Book Review: Gilles Dostaler, Keynes and His Battles
Langcake, S., & Leeson, R. (2010). [Book review: Dostaler, G. (2007). Keynes and his battles. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar]. Journal of the History of Economic Thought, 32(1), 133-135. doi: 10.1017/S1053837209990459
Gilles Dostaler's book will be of use to some, but will disappoint others. It is a lively introduction to the life and writings of John Maynard Keynes, easily recommendable to undergraduates, but as a contribution to the scholarly literature, it has weaknesses.
Dostaler examines Keynes’ beliefs and contributions to philosophy, politics, economics, and art. The book is explicitly directed at “Keynes and not to Keynesianism” (p. 2). Emphasis is placed on Keynes’ contemporaries and their roles in influencing—and being influenced by—his work. Thus Dostaler creates an intellectual biography by focussing on the relationships between Keynes and his peers. The author also devotes two interludes of complementary dialogue about Keynes’ private and public lives in a more typically biographical manner.