A Financial Times and Economist Best Book of the Year exploring world trade from Mesopotamia in 3,000 BC to modern globalization. How did trade evolve to the point where we don't think twice about biting into an apple from the other side of the world? In A Splendid Exchange, William J. Bernstein, bestselling author of The Birth of Plenty, traces the story of global commerce from its prehistoric origins to the myriad controversies surrounding it today. Journey from ancient sailing ships carrying silk from China to Rome in the second century to the rise and fall of the Portuguese monopoly on spices in the sixteenth; from the American trade battles of the early twentieth century to the modern era of televisions from Taiwan, lettuce from Mexico, and T-shirts from China. Bernstein conveys trade and globalization not in political terms, but rather as an ever-evolving historical constant, like war or religion, that will continue to foster the growth of intellectual capital, shrink the world, and propel the trajectory of the human species. "[An] entertaining and greatly enlightening book." —The New York Times "A work of which Adam Smith and Max Weber would have approved." —Foreign Affairs "[Weaves] skillfully between rollicking adventures and scholarship." —Pietra Rivoli, author of The Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy
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