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T.S. Eliot's Neo-Medieval Economics

Michael R. Stevens


What sets Eliot apart from contemporary poets is that his treatment of many socio-political issues, and especially economic issues, appears not absurd but rather, in retrospect, profound. Eliots thread of development as a social commentator is also intriguing because, though his poetry remains a rather abstruse source for following his thought, another source does exist: The Criterion. This was the journalactually subtitled A Quarterly Reviewthat Eliot founded in 1922 and edited, through various permutations and crises, until he closed it down with the final issue in January 1939. Based on the assumption that an editor, during this period, kept fairly strict control over choices ranging from contributors, to foreign periodicals reviewed, to the thematic direction for the journal at large, The Criterion can be seen to serve as a progressive chronicle of Eliots primary concernsboth before, during, and after his conversion. This becomes an unusual opportunity for exploration, and it bears much fruit.

Michael R. Stevens, "T.S. Eliot's Neo-Medieval Economics," Journal of Markets & Morality 2, no. 2 (Fall 1999): 234-246

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