Praxis Circle Contributor Deirdre McCloskey is currently the Distinguished Professor of Economics, History, English, and Communication at the University of Illinois – Chicago, Emerita, where she has worked since 2000. Before that, she was a tenured associate professor at the University of Chicago in history and economics. Between her years at the University of Chicago and the University of Illinois – Chicago, Dr. McCloskey was a professor of history and economics at the University of Iowa.

Praxis Circle interviewed Deirdre McCloskey because she is one of the most outstanding and fascinating economic historians in the world and because of her interest in and explanations for the West’s and the world’s vast increase in wealth since 1800, a little known and certainly not celebrated fact.

Dr. McCloskey graduated from Harvard University with her B.A. (1964) and Ph.D. (1970) in Economics. She holds eleven honorary degrees from U.S. and European universities and is a former protégé of Dr. Milton Friedman. She has held a Guggenheim and a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, along with winning a National Science Foundation grant. She has received numerous other fellowships and awards.

A prolific author, Dr. McCloskey has written four hundred scholarly and popular pieces, nineteen books, and is working on her twentieth. Her book Crossing: A Memoir, an account of her gender change, was named by the New York Times in 1999 as one of their “Notable Books of the Year.”

In Dr. McCloskey’s own words, she is “a literary, quantitative, postmodern, free-market, progressive-Episcopalian, ex-Marxist, Midwestern woman from Boston who was once a man. Not ‘conservative’! I’m a Christian classical liberal.”