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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/8171/sudha-shenoy-1943-2008/

Sudha Shenoy, 1943-2008

June 4, 2008 by

We are all very saddened to hear that Professor Sudha Shenoy of the University of Newcastle died yesterday (a blog notice here). She was a long-time associate of the work of the Mises Institute, and was scheduled to give a week-long series of lectures on F.A. Hayek this fall in our offices. In the last 10 years, she spent many weeks with us, doing research and writing and lecturing. Her areas of specialization included the history of economics and the history of ideas. She was as passionately in favor of global trade as she was against war and empire.

Here is her media archive, her daily article archive, and her interview in the Austrian Economics Newsletter, which provides fascinating biographical information.

She was a student of both Hayek and, most directly, of Murray Rothbard, a fact which became clear once you began to talk with her at length. She has picked up some of Rothbard’s mannerisms in the most charming way: her laugh, the way she moved her hands when she spoke, and her general scholarly demeanor, which combined vast knowledge and a love of detail with a certain lightness and optimism.

We all mourn her passing and will treasure in our memories all the time she spent with us through the years. May she rest in peace.


Ted June 4, 2008 at 9:26 am

This is very sad news. I recall her great enthusiasm for her subject when I listened to her speaking. Rest in peace Sudha.

Madhusudan Raj June 4, 2008 at 9:34 am

In deed a great loss to the world which is already in scarcity of people like Sudha Shenoy who stands and fight for Freedom. As an Indian, I feel its a great loss to this country too where such freedom minded economists are rare. She and her father B. R.Shenoy were two Indian economist whom I see with great respect. May her soul rest in peace.

Dennis June 4, 2008 at 10:30 am

Yes, may Professor Shenoy rest in peace. At the age of 64 or 65, she has left this world much too early.

Yumi June 4, 2008 at 11:00 am

This is very sad. I’ve read that Professor Shenoy was writing a book on the economic history of Britain. If it is published, I’d love to read it. RIP.

Miklos Hollender June 4, 2008 at 1:39 pm


And BTW I was a little surprised, I thought there are no economists of the Austrian school teaching at universities in the UK after the Hayek-Robbins era at LSE. Are there any others left? I’m in Birmingham, UK and have no one to talk about these things, would love to attend to a lecture of an A. economist if there were any here. Can someone help?

Yancey Ward June 4, 2008 at 2:01 pm

Professor Shenoy’s passing is indeed quite a loss. I enjoyed reading her writings on Mises.org. They were amongst the most lucid and enlightening ones on a site filled with many others. I will miss seeing new essays from her.

Geoffrey Allan Plauche June 4, 2008 at 4:48 pm

I was shocked and saddened to hear of her death. I didn’t know she was fighting cancer. I never got a chance to meet her, but I’ve enjoyed some of her published work, listserv and blog posts, and her Austrian Newsletter interview.

A.L. June 4, 2008 at 5:10 pm

I met Sudha when she sat at our table at an Austrian Scholars Conference in Auburn. She was dressed in typical Indian attire. She was deeply engaging and, at the same time, fun. Later during that conference, I heard her lecture dealing with capital structure.

She captured my interest and when I got back home I “googled” and read some of her work and things about her life.

It is indeed sad to learn of her passing. I imagine that she would have been a wonderful person to know.

Sukasah Syahdan June 4, 2008 at 9:39 pm

I would like to express my heartfelt condolence over her untimely death. She was among the Austrians I wished to meet in person. May you rest in peace, Sudha.

Patrick June 4, 2008 at 11:34 pm

Was Ms. Shenoy an anarcho-capitalist?

Madhusudan Raj June 5, 2008 at 2:51 am

In her interview with Austrian Newsletter, Sudha said, “Nearly every economics department in the world could be shut down without having an ill-effect on the world of ideas”. So true.

And now I go one step further in echoing what Sudha said, “Nearly every economics department around the world could (and should be) shut down to STOP THE DAMAGE on the world of (economic) ideas that those departments are doing right now by teaching faulty and dangerous economics.”

Lester Hunt June 5, 2008 at 11:08 am

Yes, most sad. Rest in peace.

Roy Cordato June 5, 2008 at 1:36 pm

I’d like to add my voice in remembrance and praise of Sudha. When I was a graduate student at GMU—probably in 1983—she was a visiting professor. In addition to teaching a course she was the facilitator for all of the student reading groups. I was always amazed at how much she knew and how insightful she was. From my vantage point at the time I just thought that she pretty much knew everything there was to know about Hayek. She also wrote what for many of us was our introduction to Austrian business cycle theory with Gerry O’Driscoll, “Inflation, Recession, and Stagflation”, (Dolan, The Foundations of Modern Austrian Economics, 1976) which to this day is one of the more lucid explanations of basic Austrian thinking on these issues.

At the time, my wife Karen and I, and a number of other grad students, spent a lot of time socializing with Sudha, eating meals, etc. I’m sure that much of what I learned through all of these situations is simply embedded in my thinking about economics.

Yes, she will be missed.

Walter Block June 5, 2008 at 1:37 pm

I first met Sudha, perhaps, in the late 1960s, in England. I’m no historian, so I don’t have the exact date.I was very impressed, then, with her wit and wisdom. She was like an encyclopedia of Austrianism, Hayek in particular. Don’t ask why, but, I objected to the way she pronounced “fries” as in “french fries.” She had a strong English accent. I tried to convert her to the Brooklyn, and southern US way of pronouncing this word: “friyes,” “fraas.” She insisted that I adopt the English pronunciation. There was a lot of giggling as we corrected each other’s pronunciation of this important word. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I miss Sudha not only for her erudition, scholarship, contribution to our beloved Austro libertarian movement, but also as a friend with whom I could giggle uproariously. She was a great joy.

gp manish and malavika June 5, 2008 at 8:23 pm

we are two students from india…we had been corresponding regularly with sudha shenoy for the past year and a half…its amazing how helpful she was to two random students who just e-mailed her out of the blue one day…she was always kind and cheerful and ever ready to share her vast knowledge…we are in the process of coming to america to pursue our phds and would never have been in this position without her guidance and encouragement… this has come as a huge shock to the two of us…we had no idea she was battling cancer…may her soul rest in peace…we can never forget the way she has touched our lives….

Ralph Raico June 5, 2008 at 8:46 pm

Like many others, I was very saddened to learn of the death of Sudha Shenoy. She was brilliant, remarkably learned in the social sciences, especially economics and economic and legal history, always civil and considerate in discussions and debates, yet a feisty fighter for her libertarian ideas. It happens that I met her father, B. R. Shenoy, when Ben Rogge invited him to lecture at Wabash College, where I taught in the mid-60s. Shenoy was an excellent and meticulous scholar and practically the only advocate for the free market in the India of his day, a courteous but implacable opponent of the socialism that was all the rage among development economists of the time. Sudha was a chip off the old block.

Frank Shostak June 5, 2008 at 10:17 pm

This is very sad. Sudha was a giant in economics. May she rest in peace.
Frank Shostak

Dick Clark June 5, 2008 at 10:19 pm

How terrible to have lost Professor Shenoy. Although I spent only limited time around her, I was always deeply impressed by her encyclopedic knowledge and how even with her slight build and gentle manner she was able to command her listener’s respect and attention. She was a wonderfully different presence at the Mises Institute whenever she found opportunity to circumnavigate the globe to participate in a seminar, and it saddens me to hear that I won’t be able to enjoy her company again.

LibertyVini June 5, 2008 at 11:12 pm

Despite the fact that she was so talented and, I am sure, busy, she took time to comment on a blogpost or two of mine on LibertyGuys, as gracious, trenchant, and witty as could be. Godspeed, Sudha.

chris June 6, 2008 at 11:39 am

I’d just add my own Sudha story.

A few years ago, I had a job offer at another school that I was thinking about accepting, and someone recommended emailing her for advice. So I did, and the next morning when I was in my pre-coffee state, she was on the phone from Australia to talk about my questions and raising several others that I hadn’t thought of. We talked for 45 minutes, on her dime, to well after 1:00 AM on her end when we hung up, and one would never have thought that she was finishing a long day.

Since then, we maintained contact. Her knowledge of Hayek was matched by her enthusiasm—are all good Austrians night owls?—and kindness. She wasn’t exactly for Hayek what Rothbard was for Mises, but like Rothbard she had an infectious “happy warrior” mentality for bringing Austrian contributions to academic discussions. Her students at Newcastle were truly spoiled. We have lost a first class economic historian and human being.

Patrick Crozier June 7, 2008 at 3:16 pm

The only contact I ever had with Professor Shenoy was when a few years ago I emailed her a question. The fact that she bothered to reply to me, given that she didn’t know me fromAdam, quoting chapter and verse (oh, and page number) was very touching.

TokyoTom June 12, 2008 at 12:22 am

I too am saddened to hear of Dr. Shenoy’s death. She was quite gracious and responsive to comments on her contributions on the blog.

Roderick T. Long June 17, 2008 at 10:15 pm

I was very sad to learn of Sudha Shenoy’s death. I didn’t know her well, but we spoke a few times at Mises Institute events (or on the Atlanta airport shuttle) and interacted on the L&P blog. She was a terrific economic historian, a radical libertarian, an inexhaustible fount of information (ask her a question and she would reply with a meticulous bibliography), with a witty and incisive mind disinclined to let b.s. pass unscathed.

In particular, I owe to Sudha the two following bits of information about her mentor Hayek:

1. Late in life Hayek once said that if he were younger, he would be a free-market anarchist.

2. Trusting Hayek’s notoriously unreliable memory, most writers have taken at face value his claim that he was never Mises’ student in the offiicl sense, i.e., never enrolled in his university courses. But Sudha pointed out to me that Hayek’s grade book (reproduced on p. 13 of John Raybould’s Hayek: A Commemorative Album) bears the signatures of his professors, including Mises.

Alan Dunn August 11, 2008 at 8:16 am

I indeed count myself as very fortunate to have had Sudha as my PhD Supervisor at the University of Newcastle from 2002 to 2004.

Like all that knew Sudha I will miss her greatly as both a mentor and a friend

Alan Dunn August 11, 2008 at 8:17 am

I indeed count myself as very fortunate to have had Sudha as my PhD Supervisor at the University of Newcastle from 2002 to 2004.

Like all that knew Sudha I will miss her greatly as both a mentor and a friend

Alan Dunn August 11, 2008 at 8:18 am

I indeed count myself as very fortunate to have had Sudha as my PhD Supervisor at the University of Newcastle from 2002 to 2004.

Like all that knew Sudha I will miss her greatly as both a mentor and a friend

Alan Dunn August 11, 2008 at 8:20 am

I indeed count myself as very fortunate to have had Sudha as my PhD Supervisor at the University of Newcastle from 2002 to 2004.

Like all that knew Sudha I will miss her greatly as both a mentor and a friend

Robert Miller June 27, 2010 at 6:00 pm

SudhaSudha was one of my oldest freiends – and in later years we would meet on her stop off in london on trips to America. She would stay in the Bonnington Hotel and we would eat in an Italian restaurant in Russell Square and we would discuss mutual friends and of course, Austrian economics. Sometimes she stayed at the University Women’s Club in South Audley Street. I first met her in the 1970s when I first came to London and joined the Seldson Group which was a group of youngish conservatives keenly promoting free market economics. My first memory of her is discussing some point from Prices and Production in a deep undeground station on the London tube after a Selsdon Group meeting. I also remember coming to the Centre for Policy Studies where I worked and Sir Keith Jospeh who had not met her before asking “Are you one of us?” And Sudha replying that indeed she had British nationality. A characteristic which she shared with Hayek.My latter memories are sad, but interesting. Before the crisis, I had emailed her suggesting that the surge in commodity prics was evidence of the Ricardo effect. She demurred vciting Hayek’s view that ABCT had releavance nowadays because of the growth of the state. We never resolved the argument because of her death. I had received a series of email expressing alarm at detereriorating health. The last was a little more optimistic bu I suspect that her doctors kept the truth from her.

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