Public Choice

, Volume 159, Issue 1–2, pp 313–315 | Cite as

Wayne A. Leighton and Edward J. López: Madmen, intellectuals, and academic scribblers: the economic engine of political change

Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2013. xiv + 209 pages. USD 29.95 (cloth)
  • Michael D. Thomas
Book Review

Leighton and López’s book, Madmen, Intellectuals, and Academic Scribblers, is a motivated reading into the role political entrepreneurs play in creating policy. The book discusses three distinct levels of change: origination, establishment, and implementation of new ideas. The result of their efforts is an expansive survey edited to less than 200 pages of discussion. What is surprising, then, is that the authors cover the material and maintain a conversational tone, comfortable even for a novice historian of thought. The book takes the reader through selected episodes that are instrumental in improving the general economic welfare of society. The main focus of the book, however, is to structure insight into the pattern of ideological change.

The book builds on the assertion that ideas matter. After establishing that claim, the authors demonstrate it through historical episodes. Ideas do not truly matter until they have influenced the way people interact. An idea alone will not succeed...


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Economics and FinanceUtah State UniversityLoganUSA

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