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John Maynard Keynes
Wednesday, October 17, 1984

Everyone has read biographies, but who has ever talked to a biographer? On Wednesday, October 17th, the Athenaeum will present one of its most unusual programs, a conversation and discussion with Charles Hession, author of a remarkable new biography of the great English economist John Maynard Keynes. Even if we are familiar with Keynes's name and know something of his ideas, few of us know anything about his life. As Hession's book makes clear, to genuinely understand the ideas one must understand the man who gave life to them.

When, in 1951, the "official" biography was published, a close friend of Keynes remarked: "This is the biography of Lord Keynes. Someone else must write the life of Maynard. " Now Charles Hession has done so.

Keynes's complex personality, his ambiguous sexuality, his life long friendships with the Bloomsbury group - Virginia Woolf, Lytton Strachey, Duncan Grant and the others - all are explored by Hession as keys to understanding Keynes's originality. The revelation of the biography isn't so much undiscovered skeletons in unopened closets, as it is a keen insight into the relationship of the whole man and his work.

Keynes's theories have been much discussed, but what of the man himself ? What was he really like, and what difference did that make?

Don't miss this opportunity to join a unique conversation. There will be a reception at 5:30 p.m. and dinner at 6:00, followed by the discussion with Hession. Remember, reservations must be made by October 12th.