A Letter from Keynes to Harlan McCracken Dated 31st August 1933: Why the Standard Story on the Origins of the General Theory Needs to Be Rewritten
13 Pages Posted: 26 Oct 2007
Date Written: October 25, 2007
This article contains a previously undocumented and unpublished letter from John Maynard Keynes that was written during the early stages of his writing the General Theory. The letter was to the American economist Harlan Linneus McCracken and dated 31 August 1933. The letter was only discovered in July 2007 where it had been hidden away amongst the McCracken papers held in the archives at Louisiana State University. This letter should lead to a revision of the standard chronology of the sequence of events that led to the eventual publication of the General Theory in February 1936 and provide a deeper understanding of the aim and intent Keynes had in writing the book he wrote. In particular, the letter shows the important influence that Thomas Robert Malthus had on Keynes's thinking while the General Theory was being written.
Keywords: Keynes, McCracken, Say's Law, classical economics
JEL Classification: B22, B31
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation