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America's Protectionist Takeoff 1815-1914 Paperback – March 1, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-3980846684 ISBN-10: 3980846687

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 392 pages
  • Publisher: ISLET (March 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 3980846687
  • ISBN-13: 978-3980846684
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 0.8 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #358,331 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Nathan Tankus on January 12, 2011
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Every American should be required to read this book by the time they turn 21. it tells an incredibly well researched story of the unique American political economy that developed in the 19th century to counter the pessimistic free trade ideas of Britain and how they were gradually abandoned as America started to take Britain's place as a world power. Michael Hudson provides wonderful historical and biographical context for each generation of American protectionists and shows how intimately related the politics of the time and protectionist political economy were. Any attempt to teach 19th century American history without the information contained here will result in a warped, even devastatingly flawed, view of American History.The only Disappointment this book inspires is the disappointment that it took this long to be written and the story it contains hasn't been more widely told. In conclusion, this book is critical to understanding the development of America, the history of protectionism and the roots of free trade dogma in today's politics.If the world doesn't learn how the united states became an industrialized nation, today's developing countries will never industrialize themselves.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By John Mugge on March 20, 2012
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America's Protectionist Takeoff 1815-1914 should be mandatory reading for all students of economics, finance, business, and history. The notion that free trade is the only viable economic perspective, often assumed to be the case in universities these days, is to be ignorant of so much, including the most fundamental debate in nineteenth century American politics - both before the Civil War and after. Furthermore, reading Michael Hudson's account of the development of The American School of Political Economy gives one fine examples by which to understand that economic philosophy does not develop in a vacuum. Every perspective comes with its biases - more strongly in economics than elsewhere due to financial incentive lurking behind the various viewpoints.

That there is an argument for tariffs, even an argument for isolationism, many would deny. But the fact is every industrial nation got its economic feet on the ground by exercising its sovereign right to impose import restrictions, generally against the free trade arguments and the urgings of the British. And the ideas put forth by the American School were highly influential in this regard. I strongly urge you to get this book and read all about it.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Scott Roberts on March 10, 2011
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This book is like a series of 20 mini biographies concerning important but nearly unknown political economy thinkers and "activists" during America's protectionist takeoff. I'm partial to biographies, so it was an enjoyable read. It's a shame this book is not getting wider exposure.

It's a 1975 rewrite of his 1968 dissertation, with some material added (I believe) in 2010. The 1975 printing had only 100 copies.

The book reviews and chronicles the diversity of protectionist thought. The title is accurate. He provides a lot of context, and I enjoyed the writing. Their thinking spanned topics such as evolution, religion, physics, slavery, and agriculture. It shows they had a lot of insight that J.S. Mill was not aware of. It's perfect for a historian who's primary interest is economics, or an economist who was not aware of these economists or needs an "off the beaten path" background in protectionism.

The 2010 preface explains why this book is important today:

"Having replaced Britain as the world's major industrial and creditor power after WWI, the US adopted free trade and open financial markets on precisely the grounds its protectionists [of the 1800's] criticized Britain for doing. American economic strategists had learned the lesson that free trade benefits the strong at the expense of the weak [by trading low-wage resources for high-wage industrial goods, undermining the ability to build capital and future potential]. Instead of examining the path by which the US built up its economic strength, foreign countries have adopted today's 'free-market' Washington Consensus. This approach misses the strategy by which the US rose to industrial supremacy after the civil war.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Elliott on March 4, 2014
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This is absolutely amazing and insightful book. Michael Hudson talks about the forgotten American political economy in the 1800 - 1900. He also talks about how the protectionist measures as well as high wage led economy were instrumental to the success of the US economy.
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