A Farewell to Alms: A Brief Economic History of the World

Princeton University Press
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Why are some parts of the world so rich and others so poor? Why did the Industrial Revolution--and the unprecedented economic growth that came with it--occur in eighteenth-century England, and not at some other time, or in some other place? Why didn't industrialization make the whole world rich--and why did it make large parts of the world even poorer? In A Farewell to Alms, Gregory Clark tackles these profound questions and suggests a new and provocative way in which culture--not exploitation, geography, or resources--explains the wealth, and the poverty, of nations.

Countering the prevailing theory that the Industrial Revolution was sparked by the sudden development of stable political, legal, and economic institutions in seventeenth-century Europe, Clark shows that such institutions existed long before industrialization. He argues instead that these institutions gradually led to deep cultural changes by encouraging people to abandon hunter-gatherer instincts-violence, impatience, and economy of effort-and adopt economic habits-hard work, rationality, and education.


The problem, Clark says, is that only societies that have long histories of settlement and security seem to develop the cultural characteristics and effective workforces that enable economic growth. For the many societies that have not enjoyed long periods of stability, industrialization has not been a blessing. Clark also dissects the notion, championed by Jared Diamond in Guns, Germs, and Steel, that natural endowments such as geography account for differences in the wealth of nations.


A brilliant and sobering challenge to the idea that poor societies can be economically developed through outside intervention, A Farewell to Alms may change the way global economic history is understood.

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About the author

Gregory Clark is chair of the economics department at the University of California, Davis. He has written widely about economic history.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
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Published on
Dec 29, 2008
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Pages
432
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ISBN
9781400827817
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Economic History
Business & Economics / Economics / General
Business & Economics / Economics / Theory
Business & Economics / Labor
History / Social History
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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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.

American Watersheds combines education and entertainment in a trilogy. This first edition contains both parts 1&2. The series highlights leaders who changed history Politically or culturally in the era in which they lived. This is all done by the author telling personal stories or those of a relative or close personal friend.(Greg is related to 3 Presidents and offers stories of 5 Presidents never told before in books) The author is related to Martin Van Buren who invented mass media, celebrities and outsider populist candidates who selected who we elected. This begins a 200 year history of media. The study of media manipulation continues in both the stories and the revisionist history of The Battle of Running Bulls Flint Sit Down Strike 1936/37. Through research and stories from the author's Grandfather, Chief Organizer of the Strike, the true story is finally told. This singular event is called the "strike heard round the World" and gave birth to the first successful labor unions in America. It also gives birth to the American middle class, Civil Rights and Women's Rights. Grandfather Gil Clark moves on to be the President of the Teamsters when his enemy Walter Reuther becomes President of the United Auto Workers Union. In a twist of irony the author's other Grandfather on his Mother's side is his enemy in the Teamsters yet both are great American Watersheds. They negotiated the best union contracts in Teamsters history. Upon leaving the Teamsters Gil Clark became a pioneer in Cable TV with the first Microwave and Cable TV company in Michigan established in Petoskey 1954. It becomes the family business continuing the history of media. Also, the family invests heavily in a future technology company which brought us media tools used today like Google translate, voice to text, text to voice etc. The Media history culminates in modern social media and how it is causing real world events today.

For music lover's the series is a gold mine of stories and rare music links to great American and English music. Meet the greatest studio musicians. The stories often come with a fun movie link. By staying with the format of personal stories or one from a close personal friend or relative, the stories include the Stars from Motown, New Orleans, Michigan Rockers, New York and Nashville. Also, both the stars from the 1960's and the Political Activists are covered as are modern activists. This is the only textbook to highlight many of the great American Women activists, most are completely overlooked by most historians.

Science is another theme which emerges many times. We meet America's greatest spy and scientist who designed the first Space Shuttle and even saves the world form nuclear destruction two times! Other modern scientists who have developed future technologies are introduced. This will in some ways be the first book of modern science which will cause all other science and medical textbooks to be rewritten as it shows that all matter is energy and no density exists as proven by a new technology which makes inflammation and swelling disappear in minutes.

Art is another stop along the Magical Mystical Musical and Historical Love Tour.

Much is learned through autobiographical stories. Ultimately the series makes the case that Love is the answer to everything both personal and political. Love and Power to the people defeat any army. It is also a book of Mysticism. The current recent history reflects the author's belief that faith and history cannot be separated. Ultimately all the stories are meant to help people find their own personal purpose. It helps young students to realize each and every person can become an American Watershed right in their local community. Non stop comedy and Entertainment will make this one textbook which students will enjoy rather than dread. The final part is explosive as the writer becomes an American Watershed while writing the stories of change agents of the past.

In this landmark work, a Nobel Prize-winning economist develops a new way of understanding the process by which economies change. Douglass North inspired a revolution in economic history a generation ago by demonstrating that economic performance is determined largely by the kind and quality of institutions that support markets. As he showed in two now classic books that inspired the New Institutional Economics (today a subfield of economics), property rights and transaction costs are fundamental determinants. Here, North explains how different societies arrive at the institutional infrastructure that greatly determines their economic trajectories.

North argues that economic change depends largely on "adaptive efficiency," a society's effectiveness in creating institutions that are productive, stable, fair, and broadly accepted--and, importantly, flexible enough to be changed or replaced in response to political and economic feedback. While adhering to his earlier definition of institutions as the formal and informal rules that constrain human economic behavior, he extends his analysis to explore the deeper determinants of how these rules evolve and how economies change. Drawing on recent work by psychologists, he identifies intentionality as the crucial variable and proceeds to demonstrate how intentionality emerges as the product of social learning and how it then shapes the economy's institutional foundations and thus its capacity to adapt to changing circumstances.



Understanding the Process of Economic Change accounts not only for past institutional change but also for the diverse performance of present-day economies. This major work is therefore also an essential guide to improving the performance of developing countries.

Gregory Clark and S. Michael Halloran bring together nine essays that explore change in both the theory and the practice of rhetoric in the nineteenth-century United States.

In their introductory essay, Clark and Halloran argue that at the beginning of the nineteenth century, rhetoric encompassed a neoclassical oratorical culture in which speakers articulated common values to establish consensual moral authority that directed community thought and action. As the century progressed, however, moral authority shifted from the civic realm to the professional, thus expanding participation in the community as it fragmented the community itself. Clark and Halloran argue that this shift was a transformation in which rhetoric was reconceived to meet changing cultural needs.

Part I examines the theories and practices of rhetoric that dominated at the beginning of the century. The essays in this section include "Edward Everett and Neoclassical Oratory in Genteel America" by Ronald F. Reid, "The Oratorical Poetic of Timothy Dwight" by Gregory Clark, "The Sermon as Public Discourse: Austin Phelps and the Conservative Homiletic Tradition in Nineteenth-Century America" by Russel Hirst, and "A Rhetoric of Citizenship in Nineteenth-Century America" by P. Joy Rouse.

Part 2 examines rhetorical changes in the culture that developed during that century. The essays include "The Popularization of Nineteenth-Century Rhetoric: Elocution and the Private Learner" by Nan Johnson, "Rhetorical Power in the Victorian Parlor: Godey's Lady's Book and the Gendering of Nineteenth-Century Rhetoric" by Nicole Tonkovich, "Jane Addams and the Social Rhetoric of Democracy" by Catherine Peaden, "The Divergence of Purpose and Practice on the Chatauqua: Keith Vawter's Self-Defense" by Frederick J. Antczak and Edith Siemers, and "The Rhetoric of Picturesque Scenery: A Nineteenth-Century Epideictic" by S. Michael Halloran.

The essays in this collection, written by sixteen scholars in rhetoric and communications studies, demonstrate American philosopher John Dewey’s wide-ranging influence on rhetoric in an intellectual tradition that addresses the national culture’s fundamental conflicts between self and society, freedom and responsibility, and individual advancement and the common good. Editors Brian Jackson and Gregory Clark propose that this influence is at work both in theoretical foundations, such as science, pragmatism, and religion, and in Dewey’s debates with other public intellectuals such as Jane Addams, Walter Lippmann, James Baldwin, and W. E. B. Du Bois. Jackson and Clark seek to establish Dewey as an essential source for those engaged in teaching others how to compose timely, appropriate, useful, and eloquent responses to the diverse and often-contentious rhetorical situations that develop in a democratic culture. They contend that there is more at stake than instruction in traditional modes of public discourse because democratic culture encompasses a variety of situations, private or public, civic or professional, where people must cooperate in the work of advancing a common project. What prepares people to intervene constructively in such situations is instruction in those rhetorical practices of democratic interaction that is implicit throughout Dewey’s work. Dewey's writing provides a rich framework on which a distinctly American tradition of a democratic rhetorical practice can be built—a tradition that combines the most useful concepts of classical rhetoric with those of modern progressive civic engagement. Jackson and Clark believe Dewey’s practice takes rhetoric beyond the traditional emphasis on political democracy to provide connections to rich veins of American thought such as individualism, liberalism, progressive education, collectivism, pragmatism, and postindustrial science and communication. They frame Dewey’s voluminous work as constituting a modern expression of continuing education for the “trained capacities” required to participate in democratic culture. For Dewey human potential is best realized in the free flow of artful communication among the individuals who together constitute society. The book concludes with an afterword by Gerard A. Hauser, College Professor of Distinction in the Department of Communication at the University of Colorado Boulder.
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