Why does society oscillate between intense interst in public issues and almost total concentration on private goals? In this work, Albert O. Hirschman offers a social, political and economic analysis dealing with how and why frustrations at private concerns lead to public involvement and public particpation that eventually lead back to those private concerns. Emerging from this study is a wide range of insights, from a critique of conventional consumption theory to a new understanding of collective action and of universal suffrage.
Albert O. Hirschman is a member of the Institute of Advanced Study in Princeton. He is the author of many books, including Exit, Voice, and Loyalty and The Strategy of Economic Development. Robert H. Frank is Godwin Smith Professor of Economics, Ethics, and Public Policy at Cornell University. He is the author of Luxury Fever (Princeton).