The Poets' Guide to Economics
Author: John Ramsden (Trinity 1969)
Publisher: Pallas Athene Books
Shelley called poets, ‘the unacknowledged legislators of the world’. John Ramsden’s new book, The Poets Guide to Economics describes their now largely forgotten contribution to economics. Concise and witty, the book takes eleven poets – a chapter each – and describes their economic ideas putting them in context. Extracts from the originals allow these great writers to speak for themselves. The tone is by turns eloquent, outraged, elegiac and amused, as we explore the surprisingly fruitful encounter of two very different worlds. The book starts with Daniel Defoe in the 1690s and closes with Ezra Pound who died in 1972. As expected, the poets’ take on economics is often visionary and idealistic, but their theories are mostly grounded on real insight, sometimes strikingly ahead of their time as they predict evils all too familiar to the 21st Century.