The Revolution that Never Was

IN the abstract to his ‘Credo’, Paul Samuelson recorded that “At war’s end, introductory economics textbooks were overdue for a revolutionary advance.” And yet, many of the old pre-New Deal and pre-World War II economic verities, including an atomistic vision of the economy, would ultimately be restored.

In the next four chapters, Chapters Nine through Twelve, I am going to talk about what the British economic commentator Will Hutton dubbed ‘The Revolution that Never Was’. In other words, how the introduction to economics could have been re-created on new foundations, but ultimately wasn’t.

In those chapters, I will be addressing the following themes:

  • How to Pay for Progress: Public Finance and Modern Monetary Theory
  • The Big Push Revisited: Lessons of Industrial Transformation
  • The Social Contract: Embedding the Economic Individual
  • The End of Absolutism: Toward an Economic Constitution

Click here for Chapter 9, ‘How to Pay for Progress’

Jump back to the start of Chapter One



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Chris Harris

Chris Harris


I am an urban historian from New Zealand with a special interest in New World cities. Somewhere along the line I picked up a PhD on planning and economics.