After his death Thorstein Veblen was hailed as ‘America’s Darwin and Marx’ and is normally portrayed as the perennial iconoclast. He severely criticised traditional economics and attempted to create an alternative approach based on a much more complex view of human beings. He is one of the most celebrated economists of our age and has been the inspiration for many books; the predatory version of capitalism we now again experience, the phenomenon of studying cultures of consumption and the darker sides of gilded ages can be traced back to Veblen. A conference in Veblen’s ancestral Norway marked the 150th anniversary of his birth. The aim of the conference was to consolidate Veblen scholarship and evaluate his relevance for the problems of today. This collection offers the results of that endeavour; it is a milestone of Vebleniana which assesses all the most salient aspects of his life and influence. Many of its contributors also push into uncharted territory, examining the man and his work from new and necessary perspectives hitherto ignored by scholarship.
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