Markets, Productivity, and Happiness in a Historical Perspective

Sources of popularity and freedom of interpretation in the biographies of Keynes

Dusek Tamas, Szechenyi Istvan University

The primary objective of this paper is to provide a critical examination about those factors which was suggested by the various biographers of Keynes for his popularity and success. In other words, what was the impact of the content of the theory, the personal qualities and characteristics, institutional factors, political and economic environment, power relations and so on. Due to the reputation of Keynes, he is a very appropriate author for the discussing of further questions of the interpretations in the biographies. Firstly, there are huge differences in the interpretations of the same biographical facts. These are interesting and important because they show the potentials of manipulation through biography. Secondly, inconsistencies and frequent changes of opinion of Keynes permit of the discussion of the problem of „what was the opinion of the author”, and furthermore, of the disagreements among his followers. The differences between the biographies written by professional economists and historians, journalists can be presented also.


Keywords: Keynes, interpretation, biograpy

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