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Economics / Rhetoric

The Rhetoric of Economics
Second Edition
Deirdre N. McCloskey

Rhetoric of the Human Sciences


"Slashing and witty."
—New York Review of Books

A classic in its field, this pathbreaking book humanized the scientific rhetoric of economics to reveal its literary soul. In this completely revised second edition, Deirdre N. McCloskey demonstrates how economic discourse employs metaphor, authority, symmetry, and other rhetorical means of persuasion. The Rhetoric of Economics shows economists to be human persuaders, poets of the marketplace, even in their most technical and mathematical moods.

"The most thoughtful book on economics in years."—Philadelphia Enquirer

"McCloskey takes aim at the 'dismal science's' scientific pretensions in this pathfinding, elegantly written, and intellectually razor-sharp book."—Washington Post

"McCloskey must be credited with the singular achievement of introducing the major philosophers of the twentieth century into a discussion of the methodology of economics."—Times Literary Supplement

"McCloskey's target is the pretentious scientism in which economists couch their mutual persuasions—a scientism that lingers on as the near-official language of economics discourse long after its inadequacies have been recognized by philosophers and scientists."—New York Review of Books

"The importance of McCloskey's work cannot be overstated."—Quarterly Journal of Speech

Deirdre N. McCloskey teaches economics and history at the University of Iowa and is the Tinbergen Distinguished Professor at Erasmus University of Rotterdam. Author of a dozen books in economics and history, she was formerly known as Donald. Her experience in changing gender is reflected in the new edition, but the message remains the same: economics needs to get serious about its rhetoric, and back to science.

For more information regarding publicity and reviews contact our publicity manager, phone: (608) 263-0734, email: publicity@uwpress.wisc.edu.

George Washington with mouth agape

May 1998

248 pp. 6 x 9

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ISBN 978-0-299-15814-9
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ISBN 978-0-299-15813-2
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