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The Road from Ruin: How to Revive Capitalism and Put America Back on Top Hardcover – Deckle Edge, January 26, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Business; 1 edition (January 26, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307464229
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307464224
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 6.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,201,735 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Well-written, challenging, uplifting--Bishop and Green bring incisive insight and timely analysis to some of our biggest economic and social topics. The Road from Ruin is an intelligent and stimulating contribution to a vitally important conversation."  
Jim Collins, author of Good to Great and How the Mighty Fall

 “As the smoke begins to clear after the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression, Matthew Bishop and Michael Green have some persuasive suggestions about where we go from here. As befits an Economist writer, Bishop has not lost his faith in American capitalism. But the authors argue trenchantly that some root-and-branch reform will be needed to prevent it vitality from being sapped by ill-designed regulation and political cronyism.”
Niall Ferguson, Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History at Harvard University, author of The Ascent of Money

"Bishop and Green have written an uncommonly lucid, unfailingly gripping analysis of the financial crisis that has placed the nation and much of the world in profound economic jeopardy. A particular value of the book is the rich historical, global, and intellectual context in which the authors situate the crisis. Their diagnosis of the causes of the crisis, which emphasizes psychological factors, will be controversial, as will a number of the measures they propose to prevent similar crises from arising in the future. But they have provided rich food for thought. Let the debate begin."
The Honorable Richard A. Posner, author of A Failure of Capitalism

"In The Road From Ruin, Matthew Bishop and Michael Green show why companies must respond to this crisis with long term vision and a renewed emphasis on values. An essential read for anyone who wants to learn why a corporate focus on sustainability and building a better society is the key to the long-lasting productivity growth and job creation that are needed now more than ever.
John Chambers, Chairman and CEO, Cisco

“Drawing not only on their keen understanding of current economic events, but also on a depth of knowledge of financial history, Matthew Bishop and Michael Green have written a lucid and lively account of the underlying factors that brought the world economy to the brink of collapse.”
Liaquat Ahamed, author of The Lords of Finance

“Everyone--from the CEOs of the world’s biggest companies to the consumers of their products and services--seems to asking whether capitalism as we know it will survive as our economic system. Through a unique blend of historical insights into past crises and pragmatic reforms, Matthew Bishop and Michael Green provide the ideas and action steps for renewing prosperity and preventing another meltdown.”
Ram Charan, coauthor of Execution

“The Road from Ruin
is a masterpiece. Matthew Bishop and Michael Green combine truly luminous writing with simple, clear, unprejudiced scholarship and a keen journalistic awareness of how to extract lessons from the financial crisis to begin forming an agenda for a badly-needed reform of capitalism.”
 Robert A.G. Monks, shareholder activist, founder of the Corporate Library and the author of Corpocracy.

"The Road from Ruin will be remembered as a serious, highly readable book, of the broadest intellectual scope. Its insights will help all of us reshape the future and enable both citizen and policy maker alike to separate real reform from the grandstanding bluster so prevalent today.”
Robert J. Shiller, Arthur M.Okun Professor of Economics, Yale University, author of Irrational Exuberance and coauthor of Animal Spirits

“The title suggests a map for a new, improved capitalism to follow - and that’s exactly what Matthew Bishop and Michael Green provide. A steely analysis of the structural and human frailty that led to the implosion of 2008 becomes their foundation for specific future reform. Alternative remedies are scrupulously examined; some discarded; others seized upon and improved. In its clarity of both thought and expression, this is a book that leaves you feeling cautiously better about the potential of capitalism and so cautiously better about its prospects.
Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO, WPP

About the Author

MATTHEW BISHOP is the U.S. business editor of The Economist and a former faculty member of the London Business School. 

MICHAEL GREEN is a London-based writer who previously taught economics at Warsaw University and was a senior official in the British government. He is coauthor (with Matthew Bishop) of Philanthrocapitalism.

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Customer Reviews

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Overall a great, though-provoking read.
A. Cabrera
Nonetheless, it's a really good history of international debt and bubbles as well as general economic ideas.
Gderf
If they react poorly they can do damage to the economy of a nation or even the entire world.
John Seiffer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on February 6, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Lucid, non-technical and jargon-free writing weaves historical background, details about places, people and events, and most importantly, important ideas in this book. Don't expect to agree with everything the authors propose - there are ideas you will agree with and ideas that you will disagree with but without fail, every chapter will inform you and make you think more deeply. As we wade through what we have learnt from the recent financial crisis and debate reforms that are needed, Bishop and Green provide a balanced view, cautioning us against falling for "false remedies" and reminding us that "finance, although imperfect, is still our best tool for managing risks" and "no alternative economic model is challenging capitalism, for all its flaws, as the best way to meet the needs of the expanding global population." I am recommending this stimulating book not only to my students and academic colleagues but also to my friends and family members.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A. A. Cave on February 7, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This book is different. There have been lots of book on the economic crisis that read like a soap opera or a whodunnit. The Road From Ruin explains why the crisis happened, and how we can get out of it in better shape than we went into it. Well-written, convincing, and an enjoyable read for the general reader as well as the expert, it ranges widely, from the future of economics to how to improve financial regulation and why we need to put values at the heart of capitalism. Essential reading for anyone interested in the reset economy.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Tom K. on April 27, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is a very ambitious book, requiring an in-depth review. The authors cover the broad sweep of topics relevant to current economics policy, using the banking crisis as the focal point. They provide a well-written history of financial crises, economic thought and policy responses. They effectively undermine the simplistic and knee-jerk solutions of extremist politicians and columnists. They assemble the relevant topics, analyze them and bravely set forth a coherent set of policy solutions within a broader context of the future of American and global capitalism.

Many of the positions restate mainstream economics viewpoints: free trade, free markets, better ag policy, modest fiscal/monetary responses to a weak economy, anti-protectionism, allow derivatives, allow short-sales, don't allow the financial system to collapse, pure free market or pure regulatory solutions are suspect, etc.
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Format: Hardcover
The prolonged recent economic downturn has certainly been a boon to authors writing on the subject, and "Road from Ruin" joins in on the fray. Like most of the recent books on the subject "Road from Ruin" seeks to offer recommendations on how to cure what ails us economically speaking. Bishop and Green trod a middle ground between those who say capitalism will sort things out if left well enough alone and those who argue for greater government regulation and intervention. The authors make it clear they are card-carrying capitalists and that they are NOT calling for greater government intervention and offer an honest assessment of what went wrong with the financial system. Where they differ is on how to fix the system, arguing for a need to move beyond the current binary choice of doing nothing and intervention. Their point is that in order to move forward we have to acknowledge both approaches have flaws that result in them being rejected by the opposite side. Neither is blind to the greed and failings that led to the collapse, but the worst idea would be to abandon capitalism, and just as bad is the idea that capitalism does not need reform. You can't simply "reboot the system" or "restore the status quo ante."

So what form should that reform take if it is not government regulation and intervention? To get to that point the authors break the book into two parts; the first take a look at the cycle of booms and busts from the 17th Century forward to make the case that these cycles are necessary for economic prosperity and serve as part of man's learning process, the second laying out a path forward. The first part of the book is particularly well done, making economic history lively and engaging and pointing out the lessons learned (or that SHOULD have been learned).
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Amar Bhide on February 23, 2010
Format: Hardcover
The praise that other reviewers have showered on this book is well merited. It is wide ranging, bold and beautifully written. What is especially striking to me is its "insider's" view -- Matthew Bishop is a veteran of the Economist -- of the role the Press. Journalists certainly weren't the prime culprits, but as the authors show, they did contribute through what they did and did not report and how. The Press has a vital role to play in the orderly functioning of modern economies and societies, and Bishop and Green put their finger on the challenges faced by financial journalists.
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