Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts University Leeds, 1925, 1926. Doctor of Philosophy University, Cambridge, 1929.
Assistant Lector, University Leeds,
9. Senior Lector, University Cape Town,
1930-1949. Jagger Professor, Emeritus Professor of Economics, University Cape Town, 1950-1970,
Visiting Professor, University Melbourne, 1956, 1971.
(Lang:- English, Pages 261. Reprinted in 2015 with the hel...)
(Lang:- English, Pages 306. Reprinted in 2015 with the hel...)
Written by H. M. Robertson shortly before his death.) I believe that elucidation of changes in Western European economies during ‘early modern times’ suffered from injudicious adoption of general explanations, based on ingeniously conceived, attractively developed psycho-sociological constructs such as a ‘spirit of capitalism’ emanating from a protestant work-ethic. Written reluctantly to help emancipate historical research from such constraints, my first book was long received with little understanding or open-mindedness. I avoided controversy.
But once restated my views at a seminar (see No. 4 above). In 1956 Gerschenkron induced me to talk to his graduate students at short notice. I retained the notes.
And expanded them later for an appropriate tribute to Fanfani (see No. 6 above). South Africa has provided opportunities for varied economic and historical research. An early contribution was ‘150 years of economic contact between black and white’ (Article No. 2). Various articles and much unpublished research have followed intensive study of Dutch East India Company records.
Control over company outstations, distant both in space and time, involved detailed written communications between local officials and the central administration by slow, irregularly-calling ships. These provide well-documented information on economic ‘events’ and about economic thinking, within the company, on reasons for their occurrence, their expected results and control — viz. about links between economic thinking and action. My chief interests have always lain in the border areas between economic history and the history of economic thought.
Teaching duties helped me to make my own assessments of past economists. Most detailed is a review of a major element in Marshall’s work (Article No. 8). I derived most pleasure from those which brought me into the congenial company of Adam Smith (Article No.