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The Cash Nexus: Money and Power in the Modern World, 1700-2000by Niall Ferguson
Synopses & Reviews
Does money make the world go round, as Cabaret's Master of Ceremonies sang to us? In The Cash Nexus, acclaimed historian Niall Ferguson offers a radical and surprising answer-No.Conventional wisdom has long claimed that economic change is the prime mover of political change, whether in the age of industry or the Internet. In our own time Paul Kennedy has claimed that economics provided the key to international power, while Francis Fukuyama and others have argued that capitalism doomed socialism and ensured the victory of democracy. Small wonder politicians are obsessed with the economy: the Clinton campaign motto-"It's the economy stupid" -sums up a central tenet of modern life.But is it the economy? Ferguson thinks it is high time we re-examined the link-the "nexus," to use Thomas Carlyle's term-between economics and politics, in the aftermath not only of the failure of socialism but also of the apparent triumph of American-style capitalism. His central argument is that the conflicting impulses of sex, violence, and power are together more powerful than money. In particular, political events and institutions have often dominated economic development. A bold synthesis of political history and modern economic theory, Cash Nexus will transform the landscape of modern history and draw challenging and unsettling conclusions about the prospects of both capitalism and democracy.
Book News Annotation:
Ferguson (political and financial history, U. of Oxford, UK) offers an explanation of how the modern world of economics has been shaped over the past three centuries, arguing that major political events such as wars explain the evolution of our fundamental economic and political institutions.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
An acclaimed historian offers a radical new history of the links between politics and economics, one that draws unsettling conclusions about the future of both capitalism and democracy
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