Friday, July 2, 2010

Joyce Appleby on the History of Capitalism

The Relentless Revolution: A History of Capitalism, by UCLA professor emerita Joyce Appleby, has been receiving quite a bit of general media attention.  Readers wishing to learn more about the book can choose among a plethora of reviews and author interviews. A sampling:
The book was reviewed by Stephen Mihm in the New York Times Book Review;
 by James K. Galbraith for the Chicago Tribune; by Alan Ryan for the Literary Review; and by Paul Hohenberg for EH.Net Reviews. Professor Appleby can be seen discussing the book in interviews on C-Span and on YouTube here and here; there is a print interview on the UCLA Website. An excerpt from the Mihm review:
[Appleby] captures how a new generation of now forgotten economic writers active long before Adam Smith built a case “that the elements in any economy were negotiable and fluid, the exact opposite of the stasis so long desired.” This was a revolution of the mind, not machines, and it ushered in profound changes in how people viewed everything from usury to joint stock companies. As she bluntly concludes, “there can be no capitalism . . . without a culture of capitalism.”
A book excerpt can be found here.