David Landes

David Landes is a professor of economics at Harvard. He is the author of Revolution in Time: Clocks and the Making of the Modern World and is working on a book entitled The West and the Rest: Why are we so rich and they so poor?

Fisherman’s Friend

David Landes, 27 October 1988

Michael Young is a rarity among sociologists: he has a feel for the people he writes about, and he writes well. When he takes us into a Merseyside factory and walks us around in the company of Joe Murgatroyd, works superintendant, we can hear the shoes clopping, the machines humming or missing, we can see the workers cocking an ear, and we can feel the anxiety of the foremen running to keep things in hand. Young’s prose is easy, colloquial, free of jargon, to the point where the reader is almost unaware of his blessed privilege until Young has occasion to cite one of his sociological colleagues: and then suddenly we pass from clear to the opaque. Society, he tells us, for example, does not pulse to just one beat after another, but to scores of different ones at once. And then, following immediately thereafter: ‘My view is similar to … that structure is “the mode in which the relation between moment and totality expresses itself in social reproduction.” Thank you very much.

Hayek and His Overcoat

Geoffrey Hawthorn, 1 October 1998

There was an occasion on which the ruler of Balkh, in Central Asia, went to make war. Nomads, taking advantage of his absence, seized the city. The inhabitants put up a good fight, for themselves...

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Time, Gentlemen, Please

David Cannadine, 19 July 1984

As someone once said, although we do not know exactly when, time is of the essence. It can be given or taken, saved or spent, borrowed or beaten, kept or killed. There are old timers and egg timers, time...

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