By William J. Bernstein
A sweeping narrative heritage of global trade--from Mesopotamia in 3000 B.C. to the firestorm over globalization today--that brilliantly explores trade's colourful and contentious prior and offers new insights into its future
Adam Smith wrote that guy has an intrinsic "propensity to truck, barter, and trade something for another." yet how did alternate evolve to the purpose the place we don't think carefully approximately biting into an apple from the opposite part of the realm?
In A most appropriate Exchange, William J. Bernstein tells the intense tale of worldwide trade from its prehistoric origins to the myriad controversies surrounding it this present day. He starts off in historical Mesopotamia, the place early investors floated barley, copper, and ivory up and down the Tigris and Euphrates, and he strikes directly to the Greeks, whose grain exchange helped ignite the Peloponnesian battle. He transports readers from the ships that carried silk from China to Rome on monsoon gales within the moment century to the increase and fall of the Portuguese monopoly in spices within the 16th; from the frenzy for sugar that introduced the British to Jamaica in 1655 to the yankee exchange battles of the early 20th century; from key techniques resembling steam, metal, and refrigeration to the fashionable period of televisions from Taiwan, lettuce from Mexico, and T-shirts from China.
Along the best way, Bernstein, who's either a proficient storyteller and an comprehensive financial theorist, brings to existence a gallery of attention-grabbing characters and synthesizes millions of years of history--social, cultural, political, army, and economic--into a wealthy and interesting narrative. He explores how our age-old dependency on exchange has contributed to our planet's agricultural bounty, encouraged highbrow growth, and made us either filthy rich and susceptible. Bernstein concludes that even if the impulse to alternate usually takes a backseat to xenophobia and battle, it truly is finally a strength for stable between countries, and he argues that societies are way more profitable and solid after they are excited about energetic exchange with their acquaintances.
Lively, authoritative, and awesome in scope, A fantastic Exchange is a riveting narrative that perspectives alternate and globalization no longer in political phrases, yet really as an evolutionary technique as previous as warfare and religion--a old constant--that will proceed to foster the expansion of highbrow capital, minimize the realm, and propel the trajectory of the human species.
Includes 23 maps and forty black-and-white illustrations.
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Additional resources for A Splendid Exchange: How Trade Shaped the World
Modern life flows on an ever-rising river of trade; if we wish to understand its currents and course, we must travel up its headwaters to commercial centers with names like Dilmun and Cambay, where its ori gins can be sought, and its future imagined. A Note to the Reader Uncertainty shrouds more than a few of the topics covered here. Further, I have found it difficult to completely ignore the myriad of fascinating minutiae surrounding many of the tales. In order to maintain narrative flow, I have consigned areas of controversy and engaging trivia to the endnotes; interested readers are encouraged to consult these.
This photograph of economists Wolfgang Stolper (left) and Paul Samuelson (right) was taken fifty years after they developed a theorem that explained who wins, and who loses, with free trade. By courtesy of the University (~f Michigan Press. INTRODUCTION The circumstances could not have been more ordinary: a September morning in a hotel lobby in central Berlin. While the desk clerk and I po litely exchanged greetings in each other's fractured English and German, I casually plucked an apple from the bowl on the counter and slipped it into my backpack.
Yet few other historical inquiries tell us as much about the world we live in today as does the search for the origins of world trade—if we ask the right questions. For instance, from the dawn of recorded history there was a vigorous long-distance commerce in grain and metals between Mesopotamia and southern Arabia. And going back even further, archae ologists have found strong evidence of the prehistoric conveyance over long distances of strategic materials such as obsidian and stone tools.
A Splendid Exchange: How Trade Shaped the World by William J. Bernstein