Which Book or books would you recommend for an undergrad to learn about the history and evolution of economic thought and theory, and why? There Just so many of them out there and I just don't know which one will be best. the one I was thinking of getting was Ekelund & Hebert's A History of Economic Theory and Method but am not sure about it.

  • Any specific reason you want to learn this? – Michael Greinecker Sep 14 at 6:03
  • I want in-depth knowledge of the different schools and the socio-economic factors the led their development and evolution. I want to learn this first for my own fancy and secondly for understanding where and how what we know came to be, and where it's possibly heading. I plan on eventually becoming a professor (hopefully) of economics and I want to learn as much about the subject as I can and have a solid foundation for both teaching and expanding. – NoLifeKing Sep 14 at 12:29
  • That seems to go considerably beyond what you can find in any undergraduate book. – Michael Greinecker Sep 14 at 12:44
  • @MichaelGreinecker yes but i got to start somewhere – NoLifeKing Sep 14 at 15:35
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Screpanti and Zamagni's Outline of the History of Economic Thought is very comprehensive. The problem is I don't think most undergrads should go for it. The authors put too much emphasis on "schools of thought" and in my experience, most undergrads get this idea of a weak kind of "pluralism" from it, that there are many schools and not one is "right". My point is: if you do read it, do it very critically. The mainstream of economics is the mainstream for a reason, it's a solid framework.

My suggestion is not necessarily the most comprehensive, but "The Worldly Philosophers" by Robert Heilbroner is very enjoyable.

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