Population Malthus: His Life and Times

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Routledge, Nov 5, 2013 - Business & Economics - 552 pages

This is a fascinating insight into the work of one of our greatest thinkers.

Thomas Robert Malthus (1766–1834) is best remembered today for his theories on the menace of over-population; this first ever full-length biography shows him also in his role as one of the founders of classical political economy, still a controversial figure in the history of economic thought. Based on exhaustive research among contemporary sources, it gives an account of Malthus’s two careers, as an economist and as a professor at the East India College.

Patricia James describes how, at the East India College, Malthus was influential in the establishment of an incorruptible Civil Service and the modern system of written examinations, in circumstances which seem almost farcical today. She gives an account of his family and social life, which was full of warmth and variety, with an abundance of ‘characters’ as well as many famous men.

People nowadays are inclined to argue in a vacuum whether Malthus is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ about population outrunning subsistence, and about the adequacy of aggregate demand in a capitalist society. Patricia James shows him in his historical setting, so that the book is a study both of the man and of the age in which he lived. She believes that, paradoxically, if we view Malthus’s works as the period pieces they are, it becomes more and not less easy to see their relevance to our own problems. Although Malthus’s search for basic principles in a changing world was confused and erratic, his ideas are still illuminating to those who prefer investigation and reappraisal to the mere reiteration of dogma. This text was first published in 1975.

 

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Contents

BACKGROUND
5
A MARRIED PROFESSOR 180410
10
THE PRINCIPLE OF POPULATION
40
THE GREAT QUARTO OF 1803
79
THE POPULATION CONTROVERSIES
116
Mainly about Weddings
160
The Founding of the East India College
168
Colleagues and Pupils
175
Rent Wages and Profits
285
Labour and Profits
296
Production and Consumption
301
The Rival Economists
310
The Measure of Value
316
Chapter X
322
Okewood Again
330
The Christian kindred social part
335

Home and Family
184
PAPER MONEY 1 English Pounds and Guineas
190
The Bullion Controversy
195
Malthus as a Monetary Economist
200
The Meeting with Ricardo
208
THE HAILEYBURY CHAMPION 181117
213
Outside Activities
222
The College Before and After Waterloo
228
The Battle for the College
234
LITERARY MISFORTUNES 181215
245
The First Corn Law Pamphlet
249
The Second Corn Law Pamphlet
259
The Aftermath
264
Unanswered Questions
269
Chapter IX
274
The Public Name
346
Clubs and Societies
354
French and German Translations
362
THE POPULATION CONTROVERSIES
369
DECLINING SUN 182534
407
EPILOGUE
459
322
476
330
482
335
484
Index
501
346
503
354
508
362
512
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