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John Atkinson Hobson

(1858—1940) social theorist and economist


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(1858–1940).

An economist with unconventional views, Hobson earned his living through part‐time lecturing and journalism. Two of his books launched revolutions. The Physiology of Industry (1889) undermined laissez‐faire economics by arguing that its tendency was to over‐produce; and Imperialism: A Study (1902) attributed colonial expansion to the resulting surpluses of goods and capital. In this way he sowed the seeds of two of the most powerful ideologies of the 20th cent.: Keynesian economics, and the Leninist interpretation of imperialism.

Subjects: History — Economics.


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