Still Awaiting Redemption, review of Redeeming Economics: Rediscovering the Missing Element

Redeeming Economics is a substantial book in more than one respect. Some 450 pages long, the study covers topics as diverse as currency regimes, the nature of family life, and the metaphysical foundations of social knowledge—all woven into an underlying narrative of the problems with and solutions to contemporary economic thought.

Mueller’s project is undoubtedly ambitious, and given the narrow, specialized research produced by most academic economists, it is refreshing to encounter this capacious engagement with the big questions of political economy. On the other hand, the broad scope of the work leaves less room for detailed arguments, and many of Mueller’s claims are unlikely to convince those who specialize in the many academic fields and subfields he traverses. Perhaps the most serious criticism of the work is that it would have to be many thousands of pages longer to defend adequately all its bold claims.