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.
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.
At our university we learned from:
- Sandmo, A., 2011 Economics Evolving: A History of Economic Thought, Princeton University Press
- Medema, S. G., and Samuels, W. J., 1998 A History of Economic Thought: The LSE Lectures, Princeton University Press
Both of them are very comprehensive.