It is not in doubt that Hicks was the most distinguished British economist of his generation, many would say the most distinguished in the world. Yet it is more difficult to convey in a few words the nature of his greatness and his contribution than it would be for others of comparable stature. His fame did not come from some strong policy recommendations, like those derived from Keynes; nor from some strong empirical finding. And subtle though much of his writing is, he is not remembered mainly for sharp and startling deductive theorems, achieved through complex chains of reasoning.