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The Mind and the Market:
Capitalism in Modern European Thought

by Jerry Z. Muller

ISBN 0375414118 / 9780375414114 / 0-375-41411-8
Publisher Knopf
Language English
Edition Hardcover
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Book summary

A remarkable history of the idea of capitalism in Western thoughtfrom its origins in classical Greece and Rome and in medieval Christianity, through its flowering from 1700 to the present daythat examines the most significant thinkers who have influenced our views on how the market can (and should or should not) affect the way society is organized.

Capitalism is too complex a subject to be left to economists, and achieving a critical comprehension of it requires perspectives beyond those characteristic of modern economics. European thinkers have debated the cultural, moral, and political effects of capitalism for centuries, and their claims have been many and diverse. Historian Jerry Muller tracks this fascinating thread, setting out what the best and brightestfrom Hobbes to Hayek, and across the ideological spectrum, including Voltaire, Adam Smith, Edmund Burke, Hegel, Marx, and Matthew Arnold, as well as twentieth-century communist, fascist, and neoliberal intellectualshave thought about the ramifications of capitalism and its future implications. In doing so, he also shows how antisemitic stereotypes about Jews and their relationship to money have played an ongoing role in the interpretation of capitalism.

The result is a compelling history of ideas and a riveting exploration of questionsabout wealth and poverty, capitalism and culture, the individual and the state, and the role of intellectuals within market societiesthat still compel our attention. [via]