For much of human history, the motive force behind war, conquest, social conflict and world exploration has been the drive to acquire gold. From the ancient world of Croesus to the wealthy dynasties of Renaissance Italy, from the earliest European explorations into Africa, America, and Asia to the gold rushes of the nineteenth century and the banking crises that lay beyond them, Pierre Vilar depicts the awesome power of avarice to structure the world in which we live. The insidious power of gold and money is the subject of this enlightening and entertaining history.
The age of exploration brought an influx of treasure into Western Europe, prompting disputes between theologians and early economists over the causes of inflation in the sixteenth century. In time, American silver distorted metropolitan Spanish society beyond recognition. Vilar goes on to examine the roots of the modern banking and financial systems in institutions founded in Holland, England and France during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. And in the nineteenth century, the gold rushes of Australia, California and South Africa generated new modifications in the international monetary system.
Vilar concludes the story of these developments with a discussion of the crisis of the 1920s that, in the wake of the world credit crash of 2008, is more pertinent than ever. "A History of Gold and Money" provides a unique work of synthesis on the role of money in modern economic history.
About national and international power in the "modern" or Post Renaissance period. Explains how the various powers have risen and fallen over the 5 centuries since the formation of the "new monarchies" in W. Europe.
This pathbreaking book explains why, contrary to all expectations, Americans are working harder than ever. Juliet Schor presents the astonishing news that over the past twenty years our working hours have increased by the equivalent of one month per year -- a dramatic spurt that has hit everybody: men and women, professionals as well as low-paid workers. Why are we -- unlike every other industrialized Western nation -- repeatedly "choosing" money over time? And what can we do to get off the treadmill?
The Washington Monthly 2002 Annual Political Book Award WinnerThe Rise of the Creative Class gives us a provocative new way to think about why we live as we do today-and where we might be headed. Weaving storytelling with masses of new and updated research, Richard Florida traces the fundamental theme that runs through a host of seemingly unrelated changes in American society: the growing role of creativity in our economy.Just as William Whyte's 1956 classic The Organization Man showed how the organizational ethos of that age permeated every aspect of life, Florida describes a society in which the creative ethos is increasingly dominant. Millions of us are beginning to work and live much as creative types like artists and scientists always have-with the result that our values and tastes, our personal relationships, our choices of where to live, and even our sense and use of time are changing. Leading the shift are the nearly 38 million Americans in many diverse fields who create for a living-the Creative Class.The Rise of the Creative Class chronicles the ongoing sea of change in people's choices and attitudes, and shows not only what's happening but also how it stems from a fundamental economic change. The Creative Class now comprises more than thirty percent of the entire workforce. Their choices have already had a huge economic impact. In the future they will determine how the workplace is organized, what companies will prosper or go bankrupt, and even which cities will thrive or wither.
Here's a first-year book that encourages critical thinking and sparks discussion. Freakonomics addresses current social questions that students will enjoy arguing about both in the classroom and over coffee in the student union:
- Which is more dangerous--a gun or a swimming?
- Why do drug dealers still live with their mothers?
- What makes a perfect parent?
These may not sound like typical questions an economist asks, but Levitt is not your typical economist. He studies the mysteries of everyday life--from cheating and crime to sports and child rearing--and his conclusions regularly turn conventional wisdom on its head, helping students develop a critical eye to many things that are presented as fact.
Freshman Common Read: Appalachian State University, Virginia Commonwealth University, University of Louisville
A noted economist analyzes the upheavals caused by revolutions in technology, labor, culture, financial markets, and globalization.
In this pithy and provocative book, noted economist Daniel Cohen offers his analysis of the global shift to a post-industrial era. If it was once natural to speak of industrial society, Cohen writes, it is more difficult to speak meaningfully of post-industrial "society." The solidarity that once lay at the heart of industrial society no longer exists. The different levels of large industrial enterprises have been systematically disassembled: tasks considered nonessential are assigned to subcontractors; engineers are grouped together in research sites, apart from the workers. Employees are left exposed while shareholders act to protect themselves. Never has the awareness that we all live in the same world been so strong--and never have the social conditions of existence been so unequal. In these wide-ranging reflections, Cohen describes the transformations that signaled the break between the industrial and the post-industrial eras. He links the revolution in information technology to the trend toward flatter hierarchies of workers with multiple skills--and connects the latter to work practices growing out of the culture of the May 1968 protests. Subcontracting and outsourcing have also changed the nature of work, and Cohen succinctly analyzes the new international division of labor, the economic rise of China, India, and the former Soviet Union, and the economic effects of free trade on poor countries. Finally, Cohen examines the fate of the European social model--with its traditional compromise between social justice and economic productivity--in a post-industrial world.
Globalization is a choice, not a fact. It is a result of policy decisions and the politics that shape them. Jeffry A. Frieden's insightful history explores the golden age of globalization during the early years of the century, its swift collapse in the crises of 1914-45, the divisions of the Cold War world, and the turn again toward global integration at the end of the century. His history is full of character and event, as entertaining as it is enlightening.
Hailed by Time as one of the world's hundred most influential people, Jeffrey D. Sachs is renowned for his work around the globe advising economies in crisis. Now a classic of its genre, The End of Poverty distills more than thirty years of experience to offer a uniquely informed vision of the steps that can transform impoverished countries into prosperous ones. Marrying vivid storytelling with rigorous analysis, Sachs lays out a clear conceptual map of the world economy. Explaining his own work in Bolivia, Russia, India, China, and Africa, he offers an integrated set of solutions to the interwoven economic, political, environmental, and social problems that challenge the world's poorest countries. Ten years after its initial publication, The End of Poverty remains an indispensible and influential work. In this 10th anniversary edition, Sachs presents an extensive new foreword assessing the progress of the past decade, the work that remains to be done, and how each of us can help. He also looks ahead across the next fifteen years to 2030, the United Nations' target date for ending extreme poverty, offering new insights and recommendations.