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$202.40
101. Basic International Taxation
$18.15 list($27.50)
102. Guide to Economic Indicators:
$150.00 $148.44
103. The Oxford Handbook of Economic
$12.24 $6.00 list($18.00)
104. The Oligarchs: Wealth and Power
$114.06 $69.00
105. International Economics
$120.00 $73.00
106. International Economics, Sixth
$17.75 $17.07
107. Structure and Change in Economic
$58.80 $40.00
108. Cases in International Finance
$14.99 $10.99
109. Dude, Did I Steal Your Job? Debugging
$39.95 $4.25
110. International Business : An Introduction
$13.57 $13.15 list($19.95)
111. The World Cafe: Shaping Our Futures
$18.45 $14.89 list($27.95)
112. Financial Reckoning Day: Surviving
$103.00 $70.00
113. World Regional Geography: A Development
$119.68 $60.00
114. International Management: Culture,
$6.95 list($24.95)
115. e-Strategy, Pure & Simple:
$106.95 $55.00
116. International Monetary and Financial
$45.95
117. Understanding Capitalism: Competition,
$12.21 list($17.95)
118. Building Your eBay Traffic the
$95.70 list($110.00)
119. The Cambridge Economic History
$22.95 $22.12
120. The Great Divergence: China, Europe,

101. Basic International Taxation
by Roy Rohatgi
list price: $202.40
our price: $202.40
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Asin: 9041198520
Catlog: Book (2002-02-01)
Publisher: Kluwer Law Intl
Sales Rank: 452848
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Book Description

The taxation of international economic activities presents two essential considerations: revenues must be shared equitably by the nations involved, and those nations must be able to enforce their domestic tax laws.

Starting from these requirements of reciprocity and enforcement, Roy Rohatgi, an Arthur Andersen veteran with decades of experience, explains in this book the practical issues affecting international taxation of business income and capital gains. Unlike many books on this complex subject, his approach does not examine the tax perspective of any one country, but proceeds from an identification and analysis of the basic principles of the subject. This entails an understanding of factors, such as:
+domestic tax laws, rules and practices and how they conflict on cross-border transactions;
+bilateral tax treaties and their role in resolving international tax conflicts;
+the use of offshore financial centres in international tax structures and how to choose them;
+anti-avoidance measures imposed by national taxation authorities;
+the application of national judicial decisions and interpretations of national authorities; and
+international tax guidelines and interpretations of bodies such as the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the International Fiscal Association (IFA).

Basic International Taxation describes each and all of these elements, weaving them into practical planning guidance providing a fundamental understanding of this subject in a single, easy-to-follow book. It explains those principles of international tax planning that take the costs and risks of international taxation fully into account and thereby optimize the after-tax returns on cross-border transactions. Several important current issues, including the taxation of electronic commerce, are also addressed.

Practitioners and students of tax law will benefit enormously from this clear-headed guidance, both for its day-to-day reference value and for the depth of understanding it conveys concerning essential principles. ... Read more


102. Guide to Economic Indicators: Making Sense of Economics, Fifth Edition (The Economist Series)
by Economist, The Economist
list price: $27.50
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Asin: 1576601455
Catlog: Book (2003-04)
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Sales Rank: 24217
Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The definitive guide to understanding and interpreting economic indicators

The Book

It is essential in business and many professions today to have a thorough understanding of economic information. Written for the non-specialist, this highly accessible guide provides the keys to understanding all the major and many lesser economic indicators: what they are, the areas they cover, their reliability, and how and why to interpret them. It contains chapters covering:
• GDP (Gross Domestic Product),GNP (Gross National Product) and GNI (Gross National Income)
• Growth, trends and cycles
• Population, employment, unemployment
• Government and Consumers
• Investment and savings
• Industry and commerce
• Exchange rates
• Money and financial markets Now in its fifth edition this fully updated, revised guide is invaluable for anyone who needs or simply wants to have the underlying economic realities of the world we live in clearly explained. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars If only economics were that easy
True to the style of The Economist, this book makes everything seem easier than it really is. However, for people who spend too much time thinking about economic issues, this is actually rather refreshing, much like a cold beer after a long day's work.

Some examples: "In the long term, the growth in economic output depends on the number of people working and output per worker (productivity)" (Page 41); Or "In general, the more optimistic consumers are, the more likely they are to spend money. This boosts consumer spending and economic output" (Page 93)...

...One begins to yearn for the days where economics was more of an explanatory and less a mathematical science.

The guide is divided into a number of chapters discussing issues and examples related to
- How economic activity is calculated, and what the main indicators GDP/GNP/NNI capture and do not capture, as well as what changes in these indicators or their components mean.
- Employment indicators such as employment by sector or the unemployment rate
- Balance of payments and fiscal indicators, such as tax revenue or budget deficit
- Consumer indicators, such as disposable income or consumer confidence and their significance
- Investment and savings indicators, such as investment intentions or sales/inventory ratios
- Business indicators, including business conditions, auto sales, construction orders and other common stats
- Exchange rates and financial market indicators, such as interest rates and money supply.
- Prices and wages, like the effect of oil price changes, among others

Coverage of the most common and widely available indicators is fairly comprehensive. Given the simplicity of the book, it is better to have a certain level of economic knowledge and opinion to be able to put the content in context. Not much different to reading The Economist, really.

4-0 out of 5 stars A good reference guide for understanding economic indicators
The book itself will be of great use for those analysts who evaluate country risk analysis. Economic indicators sometimes tend to be hard to understand, but this guide makes them easy to comprehend and relate to each other.

4-0 out of 5 stars A good purchase
As the title says, this book can help you make sense of economic indicators. The more you know, the easier it is for you to understand the economical aspects of society, and this seemed to add a lot more to my knowledge, and it clarified other thoughts. ... Read more


103. The Oxford Handbook of Economic Geography (Oxford Handbooks in Economics S.)
list price: $150.00
our price: $150.00
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Asin: 0198234104
Catlog: Book (2000-11-01)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Sales Rank: 734812
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104. The Oligarchs: Wealth and Power in the New Russia
by David E. Hoffman
list price: $18.00
our price: $12.24
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Asin: 1586482025
Catlog: Book (2004-01-01)
Publisher: PublicAffairs
Sales Rank: 24459
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Hailed as "the most dramatic and comprehensive account" of the early years of Russian capitalism (New York Times Book Review)

David Hoffman, former Moscow bureau chief for the Washington Post, sheds light onto the hidden lives of Russia's most feared power brokers: the oligarchs. Focusing on six of these cunning and ruthless men--Alexander Smolensky, Yuri Luzhkov, Anatoly Chubais, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Boris Berezovsky, and Vladimir Gusinsky--Hoffman reveals how a few players rose to the pinnacle of Russia's new capitalism.

The oligarchs started small. Before perestroika, they lived the lives of Soviet citizens, stuck in a dead-end system, cramped apartments, and long bread lines. But as Communism loosened, they found gaps in the economy and reaped their first fortunes by getting their hands on fast money. As the government weakened and their businesses flourished, they grew greedier. The state auctioned off its own assets, and they grabbed the biggest oil companies, mines, and factories. They went on wild borrowing sprees, taking billions of dollars from gullible western lenders. When the ruble collapsed, the tycoons saved themselves by hiding their assets and running for cover. This is a saga of brilliant triumphs and magnificent failures, the untold story of how a rapacious, unruly capitalism was born out of the ashes of Soviet communism. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars A wonderful review of the Oligarchs
The Oligarchs of Russia are a special breed and this excellent book brings them to light. Hoffman excellently details the various men who came tot he fore in the New Russia under Yeltsin. From Mayor Luzhkov to Gusinky, Khordorovsky and Berezovky among others this book paints a wonderful picture of the hustlers, gangsters, politicians and Bankers that recreated Russia in the 1990s, making it mirror more 1920s America then the past soviet empire. This wonderful account details the back story of the various super-rich who came to dominate Russian Industry from Yukos to Aeroflot and the Russian Central Bank, from oil to automobiles. These men started poor, many were of Jewish ancestry and subjected to the prying eyes of the vast soviet bureaucracy. In one oligarchs case he started out selling Bibles on the black market and another pioneered the building of Dacha's over and above his quota for production. A wonderful tale about the horrors of communism, for instance the story of Russia's disgusting massive warehouse for vegetables, and the story of the cowboy capitalists, most of whom are now in prison or under indictment and forced to flee abroad.

Seth J. Frantzman ... Read more


105. International Economics
by Dennis R Appleyard, Alfred J Field
list price: $114.06
our price: $114.06
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Asin: 0072315148
Catlog: Book (2000-12-01)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill/Irwin
Sales Rank: 172167
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Appleyard-Field’s International Economics 4e text is a mid-level International Economics textbook that offers a consistent level of analysis and treatment of the two main subdivisions of international economics—international trade theory and policy and international monetary theory and policy. Comprehensive and clear, the text helps students move beyond recognition toward and understanding of current and future international events. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars best introduction to international economics
I have taken a few international economics courses and of all the textbooks this was by far the easiest to read and understand. The authors do an excellent job of making the models clear by giving detailed examples. This is one book I am definitely not selling back to the bookstore at school.

5-0 out of 5 stars A great resource
This text book is a wonderful resource for all wanting to learn more about economics in the international arena. It is packed full of facts, graphs, and explanations. One problem I did find in this book is that it tried cover too broad a field. If it would have concentrated on one specific topic like the international economics, and left out the finance, it could be a much stronger work. I grew tired of hearing "as you already know..." It could have not made so many assumtions about what students already knew and used the extra area to cover them. All in all, it was a helpful resource for extra learning, however, I would suggest looking further for a book that will stand alone in teaching an international economics course. ... Read more


106. International Economics, Sixth Edition
by Steven Husted, Michael Melvin
list price: $120.00
our price: $120.00
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Asin: 0321162072
Catlog: Book (2003-07-22)
Publisher: Addison Wesley
Sales Rank: 343867
Average Customer Review: 2.33 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (3)

2-0 out of 5 stars Too Theoretical and Useless!
This book is very difficult to read as far as the main text is concerned. The graphs do help students understand the concepts but the organization is poor. After reading a chapter, I still do not get the "big picture". The authors do not attempt to provide any type of guide or roadmap for us to follow. You cannot learn anything from this book unless you are going to your prof's lectures.

4-0 out of 5 stars Very good learning medume with a suffecient in-depth covearg
Im a Computer Sceince student. Recently, I took an economics cource titeld "International Trade". This book is the text book for our class. I found it very easy and clear to understand ( there is no doubt that you really need to have a very solid Idea about macro and micro economics befor reading this kind of a book). The book is deep enought to servee as an educational media, it is no to little and not too much. I recommend this book

1-0 out of 5 stars I do not feel this book is a good educational tool
I have recently taken Macroeconomics and Microeconomics. The subject was difficult, but able to be grasped with some study. (I am an adult student)As for the "International Economics" textbook, I feel it is very poor as an educational medium. If you ever really sit and attempt to read this thing, all you are reading are a bunch of letters. There is no sense to the material and very little attempt to clarify anything. It is confusing enough to learn a difficult subject without having to decipher every letter of the alphabet into a different word or variable. I understand brevity is necessary to avoid repetition, but please! This is to be a learning tool. There should at least be some attempt to 'spell out' the information once. I feel this book was a very bad investment on my part, and would never have been my chosen text for this topic. I wouldn't even give it one star, but that was as low as I was able to select. ... Read more


107. Structure and Change in Economic History
by C. North Douglass
list price: $17.75
our price: $17.75
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Asin: 039395241X
Catlog: Book (1981-06-01)
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Sales Rank: 101437
Average Customer Review: 4.25 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (4)

3-0 out of 5 stars Institutions as Panacea
In this book North modifies the rationality assumption of neoclassical theory and puts individuals into a more complex framework of decision-making. According to my reading, this new model is characterized by an emphasis on incentive constrains (structures/institutions) and a dynamic process of learning (both individual and collective).

But here North runs into a problem with the infamous structure/agency dichotomy. That is, he means to rise above methodological individualism by incorporating a broad, deterministic social "structure" into his analysis -- "by structure I mean those characteristics of a society which we believe to be the basic determinants of performance" (3). However, he also seems to chalk a great deal of explanatory power up to individual leadership, calculation and rationality: the state specifying rules of the game to maximize rents (24) and also: "throughout history, individuals given a choice between a state-however exploitative it might be-and anarchy, have decided for the former" (24). But if there's such a powerful structure, then can individuals really "choose" their fate? How much leeway is there for strategic calculation? On page 32 he seems to say that the masses have no power to choose: "institutional innovation will always come from rulers rather than constituents since the latter would always face the free rider problem". Is North's structure (and institutions) merely an aggregation of the choices of masses of agents, or is it the strategic choices of a few ruling principals and their agents, or is it the evolution of an impersonal body of culture, ideas, law, etc., or is it all three? And if it's all three, then is he trying to incorporate too much into the concept of "institutions", until they become tautological? What CANNOT be an institution under his definition, and if everything is an institution, then how can we formulate testable, falsifiable hypotheses about social change?

North defines institutions as "the humanly devised constrains that construct human interaction" (p. 344); or, the rules of the game in a society. Thus, it is clear that North is trying to provide an explanation of the dynamic interaction among many factors, which is always a difficult task. But he is to be commended for modifying neoclassical thought in this provocative new way, potentially opening a path for a whole new research agenda in the social sciences.

4-0 out of 5 stars theory covering eight millenia of economic history
Professor North's work is divided into two parts. The first briefly outlines a theory of structural change of institutions through time. North argues that the most interesting aspects of economic history involve assumptions that standard, neoclassical economic theory holds contant. In particular, North argues that "The physiography and resources of the regions together with the state of military technology played decisive roles in determining the size and characteristics of the state and in shaping the forms of economic organization" (pg. 64), and that those forms overcome shirking, known as the Free Rider Problem, through the elaboration of a dominant ideology. It is just such considerations that neoclassical theory cannot account for in its model of the utilitarian actor and yet which are so vital in understanding the essential elements of economic history (rather than economics) - structure and change.

The second part applies the ideas of the first to a few thousand years of human history. At least that is the aim. It is actually little more than a brief recounting of major events in world, particularly Western history. North starts with the so-called First Economic Revolution; that is, mankind's switch from a primarily hunter/gatherer existence to one based mostly on agriculture. He then moves through the decline of the ancient world, spending most all of his time on the fall of the Roman Empire. From there he covers the rise of western Europe and then the American economy at the turn of the last century.

It is this second part that is the book's weakest link. North should either have spent more time discussing how his theory relates to the event he surveys or let the reader apply the theory on her own and left the historical essays out entirely. As they stand, they are little more than brief reviews in "benchmark" and tired historical events. It would have been interesting, for instance, to see how Roman economic institutions and its ideology of stoicism compared with the Ch'in dynasty and confucianism, or of the role that "physiography" - a word used but never discussed - played in the differing development of each. Here North seems much less willing to speculate.

His theory also leaves a little to be desired. By explaining innovation merely as a result of the development of communal, and then personal property rights, he can make the scientist and historian of science shudder. He argues for the central role of structure in forging economic systems and the dominant order, but seems merely to assume that no structure existed in early hunter/gatherer bands - that they were models of egalitarianism. Such ideas run counter to a lot of accumulating evidence that man, like all social mammals, has a basic social structure "hardwired" in us. It is not clear how such knowledge would effect the formation of early "states" as North describes them.

But all criticisms aside, the book is well-written and the discussions, if they cannot lay all controversy to rest, certainly give the reader an excellent introduction to the economic history of man. Given the spate of less-than-rigorous books on the subject that have been published of late, this one is a welcome breath of fresh air.

5-0 out of 5 stars A must read.... I suppose....
Although this is an important book from the 1993 Nobel Prizewinner in Economics, and a text that capably and fully illustrates what it sets out to do at its outset, I hesitate to recommend it universally for reasons that aren't fully clear to me.....

Certainly, this is a book that should be read by students of economic histroy and political economy. It illustrates how social changes (i.e. changes in property rights) lead to seemingly unrelated changes across the whole of society. It is well-written. Perhaps you should buy this book....

5-0 out of 5 stars Must Read
A must read for anyone interested in economics and economic history. This book gives a sophisticated and neccessary background that will give an understanding as to why the world is the way it is today. ... Read more


108. Cases in International Finance
by Michael H. Moffett
list price: $58.80
our price: $58.80
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Asin: 0201700867
Catlog: Book (2000-08-08)
Publisher: Addison Wesley
Sales Rank: 540981
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109. Dude, Did I Steal Your Job? Debugging Indian Computer Programmers
by N. Sivakumar
list price: $14.99
our price: $14.99
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Asin: 0975514008
Catlog: Book (2004-07)
Publisher: Divine Tree
Sales Rank: 237067
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Book Description

The backlash against outsourcing American jobs to countries like India had transformed into an anti-immigrant and anti-Indian atmosphere lately. While looking at outsourcing and high-tech visa programs from a completely different angle --and giving an enjoyable account of Indian programmers -- this book answers, in an extremely balanced way, the following complicated questions that have been raised by many American programmers, talkshow hosts, news anchors and politicians:

. If outsourcing is inevitable, what’s next for Americans?

· Did America really benefit from immigrant programmers?

· Was there never a need to bring immigrant programmers to the U.S.?

· Are Indian immigrant programmers nothing but corporate lapdogs?

· Are Indian programmers dumb as rocks and incapable of thinking outside of the box?

· Did Indian immigrant programmers support the September 11th attacks?

· Did Americans invent everything that belongs to the computer industry?

· Is the Indian education system far below world standards?

· Is there an organized Indian mafia in American universities that hires only Indian cronies? ... Read more


110. International Business : An Introduction
by Margaret Woods
list price: $39.95
our price: $39.95
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Asin: 0333759796
Catlog: Book (2002-05-17)
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
Sales Rank: 504776
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Book Description

This book is designed for a first course in international business, either aspart of a general business and management degree, or for post-experience courses. Each chapter is self-contained and can be used as class reading in preparation for a lecture. The case studies at the end of each chapter provide tutorial material and are accompanied by discussion questions. It is written in an accessible style which is intended to help students learn by means of practical examples and is an easy-to-use text for self-tuition.
... Read more

111. The World Cafe: Shaping Our Futures Through Conversations That Matter
by Juanita Brown, David Isaacs, World Cafe Community, Peter Senge (Afterword)
list price: $19.95
our price: $13.57
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Asin: 1576752585
Catlog: Book (2005-04-10)
Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers
Sales Rank: 5384
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The World Café is a flexible, easy-to-use process for fostering collaborative dialogue, sharing collective knowledge, and discovering new opportunities for action. World Café originators Juanita Brown and David Isaacs outline seven core design principles and provide practical tips and tools for convening and hosting "conversations that matter," even with very large groups. Each chapter features actual stories of Café dialogues from business, education, government, and community organizations across the globe, demonstrating how the World Café approach can be adapted to many different settings and cultures.Based on living systems thinking, this is a proven approach for fostering authentic dialogue and creating dynamic networks of conversation around your organization or community’s real work and critical questions––improving both personal relationships and people’s capacity to shape the future together. ... Read more

Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars HOW TO LEARN, INNOVATE, AND MOVE TOWARD ACTION!
This book can help people break out of the linear, encapsulated world of every-day life, in which most are ensnared and help organizations and networks achieve collective intelligence and formulate future-focused plans.

The book provides a means for engaging with many others in exploring important issues at a variety of levels: group, corporate, community, national, or international. It presents the World Cafe Process (Cafe or WCP), which generally consist of three rounds of progressive conversation, each lasting about 20 or 30 minutes, followed by a dialog among the whole group.

This is the story of the discovery and evolution of the WCP, enabling people to foster constructive dialogue, access collective intelligence, and create innovate possibilities for action.

The process has seven core design principles: set the context; create hospitable space; explore questions that matter; encourage everyone's contribution; cross-pollinate and connect diverse perspectives; listen together for patterns, insights, and deeper questions; and harvest and share collective discoveries. Each chapter begins with a quotation, an illustration, and a question; these give you an overview of the book's themes.

Speaking as a consultant (FutureOrganization.com) I believe that business leaders will find the Cafe a potentially powerful process to increase organizational effectiveness and achieve change. One president of a pharmaceutical company, Yvon Bastien, reports how he successfully used the process to develop the company's long-range business plan. But this story is only one a vast array of successful experiences reported by leaders in all types of organizations.

Chapter 10 provides a guide to successfully hosting a Cafe; it is specific, to-the-point, and very helpful. Closing chapters provide stories of how leaders are using the Cafe, and its societal implications. For further information, the book concludes with a section on resources and connections.

The Cafe concept is very appealling and, from reports, works. It opens the door to learning, creativity and action through a powerful process that deserves consideration by all leaders. As a leader and faciliator of change, this is book you will want to read. At the very least, Cafe, as a dynamic process, is extremely alluring.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Mechanism for Unlimited Use
A MUST READ for small or large groups seeking meaningful, interesting conversation -- whether in a business, or social setting! The Cafe system is easily applied to any situation where human discourse is encouraged and appreciated.It seems to generate a depth of sincerity and honesty not found in ordinary conversation, often leading to social action of benefit to community.

5-0 out of 5 stars A practical & inspirational guide to dialogues that matter
If you are interested in facilitating conversations that matter in different situations, this is the book for you. Here you read and learn about a method that has been used all around the world, getting people together to have a deep dialogue around questions that matter to them and help them shape their world.

The authors describe many different situations where the World Café method has been used to create impressive results. The book also presents the seven basic principals underlying all deep and meaningful conversations and how to apply them to make your conversation a success.

The book is built on ten years of experiments and research, and has been tested in all parts of the world. It has been used with group as small as 12 and as large as 1200 participants. Knowledge and understanding is created by having deep and meaningful conversations and listen to different perspectives. The World Café facilitates this to happen in a natural, inspirational and pleasant way. I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in shaping or creating something new in their world.

5-0 out of 5 stars Conversations for Strategic Renewal
Congratulations Juanita and David for this wonderful book.
We have been hosting Knowledge Cafes in strategic processes in organizations since 1997, when David Isaacs and David Marsing hosted the first Knowledge Cafe in Israel.
It is a wonderful way to get many people involved in creating the future of organizations.
We have hosted Knowledge Cafes in Europe too, in conferences and in EU funded projects meeting. It is a great way to network, to explore opportunities, to collaborate, to build teams.
I highly recommend it for you - it will help you create your future too ! With best wishes,
Edna Pasher

5-0 out of 5 stars A wonderful guide to enable menaingful conversations
This book is both a wealth of knowledge and a practical guide to start convening, facilitating and conducting conversations around questions that matter. Without a doubt this book written by Juanita Brown and David Isaacs is an extraordinary catalyst to generate significant conversations throughout the planet and specially in those places where there is a great need for humans to regain trust in each other and engage in a dialogue where all those who are involved look together in the same direction to explore common ways to face our most important challenges of today and to create together a better future.

I have used extensively and always with great success The World Café over the last 10 years as a basic approach to unleash the human potential of groups as small as 12 and as large as 900 people, in Mexico, the U.S., Spain, Belgium, India and Brazil and in such diverse activities as business, government, House of Representatives, Universities, Schools, NGO's, rural and indigenous communities and among friends and my own family.

It is difficult to believe what a group of individuals can discover, imagine and create in a small period of time given an appropriate space and the valuable process of the world café.

I encourage you to read it, benefit from it and help other benefit as well. It is a jewel! ... Read more


112. Financial Reckoning Day: Surviving the Soft Depression of the 21st Century
by William Bonner, Addison Wiggin
list price: $27.95
our price: $18.45
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0471449733
Catlog: Book (2003-09-12)
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Sales Rank: 6721
Average Customer Review: 3.56 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"History shows that people who save and invest grow and prosper, and the others deteriorate and collapse.
"As Financial Reckoning Day demonstrates, artificially low interest rates and rapid credit creation policies set by Alan Greenspan and the Federal Reserve caused the bubble in U.S. stocks of the late ’90s. . . . Now, policies being pursued at the Fed are making the bubble worse. They are changing it from a stock market bubble to a consumption and housing bubble.
"And when those bubbles burst, it’s going to be worse than the stock market bubble . . .
"No one, of course, wants to hear it. They want the quick fix. They want to buy the stock and watch it go up twenty-five percent because that’s what happened last year, and that’s what they say on TV."
–Jim Rogers
author of the bestseller Adventure Capitalist
from the Foreword to Financial Reckoning Day

Advanced praise from bestselling authors

"An investment book that will not only enlarge your investment horizon, but also make you laugh and thoroughly entertain you for a few hours."
–Dr. Marc Faber, author of the bestseller Tomorrow’s Gold

"Financial Reckoning Day is . . . in the category of scintillating sex or good vision, something to be savored and enjoyed–before it is too late."
–James Dale Davidson
author of the bestseller The Great Reckoning and The Sovereign Individual

"A powerful and insightful vision . . . each paragraph stimulates a new rush of thoughts that fills in gaping holes in the investor’s understanding of what has happened to their dreams . . . while prepping them to confront any new confusion that may arrive."
–Martin D. Weiss, author of the bestseller Crash Profits ... Read more

Reviews (43)

5-0 out of 5 stars Shrewd Common Sense!
Reading this book is to turn on the spigot, the information and common sense flows freely. The first chapter describes the technology bubble of the 90's and the many hustlers associated with it. Chapter two reviews many of the blunders people have made over the years, Bonner and Wiggin along the way state that mistakes are inevitable and are often repeated. People are sometimes prone to self destruction, and he gives many examples. The third chapter covers John Law and the origins of paper money, the beginning of fiat currency and rampant speculation. The fourth chapter focuses on Japan and the financial bubble that took place there, and it's consequences. The fifth chapter covers the legacy of Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan (not a rosy picture) and the lack of a gold standard in today's international trade balances, which is discussed throughout the book. The sixth chapter illustrates how mob behavior influences individual thinking, and how it is not always rational, and how democracy fits into all of this, how we are not as free as we think we are, this part is a 'must' read. Chapter seven introduces the 'hard' reality of demographics and why aging populations many times spell doom for economies. Chapter eight deals with the economic mess the United States is currently in, one of our own making. Chapter nine, the last chapter, reviews and condenses the major points of the book. Along the way Bonner and Wiggin laments the current phase of 'empire building' the United States is currently in, saying empires eventually end badly, a point that should be taken by our leaders in Washington, D.C.. Also, the authors state many times that when things get out of hand and financial bubbles form, people nearly always get what they deserve. The internet bubble popped in the United States already, the current consumer credit and real estate bubbles are still going strong, when and if they will pop the authors only say they "ought" to.

This is an excellent book for investors of all kinds to read, even for people just interested in our economy. To those people who believe that the 'buy and hold' stategy for stock ownership is the best way to make money in the stock market, and they anticipate making back the loses that they may have incurred over that last three years, they may be very mistaken.

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Explanation of Economic History, But...
This book provides great insight into investment bubbles and the madness of crowds. My only complaint is that the subtitle, "Surviving the Soft Depression of the 21st Century," is somewhat misleading. There isn't much investment advice to be found here, other than "Sell the DOW and buy GOLD." This is excellent advice as far as it goes, but in this book it doesn't go much farther. Having said this, I think the author does a great job of drawing parallels between the Japanese economy of 1989 and the U.S. economy of 1999. There are compelling arguments to be made that our economy is destined to decline in much the same way that Japan's did ten years earlier, but in greater magnitudes. I also enjoyed the political discussions about democracy and freedom, and how the first doesn't necessarily guarantee the second. The fact that the author is also a copywriter, makes the book a pretty easy read.

5-0 out of 5 stars There are no shortcuts to prosperity
One more book that warns us about the weakness of the US economy and the possible collapse of the dollar in the short term. What sets this book apart is the approach to the topic through the route of financial history, sociology and of course a good grasp of macro-economics. History, the authors argue, has taught us many lessons, only to be quickly forgotten. Two important lessons from the past are that paper money cannot make paupers rich and empire building through military might has ultimately brought misery to mankind. However, nations have consistently repeated these mistakes and lamented when it was too late. No prizes for guessing who the latest adventurer is.

This book is a brilliant expose of the "new economy", the irrational behavior of crowds and its malaise of overvalued stock and asset prices that cannot be sustained. Even the Nobel prize winning theory of efficient markets fails to describe the phenomenon in US markets during the last decade of the twentieth century. Irrational exuberance cannot be explained by rational theories. The book opens with an analysis of the new economy driven by Information technology, and blasts the myth of the new found prosperity. The new economy was supposed to signal the end of history by shortsighted economists during the days of irrational exuberance. The internet in fact amplified the behavior of crowds across continents and created bubbles that were larger than ever. Companies without any revenue, leave alone profits, were busy making money through IPOs and engaged in the most innovative forms of financial engineering to drive their stock prices north. Who cares as long as it makes us rich. But then, history has taught us that reality will catch up and so it did.

There was a time in the seventeenth century when the infamous John Law ( he was mostly on the opposite side of his second name) created the concept of paper money and central banking that ultimately brought his country on its knees. Using this example, the book attacks monetarists for the unbridled expansion of liquidity in a system that temporarily believes that paper money is real. Modern day economists tend to treat the economy as a machine that can be manipulated by driving some screws and made to run a little faster. The problem , the authors feel, is that soon they will be left with no screws and also run the risk of tampering with the wrong ones. Printing more money at regular intervals, is considered a panacea for all economic ills by these pundits of prosperity.

Economic lessons from Japan are described in a separate chapter and quoted in most other chapters of the book. The chapter devoted to "The Hard Math of Demography" is excellent and the topic of an aging America and its economic implications is discussed with accurate statistics and analysis to back the conclusions.

Finally one gets the big picture of the big bubble. Americans are spending and the Fed is encouraging them to spend borrowed money. To make things easier, the interest raters are lowered and more money is printed. Savings rates in the US have reached an all time low close to zero while private sector debt is three times the GDP. US is now the biggest borrower and foreigners till now have believed that the paper money printed by Fed is a safe currency. This illusion may not continue. The party will soon be over, and a massive hangover is imminent. Currency that is not backed by gold or equivalent assets is nothing but what it is made of - paper. History tells us that forbearance and thrift and not profligacy lead to prosperity.

Text books on history a few decades from now will probably carry a chapter on what went wrong with the worlds' once most powerful nation.

1-0 out of 5 stars Nothing New...
As an avid fan of The Daily Reckoning web site, I was disappointed to find that there were no new or big secrets to be found tucked inside it's covers.

Most of the writing in the book, seems to have been taken from their web site. So if you've read most of their newsletters from the past few years, you will have already read and gotten their most important information. If you are new to the Daily Reckoning team, then the book may be a good way for you to 'catch up' & get current with their viewpoint.

Also, If you are an avid history buff, then their lessons will undoubtedly delight you. But think twice before buying this book, if you find long-winded accounts of history boring.
(If you're not sure, then I'd sdvise you to check out their web site before making your decision.)

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent analysis of our current economy & what's to come
The first few chapters were rather boring and too a long time to get to the point, but the information and predictions are based on well-developed history and documented evidience. A must-read for a long-term investor. ... Read more


113. World Regional Geography: A Development Approach, Eighth Edition
by David L. Clawson, James Fisher, Samuel Aryeetey-Attoh, Roger Theide, Jack F. Williams, Merrill L. Johnson, Douglas L. Johnson, Christopher A. Airriess, Terry G. Jordan-Bychkov, Bella Bychkova Jordan, Ellen Hamilton, Beth Mitchneck
list price: $103.00
our price: $103.00
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Asin: 013101532X
Catlog: Book (2003-08-15)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Sales Rank: 416363
Average Customer Review: 3 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Organized around the theme of human development, this book is written by experts on each region of the world to create a comprehensive volume on world regional geography that presents a vital overview of the topic, providing a deep understanding of the character of the world's people. A rich art package assists the reader in gaining a personal feeling for the inner essence of each world region.This book covers the geographic, social, and economic issues for each world region, including the United States and Canada; Europe; Russia and the Eurasian States; Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands; Asia; the Middle East and North Africa; Africa south of the Sahara; and Latin America.This book can serve as an excellent tool for any reader who is interested in the world's regions and its people; it is an excellent reference work for geographers, cultural anthropologists, and others working in those fields. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

1-0 out of 5 stars Seriously Biased
The tendency of this book to ridicule America (its history, its culture, its priorities, etc.) really calls into question the objectivity and political persuasion of its authors. Whether it's the destruction of the environment or world poverty, America and the American people are always to blame. We use too much energy; we don't share enough; blah blah blah. America does more to promote peace and economic development throughout the world than any other country. While the authors of this book don't seem to be so, I, for one, am PROUD to be an American

5-0 out of 5 stars As a text
The general feel of this book is dark and dull. Graphics are oddly benign,upside, the Geography in Action sections offer realistic insight into Geographic concepts. Clawson and Fisher tried. ... Read more


114. International Management: Culture, Strategy, and Behavior with World Map
by Richard M Hodgetts, FredLuthans
list price: $119.68
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Asin: 007256430X
Catlog: Book (2002-05-15)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill/Irwin
Sales Rank: 207951
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

As a discipline of academy inquiry, International Management applies management concepts and techniques to their contexts in firms working in multinational, multicultural environments. Hodgetts and Luthans: International Management was the first mainstream International Management text in the market.Its 5th edition continues to set the standard for International Management texts with its research-based content and its balance between culture, strategy, and behavior.International Management stresses the balanced approach and the synergy/connection between the text’s four parts: Environment (4 chapters): Culture (4 chapters), Strategy and Functions (4 chapters) and Organizational Behavior /Human Resource Management (5 chapters). ... Read more

Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Good cultural coverage
Good book on the culture, risks, strategic planning issues of being an international manager. Case studies in the end of the chapter give in-depth views of the successful real-life situations. This book was used for a College-level course for juniors and seniors. They seemed to enjoy reading it.

The fifth edition was published in 2003. But one of the authors, R. M. Hodgetts passed away in 2001. Therefore, the info contained in this book is not updated. ... Read more


115. e-Strategy, Pure & Simple: Connecting Your Internet Strategy to Your Business Strategy
by Michel Robert, Bernard Racine, Robert Michel
list price: $24.95
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Asin: 0071371788
Catlog: Book (2000-12-13)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Trade
Sales Rank: 527695
Average Customer Review: 3.57 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Senior managers know that the Internet demands new business strategies. But for many of these executives, much about the Internet and e-commerce remains enigmatic. This important new book by strategy guru Michel Robert demystifies the Internet for executives and provides a comprehensive framework for developing Internet strategies that dovetail with an organization's overall business strategy.

Based on Robert's two decades of research and international consulting experience at more than 400 companies, the e-strategy model described comprises 10 e-drivers, corresponding to 10 key business strategies. These include: demand aggregation for obtaining better prices; build-to-order services that allow customers to configure products to their specifications; customer self-service; direct customer access for manufacturers; dynamic pricing; and others. Using many real-life examples, Robert describes how each e-driver works and how to combine them in a coherent strategy for making optimal use of today's most powerful strategic tool, the Internet. ... Read more

Reviews (7)

4-0 out of 5 stars Valuable reading (if you are objective)
I am always amused by "reviewers" who trash another consultant's book. Every guy with a phone and fax who thinks he is a consultant finds it in their interest to degrade other concepts.

This book is filled with valuable and memorable information that will help any senior executive get a grip on the Internet and it's future implications.

I don't think the author ever intented for "E-Strategy" to be the encyclopedia of the Internet - I think he did a marvelous job of taking a complex topic that most managers don't understand and putting it in our language and context. I wish more authors took that approach.

1-0 out of 5 stars A classic
"A portal is a web capability developed by an organization in which a company offers its own products as well as products from competitors." (Page 85) This definition shows a basic lack of understanding of what a portal is. "The client is the architect." (Page 103) Try telling that to the IT people. The illustrations on pages 98 - 99 are simplistic beyond belief. I've read many IT books in my time, but this one takes the cake!

5-0 out of 5 stars Basic business strategy with some interesting nuances
There is nothing new or Earth-shattering in this book - it's about employing strategy within the context of e-commerce. The authors' agenda, from the preface, is to "... demystify the Internet ... which then empowers CEOs and their key executives to design their own Internet strategy and control their own destiny."

The central theme of the book is wrapped in three imperatives: (1) clarify your business strategy, (2) construct an "e-strategy", and (3) integrate the business and e-strategy.

While the ideas and approach are straightforward and basic, the real gems are contained in the interviews with key executives who have creatively conceived of viable (and innovative) e-strategies and have successfully integrated them into their overall business strategy. In my opinion the most interesting interview was with Philip C. Kantz (CEO, TAB Products). TAB Products makes folders, labels and other commodity items. Not the sexy stuff of e-strategies, but that's exactly what this executive crafted and it transformed his entire business. Not surprisingly the creative part of the strategy was minor compared to the leadership abilities that were required to transform a vision into action and results. This interview alone summarizes the entire message of the book. Each of the other four interviews provides insights about the creative, leadership and technical challenges of devising and implementing an e-strategy.

As you read this book don't be so quick to conclude that it is only stating the obvious. There are some wonderful ideas to be gleaned, inspiration and encouragement from executive interviews, and some subtle nuances in the authors' approach. The structure and message of the book puts e-strategy and the Internet into the familiar framework of business strategy 101. You'll benefit from the interviews, and will have a path marked with familiar landmarks towards implementing an e-strategy.

3-0 out of 5 stars What's your business strategy?
A concise and easily read book on how to watch for the micro, macro, and mega changes that are coming our way. 

The obvious goal is to get you to use the consulting services, but still, there is solid information about re-thinking business models to accommodate the internet world.

Perhaps the most important advice given is to make sure you have a clear business strategy to begin with, update that strategy to be pertinent in this information age, and formulate your Internet strategy to further your business goals. "The Internet is another vehicle to help a company deploy its business strategy. Unfortunately, because of its pervasiveness, the Internet cannot be ignored."

There are several good pieces of information to use as you're thinking about your IT investment, such as: "Eighty-four percent of IT projects are late, over budget, or canceled. The cost to U.S. corporations is over $184 billion per year. Completed projects achieve only 60 percent of their objectives.

Charts, drawings, and lists help to make clear the authors' intent. Plenty of white space makes the book easy to read (even on a bouncing aircraft!).

2-0 out of 5 stars False Advertising
If you read Robert's other book, The Power of Strategic Thinking, there is absolutely no reason to read this one. He (and McGraw Hill) put out the same book under two separate titles. Based upon its title, I was expecting the book to focus entirely on e-strategy and provide some innovative, insightful and applicable information. Instead, there was little or nothing "new under the sun" imparted in this book that he didn't already tell us in The Power of Strategic Thinking - which by the way is the much better book of the two. If you want information on e-strategy, save your money and look elsewhere. Jim Altfeld, Altfeld, Inc. Strategic Corporate, Marketing & Sales Planning. ... Read more


116. International Monetary and Financial Economics
by Joseph P. Daniels, David D. VanHoose
list price: $106.95
our price: $106.95
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Asin: 0324063628
Catlog: Book (2001-07-09)
Publisher: South-Western College Pub
Sales Rank: 477411
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This text covers the full range of topics in international money and finance, giving solid attention to 3 key areas - international finance, open-economy macroeconomics, and international money and banking. It consistently connects theory to real-world policy and business applications (and strikes a balance between business relevance and policy relevance), demonstrating to students the contemporary applications that can be explored, and that international monetary and financial economics is a dynamic and interesting subject area that has become of great importance for international affairs and business. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars An econ book with real world uses!
Daniels and VanHoose have put together an easy to read, real world applicable textbook. The topics covered are upper level collegiate international finance, but it's presented in a down to earth, orderly fashion. While I would have wanted color graphs, the full examples of complex operations (derivatives hedging, theoretical currency exchange rates and the like) more than made up the difference. They separate the elitist mathematics from that which students want and need. As a college student without a lot of time, that's a huge help. The most important teaching tool used extensively throughout the book is historical data. Being able to show why in theory, give evidence, and then present the deviations takes effort. There is no easy way to explain how the central banks around the world use different tactics in thier policies, but they got through it. ... Read more


117. Understanding Capitalism: Competition, Command, And Change
by Samuel Bowles, Richard Edwards, Frank Roosevelt
list price: $45.95
our price: $45.95
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Asin: 0195138651
Catlog: Book (2004-12-30)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Sales Rank: 1392147
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Book Description

Understanding Capitalism, 3/e provides an introduction to economics with extensive attention to the global economy, inequality, the information revolution, the exercise of power and the historical evolution of economic institutions and individual preferences. Its 'three dimensional approach' focuses on competition in markets, command in firms, governments and international relations, and change as a permanent feature of a capitalist economy promoted by technical innovation and conflict over the distribution of income.Understanding Capitalism, 3/e, is designed for introductory undergraduate courses in economics and students of political economy throughout the social sciences. ... Read more


118. Building Your eBay Traffic the Smart Way: Use Froogle, Datafeeds, Cross-Selling, Advanced Listing Strategies, and More to Boost Your Sales on the Web's #1 Auction Site
by Joseph T. Sinclair
list price: $17.95
our price: $12.21
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Asin: 0814472699
Catlog: Book (2005-01-31)
Publisher: American Management Association
Sales Rank: 126085
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Book Description

What if you could double your eBay sales with one mouse click? Sound impossible? Welcome to the next big development in the world of online auctions: datafeeds.Using a datafeed to export your eBay auction listings, your items will now surface in shopping-focused searches performed by engines like Yahoo! Shopping, Amazon, and Google's new Froogle service. Instead of a general search, which finds thousands of Web pages that merely mention an item, sites like Froogle and Yahoo! Shopping return a list of online retailers who actually sell the product. Would you like to be on those lists?Building Your eBay Traffic the Smart Way gives you dozens of new strategies for reaching people whose only goal is to buy. With auction management software or a service, your eBay business information is kept in a database that can feed information to other e-commerce systems -- like Froogle, Yahoo! Shopping, Amazon, and other product search engines. Which means that your product is now available not only to eBay buyers but also to a whole new universe of online shoppers!Building Your eBay Traffic the Smart Way also unlocks the incredible power of cross-selling (linking from one auction to another), targeted advertising, pro-quality photography, eBay stores, online malls, and much more! ... Read more


119. The Cambridge Economic History of the United States: Volume 1, The Colonial Era (Cambridge Economic History of the United States)
list price: $110.00
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Asin: 0521394422
Catlog: Book (1996-04-26)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Sales Rank: 536392
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Book Description

This volume surveys the economic history of British North America, including Canada and the Caribbean, and of the early United States, from early settlement by Europeans to the end of the eighteenth century.The book includes chapters on the economic history of Native Americans (to 1860), and also on the European and African backgrounds to colonization.Subsequent chapters cover the settlement and growth of the colonies; British mercantilist policies and the American colonies; and the American Revolution, the Constitution, and economic developments through 1800. ... Read more


120. The Great Divergence: China, Europe, and the Making of the Modern World Economy.
by Kenneth Pomeranz
list price: $22.95
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Asin: 0691090106
Catlog: Book (2001-12-03)
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Sales Rank: 68657
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The Great Divergence brings new insight to one of the classic questions of history: Why did sustained industrial growth begin in Northwest Europe, despite surprising similarities between advanced areas of Europe and East Asia? As Ken Pomeranz shows, as recently as 1750, parallels between these two parts of the world were very high in life expectancy, consumption, product and factor markets, and the strategies of households. Perhaps most surprisingly, Pomeranz demonstrates that the Chinese and Japanese cores were no worse off ecologically than Western Europe. Core areas throughout the eighteenth-century Old World faced comparable local shortages of land-intensive products, shortages that were only partly resolved by trade.

Pomeranz argues that Europe's nineteenth-century divergence from the Old World owes much to the fortunate location of coal, which substituted for timber. This made Europe's failure to use its land intensively much less of a problem, while allowing growth in energy-intensive industries. Another crucial difference that he notes has to do with trade. Fortuitous global conjunctures made the Americas a greater source of needed primary products for Europe than any Asian periphery. This allowed Northwest Europe to grow dramatically in population, specialize further in manufactures, and remove labor from the land, using increased imports rather than maximizing yields. Together, coal and the New World allowed Europe to grow along resource-intensive, labor-saving paths.

Meanwhile, Asia hit a cul-de-sac. Although the East Asian hinterlands boomed after 1750, both in population and in manufacturing, this growth prevented these peripheral regions from exporting vital resources to the cloth-producing Yangzi Delta. As a result, growth in the core of East Asia's economy essentially stopped, and what growth did exist was forced along labor-intensive, resource-saving paths--paths Europe could have been forced down, too, had it not been for favorable resource stocks from underground and overseas. ... Read more

Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Joy to Read that Sets the Record Straight
"Why did the 'Industrial Revolution' occur in northwestern Europe but not in China? This simple question has proven to be nightmarishly difficult to resolve definitively, although many explanations have been advanced. Kenneth Pomeranz's The Great Divergence is one such effort and an exhaustively documented one. Does it resolve the question successfully? The answer is a qualified 'yes.'

"Pomeranz is chiefly concerned with the comparison between England and China, but he also devotes a fair amount of attention to the rest of the world. He shows that many of the characteristics often thought to be peculiar to Europe applied to China as well. Thus, many of the institutional features that were important for the breakout into dynamic growth were not uniquely European.

"Pomeranz argues that many of the elements of the conventional wisdom about why China did not experience the explosive growth that characterized Europe after 1800 are seriously in error. China was not in the throes of a 'Malthusian crisis,' heedlessly breeding itself into oblivion. The Chinese state was not the growth-choking anticapitalist machine that it has sometimes been portrayed as having been, and in fact it was probably less of a drag on private markets than were the states of mercantilist Europe....

"Another seemingly plausible hypothesis involves property rights and incentive effects, but Pomeranz minimizes the importance of the definition and enforcement of property rights in explaining the different development experiences of the two regions. He argues that China, too, had competitive markets and an elaborate legal system of property rights; in contrast, he also notes the plethora of institutions and laws antithetical to capitalist enterprise, ranging from apprenticeship laws to actual serfdom, that hampered economic development in Europe. Indeed, he suggests that China provided a freer marketplace than did mercantilist Europe....

"What, then, does account for the 'great divergence' of the book's title? Pomeranz argues for the importance of two factors, essentially exogenous 'shocks' outside the price system that had important effects on the economy: the distribution of energy-generating resources and the accident that Europe discovered the New World, whereas China did not.

"The first argument might be termed 'geology is destiny.' Coal was the chief energy-generating resource significant for the Industrial Revolution. The location of major coal deposits was a critical factor in determining the viability of industrialization. England's coal deposits were located almost exactly where manufacturers would have placed them if they had had a say in the matter; transportation costs therefore were low and were made still lower by the ready availability of efficient water transport. Compare this development-friendly geographic distribution in Europe with the geographic distribution in China. Although China was blessed with large coal reserves, they were located for the most part in the thinly populated northwest, hundreds of miles from the potential manufacturing centers in the south and east. Thus, China was at a relative disadvantage compared to Europe in terms of the luck of the geological draw. At the same time that coal in eighteenth-century Europe was cheap and readily available to fuel industry, in China that resource remained relatively expensive and in large part a curiosity relegated to the collections of rock hounds.

"The second argument is another variation on the 'good luck versus bad luck' theme. The fortuitous (for Europe) circumstance of the discovery of the Americas and the subsequent availability of resources for the Industrial Revolution that this discovery entailed were the exogenous factors. The flow of cotton, sugar, timber, and tobacco to Europe from the New World gave economic development there a significant boost at a critical time; China enjoyed no advantage even remotely comparable.

"The Great Divergence is a synthesis created from a rich array of secondary sources. In style and scholarship, it is reminiscent of E. L. Jones's European Miracle: Environments, Economies, and Geopolitics in the History of Europe and Asia (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, [1971] 2003), which is ironic given that the thrust of Pomeranz's argument is exactly the opposite of Jones's. Pomeranz's book is a joy to read, and though it demands the reader's close attention, it is accessible to those who are not economic history specialists. It is a very useful corrective to the overenthusiasm of writers who claim a unique status for Europe in terms of the preconditions for sustained economic growth."

--
Adapted from a review by Gary M. Anderson in "The Independent Review," Winter 2004

3-0 out of 5 stars Trying to Explain It All
The Great Divergence is a multi-causal explanation for the economic rise of Western Europe. The book draws upon diverse existing accounts, including those that see the root causes within Europe itself, and those that see the causes as being related to overseas enterprises by the European powers. However, the book goes beyond these existing accounts by offering a synthetic, multi-stage story, showing how each factor mattered at a certain point in time, but was not alone sufficient to trigger the rise of the West. Thus, one comes away with a belief that the story of the West's ascendency cannot satisfactorily be told by Marx's focus on "primitive accumulation" in the New World, nor by North's focus on institutions of property rights in Europe, nor by Braudel's focus on intra-Europe trade and accumulation.

What is the structure of Pomeranz's argument? Again, it sees different factors as mattering at different times. Thus, the argument is causally sequential, going from technology, to war, to colonization, to markets, with supplies of natural resources a constant bonus and an important final step to industrialization (coal). All of these causes are necessary, for Pomeranz, but none are sufficient, explaining why Asia, despite having many of these same variables (some in even more favorable combinations than Europe), was not able to match Europe's rise.

Part 1 begins with the puzzle of "why Europe and not Asia?", going back to pre-1800 times. Against those who would see crucial pre-industrial differences between the two regions, with Europe having some kind of proto-industrial edge, Pomeranz demonstrates with statistical and secondary evidence that Europe possessed no edge over Asia in either life expectancy, fertility, or supply of capital. While he does find a slight technological edge in Europe, as other scholars have posited, he argues that this edge would not have alone been sufficient to cause Europe's rise, without the later use of favorable stocks of natural resources, and overseas conquest and exploitation. Thus, the sequential nature of the argument comes in here, showing how an earlier technological edge, combined with later colonialism and accidents of natural resource endowment (e.g. coal), allowed Europe to escape the Malthusian trap of population growth under constrained resources.

Indeed, Pomeranz demonstrates that the "silverization" of the Chinese economy, coupled with slavery, plantations and precious metals extraction in the New World, were the only factors differentiating markets in Europe from those in Asia - otherwise, the relationship between consumers and goods was relatively similar in both regions. Against Braudel and North, who emphasize economic institutions, Pomeranz shows that nonmarket factors like colonization and wars between European states, coupled with lending institutions that had lower interest rates than in Asia, laid the groundwork for the Industrial Revolution. This groundwork wouldn't have mattered, however, if continued New World settlement didn't ease the growing scarcity of land, since more plentiful labor and capital would have been bottlenecked in the absence of a new land supply.

The focus on nonmarket factors like war is important, because it ties in with later developments that impacted market forms. Because states projected interstate rivalries overseas, according to Pomeranz, organizational forms like joint-stock companies and licensed monopolies arose. This is because armed long-distance trade and export-oriented colonies required "exceptional amounts of capital willing to wait a relatively long time for returns" (20), which could only be provided by these new organizational forms.

However, the book is not a simplistic account that sees colonization as the sole solution, since Pomeranz spends an entire chapter showing how overseas colonies alone could not provide a market impetus for the Industrial Revolution, due mainly to the initially high costs of transport and low demand for manufactured goods in the colonies. Instead, Pomeranz sees the growing use of coal as a key factor in spurring industrialization in Europe, and combining with increasing use of slavery (since slaves produced less subsistence products and thus lived more off imported, manufactured goods) to begin the construction of a world market that traded manufactured goods for raw materials and land-intensive products, while further easing Europe's ecological burden through continued settlement.

The New World had another advantage over Asia. In Asia cash-cropping was through free labor, meaning that exporters and manufacturers were free to shift away from activities with diminishing returns. This efficiency was a double-edged sword, however, since it allowed rising incomes and population growth, which Pomeranz claims diminished Asians' need to both import manufactured goods and to export surplus products. In the case of China, well-functioning regional markets, because of growing population, scarce land, and proto-industrialization, precluded empire-wide markets that could take advantage of more scale and specialization. In the New World, however, production was much more specialized (again, because of slave-based colonies), meaning that larger surpluses of people, raw materials and products were exchanged between the New World and Europe. This dynamic of increasing returns continued even after independence and emancipation, leading eventually (with coal) to the Industrial Revolution.

Again, Pomeranz's argument is about timing as a key factor. Since his Malthusian trap and balance between factors is delicate and fragile, if variables appear at the wrong historical time in this balance, their impact can go awry. An example is the timing of coal and colonization, which, had they appeared later, might have come too late to rescue Europe from Malthusian crisis. Methodologically, Pomeranz acheives much of his arguments about timing through counterfactuals, which generally do a good job of showing how Asia originally had much of the potentiality that Europe did, thus illuminating the large amount of sheer luck that factored into Europe's rise.

Pomeranz's other methodological tool is statistical data. The book has exhaustive appendices with detailed data on soil, timber, grain acreage, etc. Further, the breadth of his historical scholarship is impressive, showing an ability to cite widely from area experts in both Asia and Europe; no mean feat. In short, the high quality of the data, coupled with the reassuring, causally multidimensional sophistication of the argument, make the book a formidable target for any potential criticisms.

3-0 out of 5 stars Heavy reading
Beware- this is really "heavy" reading. This is one book that could be enjoyed far more with better print quality. Does however,make very good and convincing arguements and points which are well supported. The print however is hard on the eyes and makes it a chore to read through it. If not for the really ineteresting content, I do not believe I would recomend it.

5-0 out of 5 stars How the West Won!
This is a classical work of economic history. It seeks to answer the question of why Europe, rather than Asia, gained dominance after 1750. Pomeranz spends much of the book demonstrating that Europe and Asia were developing in parallel until the nineteenth century, when Europe surged ahead. Pomeranz credits Europe's fortunate possession of coal and proximity to the Americas for the West's advance. The Great Divergence is good for Westerners to read because it helps us recognize that there was nothing preordained about our present preeminence.

5-0 out of 5 stars Winner of 2001 World History Association Book Award
The Book Award Committee of the World History Association is pleased to announce that this book is co-winner of its 2001 prize, along with John McNeill's Something New Under the Sun: An Environmental History of the Twentieth Century World. Jurors praised both books using words like "brilliant," "superb," tour de force, and "a classic." Pomeranz shows that China had more economic constraints than Europe, which profited from windfalls of land and silver in the American colonies, and available coal which fueled England's industrialization. Congratulations for an outstanding contribution to "history from a global perspective" in the field of economics. The prize will be presented at the June 2001 meeting of the WHA in Salt Lake City. ... Read more


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