What Keynes really meant

Peter Clarke

  • The Collected Writings of John Maynard Keynes. Vol. XI: Economic Articles and Correspondence, Academic edited and translated by Donald Moggridge
    Macmillan/Cambridge, 607 pp, £22.00, June 1983, ISBN 0 333 10723 3
  • Keynesian Economics: The Search for First Principles by Alan Coddington
    Allen and Unwin, 129 pp, £9.95, February 1983, ISBN 0 04 330334 X
  • Keynes’s Economics and the Theory of Value and Distribution edited by John Eatwell and Murray Milgate
    Duckworth, 294 pp, £24.00, October 1983, ISBN 0 7156 1688 9
  • Capital and Employment: A Study of Keynes’s Economics by Murray Milgate
    Academic Press, 217 pp, £17.00, December 1982, ISBN 0 12 496250 5

The centenary of Keynes’s birth in 1883 has come and gone. Last year saw the opportune publication of Robert Skidelsky’s much-heralded new biography – or at least of its first volume, which does not get further than 1920. It is a formidable work, designed to out-Harrod Harrod, which will be an unparalleled source for those interested in the rise of the junior clerk in the Military Department of the India Office and his extra-departmental interests. ‘Yes,’ he affirmed to his friend Lytton Strachey, ‘I am a clerk in the India Office – having passed the medical with flying colours, balls and eyesight unusually perfect they said.’ It is, as it happens, after 1920 that Keynes’s career acquires more interest for those concerned with other parts of his anatomy, especially what was happening inside his head – a story that remains to be told.

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