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PIIRS Director's Book Forum features book on Albert Hirshman on Oct. 3

The Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies continues its 2013–14 Director’s Book Forum series with a presentation by Jeremy Adelman, Walter Samuel Carpenter III Professor in Spanish Civilization and Culture, professor of history, and director of the Council for International Teaching and Research and of the Fund for Canadian Studies, on his new book, The Worldly Philosopher: The Odyssey of Albert O.  Hirshman (2013), on Thursday, October 3, 2013, at noon in 219 Burr Hall.  The event is free and open to the public.

**Media who would like to attend should RSVP by October 2 to Carole Frantzen at or 609-258-7497**


About the book

Worldly Philosopher chronicles the times and writings of Albert O. Hirschman, one of the twentieth century's most original and provocative thinkers.  Born in Berlin in 1915, Hirschman fled Germany when the Nazi’s seized power in 1933, fought against the fascists in Spain, and helped many of Europe’s artists and intellectuals escape to America when France fell to the Nazis. After the war, his intellectual career led him to academic appointments at Columbia, Harvard, and the Institute for Advanced Study. He was an adviser to governments, foundations, and the World Bank, and the author of innovative and important books in economics, the social sciences, and the history of ideas. Adelman’s riveting narrative traces how Hirschman’s personal experiences shaped his unique intellectual perspective, and how his enduring legacy is one of hope, open-mindedness, and practical idealism.


"[A] biography worthy of the man. Adelman brilliantly and beautifully brings Hirschman to life, giving us an unforgettable portrait of one of the twentieth century's most extraordinary intellectuals. . . . [M]agnificent."--Malcolm Gladwell, New Yorker

 "[A] hugely engaging . . . epic."--Justin Fox, New York Times Book Review

"[An] astonishing and moving biography. . . . Hirschman's work is more than interesting enough to justify a book (or two, or ten), but Adelman's achievement is to demonstrate, in novelistic detail, that he also lived an astounding life, full of narrow paths and ridiculously improbable twists and turns."--Cass Sunstein, New York Review of Books

 "[A] massive, erudite biography."--Roger Lowenstein, Wall Street Journal

 "This is the book I have looked forward to most all year and so far it does not disappoint."
--Tyler Cowen, Marginal Revolution

"Adelman's engrossing biography illustrates how Hirschman's global background, natural linguistic ability, education, and worldly experiences shaped his thoughts and enabled his thinking 'outside the box' to arrive at original and often provocative ideas. . . . Hirschman's story will appeal to many general readers, but especially to economists."--Library Journal

"Worldly Philosopher will be the definitive work on Hirschman for some time. . . . If you liked Edmund de Waal's The Hare with Amber Eyes, you will find Adelman's story of Hirschman's early life riveting--a book-club quality read. . . . Worldly Philosopher is a prodigious piece of research, lovingly told and immensely worthwhile for the new light it sheds on the odyssey of a writer whose small ideas add up to major insights."--Robert Kuttner, American Prospect


About the author

Adelman is interested in the history of Latin America in comparative and world contexts with a focus on economic, legal, and political transformations. His other books include, as coauthor, Worlds Together, Worlds Apart (2011), a history of the world from the beginning of humankind; and as author, Sovereignty and Revolution in the Iberian Atlantic (2006); Republic of Capital: Buenos Aires and the Legal Transformation of the New World (1999); and Frontier Development: Land, Labour, and Capital on the Wheatlands of Argentina and Canada (1994).  Adelman's current book projects are "Latin America: A Global History" and a study of Latin American social scientists from the Great Depression to the present. Ph.D. Oxford University.



The aim of the PIIRS Director’s Book Forum series is to provide opportunities for Princeton faculty working in international and regional studies to present their most recently published work to the Princeton community. The series will continue throughout year.


Lunch will be provided at forum events; registration required. Contact the Carole Frantzen, or 609-258-7497.


Stephen Kotkin, John P. Birkelund ’52 Professor in History and International Affairs, is acting director of the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies.