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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't get burned by the changes in capitalism, read this now, February 2, 2012
This review is from: Standing on the Sun: How the Explosion of Capitalism Abroad Will Change Business Everywhere (Hardcover)
Standing on the Sun argues a new perspective on capitalism is needed. The truth of this is becoming clearer by the day. But where does one find that perspective? The title refers to how Copernicus arrived at a new perspective on planetary motion by imagining himself in a different place, with a different frame of reference, i.e., standing on the sun, not the earth. Gaining a true perspective on capitalism is likely to be just as hard as understanding planetary motion, from most any vantage point, but the authors make a clear and compelling case that continuing to think about it from today's typical frames of reference is likely to lead to future shock--for policy makers and businesses alike.

With snappy chapters and section titles, like "The Rain Forest of Capitalism" the authors lay out the story of capitalism's evolution and continual adaptation, and point to the figurative Petri dishes where today's newest forms are popping up. The book transitions nicely through a look at how a shrinking planet is already changing what capitalism can and must do for its followers and inhabitants, and how growing affluence is changing what we hope for and expect from our political economies.

Along the way the authors take interesting turns through the research on topics like why big companies take on free riders to their detriment, and the distinction between being pro free-markets and pro-business. With all the noise around this last issue, the book does an admirable job of clarifying the distinction, and the implications for those failing to make the distinction.

The authors use the final third of the book to posit what capitalism will look like in the future, when the new rules of capitalism are in place. These imagined scenarios, many based in partial evolutions already, are certainly provocative, if not always completely convincing... But such is the nature of informed speculation. Their final rules for moving forward are intriguing as well, and likely to start more than a few conversations.

What Thomas Friedman's "The Lexus and the Olive Tree" did for globalization, making it understandable and debatable in an informed way in the broad market for ideas, this book is sure to do for the evolution of capitalism. I am glad I won't be the last to read this one.
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