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Principles Of Political Economy

by John Stuart Mill

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Book Description
The standard economics textbook for more than a generation, PRINCIPLES OF POLITICAL ECONOMY, written by John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) in 1848, is as much a synthesis of his predecessors' ideas as an original treatise on economics. Heavily influenced by the work of David Ricardo, and taking ideas from Adam Smith and Thomas Malthus, Mill demonstrates how important economic concept can be applied to realworld situations.

Reflecting his utilitarian social philosophy, Mill suggests that social improvements are always possible. He thus proposes modifying a purely laissez-faire system, advocating trade protectionism and regulation of employees' work hours for the benefit of domestic industries and workers' well-being. In such features he displays a leaning toward socialism.

For anyone with an interest in the history of economics or the history of ideas, Mill's landmark work still makes for stimulating reading.

About the Author
John Stuart Mill was born in London on May 20, 1806, the son of noted Scottish economist and philosopher James Mill, who held an influential post in the powerful East India Company. Mill's natural talent and physical stamina were put to the test at a very young age when he undertook a highly structured and individualized upbringing orchestrated by his father, who believed that the mind was a passive receptacle for human experience. His education and training were so intense that he was reading Greek at the age of three and doing independent writing at six.

Mill's education broadened considerably after 1823 when he entered the East India Company to commence his life's career as his father had done before him. He traveled, became politically involved, and in so doing moved away from the narrower sectarian attitudes in which he had been raised. His ideas and imagination were ignited by the Coleridge, Comte, and de Tocqueville. During his life, Mill wrote many influential works: A SYSTEM OF LOGIC (1843); PRINCIPLES OF POLITICAL ECONOMY (1848); ON LIBERTY (1859); UTILITARIANISM (1863); EXAMINATION OF SIR WILLIAM HAMILTON'S PHILOSOPHY (1865); THE SUBJECTION OF WOMEN (1869); and AUTOBIOGRAPHY (1873). As a defender of individual freedom and human rights, John Stuart Mill lives on as a nineteenth-century champion of social reform. He died on May 7, 1873.



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