The Worldly Philosophers: The Lives, Times and Ideas of the Great Economic Thinkers is a widely-read 1953 book by Robert L. Heilbroner. Heilbroner outlines his theory that while in less developed societies humans find themselves in a balance between cooperation and selfishness in their struggle for survival, in advanced societies where survival is less of an issue, this balance is thrown off, risking societal breakdown. As a result, societies have dealt with this problem through authoritarianism, tradition and the economic market. The book then examines the theories of famous economists.

Summary of The Worldy Philosophers by Robert Louis Heilbroner

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