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Dalton, George

 Person

Economist George Dalton was born in Brooklyn, New York, on August 2, 1926. Much of Dalton's writing grew out of Polanyi's views on economics, especially in primitive and developing societies, and he became well known as a somewhat acerbic defender of Polanyi's approach to economic anthropology. Dalton's most widely-used book was Economic Systems and Society: Capitalism, Communism, and the Third World, published by Penguin in 1974. Dalton joined the faculty of Northwestern University in 1963, and remained with NU until his death.

After serving in the U.S. Navy, 1944-1946, Dalton obtained his B.A. (with highest honors) in economics from Indiana University in 1950 and his M.A., also in economics, from Columbia University in 1951. There Dalton studied under Karl Polanyi, who profoundly influenced his career. Dalton earned his Ph.D. at the University of Oregon in 1959; his dissertation was on Robert Owen and Polanyi and their effect on industrial capitalism.

Dalton was an instructor in economics at Boston University 1953-1955 and 1956-1960. He spent 1955-1956 as a visiting instructor in England and Germany as part of the University of Maryland's overseas program. In 1960-1961 he was assistant professor of economics at Bard College. In 1961-1962 Dalton did twelve months of fieldwork in Liberia as visiting associate professor of economics at Northwestern University and as deputy director of the Economic Survey of Liberia.

In January, 1963, Dalton joined the Northwestern University faculty as associate professor of economics. In 1966 he received a joint appointment in economics and anthropology and in 1967 was promoted to professor of economics and anthropology, a title he held until his death.

Much of Dalton's writing grew out of Polanyi's views on economics, especially in primitive and developing societies, and he became well known as a somewhat acerbic defender of Polanyi's approach to economic anthropology. He devoted considerable time and effort to projects supported by Polanyi's widow, Ilona, and daughter, Kari. In 1968 Doubleday published a collection of Polanyi's essays edited by Dalton.

Dalton's most widely-used book was Economic Systems and Society: Capitalism, Communism, and the Third World, published by Penguin in 1974. The Economic Survey of Liberia was reported in a 1966 publication, Growth without Development: An Economic Survey of Liberia. R.W. Clower, M. Harwitz, and A.A. Walters Joined Dalton as authors of this volume.

In the decade before his death Dalton was collecting material for, and writing, a major text reviewing the field of economic anthropology. Unfortunately, this was not completed. He died in Evanston Hospital on August 26, 1991, a few weeks after his 65th birthday.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

George Dalton (1926-1991) Papers

 Collection
Identifier: 11/3/10/7
Abstract The papers of economist George Dalton (a member of the faculty of Northwestern University) fill 59 boxes spanning the period 1945-1991. Most of the material dates from 1960 to 1991. The papers contain biographical materials, education files, correspondence, teaching files, and publications, research files, and papers presented before professional organizations.