A five-year project to publish the collected works of pioneering British economist John Maynard Keynes, is today unveiled by Cambridge University Press.

If it is a sign of a great economist that he can continue to be read for contemporary enlightenment and counsel, then John Maynard Keynes is one of the very few who qualify. Dead for sixty-six years, his theories and insights retain their freshness, because the faults which he identified in our system of decentralized capitalism have not gone away. Indeed, they have become once again the main topic of economic discussion.

Lord Robert Skidelsky

Available in electronic and paperback format for the first time, The Collected Writings of John Maynard Keynes is published on behalf of The Royal Economic Society and comprises thirty volumes of all Keynes' published books and articles, including writing from his time in the India Office and Treasury, correspondence in which he developed ideas in argument with fellow economists, and correspondence relating to public affairs.

Keynes, who studied mathematics at King’s College, Cambridge, is widely considered to be one of the most influential thinkers of the 20th century. His work revolutionized the theory and practice of modern economics and it has had a profound impact on the way economics is taught and written, and on economic policy around the world. His ideas are the basis for the school of thought known as ‘Keynesian economics.’

Born in Cambridge in 1883, Keynes’s father was an economist and a philosopher and his mother became Cambridge’s first female mayor. Keynes went to work in the India Office, and earned a fellowship at King's College. Following the outbreak of World War One, he joined the treasury, and in the wake of the Versailles peace treaty, he published 'The Economic Consequences of the Peace' which became a best-seller and made him world famous.

During the inter-war years, Keynes amassed a considerable personal fortune from the financial markets and, as bursar of King's College, greatly improved the college's financial position. He became a prominent arts patron and board member of a number of companies.

Keynes' best-known work, 'The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money', was published in 1936, and became a benchmark for future economic thought. It also secured his position as Britain’s foremost economist and in 1942, he was made a member of the House of Lords.

The recent global financial crisis has led to fresh interest in Keynes’ work and his ideas underpinned many of the economic policies undertaken in response to the crisis by George W. Bush, Barack Obama, Gordon Brown, and other heads of government.

The Collected Writings of John Maynard Keynes is published on November 8th and is available in electronic and paperback format. For more information please visit

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