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The Great Transformation


The Great Transformation Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In this classic work of economic history and social theory, Karl Polanyi analyzes the economic and social changes brought about by the "great transformation" of the Industrial Revolution. His analysis explains not only the deficiencies of the self-regulating market, but the potentially dire social consequences of untempered market capitalism. New introductory material reveals the renewed importance of Polanyi's seminal analysis in an era of globalization and free trade.


One of the twentieth century's most thorough and discerning historians, Karl Polanyi sheds "new illumination on . . . the social implications of a particular economic system, the market economy that grew into full stature in the nineteenth century."-R. M. MacIver

About the Author

Karl Polanyi (1886-1964) is considered one of the twentieth century's most discerning economic historians. He left his position as senior editor of Vienna's leading financial and economic weekly in 1933, became a British citizen, taught adult extension programs for Oxford and London Universities, and held visiting chairs at Bennington College and Columbia University. He is co-author of Christianity and the Social Revolution; author of The Great Transformation; Trade and Market in Early Empires (with C.Arnsberg and H.Pearson) and posthumously, Dahomey and the Slave Trade (with A.Rotstein).

Joseph E. Stiglitz was formerly chair of President Clinton's Council of Economic Advisors, and chief economist of the World Bank. He is professor of economics at Stanford University, and senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.

Fred Block is professor of sociology at the University of California, Davis.

Table of Contents

The international system. The hundred years' peace ; Conservative twenties, revolutionary thirties — Rise and fall of market economy. "Habitation versus improvement" ; Societies and economic systems ; Evolution of the market pattern ; The self-regulating market and the fictitious commodities: labor, land, and money ; Speenhamland, 1795 ; Antecedents and consequences ; Pauperism and utopia ; Political economy and the discovery of society — Self-protection of society. Man, nature, and productive organization ; Birth of the liberal creed ; Birth of the liberal creed (continued): class interest and social change ; Market and man ; Market and nature ; Market and productive organization ; Self-regulation impaired ; Disruptive strains — Transformation in progress. Popular government and market economy ; History in the gear of social change ; Freedom in a complex society — Balance of power as policy, historical law, principle, and system — Hundred years' peace — The snapping of the golden thread — Swings of the pendulum after World War I — Finance and peace — Selected references to "societies and economic systems" — Selected references to "evolution of the market pattern" — The literature of Speenhamland — Poor law and the organization of labor — Speenhamland and Vienna — Why not Whitbread's bill? — Disraeli's "two nations" and the problem of colored races.

Product Details

Beacon Press
History : General
Polanyi, Karl
General Political Science
Economic History
Social history
Anthropology - Cultural
General History
Economics - General
Foreign Languages-German-Wirtschaft
Politics - General
World History-General
Publication Date:
March 2001

Related Subjects

» Business » History and Biographies
» History and Social Science » Anthropology » Cultural Anthropology
» History and Social Science » Economics » General
» History and Social Science » Politics » General
» History and Social Science » World History » General
» Humanities » Philosophy » General

The Great Transformation
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Product details pages Beacon - English 9780807056424 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , One of the twentieth century's most thorough and discerning historians, Karl Polanyi sheds "new illumination on . . . the social implications of a particular economic system, the market economy that grew into full stature in the nineteenth century."-R. M. MacIver
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