During the last half century, Albert O. Hirschman has redefined the scope and limits of political economy. His contributions, as both a scholar and an economic advisor, have definitively shaped an innovative program for social change and economic development.
Crossing Boundaries, a collection of Hirschman’s most recent writings, forges new and unforeseen connections between the past and the present, between intellectual life and lived experience. With astonishing frankness and humor, Hirschman recounts some of the most compelling and formative moments of his life that have influenced his thinking about economic and social development, democracy and capitalism. He also reconsiders the key terms of his scholarship — concepts he is constantly rethinking, subverting, and reinventing.
“A slim book of essays by Albert Hirschman is worth a tome from most other scholars. In these pages, a provocatively inventive essay on the entailments of eating together (commensality) is followed by a personal memoir on the fiftieth anniversary of the Marshall Plan and a revealing interview tracing Hirschman’s European and American years as they impact on his ideas. Together, the pieces again make clear why Hirschman, with his powerful interdisciplinary vision, which is forever ‘crossing boundaries,’ and his compelling political judgment, which is never less than acute, is every thinking scholar’s favorite social scientist. And economist. And philosopher.” — Benjamin R. Barber, Whitman Professor of Political Science, Rutgers University