New(ish) Schumpeter Bio

For those of you who can’t get enough Schumpeter, Esben Sloth Andersen’s has a (somewhat) recent take in Joseph A. Schumpeter: A Theory of Social and Economic Evolution

Arthur Diamond has the review at the Economic History Association website, Here’s an excerpt:

Andersen’s book invites comparison with business historian Thomas McCraw’s (2007) comprehensive intellectual biography.  McCraw’s book includes more new material and is written in a style that is more pleasant to digest.  Of greater importance is that McCraw gives more attention to Schumpeter’s best moves on innovation and creative destruction, and gives less attention to Schumpeter’s moves on evolutionary method and long wave theory.

Joseph A. Schumpeter is part of a series that aims to briefly present the main doctrines of important economists in the context of their lives and of events in the milieu in which they lived.  Andersen does include some chapters on Schumpeter’s life, but these usually read as obligatory afterthoughts, rather than as information integral to understanding Schumpeter’s doctrines.  And he does not seem to take as much care in this part as he does elsewhere, as, for example, when he opines without citation or much explanation that Schumpeter was “unbalanced” by the events leading up to World War II (p. 135).  The period is more fairly analyzed by McCraw who emphasizes that Schumpeter’s reasonable worries about Stalin’s Communism tempered his initial reaction to Hitler’s National Socialism.

Here is more on the author, Ebsen Andersen.  Here is more on the reviewer, Art Diamond.