Book Review: A Splendid Exchange by William J. Bernstein (Three Stars)


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

(Three Stars)

“Today’s massive container ships, jet planes, the Internet, and an increasingly globalized supple and manufacturing network are just further evolutionary steps in a process that has been ongoing for the past five thousand years.’

Economics 101 as told by an elderly English-wannabee uncle. Old-fashioned syntax mars a serious, in-depth study of world history as seen by an economist. (When you’re only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.)

“That not one American in a hundred has heard of [the Treaty of Nanking] does not auger well for Sino-American relations in the twenty-first century.”

Exhaustive foreword, but if you’ve read it you have his entire thesis and may dispense with the rest of the book, unless you like his wit and sarcasm, which I didn’t.

“Our urge to trade has profoundly affected the trajectory of the human species–trade directly propelled global prosperity.”

Padded with gossip and trivia. Decidedly partisan snideness. Needs a good editing.

“Although tree-trade benefits mankind in the aggregate, it also produces losers who cannot be expected to passively accept the new order.”