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Capitalism

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This book discusses the system of capitalism: how it developed as a set of ideas from its origins to the present, how it has evolved in practice, and how it benefits or harms the people who live under it.

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2007 Hard cover New. No dust jacket as issued. Library binding. Paper over boards. 64 p. Contains: Illustrations. Political and Economic Systems (2nd Edition). Audience: Young ... adult. Read more Show Less

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Overview

This book discusses the system of capitalism: how it developed as a set of ideas from its origins to the present, how it has evolved in practice, and how it benefits or harms the people who live under it.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-Well-written, concise, and balanced summaries of two major economic systems. Both books begin with dramatic episodes and provide some historical background, but concentrate on how the systems work today in terms of their impact on individuals and on societies. Capitalism uses a slightly oversimplified account of Adam Smith's views as its definition of "free market." It doesn't shrink from presenting rising inequality and environmental damage as the free market's inevitable effects, and accurately describes the general political trends of the 20th century as capitalism affected them. The text includes plenty of comparisons with communism and presents "welfare capitalism" as an alternative to coping with capitalism's problems. The second book reveals how communist parties around the world chose economic development over spreading their ideologies, but devotes more space to political topics (e.g., the one-party state) than to economic ones. Many useful insights are found in boxed quotations, like one from Isaac Deutscher on how the communists needed idealism to gain power, then found that the requirements of holding power eroded their idealism. The writing style in both books is clear and literate, and there are plenty of color illustrations to attract interest. Bruno Leone's Capitalism (Greenhaven, 1986; o.p.) presents more detail on specific controversial questions but lacks the current information on globalization. R. G. Grant's Capitalism and Nigel Ritchie's Communism (both RSVP, 2001) are attractively packaged and compellingly written but not as up to date as Downing's books.-Jonathan Betz-Zall, City University Library, Everett, WA
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Product Details

Table of Contents

The Specter at the Feast     4
Where Did Capitalism Come From?     6
Building Prosperity     11
The Dark Side     15
The Crises of Capitalism     20
The Politics of Capitalism     26
Communism: Enemy of Capitalism?     32
Capitalism and the Poorer Countries     36
Capitalism and the Environment     41
Globalization     46
So, What Is Capitalism?     52
Timeline     56
Further Information     58
Key Figures in the History of Capitalism     59
Glossary     61
Index     63
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