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A Splendid Exchange: How Trade Shaped the World

  • Vineland Branch Library

    1450 Blossom Hill Rd, San Jose, Ca (map)

    37.240185 -121.892487

  • A Splendid Exchange: How Trade Shaped the World, By William J. Bernstein 

    4 stars, 496pp

    "In A Splendid Exchange, Bill Bernstein has further burnished his credentials as both an economic historian and a felicitous writer. He has given us an eye-opening, brilliantly researched, anecdote-laced, and exciting-to-read history of global trade. Readers of this compelling saga will be intellectually rewarded, enticed, and amused--and more sensitively attuned to the challenges of today's version of the globalization that has driven so much of civilization's economic growth and social progress."--John C. Bogle, founder, the Vanguard Group

    Acclaimed by readers and critics around the globe, A Splendid Exchange is a sweeping narrative history of world trade—from Mesopotamia in 3000 B.C. to the firestorm over globalization today—that brilliantly explores trade’s colorful and contentious past and provides new insights into its future.

    This is the description of why Patrick Pizzo nominated this book:


    Over the years, the history group has discussed the fringe of early, commercial exchange and how it impacted major themes in human history.  But never have we tackled the subject directly.  It seems to me that commercial exchange is always on the leading edge of social, economic, military and creative development.  To exchange, there is need to communicate, a need to contract, a need to develop trust; and merchants must travel great distances over long periods to establish the chain.   The subject of money-lending enters also; and I have always been fascinated by the role that the Jewish culture enters directly into the equation, particularly in the West.  After discussion with my Wife's cousin, an economic professor at Amherst College, I followed up on leads as to a good book that attempts to uncover this story; and William Bernstein's 'A Splendid Exchange' seemed to fit the bill.  I read a couple of chapters.  It was very well written and I look forward to reading the whole of the book.  pppizzo



    We will also be nominating books for our next reading list at this meeting.  We'll consider the books for a month, and vote at the next meeting.  If you have a book that you'd like to nominate, please read at least part of it first to make sure that it's well written, and if possible bring it with you to the meeting.  If you have more than one book, please order your books by preference - 1st choice, 2nd choice, etc.

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