The book studies the origins and evolution of economic textbooks in the nineteenth and early twentieth century, up to the turning point represented by Paul Samuelson’s Economics (1948), which became the template for all the textbooks of the postwar period. The case studies included in the book cover a large part of Europe, the British Commonwealth, the United States and Japan. Each chapter examines various types of textbooks, from those aimed at self-education to those addressed to university students, secondary school students, to the short manuals aimed at the popularisation of political economy among workers and the middle classes. An introductory chapter examines this phenomenon in a comparative and transnational perspective.
"...it focuses on the kinds of books which were long ingnored as unworthy of investigation: textbooks and manuals...The Economic Reader represents a welcome attempt to bring such books back into the light" - Christopher Stray, European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, 2013