Books that Changed Humanity is an initiative of the Humanities Research Centre, based at the Australian National University. The HRC invites experts to introduce and lead discussion of major texts from a variety of cultural traditions, all of which have informed the way we understand ourselves both individually and collectively as human beings.
Join us as Emeritus Professor Bob Gregory (Research School of Economics, ANU) introduces and discusses The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money, the last and most important book by English economist John Maynard Keynes.
For the poor and unemployed of much of the economically developed world The General Theory was probably the most important book of the twentieth century. Why was it written by a university professor who wore silk underwear, attended Eton, bought paintings by Cezanne, Picasso, Matisse and Degas- and maybe never talked to an unemployed person in his life (contrast Keynes with Orwell)? Why were the main ideas so powerful, and attributed to The General Theory, when lots of people had been advocating these ideas well before Keynes? How can a book be so important and yet hardly anyone reads it? Why did I, as a university student studying economics and accountancy, not fully understand the original text and yet believe that this book influenced me more than any other book I have read? Is the 'story line' of The General Theory just as important today – if so which parts of the story? Will there ever be another Keynes? All this and more…
All members of the public are welcome to come, listen, and share their thoughts about this great work of literature.