Principles of Economics is magnum opus of Alfred Marshall. It was the standard text for generations of economics students. Marshal’s plan for the work gradually extended to a two-volume compilation on the whole of economic thought. Marshall's influence on modifying economic thought is difficult to deny. He popularized the use of supply and demand functions as tools of price determination; modern economists owe the linkage between price shifts and curve shifts to Marshall.
Published in 1832, Illustrations of Political Economy established Harriet Martineau as both a successful and controversial author and a pioneer of nineteenth-century “social problem” writing. This widely read series of didactic stories popularized political economy, making it accessible to audiences by vividly dramatizing issues such as overpopulation and labour strikes. Illustrations of Political Economy marks a pivotal moment in which literature and politics came together, laying the foundation for the realism and social commentary of later Victorian novels. This Broadview edition contains a critical introduction and a rich selection of historical documents, including contemporary reviews of Illustrations and writings on population growth, factory conditions, and working-class life.
Das Kapital, also called Capital. A Critique of Political Economy, is the most cited book in the social sciences published before 1950. Marx aimed to reveal the economic patterns underpinning the capitalist mode of production in contrast to classical political economists such as Adam Smith, Jean-Baptiste Say, David Ricardo and John Stuart Mill. Marx proposes that the motivating force of capitalism is in the exploitation of labor, whose unpaid work is the ultimate source of surplus value. Das Kapital proposes an explanation of the "laws of motion" of the capitalist economic system from its origins to its future by describing the dynamics of the accumulation of capital, the growth of wage labour, the transformation of the workplace, the concentration of capital, commercial competition, the banking system, the decline of the profit rate, land-rents, et cetera.