Deirdre McCloskey

    Deirdre McCloskey

    Sole author of fifteen books and about 356 articles, Professor McCloskey is an economist and economic historian who around 1980 got interested in the rhetoric of persuasion in her field, and then wider literary matters, such as literary and social theory.

    Her main project for the next few years will be writing a six-volume tome on “The Bourgeois Era.” Volume 1, The Bourgeois Virtues: Ethics for an Age of Commerce, came out from the University of Chicago Press in 2006. Volume 2, Bourgeois Dignity: Why Economics Can’t Explain the Modern World, came out in 2010.

    Her early “cliometric” work on British economic history concerned the performance of the British economy in the late 19th century and the workings of open-field agriculture in the 13th. Thus Economic Maturity and Entrepreneurial Decline: British Iron and Steel, 1870-1913 (1973) and Enterprise and Trade in Victorian Britain: Essays in Historical Economics (1981) and numerous articles on open fields, the industrial revolution, and the gold standard.

    After a long excursus into rhetoric (The Rhetoric of Economics [1985] and other books in the 1990s), the “bourgeois” project is a return to history, viewed more than quantitatively.

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