John A. Hobson
Critical Assessments of Leading Economists
Edited by John Cunningham Wood
Routledge – 2003 – 1,168 pages
John Atkinson Hobson was a controversial figure in the history of economic thought. His first book (The Physiology of Industry ) lost him two university lecturing posts, which Hobson later describes as due to 'an Economics Professor who had read my book and considered it as equivalent to an attempt to prove the flatness of the earth'.
Hobson received a similar reception from the rest of his peers. As an advocate of an apparently fallacious theory of over-saving, a critic of the orthodox theory of distribution, and a proponent of a theory of imperialism which was later taken up by Lenin, Hobson was generally condemned as a heretic by the rest of the economic establishment.
His fortunes changed, rather belatedly, in 1936, when Keynes paid tribute to Hobson's work in The General Theory as anticipating his own theory that society can, under some circumstances, save too large a proportion of its income - thrift then being a vice, not a virtue.
Hobson's influence was international and the impact of his writings was widespread. This collection will provide scholars with an invaluable resource in their ongoing evaluation of Hobson's contribution to economic, social and political thought.
Volume I Section 1: John A. Hobson: Life and Times Volume II Section 2: Hobson's Imperialism Volume III
Section 3: Hobson's Economic, Social and Political Thought Section 4: Review of Hobson's Books