False Economy: A Surprising Economic History Of The Worldby Alan Beattie
Throughout history, individual decisions have shaped the economic destinies of nations. No country's fate is determined simply by geography, history, religion, or natural resources. In False Economy, Alan Beattie tackles misconceptions about the modern world, looking back at history through economic binoculars, questioning various assumptions about Islam,/i>… See more details below
Throughout history, individual decisions have shaped the economic destinies of nations. No country's fate is determined simply by geography, history, religion, or natural resources. In False Economy, Alan Beattie tackles misconceptions about the modern world, looking back at history through economic binoculars, questioning various assumptions about Islam, Africa, corruption, government subsidies, and more. Wholly accessible, brilliantly argued, and full of surprises, it's not only a historical explanation of how the world got to its current point, but also a look at how our past affects our future.
The Washington Post
Financial Times world trade editor Beattie combines economic history, psychology and political analysis to identify the factors that predispose economies to sickness or health. The author takes a human interest, Freakonomics-style approach to such economic riddles as why Islamic nations stay mired in poverty (he argues that one reason might be the Qur'an's dictum against usury and interest-earning) and why Africa is dependent on exporting raw materials rather than commercial products (soaring temperatures and shoddy infrastructure). Beattie imbues economics with wonderful mystery as he untangles the mechanisms of the blood diamond trade and Peru's curious stranglehold on the global export of asparagus. Closer to home, Beattie examines the economic rivalry between Argentina and the United States a century ago; when Argentina seemed to be winning, the U.S. made a series of crucial decisions, moved forward and left Argentina poised for financial disaster. Thorough research, eclectic examples and a sprightly tone ("Puritans were not big on bling") should make this a hit among those interested in world economics-and a must-read alternative for those who couldn't get through Guns, Germs and Steel. (Apr.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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