Date of Original Version

Fall 1996



Abstract or Description

On the twenty-fifth anniversary of the publication of Keynes' General Theory, the late Harry G. Johnson recognized the book's outstanding contribution to the way economists think about macroeconomics and its stimulus to research (Johnson, 1961). Nevertheless, he criticized the book for both its exposition and its many analytical flaws. He traced these flaws to the Marshallian tradition of literary exposition, errors or misunderstanding in Keynes9 thinking about capital, and his use of income as a measure of current receipts instead of the more classical measure of the flow available from a given stock of capital. Considering it a book on policy, which the General Theory surely is, Johnson gave Keynes credit for the importance that governments give to cyclical fluctuations in unemployment, but criticized him for the Mure of his followers to give much weight to inflation.