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International trade has shaped the modern world, yet until now no single book has been available for both economists and general readers that traces the history of the international economy from its earliest beginnings to the present day. Power and Plenty fills this gap, providing the first full account of world trade and development over the course of the last millennium.

Ronald Findlay and Kevin O'Rourke examine the successive waves of globalization and "deglobalization" that have occurred during the past thousand years, looking closely at the technological and political causes behind these long-term trends. They show how the expansion and contraction of the world economy has been directly tied to the two-way interplay of trade and geopolitics, and how war and peace have been critical determinants of international trade over the very long run. The story they tell is sweeping in scope, one that links the emergence of the Western economies with economic and political developments throughout Eurasia centuries ago. Drawing extensively upon empirical evidence and informing their systematic analysis with insights from contemporary economic theory, Findlay and O'Rourke demonstrate the close interrelationships of trade and warfare, the mutual interdependence of the world's different regions, and the crucial role these factors have played in explaining modern economic growth.

Power and Plenty is a must-read for anyone seeking to understand the origins of today's international economy, the forces that continue to shape it, and the economic and political challenges confronting policymakers in the twenty-first century.

Published: Princeton University Press on Aug 10, 2009
ISBN: 9781400831883
List price: $49.95
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Encyclopedic and all-encompassing history of global trade over the past 1000 years. Covers each of the major players rationally, and over an astonishing period of time, with very clear and concise data points.

The authors make several arguments - first, that military/political power is necessary to have economic power, and second, that there were three eras which defined the last millenium - the era after the Mongolian conquest, the discovery of the new world, and the Industrial Revolution. Provides valuable information about the ebb and flow of global economic forces, and very useful to anyone who hopes to understand them.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This is one of the few works of true global history I have yet seen. Ronald Findlay looks at the global economy from 1000 AD to 2000 AD. He breaks the world into regions rather than states or nations, and then looks at how they interact with each other economically (which transmitted social and cultural values). Southwest Asia and North Africa were in the most contact with the rest of the world, which is hardly surprising given their locations. The sea trade was briefly interrupted as the most important form of communication by the quick expansion of the Mongol empire. Even as the empire broke apart, the land trade relations it facilitated were of heightened importance. However, the Mongol fragmentation and the improvement in maritime technology soon returned sea trade to prominence. The incorporation of the Americas to the global economy was the next major change, with new crops as well as new supplies of silver and gold making their way back to the Old World. The Industrial Revolution moved production to unprecedented levers, making the competition for markets a key component of international conflict. It forced some markets together while dividing them into larger imperial sets. WWI broke those sets and loosened globalization until the end of the twentieth century.This is an interesting book but also sort of states the obvious. It does not offer many revelations, but is a nice summary of the currents of the world political economy.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.

Reviews

Encyclopedic and all-encompassing history of global trade over the past 1000 years. Covers each of the major players rationally, and over an astonishing period of time, with very clear and concise data points.

The authors make several arguments - first, that military/political power is necessary to have economic power, and second, that there were three eras which defined the last millenium - the era after the Mongolian conquest, the discovery of the new world, and the Industrial Revolution. Provides valuable information about the ebb and flow of global economic forces, and very useful to anyone who hopes to understand them.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This is one of the few works of true global history I have yet seen. Ronald Findlay looks at the global economy from 1000 AD to 2000 AD. He breaks the world into regions rather than states or nations, and then looks at how they interact with each other economically (which transmitted social and cultural values). Southwest Asia and North Africa were in the most contact with the rest of the world, which is hardly surprising given their locations. The sea trade was briefly interrupted as the most important form of communication by the quick expansion of the Mongol empire. Even as the empire broke apart, the land trade relations it facilitated were of heightened importance. However, the Mongol fragmentation and the improvement in maritime technology soon returned sea trade to prominence. The incorporation of the Americas to the global economy was the next major change, with new crops as well as new supplies of silver and gold making their way back to the Old World. The Industrial Revolution moved production to unprecedented levers, making the competition for markets a key component of international conflict. It forced some markets together while dividing them into larger imperial sets. WWI broke those sets and loosened globalization until the end of the twentieth century.This is an interesting book but also sort of states the obvious. It does not offer many revelations, but is a nice summary of the currents of the world political economy.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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