Karl Polanyi (1886-1964) is considered one of the twentieth century's most discerning economic historians. He left his position as senior editor of Vienna's leading financial and economic weekly in 1933, became a British citizen, taught adult extension programs for Oxford and London Universities, and held visiting chairs at Bennington College and Columbia University. He is co-author of Christianity and the Social Revolution; author of The Great Transformation; Trade and Market in Early Empires (with C. Arnsberg and H. Pearson) and posthumously, Dahomey and the Slave Trade (with A. Rotstein).
The Great Transformation: The Political and Economic Origins of Our Timeby Karl Polanyi
In this classic work of economic history and social theory, Karl Polanyi analyzes the economic and social changes brought about by the "great transformation" of the Industrial Revolution. His analysis explains not only the deficiencies of the self-regulating market, but the potentially dire social consequences of untempered market capitalism. New introductory material reveals the renewed importance of Polanyi's seminal analysis in an era of globalization and free trade.
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Polanyi's book is a fascinating exploration of the market assumptions which still underlie much economic thought in our day. That Austrian School and Neo-Liberal/Classical economists have such vitriolic contempt for this work evidences its radical reinterpretation of free-market origins. A crucial piece for anyone who wishes to better understand the social and ideological genesis of our age.
Whether you're into economics, sociology, history or politics, this is a classic you will not want to miss. It's probably the single most intriguing book I have read.
This epic work has transformed the way we look at classical economic and political history. The father of the "Markets as a Creation" model and the "Ficticious Commoidification" theories, create new understandings of comparative political-economic theory. "The Great Transformation" is a timeless peice, allowing us to see capitalism, human motivation, and society in new light.