Things you never knew about Keynes

In my time, I’ve read a lot about Keynes and a lot by him too. It started with the [amazon_link id=”B0000CHV15″ target=”_blank” ]Roy Harrod biography[/amazon_link], then the¬†[amazon_link id=”0333903129″ target=”_blank” ]Robert Skidelsky trilogy[/amazon_link] (since updated as a single volume version), and more recently the excellent¬†[amazon_link id=”0674057759″ target=”_blank” ]Capitalist Revolutionary[/amazon_link] by Roger Backhouse and Bradley Bateman. I’ve read at various times [amazon_link id=”9650060251″ target=”_blank” ]The General Theory[/amazon_link], [amazon_link id=”1441492267″ target=”_blank” ]Essays in Persuasion[/amazon_link], [amazon_link id=”1447418220″ target=”_blank” ]The Economic Consequences of the Peace[/amazon_link], [amazon_link id=”0230249582″ target=”_blank” ]Essays in Biography[/amazon_link], and parts of [amazon_link id=”1614270112″ target=”_blank” ]A Treatise on Money[/amazon_link].

[amazon_image id=”0674057759″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]Capitalist Revolutionary: John Maynard Keynes[/amazon_image]

So it’s a pleasant surprise to learn new things about him, and so I am from Benn Steil’s The Battle of Bretton Woods. The story of Keynes sitting in bed in his dressing gown of a morning, dealing with his investments is well known. My admiration has grown on learning now that he also liked to sleep late in the mornings and go to bed early; he referred to this as ‘snuffing the candle at both ends’. How much more refreshing than the cult of only sleeping for a few hours a night. He enjoyed his first job, in the India Office, mainly because of the 11am to 5pm hours and two months of annual holiday.

Steil also cites this comment by Keynes on financiers: “How long will it be found necessary to pay City men so entirely out of proportion to what other servants of society commonly receive for performing social services not less useful or difficult?”

Amen to that.


3 thoughts on “Things you never knew about Keynes

  1. Pingback: Even if you don’t like what Keynes argued for he s… | Bristol Festival of Ideas

  2. I remember reading Peter Clarke’s short biography and I realised for the first time that The General Theory contained lots of ideas that were attributable to others like R. G. Hawtrey and Dennis Robertson and Richard Kahn and so is not entirely a completely original work (although elsewhere Keyne’s does recognise their influence). Nor is it right to say that it was a book written solely to make sense of the Great Depression, in many ways it grew out of criticisms of The Treatise on Money made by Hawtrey and Robertson.

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