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Global Capitalism: Its Fall and Rise in the Twentieth Century Paperback – April 17, 2007
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Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
This is an excellent, readable history of globalization with important lessons for our society. "
An economic history of the twentieth century that makes the whole thing come alive. --David Warsh"
Broad and ambitious in its sweep.... One lesson with enormous contemporary resonance emerges: globalization is neither inevitable nor irreversible. Governments can choose to retreat into isolation and have often done so. --Alan Beattie"
Essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the history of globalization from 1870 to the present. --John Bruton"
Top Customer Reviews
The first era of globalization (1870 to 1914) had many of the same characteristics as today's. There was an unprecedented cross-border movement of goods, capital, and labor. (Labor more so in the first era.) During these years huge amounts of capital moved overseas to America, Canada, and Argentina mainly due to the reduced costs of communication and transportation. The technologies driving this globalization were the telegraph and railroads. It was also facilitated by the fact that most currencies were convertible to gold. The investment in the Americas was also followed by a huge immigrant population. In these years, America, Canada, and Argentina had much larger immmigrant populations at the turn of the 20th century than today.
The main thing that distinguishes the present globalization from the first is what happened in between. After the Great Depression and World War II remedies were put into place to mitigate the damaging effects of these economic and social catastrophes. Social benefits such as unions, minimum wage, healthcare and pensions were established as safety nets. In the era between the two globalizations when economies were mostly national the safety nets were part of the social contract between capital and labor.
In 1980, when our current era of globalization begins, capital began to move overseas again in order to find countries with lower labor and social costs. This time, however, labor did not follow.Read more ›
However, I came across the book at my library and gave it a chance, and I was not disappointed. It is a book that does a creditable job of summing up the ups and downs of the world economy over the past hundred years and more. And it also does a fairly good job of raising some issues and problems with the world economic system, and how the system had evolved to meet those issues and problems. On the whole, I think it's a balanced book, pointing out the critical need for free and integrated markets to raising millions in the world out of poverty, as well as some of the problems facing them.
The only reason why I gave the book a four rather than a five is that it is not an easy read, and it is best read with some thought and analysis on the reader's part. Not necessarily a bad thing, but not something for everyone.
By the way, do ignore those reviews that pretend to tell you what the author was saying in his book. I'm not sure that he's actually saying what they say he is saying.
Read the book for yourself. It's worth the time and effort.
The strength of the book is that it mentions every event of consequence, most of them in passing. A reader can sense the inevitable buildup of economic and political pressures, and watch them explode one by one. That America allows itself to be drawn into the morass, time after time, is testament to the linguistic capabilities of our well heeled charlatans, toadying academics and ignoramus politicians, who always manage to capture the public forum, and who continue to retain it even after the latest disaster which ought to have made even them consider reality just this once. Don't hold your breath. For those for whom globalization pays it pays really well. Until the rest of us digest the lessons of books like this one, the music can be expected to continue as more and more chairs are drawn away.
Professor Frieden displays respectable academic virtues and remains even handed toward the concerns of both rich and poor. You won't get a radical suggestion out of him.Read more ›
I especially liked the way it portrayed pre-World War interdependence and NAZI autarky.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2006, 556 pp.
Global Capitalism is a great comprehensive history of the capitalism system from its early foundations, before the 1900s,... Read more
An in depth look at global capitalism and the recent economic history of the world, at least from a USA perspective. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Garey
A truly magnificient book, that explains in a scholarly yet very readable manner the economic history of the twentieth century. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Kris
Global capitalism was a fascinating book with a lot of information, but being an academic book, it was a little hard to get through. Read morePublished on April 14, 2014 by Nightshade800
This is a somewhat technical read, not fun, but very helpful in understanding the topic, and it's history. Read morePublished on January 22, 2014 by J Michael McDade
Holy cow! long and a very redundant structure/approach to Econ.. read the last chapter first, then the last sections of each chapter as needed.Published on July 5, 2013 by nate