A Splendid Exchange
- How Trade Shaped the World
- Narrated by: Mel Foster
- Length: 17 hrs and 14 mins
- Unabridged Audiobook
- Release date: 09-05-08
- Language: English
- Publisher: Tantor Audio
Along the way, Bernstein examines how our age-old dependency on trade has contributed to our planet's agricultural bounty, stimulated intellectual progress, and made us both prosperous and vulnerable. Although the impulse to trade often takes a backseat to xenophobia and war, Bernstein concludes that trade is ultimately a force for good among nations, and he argues that societies are far more successful and stable when they are involved in vigorous trade with their neighbors.
Lively, authoritative, and astonishing in scope, A Splendid Exchange is a riveting narrative that views trade and globalization not in political terms, but rather as an evolutionary process as old as war and religion - a historical constant - that will continue to foster the growth of intellectual capital, shrink the world, and propel the trajectory of the human species.
"Bernstein has given us a master's insights into the past to help us understand an issue of deep divisions in the present age." (Sara Bongiorni, author of A Year without 'Made in China')
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Mark on 18-07-08
Very interesting and Germane to Today's World
This book provides exactly what it says it does - a history of world trade from ancient to modern times. It's well written and provides a great backdrop to today's arguments over globalization. No doubt it will help you out around the water cooler. I found it very interesting to hear how the same trade issues we're dealing with today have been around for quite a long time. I also thought it was interesting that protectionism is beneficial (overall) in some circumstances (particularly, for the U.S. in the early 1800's) but not others. He explains who wins and who loses from free trade in a very clear and convincing manner. It's nice to see a little of the complexity, beyond the usual political rhetoric, surrounding these loaded issues.
The narration is good, but I recommend the audio version with a couple of caveats. First, unless you're an expert in ancient geography, I recommend that you get the book version also so you can see the maps or else look up a bunch of the names on Wikipedia. Otherwise you'll have no picture of the trade routes he's talking about. Second, it's better if you can take it in larger chunks so you don't lose track of what's going on (he goes on diversions from the main point occasionally that can be hard to track if you're listening in dribs and drabs). Overall, great book.
14 of 14 people found this review helpful
By Alex on 20-07-08
Five stars for text, Two stars for narration
The book is very interesting. It adds a new dimension to history, making it very personal and believable. As for the narration, the reader is frequently so mechanical that it sounds like it could be computer speech. Very disappointing.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful