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Samuel Hollander was born in 1937 in London England. He grew up in an orthodox Jewish family where at the age of 16 he was sent to Gateshead-on-Tyne for Talmudic training. After returning to London in 1953 and completing “Advanced Level” requirements at Hendon Technical College and Killburn Polytechnic, he entered the London School of Economics. There, he was taught by well known economists, Lionel Robbins, Bernard Corry and Kurt Klappholz, to name a few. He graduated with a B. Sc. in Economics in 1959 and went to Princeton University where he completed his A.M. and Ph.D. by 1963.
He was recruited by Vincent Bladen to come to the University of Toronto to teach the history of economic thought and received his first appointment as Assistant Professor in 1963, rising through the ranks to Professor in 1970. In 1984 he received the distinction of University Professor, a lifetime honorary title held by only 14 professors at any one given time. Other prestigious honours include being named a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1976 and the First Bladen Lecturer, 1982 and Innis Lecturer, 1982. Hollander’s research has been recognized by the support of various fellowships and grants including the Guggenheim Fellowship (1968-69), Senior Canada Council Grant (1969-71), the Killam Senior Research Fellowship (1974-75), Connaught Senior Fellowship (1984-85) as well as numerous Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada Grants.
Hollander’s diligent research and innovative interpretations of the British classical economists have earned him distinction and recognition internationally in the field of the history of economic thought. Since the publication of The Economics of David Ricardo in 1979, Hollander’s works (numerous books and over 100 articles) have been the subject of unprecedented debate among academics. In a review of one of his recent books The Economics of Thomas Robert Malthus, the author, Walter Eltis of Oxford, refers to a possible “Hollanderian approach to the history of economics” (History of Economic Thought Newsletter, No. 59 Winter 1997 pp.20-23). In 1991, a campaign to procure Hollander a Nobel Prize was initiated. Nobel laureate Paul Samuelson of MIT wrote to University of Toronto President Robert Prichard in support of this campaign and noted that “Professor Hollander of your university, by virtue of the depth and breadth of his writings on classical economics, I have to regard as virtual dean of his discipline”. At Hollander’s request, this endeavour was put on hold until the publication of his Malthus manuscript. In September 1998, in view of his early retirement from the University of Toronto, a two day conference was organized in his honour.
Since 2000, Hollander has been a professor, lecturer and research associate in the Department of Economics at Ben-Gurion University in Beer-Sheva, Israel. He remains an active member in the political economy community, and continues to write extensively. He has recently published The Economics of Karl Marx: Analysis and Application in 2008, Friedrich Engels and Marxian Political Economy in 2011, and Essays on Classical and Marxian Political Economy in 2012/13.