Misadventures Of The Most Favored Nations

Overview

As the pivotal institution of global capitalism, the World Trade Organization is both revered and reviled. In this book, journalist Paul Blustein tells the compelling story of how an organization dedicated to resolving trade disputes and promoting economic growth slid into dysfunctionality - which poses a new and grave menace to globalization itself. In more than seven years of global talks the WTO has struggled and failed to resolve contentious differences between rich and developing nations. Now, with a ...
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Overview

As the pivotal institution of global capitalism, the World Trade Organization is both revered and reviled. In this book, journalist Paul Blustein tells the compelling story of how an organization dedicated to resolving trade disputes and promoting economic growth slid into dysfunctionality - which poses a new and grave menace to globalization itself. In more than seven years of global talks the WTO has struggled and failed to resolve contentious differences between rich and developing nations. Now, with a worldwide recession underway, the WTO's failure is deepening the peril of a surge in protectionism - a sign the world may not be so fat after all. Misadventures of the Most Favored Nations recounts, in vivid detail, how the high-stakes negotiations went awry. At risk, Blustein argues, is the fate of the system that for six decades has opened the global economy and kept it from splintering. Blustein is a brilliant investigator of complex international organizations; his previous books on the International Monetary Fund have drawn wide acclaim for being vividly reported and highly readable. Now he shines his journalistic spotlight inside another enormously powerful international institution that is a source of great perplexity even, sometimes, to those who work for it. Based on interviews with more than 150 officials of the WTO and its member nations, many of whom shared notes of confidential meetings, Blustein's tale of high-decibel confrontations, late-night scrambling, and tearful despondency presents an alarm call to anyone who believes in the power of globalization to raise living standards around the world.
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Editorial Reviews

William Bernstein
Blustein has thoroughly mastered the craft of breathing life into intrinsically dull material with compelling thematic narrative and delicious character studies…Unlike many journalists, the author excels not only at the 800-word dash, but also at the long form, skillfully interweaving both his characters and engaging vignettes through the larger loom of world events. The further the author strays from the gilded, stilted venues of the trade negotiations, the more he sparkles…a shimmering, essential read for those seeking a deeper and more nuanced perspective on the modern commerce of nations.
—The Washington Post
Library Journal
The World Trade Organization (WTO) is a mess. That's the unavoidable conclusion of Blustein's latest title, which delves into the infighting that has come to define an institution charged with strengthening the global economy through more open trade policies. Blustein (former staff writer, Washington Post; And the Money Kept Rolling In (And Out)) does a remarkable job of getting behind the scenes of negotiations at the WTO, a controversial organization best known to the public as the object of violent protests during a WTO ministerial conference in Seattle in 1999. Despite the complexity of the topic, he avoids jargon, makes obscure issues accessible, and does a good job of capturing the essence of the many major players. He grounds debate about tariffs and subsidies by tying the subject to brief sketches of regular workers and businesspeople affected by WTO decisions. VERDICT With its insiders' views, Blustein's account will greatly intrigue those studying or working in international trade and development, but what is ultimately a story of bureaucrats holding unproductive meetings may have limited appeal to nonspecialists.—Elizabeth Goldman, Kingston Frontenac P.L., Ont.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781458765642
  • Publisher: ReadHowYouWant, LLC
  • Publication date: 2/5/2010
  • Edition description: Large Print Edition
  • Pages: 818
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 1.62 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul Blustein is Journalist in Residence at the Global Economy and Development Program at the Brookings Institution. For twenty years he was a staff writer at the Washington Post, where he covered business and economic issues. His work has won several prizes, including business journalism’s most prestigious, the Gerald Loeb Award. Blustein lives in Bethesda, MD.

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