“NO STUDENT OF THE THEORY OF GOVERNMENT CAN AFFORD TO IGNORE ITS NOVEL APPROACH”: THE FOLKLORE OF CAPITALISM, FIRST EDITION, ECONOMIST ALAN SWEEZY’S COPY
ARNOLD, Thurman. The Folklore of Capitalism. New Haven and London: Yale University Press and Humphrey Milford, Oxford University Press, 1937. Octavo, original red cloth gilt, original dust jacket. $1500.
Scarce first edition of Arnold’s “exciting and stimulating” case for a revitalized American economic and political “creed,” the copy of New Deal economist Alan R. Sweezy.
In 1930, Arnold joined the legal faculty at Yale, where he "wrote two influential books, The Symbols of Government (1935) and The Folklore of Capitalism (1937), which catapulted him to the forefront of the national intellectual arena. In Symbols, Arnold argued that laws were not collections of immutable truths but rather mental representations of symbolic thinking. Arnold refashioned that argument and carried it a step further in Folklore, wherein he asserted that social progress was possible only through a pragmatic (rather than experimental) approach to government. Reassuring the nervous brokers on Wall Street that his was essentially a conservative diagnosis of America's economic and social ills were Arnold's assurances that there was no reason to root out capitalism; what civilization needed was fresh folklore for the common man and new vitalized myths." Shortly after Folklore's publication Arnold was appointed assistant Attorney General. "Many historians and commentators have referred to Arnold's tenure at Justice as the most effective of antitrust enforcement in U.S. history" (ANB). "Every reader will find it exciting and stimulating… No student of the theory of government can afford to ignore its novel approach to fundamental problems" (LQR 54:603). NYU, 931. Ownership signature of economist Alan R. Sweezy, who in the 1930s helped establish Social Security and later worked at the Federal Reserve Board. Publisher's reply card laid in.
Book fine with spine gilt bright. Original dust jacket with mild toning to spine and light edge-wear. A desirable and very nearly fine copy, with notable economic provenance.