1st Edition

Population Malthus
His Life and Times





ISBN 9780415850087
Published March 11, 2013 by Routledge
552 Pages

USD $62.95

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Book Description

This is a fascinating insight into the work of one of our greatest thinkers. 

Thomas Robert Malthus (1766–1834) is best remembered today for his theories on the menace of over-population; this first ever full-length biography shows him also in his role as one of the founders of classical political economy, still a controversial figure in the history of economic thought. Based on exhaustive research among contemporary sources, it gives an account of Malthus’s two careers, as an economist and as a professor at the East India College.

Patricia James describes how, at the East India College, Malthus was influential in the establishment of an incorruptible Civil Service and the modern system of written examinations, in circumstances which seem almost farcical today. She gives an account of his family and social life, which was full of warmth and variety, with an abundance of ‘characters’ as well as many famous men.

People nowadays are inclined to argue in a vacuum whether Malthus is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ about population outrunning subsistence, and about the adequacy of aggregate demand in a capitalist society. Patricia James shows him in his historical setting, so that the book is a study both of the man and of the age in which he lived. She believes that, paradoxically, if we view Malthus’s works as the period pieces they are, it becomes more and not less easy to see their relevance to our own problems. Although Malthus’s search for basic principles in a changing world was confused and erratic, his ideas are still illuminating to those who prefer investigation and reappraisal to the mere reiteration of dogma. This text was first published in 1975.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xiv

PROLOGUE 1

Chapter I BACKGROUND

I Family Tree 5

2 Family Circle 10

3 Early Education 16

4 Cambridge 25

5 Albury and Shere 34

Chapter II THE PRINCIPLE OF POPULATION

1 The Curate of Okewood 40

2 Revolution, War and Pamphlets 46

3 Arguments and Utopias 55

4 The First Essay of 1798 61

5 The First Foreign Tour 69

Chapter III THE GREAT QUARTO OF 1803

I ‘My Garret in Town’ 79

2 The Cause of the High Price of Provisions 86

3 Reading and Travelling 92

4 The Walesby Rectory 98

5 Three Pre-Malthusians 103

6 The Book and its Readers 109

Chapter IV THE POPULATION CONTROVERSIES BEGIN

1 Religion 116

2 Sex 121

3 The Poor 126

4 The Letter to Samuel Whitbread 136

5 The Wrongs of Ireland 142

6 Malthus’s Irish Reviews 149

Chapter V A MARRIED PROFESSOR (1804–10)

1 Mainly about Weddings 160

2 The Founding of the East India College 168

3 Colleagues and Pupils 175

4 Home and Family 184

Chapter VI PAPER MONEY

1 English Pounds and Guineas 190

2 The Bullion Controversy 195

3 Malthus as a Monetary Economist 200

4 The Meeting with Ricardo 208

Chapter VII THE HAILEYBURY CHAMPION (1811–17)

1 The College under Fire 213

2 Outside Activities 222

3 The College Before and After Waterloo 228

4 The Battle for the College 234

Chapter VIII LITERARY MISFORTUNES (1812–15)

1 Notes on Adam Smith 245

2 The First Corn Law Pamphlet 249

3 The Second Corn Law Pamphlet 259

4 The Aftermath 264

5 Unanswered Questions 269

Chapter IX THE PRINCIPLES OF POLITICAL ECONOMY

1 The Nature and Progress of Rent 274

2 Rent, Wages and Profits 285

3 Labour and Profits 296

4 Production and Consumption 301

5 The Rival Economists 310

6 The Measure of Value 316

Chapter X THE HEAT OF THE DAY (1817–25)

1 Old Pop at Haileybury 322

2 Okewood Again 330

3 ‘The Christian, kindred, social part’ 335

4 The Public Name 346

5 Clubs and Societies 354

6 French and German Translations 362

CONTINUE

1 The Fifth Edition of the Essay of 1817 369

2 Godwin Again 376

3 The Birth Control Movement Begins 382

4 Emigration 388

5 A Summary View 398

Capter XII DECLINING SUN (1825–34)

1 Family Sorrows 407

2 Floreat Haileyburia 417

3 The Old Celebrity 424

4 Changing Times 434

5 The New Age 443

6 Final Storm 449

EPILOGUE 459

Notes and References 462

Index 501

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