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Shakespeare's Twenty-First Century Economics: The Morality of Love and Money 1st Edition

3.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0195128611
ISBN-10: 0195128613
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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Mixing criticism, economics, and self-help, Turner (English, Univ. of Texas, Dallas) proposes that an examination of Shakespeare's plays will provide us with a wiser and more complex view of the economic bonds that form the basis of human relationships. He sees Shakespeare as a forefather of a line of thinkers who espoused ideas we may not presently be comfortable with (e.g., that the "establishment of just government is fundamentally a matter of property rights and only secondarily one of political or even human rights") but that have been reinforced by recent world events. Whereas many recent critics have attempted to fracture the myth of the all-knowing, all-wise Shakespeare, Turner argues compellingly that his work is remarkably insightful regarding 300 years of history and can be used to examine current socioeconomic issues. While some assumptions and a lack of scholarly detail may prove frustrating, readers will certainly find food for thought in this otherwise gracefully presented text. Recommended for larger public and academic libraries.AKaren E. Sadowski, Norwood, MA
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review


"Whereas many critics have attempted to fracture the myth of the all-knowing, all-wise Shakespeare, Turner argues compellingly that his work is remarkably insightful regarding 300 years of history and can be used to examine current socioeconomic issues....Readers will find food for thought in [this] gracefully presented text."--Library Journal


"[Shows] us Shakespeare [the] Jacobean `media tycoon.' [Turner] sees [the plays] as a serial advertisement for capitalism....[An] odd, intriguing book."--he New York Observer


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (September 23, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195128613
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195128611
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,376,820 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Christopher Chantrill on November 18, 2001
Format: Hardcover
If you are trying to "Escape from Modernism," to transcend the ironical postmodern culture of despair with a "Culture of Hope," this book will enchant you. If you believe that the world is drenched in racism, sexism, classism, and homophobia, not to mention US imperialism, then this book may teach you a lesson. In "Shakespeare" Turner finds it intriguing that business uses words like "bond" "trust" "interest" and "honor" that are used in social discourse to describe moral and social obligations. Could it be that business is a moral and social endeavor that holds its participants to the highest standards and not a criminal conspiracy of robber barons? Here's another interesting topic that Turner examines: when businessmen sign a contract, they condemn themselves to break it. For no contract can include every detail or foresee every contingency. That pound of flesh, for instance, did it include blood spillage, or not? So how do you deal with broken contracts? With give and take--with mercy--that's how. You know: "the quality of mercy is not strained..." It's a radical notion, isn't it, that a culture of contract forces people to be merciful even as others are merciful unto them. And Shakespeare, according to Turner, figured it all out 400 years ago.
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Format: Hardcover
This brilliant book provides two services. One, it provides the reader with a reading of Shakespeare that is unique and corrects a long tradition of anti-economic thinkers in the humanities who have interpreted Shakespeare's works and thus ignored the language of economics Shakespeare does in fact use throughout his plays. Two, it provides a clear and compelling argument for understanding economic interactions as ethical actions. Value is created through free and open trade between people. And, Turner argues (correctly, I think), there is no mistake the language of economics and ethics being identical. Words like value, interest, bond, security, trust -- one could go on and on -- are the language of ethics and of economics. They identify a fundamental reality that exists in both realms, and which connect both realms. Shakespeare, Turner beautifully demonstrates, began to recognize these connections just as free markets were beginning to form. That this reality in Shakespeare's works has been overlooked is a shame; that Turner has rectified that is marvelous.
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Format: Hardcover
This is one of the shoddiest books on Shakespeare I have ever read. Its basic approach is to assert some facile generalities about how free market economies help everybody and then find them in Shakespeare by means of very selective quotation. In effect, the book attempts to use the prestige of The Bard's Universal Spirit to prove or lend legitimacy to free market ideas. Its readings of Shakespeare are uninteresting. It waves away 200 years of more careful scholarship as mistaken without taking the time to provide anything like a sustained alternative reading. Worst of all, in discussing markets and economies (and nature) it consistently ignores the fact that there are sometimes losers who may not think the game has been so grand.
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