used to be attacked in Hungary, it used to be hailed by way of Western economists. The Kornai-Lipták idea on two-level making plans captured the eye of mathematical economists. Kornai went directly to submit the debatable Anti-Equilibrium (1971), a critique of the overall equilibrium concept underpinning mainstream financial analyses of markets, Economics of scarcity (1980), the line to a loose economic system (1990), and the precis of his lifetime learn, The Socialist method (1992). An highbrow emissary among East and West, Kornai commuted among Harvard and Budapest for lots of years.Kornai's memoir describes his research--including his present-day overview of his previous work--as good because the social and political environments during which he did his paintings. The problems confronted by way of a critic of imperative making plans in a communist nation are made specifically bright by means of fabric from newly opened mystery police records and informers' experiences on his actions. by means of strength of proposal can be a necessary source for college students of monetary notion, socialist platforms, and postsocialist transition, and for readers drawn to japanese eu highbrow existence ahead of, in the course of, and after communism.

Show description

Read or Download By Force of Thought: Irregular Memoirs of an Intellectual Journey PDF

Best economic history books

Lessons from the Great Depression

Do occasions of the Nineteen Thirties hold a message for at the present time? classes from the good melancholy offers an built-in view of the melancholy, masking the adventure in Britain, France, Germany, and the USA. It describes the reasons of the melancholy, why it was once so frequent and lengthy, and what led to eventual restoration.

Reduced Worktime and the Management of Production

This publication examines the tendency in marketplace economies to lessen the time staff spend at their position of employment and considers the position medical administration has performed during this improvement. the writer contends that the altering nature of worktime may be defined by means of adjustments in either the capitalistic construction method and the calls for that this strategy areas at the psycho-physiological capacities of people.

Joseph Alois Schumpeter: Entrepreneurship, Style and Vision (The European Heritage in Economics and the Social Sciences)

Joseph Alois Schumpeter is arguably an important economist of the twentieth century. such a lot readers are accustomed to his concept of monetary improvement and his vintage Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy. much less recognized are his seminal works released sooner than he left Europe for the U.S. in 1942.

John Nelson, Merchant Adventurer: A Life between Empires

John Nelson used to be an entrepreneur born within the mid-seventeenth century--a guy, in Richard Johnson's phrases, "operating sooner than the govt. and settled society from which he came," who "responded to conventions and prerequisites derived from a number of varied and infrequently competing cultures. " For Nelson, this intended buying and selling out of Boston to the French and Indians of Canada, pursuing his family's goals of the proprietorship of Nova Scotia, and selling schemes of espionage and armed forces conquest on each side of the Atlantic.

Additional info for By Force of Thought: Irregular Memoirs of an Intellectual Journey

Example text

Certainly it must ultimately have been an awareness of the intellectual fashions of the day that led me to the writings of Ortega y Gasset and Huizinga and Oswald Spengler. I was delighted as well to find works that gave an overview of particular spheres of intellectual life and thinking, such as Will Durant’s history of philosophy. I cannot have understood more than half the real content of what I read between the ages of 14 and 16. There was no one to offer me a clear worldview—not my parents, my brothers and sister, or my teachers in the class on religion.

My brother-in-law and I kept up the ties proper to relations, but we were never close to each other emotionally or intellectually. Again I found myself in a community where I remained more or less alone. One of the fathers, whose name I unfortunately forget, invited me several times to converse with him about religious beliefs, God, and the Christian and Jewish religions and philosophies. To others, we must have presented a curious sight—a Jesuit father and a lanky, disheveled teenager walking up and down the garden in lively conversation, while the artillery rumbled outside.

Here I had a principal teacher who loudly praised Germany’s conduct of the war and repeatedly predicted a German victory as the battle for Stalingrad took place in 1942–1943. He taught us three main subjects: Latin, Hungarian literature, and history. He declared in front of several of my classmates that no Jew was going to get a top mark in all three from him, and he kept his word. There were two of us Jews in the class who really deserved the top grade in all subjects, but Mr. Hegedu˝s was prepared to award that mark in only two of his courses, and downgraded us in the third.

Download PDF sample

Rated 4.84 of 5 – based on 40 votes