Reading this review of a new book about the "anti-utopian reformer with keen eye for detail" Albert Hirschman, I found myself thinking of OAC founder Keith Hart. I wonder what Hart will think of being seen as resembling Hirschman, in a complimentary way.

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Comment by Keith Hart on May 17, 2013 at 6:58pm

Sorry to take time to get round to this. I have many things on my plate.

I like Hirschman and would be very glad to achieve half as much as him and get a quarter of the recognition. Someone once compared four books on money, including my own and concluded that he liked mine the best. Why? Because I am willing to sacrifice theoretical rigour in order to be open to what money empirically is. He liked that because being open in that way makes it possible to do things differently in future. Whereas theoretical dogmatism simply reproduces itself in a closed way. Hirschman was like that too, but because of his time and social opportunities he did a lot more than me. He served in that great citizen army and was on hand to shape the world afterwards with the emerging American empire at his back. I was a baby when he launched his adult career. The 1940s was the last time that humanity aspired to do something wonderful with the world. American and Russian culture peaked then. Think of Duke Ellington, Bogart and Crawford, Method acting, abstract impressionism, then the symphonies of Shostakovitch and Prokofiev. It's been downhill ever since. I am acutely aware of the importance of the Zeitgeist in helping to shape an individual career. I haven't given up hope of doing something great at 70, but I know I haven't done it yet. Thanks for the compliment, John.

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