A Guide for the Perplexed (Magill's Literary Annual 1978)
Anyone who collects evidence to prove that great achievements can come late in life needs to consider the case of E. F. Schumacher. Born in 1911 in Bonn, Germany, Ernst Friedrich Schumacher intended to become an economics professor like his father. To that end, he studied at Bonn, Berlin, Oxford, and Columbia University in New York. He began teaching at Columbia, but the intense thirst for practical work which marked his whole career made him increasingly discontented with academic life. Repulsed by Hitler’s Germany, he settled in England in 1937 and went into business. When war broke out, Schumacher—like most German-born subjects—was interned; the government required him to labor on a Northhamptonshire farm for two pounds a week. But he soon gained release and worked both as a journalist and an associate of Lord Beveridge, a principal architect of the British welfare state. Following the war, “Fritz” Schumacher returned to Germany as an economic adviser to the British Control Commission. In 1950 the Labour government named him an economics adviser to the National Coal Board, which operates Britian’s nationalized coal mines; he eventually became head of planning.
Schumacher remained in this post for twenty years, all the time contributing editorials for The Times, The Observer, and The Economist. His position with the Coal Board provided him with a variety of important challenges. He found himself embroiled in a portentious...
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Bibliography (Magill's Literary Annual 1978)
Christian Century. XCIV, October 12, 1977, p. 925.
Christian Science Monitor. LXIX, September 28, 1977, p. 23.
Economist. CCLXV, October 1, 1977, p. 129.
Kirkus Reviews. XLV, July 1, 1977, p. 717.
New Statesman. XCIV, October 7, 1977, p. 481.
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