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4 Reviews
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars History Gem, August 10, 2012
This review is from: World Trade Since 1431: Geography, Technology, and Capitalism (Paperback)
I've been looking for this book for over ten years. Finally stumbled on it last night browsing on Amazon for something else. It is one of my top ten history reads of all time, but, not being able to remember either the title or the author from when I read it back in 1996 or so, and having lent it to some miscreant who did not return it!, I've for years been unable to pass it along to others. Bravo for the power of browsing on Amazon!

Peter Hugell provides in this book a fascinating look at how technical and economic innovation have shaped world history. Fifteen years after reading the book, I still find myself using his models in conversations about current as well as historic events. Among other things, he examines the interplay between "hardware" and "software" throughout history. A new ship design provides a "hardware" advance that allows one nation to secure trade advantages over another. The ascendency of the Dutch in world trade was aided by their "invention" of a way to FINANCE the building of a ship before anyone knew who the buyer would be - building ships "on spec". The combination of better ships and a way to finance building an entire fleet of them faster than anyone else propelled the Dutch to world leadership. This is but one example of how hardware and software innovations work together to make history. Debuting in 1995, this book was way ahead of its time if one looks today at the number of history books finally focusing on the underlying economic forces - especially trade - that drive history. Hugell shows how these economics forces follow, like day after night, hardware and software innovations that create fundamental change in the economic equilibrium.

If you want a book on history that will really make you THINK, this is a read you should not miss.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Slow but great!, April 15, 2008
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John (San Antonio, TX) - See all my reviews
This review is from: World Trade Since 1431: Geography, Technology, and Capitalism (Paperback)
Agree with previous review. Slow reading, but every few pages I would sit back and go wow/whoa. Great insight into the evolution of the West. Highly recommended.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, January 27, 2013
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The book was great but was made to old to get any real information from it. It was still a good book though.
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2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book with many interesting insights., June 28, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: World Trade Since 1431: Geography, Technology, and Capitalism (Paperback)
This is a great book with many interesting insights. It is slow reading but well worth the time to read it. I highly recommend it.
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World Trade Since 1431: Geography, Technology, and Capitalism
World Trade Since 1431: Geography, Technology, and Capitalism by Peter J. Hugill (Paperback - March 1, 1995)
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