December 10, 2008
News & Opinion: The 2008 800-CEO-READ Business Book Awards - Globalization
A Splendid Exchange: How Trade Shaped the World
by William J. Bernstein (Atlantic Monthly Press, April 2008)
In this astonishingly erudite book, William J. Bernstein chronicles the history of world trade, clearly expelling any myths one might have that globalization is a recent phenomenon. Starting in Sumer around 3000 BC with an account of a tribe of herders attacking a community of farmers at harvest time, and ending in the streets at the Battle of Seattle (the 1999 WTO protests), this book entertainingly covers centuries of human economic activity and progress.
Africa Rising: How 900 Million African Consumers Offer More Than You Think
by Vijay Mahajan with Robert E. Gunther (Wharton School Publishing, September 2008)
Vijay Mahajan went on a "consumer safari" to explore the market potentials of Africa and lays them out in great detail in this book. While not ignoring the many obstacles and challenges the continent faces, he paints a vivid picture of a continent that he believes is, economically, where China and India were 20 years ago--on the brink of a great transformation.
The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World
by Niall Ferguson (Penguin Press, November 2008)
With his latest book, historian Niall Ferguson adeptly charts the role of money throughout the history of an as well as the role of man in the history of money. From the rise of money and credit to the bond and stock markets, and the rise of insurance and real estate markets to, more recently, international finance, Ferguson demonstrates that financial knowledge is, in many ways, historical knowledge.
Bad Money: Reckless Finance, Failed Politics, and the Global Crisis of American Capitalism
by Kevin Phillips (Viking Books, April 2008)
Kevin Phillips paints a dire picture in his latest book. A sharp observer of large trends for several decades, Philips authored the classic The Emerging Republican Majority in 1969, one of the most prescient and influential books in political science. In this book, he looks at America's economic future and foresees further crisis as the results of bad policy and loss of international prestige.
The Post-American World
by Fareed Zakaria (W. W. Norton, May 2008)
Despite its provocative title, this book is not about a world without America, or even a decline of America. Rather, it is about the rise of the rest of the world. With the rise of international finance, free trade agreements, and organizations like the WTO and European Union, companies and capital are free to move from place to place in search of the location most friendly and best suited to its needs, spreading economic power to sometimes unexpected locations around the world.