Angus Burgin is Assistant Professor of History at Johns Hopkins University, and received his BA and PhD from Harvard University. His research focuses on the history of ideas about political economy in the United States and the Atlantic world since the late nineteenth century. He is the author of The Great Persuasion: Reinventing Free Markets since the Depression (Harvard, 2012), which chronicles the transformation of market advocacy between the 1930s and 1970s among theorists including Frank Knight, Wilhelm Röpke, Friedrich Hayek, and Milton Friedman. Currently he is writing an intellectual history of work since the 1940s, exploring the origins and social implications of new ideas about automation, post-industrialism, and the knowledge economy. His research has been supported by fellowships from the Mellon Foundation, the Newcombe Foundation, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and has received the Merle Curti Award from the Organization of American Historians and the Joseph Dorfman and Joseph J. Spengler Prizes from the History of Economics Society.
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Economists discussing the problem of radical uncertainty commonly invoke Frank Knight’s classic definition in Risk, Uncertainty and Profit, but only rarely venture to explore the broader contours of his argument.