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About Jerry Z. Muller
His most recent book, THE TYRANNY OF METRICS, was published by Princeton University Press in February, 2018.
He is the author of five previous books, all available from Amazon.
His lecture series, "THINKING ABOUT CAPITALISM," is available from The Great Courses.
A professor of history at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. he writes and lectures about a variety of historical and contemporary subjects, including capitalism; nationalism; conservatism; the history of social, political, economic, and religious thought; and modern German and Jewish history.
For speaking engagements, he is represented by the Leigh Bureau:
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How the obsession with quantifying human performance threatens business, medicine, education, government—and the quality of our lives
Today, organizations of all kinds are ruled by the belief that the path to success is quantifying human performance, publicizing the results, and dividing up the rewards based on the numbers. But in our zeal to instill the evaluation process with scientific rigor, we've gone from measuring performance to fixating on measuring itself—and this tyranny of metrics now threatens the quality of our organizations and lives. In this brief, accessible, and powerful book, Jerry Muller uncovers the damage metrics are causing and shows how we can begin to fix the problem. Filled with examples from business, medicine, education, government, and other fields, the book explains why paying for measured performance doesn't work, why surgical scorecards may increase deaths, and much more. But Muller also shows that, when used as a complement to judgment based on personal experience, metrics can be beneficial, and he includes an invaluable checklist of when and how to use them. The result is an essential corrective to a harmful trend that increasingly affects us all.
Ranging across an ideological spectrum that includes Hobbes, Voltaire, Adam Smith, Edmund Burke, Hegel, Marx, and Matthew Arnold, as well as twentieth-century communist, fascist, and neoliberal intellectuals, historian Jerry Muller examines a fascinating thread of ideas about the ramifications of capitalism and its future implications. This is an engaging and accessible history of ideas that reverberate throughout everyday life.
At a time when the label "conservative" is indiscriminately applied to fundamentalists, populists, libertarians, fascists, and the advocates of one or another orthodoxy, this volume offers a nuanced and historically informed presentation of what is distinctive about conservative social and political thought. It is an anthology with an argument, locating the origins of modern conservatism within the Enlightenment and distinguishing between conservatism and orthodoxy. Bringing together important specimens of European and American conservative social and political analysis from the mid-eighteenth century through our own day, Conservatism demonstrates that while the particular institutions that conservatives have sought to conserve have varied, there are characteristic features of conservative argument that recur over time and across national borders.
The book proceeds chronologically through the following sections: Enlightenment Conservatism (David Hume, Edmund Burke, and Justus Möser), The Critique of Revolution (Burke, Louis de Bonald, Joseph de Maistre, James Madison, and Rufus Choate), Authority (Matthew Arnold, James Fitzjames Stephen), Inequality (W. H. Mallock, Joseph A. Schumpeter), The Critique of Good Intentions (William Graham Sumner), War (T. E. Hulme), Democracy (Carl Schmitt, Schumpeter), The Limits of Rationalism (Winston Churchill, Michael Oakeshott, Friedrich Hayek, Edward Banfield), The Critique of Social and Cultural Emancipation (Irving Kristol, Peter Berger and Richard John Neuhaus, Hermann Lübbe), and Between Social Science and Cultural Criticism (Arnold Gehlen, Philip Rieff). The book contains an afterword on recurrent tensions and dilemmas of conservative thought.
How the fate of the Jews has been shaped by the development of capitalism
The unique historical relationship between capitalism and the Jews is crucial to understanding modern European and Jewish history. But the subject has been addressed less often by mainstream historians than by anti-Semites or apologists. In this book Jerry Muller, a leading historian of capitalism, separates myth from reality to explain why the Jewish experience with capitalism has been so important and complex—and so ambivalent.
Drawing on economic, social, political, and intellectual history from medieval Europe through contemporary America and Israel, Capitalism and the Jews examines the ways in which thinking about capitalism and thinking about the Jews have gone hand in hand in European thought, and why anticapitalism and anti-Semitism have frequently been linked. The book explains why Jews have tended to be disproportionately successful in capitalist societies, but also why Jews have numbered among the fiercest anticapitalists and Communists. The book shows how the ancient idea that money was unproductive led from the stigmatization of usury and the Jews to the stigmatization of finance and, ultimately, in Marxism, the stigmatization of capitalism itself. Finally, the book traces how the traditional status of the Jews as a diasporic merchant minority both encouraged their economic success and made them particularly vulnerable to the ethnic nationalism of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Providing a fresh look at an important but frequently misunderstood subject, Capitalism and the Jews will interest anyone who wants to understand the Jewish role in the development of capitalism, the role of capitalism in the modern fate of the Jews, or the ways in which the story of capitalism and the Jews has affected the history of Europe and beyond, from the medieval period to our own.