Most of the essays in this book were first collected and published in 1933, when Keynes had reached a turning point in a highly successful career as an academic economist, as an official economic advisor, opponent of the reparation imposed on Germany and critic of the orthodox economic policies of British governments. Before devoting himself fully to the final stages of his journey towards The General Theory, Keynes put together these examples of one of his favourite literary genres, the psychological portrait and biographical sketch. With the additions made in 1951 and 1972, the book contains almost all of Keynes's biographical writings: his savage portraits of the architects of the Treaty of Versailles and sketches of other politicians, including Asquith and Churchill; some classic accounts of the lives of economists; a pair of autobiographical memoirs; a short study of Newton; and many acute and affectionate character sketches of friends.
Part I. Sketches of Politicians: 1. The Council of Four, Paris 1919; 2. Lloyd George: a fragment; 3. A meeting of the Council of Three; 4. Andrew Bonar Law; 5. Herbert Asquith; 6. Edwin Montagu; 7. Arthur Balfour; 8. Winston Churchill (1) Mr Churchill on the war of 1914-1918 (2) Mr Churchill on the peace; 9. Reginald McKenna; 10. The Great Villiers connection; 11. Trotsky on England; Part II. Lives of Economists: 12. Thomas Robert Malthus (1) The first of the Cambridge economists (2) The centenary allocution; 13. William Stanley Jevons; 14. Alfred Marshall; 15. Mary Paley Marshall; 16. Francis Ysidro Edgeworth; 17. Herbert Somerton Foxwell; 18. Sir Henry Cunynghame; 19. Henry Higgs; 20. Alfred Hoare; Part III. Brief Sketches: 21. Wilhelm Lexis; 22. Frederic Hillersdon Keeling; 23. A. A. Tschuprow; 24. Benjamin Strong; 25. C. P. Sanger; 26. Walter Case; 27. George Broomhall; 28. Frederick Phillips; Part IV. His Friends in King's: 29. Frank Ramsey; 30. A. F. R. Wollaston; 31. W. E. Johnson; 32. William Herrick Macaulay; 33. Dilwyn Knox; 34. Julien Bell; Part V. Two Scientists: 35. Newton, the man; 36. Bernard Shaw and Isaac Newton; 37. Einstein; Part VI. Two Memoirs: 38. Melchoir: a defeated enemy; 39. My early beliefs.