The 2020 Joseph J. Spengler Best Book Prize is awarded to The Marginal Revolutionaries: How Austrian Economists Fought the War of Ideas, by Janek Wasserman by the committee of Paul Dudenhefer, Manuela Mosca, and Verena Halsmayer.
The Austrian school has “transformed our world,” Wasserman claims, and his book successfully supports his contention by providing a lively account of this enigmatic community of economists. Wasserman traces the origins, evolution, and, above all, the social activities and thought style of this multigenerational group from the Austro-Hungarian Empire to the United States, where most present-day members of the school can be found.
More than focusing on the ideas of the Austrians, Wasserman concentrates on the activities of the group—their seminars, their policy involvement, their institution building. He conveys the tremendous and tenacious goings-on of three generations of economists (and counting) who felt connected to each other through their haut bourgeois Austrian roots and who at every turn sought a vigorous engagement with the world as that world went through imperial dissolution, two world wars, and a global economic depression, along with the establishment, and eventual dissolution, of socialist states.Continue reading “2020 Joseph J. Spengler Best Book Prize is awarded to “The Marginal Revolutionaries: How Austrian Economists Fought the War of Ideas””