Monday, October 22, 2007

When Quoting Someone's Views Make Sure You Have Read the Original (all historians should know that!)

Following my new policy of noting when other economics blogs note Lost Legacy, Brad Delong today reports:

A Gathering of the Clans...
Economic historians, historians of economic thought, practitioners of political economy, and others are painting themselves blue with woad and practicing with staves after reading Stanford's David Kennedy's trashing of Paul Krugman

Quotations from Lost Legacy, Mark Thoma, Angry Bear, and Alex Tabarrock show a welcome consistency in criticising David M Kennedy (no relation!).

Up date: Brad Delong returns to the story with a damning revelation that David Kennedy’s reference to laissez faire as the litmus test of being an economist and shows this is not what AEA founding president Francis Amasa Walker actually said:

Ah. Stanford's David Kennedy Can't Quote Properly Either...
David Kennedy of Stanford opens his review of Paul Krugman's "Conscience of a Liberal" with a claim that AEA founding president Francis Amasa Walker defined an economist as a faithful believer in laissez-faire, “not... the test of economic orthodoxy, merely.... [But] used to decide whether a man were an economist at all.”
Why am I not surprised that Francis Amasa Walker actually said something very different?”
[Read the full extract and Francis Amasa Walker's actual speech here. ]


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