In his review of Gunnar Myrdal’s The Political Element in the Development of Economic Theory (Myrdal 1954; first Swedish edition 1929) the Swedish economist Sven Brisman presented a snapshot picture from a gathering of Nationalekonomiska klubben (the Political Economy Club) in 1928. Brisman was a slightly younger colleague of Eli Heckscher at the Handelshögskolan in Stockholm and was, along with Knut Wicksell, Gustav Cassel, David Davidson and Eli Heckscher, one of the leading economists in Sweden of the older generation before the emergence of the Stockholm School in the 1930s. According to Brisman (1930):

One day about two years ago, a remarkable meeting was held at our political economy discussion club in Stockholm. Here we elder economists had gone for years, basking in our own splendidness, full of an unfeigned mutual admiration, convinced that we had finally found the only True and Correct economic viewpoint. And then came Gunnar Myrdal, who was a young docent at that time, about whom I knew little more than that he had defended a brilliant dissertation. Figuratively speaking, he turned all of us upside-down. His presentation was one long glowing sermon from the mouth against everything we had considered most valuable in our economic education. And it was apparent that he had a group of enthusiastic followers among the even younger, who were indignant over the writings of Cassel, Heckscher and myself. All our old and beloved concepts, especially ‘maximum welfare’ and ‘efficiency’, not to

mention ‘population optimum’ and the ‘economic correct distribution of productive forces’, ‘national income’, ‘price level’ and much more – all these were blown away like straw in the wind, until we didn’t know if we stood on our heads or on our feet.1