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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press (November 14, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674010078
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674010079
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #253,871 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

One gets the impression that recent well-publicized World Trade Organization protests spurred Princeton historian James to write this cautionary book showing how protectionist actions and responses to the changing world trade of the 1920s and 1930s both led to and exacerbated the worldwide Depression of the 1930s. Furthermore, by analyzing the trade, immigration, and monetary policies of Germany, France, Great Britain, and other major countries, he makes a strong case that globalization breeds its own nationalist responses that, if not counteracted, can lead away from free markets and dangerously toward political dictatorship. Reading this book together with the first half of William L. Shirer's Rise and Fall of the Third Reich will give real insight into the economic (and sometimes political) reasons for the emergence of fascism and the slide into World War II. He writes with some economic jargon but no math. There are some tables, 27 pages of footnotes, and many citations in the text to other scholars who both support James's view and hold other opinions. While aimed at policymakers and professionals, this book will be understandable to undergraduate economics majors. Highly recommended for academic and economic libraries as well as public libraries with an active history or economic readership. Patrick J. Brunet, Western Wisconsin Technical Coll., La Crosse
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Regardless of whether they applaud its benefits or decry its ill effects, the advocates and detractors of globalization both seem to regard the world's increasing economic interconnectedness as an irreversible trend. James, a history professor at Princeton University and author of The International Monetary System since Bretton Woods (1996), suggests instead a pendulum effect, noting that "there already have been highly developed and highly integrated international communities that dissolved under the pressure of unexpected events." James argues that the Great Depression was the result in part of the failure of three institutions that had evolved to handle the consequences of an increasingly globalized world: tariff systems, central banks, and immigration legislation. James also detects modern-day parallels in the popular backlash against the World Trade Organization and NAFTA, the collapse of long-term capital management, and the meltdown of Asian economies. Though he does not foresee another depression, James does warn that another reverse of the pendulum might today threaten both peace and prosperity. David Rouse
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Eric Vertommen on July 4, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This well written, documented and academic book reads like a novel. Author explains how the British global-led economy was structured in the 19th century, its weaknesses and how it unraveled in the 1920s and 1930s. He reviews monetary policies, banking instability in the pre- and Depression era, trade and its collapse, the rising reaction against international migration starting in the 1890s and culminating after World War I, the opposition between nationalism and capital that existed after 1929 and finally assesses if a new depression could occur again. Despite the dates, the events it describes look so familiar to us today that it sends shivers down the spine.
Written in 2001, the author was still optimistic in his conclusions saying that unlike the 1930s, nobody today was challenging global finacial orthodoxy. But since Ben Laden destroyed the World Trade Center, Argentina has collapsed like in the 1930s, Brazil is on the path to renege its debt just like in 1931, many scandals have shaken Corporate America, stocks have fallen to after-September 11 levels. Le Pen, a right-extremist was a contender to Chirac in the French presidential elections. Migrations have become a hot debate in Europe. The Bush Administration like the Hoover one puts barriers on international trade (steel), does not participate in multilateral debates (UN, Climate, International Court) damaging the system of multilateral organizations, debates and trade. These collapsed in the 1930s to be replaced by bilaterel relations with the known consequences: a global depression and a global war.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By david patrick on February 27, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you have not read about the years 1929-1939 this book get you ready for the current crisis we face in our finacial system .I'm not a college grad and believe I grasped the subject manner
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