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The Cambridge History of Capitalism

Volume 2. The Spread of Capitalism: From 1848 to the Present


Kevin H. O'Rourke, Jeffrey G. Williamson, Robert C. Allen, Giovanni Federico, Kristine Bruland, David C. Mowery, Ron Harris, Geoffrey Jones, Randall Morck, Bernard Yeung, Ranald Michie, Harold James, Gareth Austin, Mark Harrison, Jeffry Frieden, Ronald Rogowski, Michael Huberman, Peter H. Lindert, Leandro Prados de la Escosura, Larry Neal
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  • Date Published: September 2015
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107583351

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About the Authors
  • The second volume of The Cambridge History of Capitalism provides an authoritative reference on the spread and impact of capitalism across the world, and the varieties of responses to it. Employing a wide geographical coverage and strong comparative outlook, a team of leading scholars explore the global consequences that capitalism has had for industry, agriculture, and trade, along with the reactions by governments, firms, and markets. The authors consider how World War I halted the initial spread of capitalism, but global capitalism arose again by the close of the twentieth century. They explore how the responses of labor movements, compounded by the reactions by political regimes, whether defensive or proactive, led to diverse military and welfare consequences. Beneficial results eventually emerged, but the rise and spread of capitalism has not been easy or smooth. This definitive volume will have widespread appeal amongst historians, economists, and political scientists.

    • Provides a definitive account of the evolution of capitalism, exploring its spread across the world, its impact, and the varieties of responses to it
    • Has a wide geographical coverage: each feature identified with modern capitalism is treated globally for comparative perspectives
    • Includes a variety of viewpoints from a range of expert scholars, all supplemented with full and up-to-date bibliographies for further study
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'In many respects the history of capitalism is the history most relevant to our times. It's a huge story and is well told in this very important book.' Lawrence H. Summers, Charles W. Eliot University Professor, Harvard University

    'The two editors of The Cambridge History of Capitalism have done an excellent job in assembling an all-star group of scholars in presenting first-rate essays dealing with the development and accomplishments of capitalism and the important impacts of national and international markets for labor, capital, and goods throughout the world. These studies range in time from ancient Babylonia to today. All essays are superbly researched and highly informative in detailing the contributions of markets and of capitalism to global political and economic development.' Stanley Engerman, University of Rochester, New York

    'This is a book we have been waiting for: an authoritative analysis of the rise and development of global capitalism, inspired by the great classical economists and written by a team of excellent experts in the field. A fine update of our knowledge about one of the big questions in the social sciences.' Jan Luiten van Zanden, Universiteit Utrecht, The Netherlands

    '… an inestimable contribution.' Oxford Today

    'Undeniably these two volumes amount to an impressive achievement … any reader will learn a great deal from these volumes and at the same time find their understanding significantly enhanced.' Willie Thompson, European History Quarterly

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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2015
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107583351
    • length: 578 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 30 mm
    • weight: 1.03kg
    • contains: 26 b/w illus. 14 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction: the spread of and resistance to global capitalism Kevin H. O'Rourke and Jeffrey G. Williamson
    2. The spread of manufacturing Robert C. Allen
    3. Growth, specialization and organization of world agriculture Giovanni Federico
    4. Technology and the spread of capitalism Kristine Bruland and David C. Mowery
    5. Spread of legal innovations defining private and public domains Ron Harris
    6. Firms and global capitalism Geoffrey Jones
    7. Enterprise models: freestanding firms versus family pyramids Randall Morck and Bernard Yeung
    8. Financial capitalism Ranald Michie
    9. International capital movements and the global order Harold James
    10. Capitalism and the colonies Gareth Austin
    11. Capitalism at war Mark Harrison
    12. Modern capitalism: enthusiasts, opponents, and reformers Jeffry Frieden and Ronald Rogowski
    13. Labor movements Michael Huberman
    14. 'Private welfare and the welfare state' Peter H. Lindert
    15. Capitalism and human welfare Leandro Prados de la Escosura
    16. The future of capitalism Larry Neal and Jeffrey G. Williamson

  • Editors

    Larry Neal, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
    Larry Neal is Emeritus Professor of Economics at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, and Visiting Professor at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Specializing in financial history and European economies, he is author of The Rise of Financial Capitalism: International Capital Markets in the Age of Reason (Cambridge, 1990) and The Economics of Europe and the European Union (Cambridge, 2007), and is co-editor of The Origins and Development of Financial Markets and Institutions: From the Seventeenth Century to the Present (Cambridge, 2009) and 'I am Not Master of Events': The Speculations of John Law and Lord Londonderry in the Mississippi and South Sea Bubbles (2012).

    Jeffrey G. Williamson, Harvard University, Massachusetts
    Jeffrey G. Williamson is Emeritus Laird Bell Professor of Economics, Harvard University, Massachusetts and Honorary Fellow in the Department of Economics, University of Wisconsin, Madison. He is also Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, Research Fellow at the Centre for Economic Policy Research, and has been a visiting professor at seventeen universities around the world. Professor Williamson specializes in development, inequality, globalization and history, and he is the author of around 230 scholarly articles and thirty books, his most recent being Trade and Poverty: When the Third World Fell Behind (2011), Globalization and the Poor Periphery before 1950 (2006), Global Migration and the World Economy (2005, with T. Hatton) and Globalization in Historical Perspective (2003, edited with M. Bordo and A. M. Taylor).


    Kevin H. O'Rourke, Jeffrey G. Williamson, Robert C. Allen, Giovanni Federico, Kristine Bruland, David C. Mowery, Ron Harris, Geoffrey Jones, Randall Morck, Bernard Yeung, Ranald Michie, Harold James, Gareth Austin, Mark Harrison, Jeffry Frieden, Ronald Rogowski, Michael Huberman, Peter H. Lindert, Leandro Prados de la Escosura, Larry Neal

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