Friday, December 25, 2009

Warsh on Samuelson

A very nice obit for Paul Samuelson by David Warsh at Economics Principals.

I particularly liked this anecdote:
Paul Samuelson truly was the smartest guy in the room – with the exception of the occasional meetings with John von Neumann. From the beginning he enjoyed a reputation as an enfant terrible. The joke was that when he defended his dissertation, one professor on Samuelson’s committee asked him, “Did we pass?” He was no easier on the investors and financiers whose practices he studied.
It would be interesting to see someone address the question of which of his two most famous books, Foundations or his undergraduate text, was ultimately more important.

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