Tiziano Raffaelli, Giacomo Becattini and Marco Dardi (Eds). the Elgar Companion to Alfred Marshall
Donoghue, Mark, History of Economics Review
Tiziano Raffaelli, Giacomo Becattini and Marco Dardi (eds). The Elgar Companion to Alfred Marshall. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar. 2006. Pp. xxv + 727. ISBN-13:978 1 84376 072 6. 175 [pounds sterling].
The Elgar Companion to Alfred Marshall, edited by three leading Marshall scholars, is a new and original reference collection that provides not only a timely snapshot of the current state of understanding of Marshall's life and work, but, more importantly, highlights the contemporary relevance of his scientific enterprise. The compilation also evaluates groundbreaking research programmes inspired by Marshall's broader social science project. The ninety-nine contributions by leading Marshall experts have conveniently been divided into eight sections: Life and Work, Background and Influences, Scope and Method, Economic Analysis (by far the longest section), Social and Political Issues, Marshall and his Contemporaries, Marshall's Legacy and, finally, Marshall and Present-Day Economics. The editors are here to be applauded for coping so admirably with the challenge of creating a coherent contemporary collection out of such a broad range of topics. The volume is accompanied by a very useful editorial introduction that weaves together the various strands of Marshall's economic enterprise. The inclusion of separate name and subject indexes is also a welcome addition.
In addition to its many literary and scholarly virtues, this collection helps to dispel the view that there exists a neat and tidy orthodoxy in relation to Marshall studies. Indeed, the editors have asked contributors to adopt a broader perspective beyond the boundaries of 'explicitly Marshallian themes'. As the editorial introduction further points out: 'if our only motivation in designing this volume had been that of providing a new collective assessment of an important character in the history of economic thought, the whole enterprise would remain confined within an entirely backward-looking perspective, having only scant connections with research presently carried out and with current world problems' (p. xvi). As a result, several new directions in Marshallian studies have been chiselled open, which act as a prelude to a deeper, although by no means complete, appreciation of Marshall's wider social science project. It is clearly beyond the scope of the present review to describe the entire work in detail. It might be of more use, therefore, to delineate certain aspects of the numerous fruitful lines of inquiry being pursued in Marshallian studies in this comprehensive and impressive compendium.
Parts I and II, covering Marshall's life and work in broad outline, present material which will be familiar to those acquainted with Peter Groenewegen's Marshall biography and John Whitaker's three-volume Correspondence of Alfred Marshall. Here both authors have contributed several erudite entries covering the foundations. Other contributions, however, explore new terrain. The chapter by Brian Loasby on Marshall's early philosophical notes, and several elegantly written pieces by Simon Cook on Marshall's early historical work …
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Article title: Tiziano Raffaelli, Giacomo Becattini and Marco Dardi (Eds). the Elgar Companion to Alfred Marshall. Contributors: Donoghue, Mark - Author. Journal title: History of Economics Review. Issue: 46 Publication date: Summer 2007. Page number: 176+. © 2008 History of Economic Thought Society of Australia. COPYRIGHT 2007 Gale Group.
This material is protected by copyright and, with the exception of fair use, may not be further copied, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means.