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Worldly Philosopher: The Odyssey of Albert O. Hirschman
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Worldly Philosopher: The Odyssey of Albert O. Hirschman


"Worldly Philosopher" chronicles the times and writings of Albert O. Hirschman, one of the twentieth century's most original and provocative thinkers. In this gripping biography, Jeremy Adelman tells the story of a man shaped by modern horrors and hopes, a worldly intellectual who fought for and wrote in defense of the values of tolerance and change.

Born in Berlin in 1915, Hirschman grew up amid the promise and turmoil of the Weimar era, but fled Germany when the Nazis seized power in 1933. Amid hardship and personal tragedy, he volunteered to fight against the fascists in Spain and helped many of Europe's leading artists and intellectuals escape to America after France fell to Hitler. His intellectual career led him to Paris, London, and Trieste, and to academic appointments at Columbia, Harvard, and the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. He was an influential adviser to governments in the United States, Latin America, and Europe, as well as major foundations and the World Bank. Along the way, he wrote some of the most innovative and important books in economics, the social sciences, and the history of ideas.

Throughout, he remained committed to his belief that reform is possible, even in the darkest of times.

This is the first major account of Hirschman's remarkable life, and a tale of the twentieth century as seen through the story of an astute and passionate observer. Adelman's riveting narrative traces how Hirschman's personal experiences shaped his unique intellectual perspective, and how his enduring legacy is one of hope, open-mindedness, and practical idealism.

Title:Worldly Philosopher: The Odyssey of Albert O. Hirschman
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:760 pages

    Worldly Philosopher: The Odyssey of Albert O. Hirschman Reviews

  • Jan Rice
    Jun 24, 2013

    This is what makes me want to read it: http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics...Also: http://prospect.org/article/rediscove...http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/21/boo......

  • Howard Cincotta
    Oct 26, 2013

    Adapted from upcoming review in americandiplomacy.org:Albert Hirschman (1915-2012) is probably the greatest economist you’ve never heard of, and Jeremy Adelman of Princeton University has given him ...

  • Erik Bloom
    Jun 23, 2013

    (simultaneously submitted on Amazon)....Albert Hirschman (1915-2012) was one of the most important and influential development economists of our times. This book, by Princeton history professor Jeremy...

  • Max
    Jun 09, 2014

    This was a very good biography of an inspiring figure. Albert Hirschman, the book's subject, was a World War II hero and a development economist, and he lived a fascinating and admirable life. He grew...

  • Fran Mason
    Aug 06, 2013

    it was good, but I got bogged down in the various bureacracies involved and have not finished the book....

  • Brittany Bond
    Mar 26, 2014

    Insight Tracker:p5 His last major work, The Rhetoric of Reaction (1991), tackled the way intransigent arguments threatened to weaken democracy precisely because they narrowed options and alternatives....

  • Peter Gelfan
    Apr 03, 2014

    I confess that I don’t remember ever having heard of Hirschman before I read this biography. When he escaped Nazi Germany as a child and then, as a young freedom fighter, had to contend with Stalini...

  • Liam
    Jan 26, 2014

    "Hirschman coined a term, possibilism, or, perhaps more accurately, adapted it from Soren Kierkegaard's famous aphorism 'Pleasure disappoints, possibility never!' to evoke Hirschman's disposition." (3...

  • Ajj
    Feb 13, 2014

    Adelman does a good job with what at times can be quite a dry topic. Unfortunately it was not quite good enough to get me to finish the last quarter of Albert Hirschman's life.I found Hirschman's earl...

  • Aaron Arnold
    May 13, 2013

    The first Hirschman I read was a short extract from Exit, Voice, and Loyalty in an undergrad class. It was great: simple, insightful, and easily applicable to many things in life. I've thought about i...