Unfortunately, this is typical of what has generally happened to historians who have ventured into the economic realm. A case in point is Professor John A. Garraty, a distinguished American historian who here essays a history of economic attitudes toward unemployment and their impact on public policy. Typically, when dealing with the great modern debate between the Keynesians and neoclassical economists, Garraty can only record both points of view. And he cautiously, if lamely, concludes that the Keynesians were basically correct for the 1930s, while the neoclassicals are largely right today, now that the Keynesian nostrums have been pushed too far, and have brought about chronic inflation.
This sort of cautious middle-of-the-road approach is the best that a historian who is ignorant of economics can do; and no one is going to get tremendously angry at this book. But Garraty’s method is really not good enough. Not all theories are moderately correct, and not all theoretical problems can be solved by asserting that each competing theory is partially valid. Some theories