In this episode, Gareth Dale talks about his biography “Karl Polanyi: A Life on the Left”, which has recently been published in paperback. We discuss Polanyi’s childhood and youth in Budapest, his move to Vienna after the First World War, his escape from Austrofascism to first England and later North America, where he would write his main work The Great Transformation. We also talk about Polanyi’s relationship with his wife Ilona Duczyńska and his brother Michael Polanyi. We end the interview with some challenges of writing a biography.
Gareth is a social scientist and senior lecturer at Brunel University. Besides Polanyi, his research interests include the political economy of the environment, the growth paradigm, the history of East Germany, the political economy of Eastern Europe, social movement theory, and international migration. Gareth has been working on Karl Polanyi for more than a decade. His research has resulted in several papers as well as the following four books on Polanyi, which are mentioned in the episode:
- Karl Polanyi: A Life on the Left. 2016. New York: Columbia University Press.
- Reconstructing Karl Polanyi: Excavation and Critique. 2016 London: Pluto Press.
- Karl Polanyi: The Hungarian Writings [edited volume]. 2016. Manchester University Press.
- Karl Polanyi: The Limits of the Market. 2010. Cambridge: Polity Press.