What: John Steele Gordon, a leading
author, columnist and historian, will deliver a lecture, “Where Economists Went
Wrong” as part of the Shelby Cullom Davis Endowment Series. The event is free
and open to the public.
Monday, October 15 at 8:15 p.m.
Where: Rittenberg Lounge in Mather Hall
on the Trinity campus, 300 Summit Street.
Background: Gordon, who writes a column
on business history for Barron’s
called “The Long View” and formerly wrote about the business of America for American Heritage Magazine, will discuss
how the United States “got into the present economic mess, due in part to a
failure on the part of economists to understand their subject.”
arguments will focus on the fact that economists have been using the wrong
paradigm for the last two centuries -- with often disastrous consequences. As
Gordon put it, “An economy is not a machine or ‘Copernican universe,’ to use
Keynes’s phrase, but an ecosystem.” Secondly, human nature, one of the natural
and therefore ineluctable forces in the human universe, has been largely
ignored by economists, who have been unable to translate human nature and its
profound consequences into equations.
After serving on Congressional staffs, Gordon turned to
writing and has been a full-time writer for the past 25 years. His latest book,
An Empire of Wealth: The Epic History
of American Economic Power, published in 2004, is a history
of the American economy.
Other books include a history of Wall Street, The Great Game: The Emergence of Wall
Street as a World Power, 1653-2000,
which was published in 1999. A two-hour special based on The Great Game aired on CNBC in April 2000. Gordon’s history of the
laying of the Atlantic Cable, A Thread
Across the Ocean, was published in 2002.
The Scarlet Woman of
Wall Street, a history of Wall Street in the 1860s, was published in 1988,
and Hamilton’s Blessing: the
Extraordinary Life and Times of Our National
Debt, was published in 1997 and an updated version was published in 2010.
has had articles published in Forbes,
American History, National Review, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal
and The Washington Post, among other
newspapers and magazines.
He is a contributing editor at Philanthropy, and
wrote the "Business of America" column from 1989 to 2007 for American
Heritage where he was also a contributing editor. A collection of his
columns from American Heritage entitled, The Business of America, was published in 2001. He is a
frequent contributor to Commentary and its blog, “Contentions.”
Gordon is also a commentator on Marketplace, the
public radio business news program heard on more than 200 stations throughout
the country. He has appeared on numerous radio and television shows, including New
York: A Documentary Film by Ric Burns; Business Center; Larry Kudlow; On
the Record with Greta Van Susteren; Squawk Box on CNBC; The News Hour
with Jim Lehrer on PBS; 20/20 on ABC; and Matt Miller on Bloomberg.
He was a guest in 2001 on a live, two-hour edition of Booknotes with
Brian Lamb on C-SPAN. He recently appeared on two History Channel specials
entitled, “Crash: The Next Great Depression?” and “Ripped Off: Madoff and the
Scamming of America.”
earned a B.A. in history from Vanderbilt University in 1966.