MORE WEIGHTINESS FOR A CONNECTICUT. I argued here that A CONNECTICUT YANKEE IN KING ARTHUR’S COURT is an important book,saying: “…economic historians in general have given increasing importance to technological change and to cultural attitudes in explaining economic growth.” Deirdre McCloskey’s book provides an even stronger argument for Twain’s book. A major economic historian goes a lot farther than I did, arguing that respect for business people—and especially respect for innovators—was the cause of the rapid movement into our modern world. Twain portrayed the key elements. The Yankee’s success is based not only on what he knows, but also on the new solutions he can devise. He has achieved success in Connecticut society, having over 2000 subordinates, and his skills make him admired (for a while) in medieval times (he is known as “the Boss”). McCloskey points to THE CONNECTICUT YANKEE in her discussion of how 19th century America was a society without aristocrats and which valued innovators. McCloskey refers to Melville’s “elevation of ‘blubber boilers’ hunting whales to heroic standing”, but I think that in fiction, MOBY DICK aside, Twain pretty much stands alone in dealing with the importance of businessmen and innovators in the 19th century—and in the 20th for that matter.

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