William J. Bernstein's A Splendid Exchange: How Trade Shaped the World PDF

By William J. Bernstein

ISBN-10: 0871139790

ISBN-13: 9780871139795

A sweeping narrative heritage of global trade--from Mesopotamia in 3000 B.C. to the firestorm over globalization today--that brilliantly explores trade's colourful and contentious prior and offers new insights into its future
Adam Smith wrote that guy has an intrinsic "propensity to truck, barter, and alternate something for another." yet how did alternate evolve to the purpose the place we don't think carefully approximately biting into an apple from the opposite aspect of the area?
In A well suited Exchange, William J. Bernstein tells the extreme tale of world trade from its prehistoric origins to the myriad controversies surrounding it this day. He starts in historical Mesopotamia, the place early investors floated barley, copper, and ivory up and down the Tigris and Euphrates, and he strikes directly to the Greeks, whose grain exchange helped ignite the Peloponnesian conflict. He transports readers from the ships that carried silk from China to Rome on monsoon gales within the moment century to the increase and fall of the Portuguese monopoly in spices within the 16th; from the frenzy for sugar that introduced the British to Jamaica in 1655 to the yank exchange battles of the early 20th century; from key ideas corresponding to steam, metal, and refrigeration to the trendy period of televisions from Taiwan, lettuce from Mexico, and T-shirts from China.
Along the best way, Bernstein, who's either a proficient storyteller and an complete fiscal theorist, brings to existence a gallery of interesting characters and synthesizes millions of years of history--social, cultural, political, army, and economic--into a wealthy and interesting narrative. He explores how our age-old dependency on exchange has contributed to our planet's agricultural bounty, prompted highbrow development, and made us either wealthy and weak. Bernstein concludes that even though the impulse to alternate usually takes a backseat to xenophobia and warfare, it really is eventually a strength for solid between countries, and he argues that societies are way more winning and good once they are interested by full of life exchange with their friends.
Lively, authoritative, and excellent in scope, A best Exchange is a riveting narrative that perspectives exchange and globalization no longer in political phrases, yet particularly as an evolutionary technique as previous as battle and religion--a historic constant--that will proceed to foster the expansion of highbrow capital, decrease the realm, and propel the trajectory of the human species.
Includes 23 maps and forty black-and-white illustrations.

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Additional info for A Splendid Exchange: How Trade Shaped the World

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Muhammad's follow­ ers dominated the great conduit of long-range world commerce, the In­ dian Ocean, and in the process spread his powerful message from west Africa to the South China Sea. Then, with breathtaking speed, a newly resurgent West took control of global trade routes in the decades follow­ ing the first roundings of the Cape of Good Hope by Bartholomew Diaz and Vasco da Gama. Can we understand these events under the larger ban­ ner of the history of trade? The great national trading organizations, particularly the English and Dutch East India companies, spearheaded Europe's commercial dominance and made world trade the nearly exclusive province of large corporate en­ tities and, in the twentieth century, of the multinational corporation.

It was costly enough in China; in Rome, it was yet a hundred times costlier—worth its weight in gold, so expensive that even a few ounces might consume a year of an average man's wages. Only the wealthiest, such as Emperor Elagabalus, could afford an entire toga made from it. The other way to Rome, the famous Silk Road, first opened up by Han emissaries in the second century of the Christian era, bumped slowly overland through central Asia. This route was far more complex, and its precise track varied widely with shifting political and military conditions, from well south of the Khyber Pass to as far north as the southern border of Siberia.

The pro­ cess in which sulfur, oxygen, chlorine, or carbonate, depending on the type of ore, are removed from it to yield the pure metal—smelting—first saw the light of day in approximately 3500 BC. The metallurgists of the Fertile Crescent soon began mixing their local copper with an exotic im­ ported metal, tin. Not only was the new hammered copper-tin alloy as hard and durable as that of the previous copper-arsenic and copper-antimony alloys, but it melted at a much lower temperature than pure copper.

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A Splendid Exchange: How Trade Shaped the World by William J. Bernstein


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