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Towards a Theoretical Framework for British and International Economic History: Early Modern England

Towards a Theoretical Framework for British and International Economic History:  Early Modern England

Sudha Shenoy (1943-2008) was a legendary figure in the history of the Austrian School. Her father, B.R. Shenoy, was practically the only libertarian in India in his day. His daughter, Sudha, was a student of Hayek and Rothbard and went on to teach in Australia, with a specialization in development economics. She inspired many students with her teaching and her eloquent defense of economic liberty.

This mighty treatise, her dissertation now in book format, is probably the first full Austrian treatment of development economics, with a model carved out of the writings of Menger, Mises, and Hayek. She traces an economy's progress from consumption, to distribution, to production, and demonstrates the essential preconditions that must be met for an economy to move through this trajectory.

In the second part, she reconstructs the history of England in the 200 years before the Industrial Revolution. She shows that the Industrial Revolution was not something that just happened upon England but, rather, was the result of a long build-up of capital and a long expansion of the division of labor.

In many ways, this book earns for Shenoy a high place in the history of the Austrian School. Even though it is only now being published after her death, it is a book for which she will be long remembered.

"Professor Shenoy was brilliant, remarkably learned in the social sciences, especially economics and economic and legal history, always civil and considerate in discussions and debates," writes Ralph Raico, "yet a feisty fighter for her libertarian ideas."

Publication Information Mises Institute, 2010
Updated 8/10/2010