The Coming of Keynesianism to America: Conversations with the Founders of Keynesian Economics

The Keynesian revolution in the United States was a remarkable event in intellectual and economic history entailing a major shift in economists' thinking and the creation of a new field in economics - macroeconomics. From the first roots in the 1930s to Keynesianism's predominance in the early 1950s, The Coming of Keynesianism to America explains what the revolution was, as well as why and how it occurred. This book is based around a set of interviews with, what might be called, the Keynesian revolutionaries - the individuals most responsible for introducing Keynesian economics to the United States. It includes formal interviews with Richard Musgrave, Abba Lerner, Paul Samuelson, Tibor Scitovsky, Evsey Domar, Robert Bryce, Lorie Tarshis, John Kenneth Galbraith, Paul Sweezy, Walter Salant and Leon Keyserling. These interviews give the reader a sense of what the Keynesian revolution was and how it spread, as well as the hostility these earlier revolutionaries faced, and the similarities and differences in their views. The interviews are introduced by an essay which presents the Keynesian revolution in three parts as theoretical, political and pedagogical, concerned with the development of tools and models to teach macroeconomics. This essay sets the stage for the interviews and relates them to modern macroeconomic debates. The Keynesianization of America is interesting not just to historians of economic thought but also to other economists who want to know about the development of their discipline and to interested lay people and historians who follow the spread of ideas.