Jim Tomlinson's first book, Things Kept, Things Left Behind, received the 2006 Iowa Short Fiction Award, and its title story appeared in New Stories from the South: The Year's Best, 2008. His work has been short-listed for inclusion in Best American Short Stories, 2007 and Best American Mystery Stories, 2007, and he has received grants from the Kentucky Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts.
The Things They Carried won France's prestigious Prix du Meilleur Livre Etranger and the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize; it was also a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award.
This approach is quite distinct from the Marxist, the Keynesian or the neo-classical accounts of economic policy, the schools of thought which are described and criticized in the introduction. Subsequent chapters use the issues of unemployment, the gold standard and problems of trade and Empire to demonstrate that these competing accounts all obscure the true complexities of the process. Because they adhere to simple assumptions about the role of economic theory or of ‘vested interests’ previous histories have been unable adequately to explain the dramatic change after the First World War in attitudes to unemployment, for instance, or the decision to return to gold in 1925. Jim Tomlinson surveys the institutional circumstances, the conflicting political pressures and the theories offered at the time in an attempt to discover the conditions which characterized the questions as economic problems and contributed to the choice of ‘solutions’.
The result is a sophisticated and intellectually compelling account of matters which have remained at the forefront of political debate since its first publication in 1981.