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A Splendid Exchange: How Trade Shaped the World [Anglais] [Broché]

W. M. Bernstein
4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)
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Détails sur le produit

  • Broché: 464 pages
  • Editeur : Atlantic Books (1 mai 2009)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 1843548038
  • ISBN-13: 978-1843548034
  • Dimensions du produit: 13,2 x 19,8 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)
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1 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Magistral 3 août 2010
Par dr_grumpf
Format:Relié
Le livre qui m'a le plus marqué depuis Guns, Germs, and Steel de Diamond. Positif, très bien informé, bien écrit, structuré, dense. Une pensée ouverte et moderne aux antipodes du politiquement correct et des effets de manche de nos écrivains nationaux. Probablement aucune chance de succès d'une traduction dans la niaiserie ambiante de la culture économique de notre beau pays. Offrez ce livre à vos enfants et à ceux que vous aimez.
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3 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Splendid book, pauvre démonstration! 3 octobre 2009
Format:Broché
Ecrire un livre sur l'histoire du commerce est une chose que l'auteur fait non sans talent.
Mais les inférences qu'il en tire sur le progrès par le commerce sont d'une pauvreté absolue, digne d'un cours pour singes savants d'une école de commerce, prêts à répéter toutes les banalités pour obtenir une place.
Montesquieu avait déjà fait la prophétie que le commerce devait être une passion plus pacifique que la politique, supposant l'égalité entre les parties. L'histoire s'est chargée -on peut le regretter - de le démentir.
Quand l'idéologie se mélange avec le travail d'historien, cela ne donne rien de bon. Et pour l'histoire du développement commercial, nous avons Fernand Braudel, Civilisation, économie et capitalisme, XVe-XVIIIe siècle, et çà existe même en anglais pour les monolingues d'outre atlantique Civilization and Capitalism- 15th-18th Century.
On peut s'abstenir.
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Amazon.com: 4.2 étoiles sur 5  74 commentaires
74 internautes sur 84 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A Splendid Synergy 13 avril 2008
Par David Brozkov - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
What makes a big-think book stand out is its successful combination of disparate fields of knowledge (think of Jared Diamond's combination of environmental geography AND physiology AND evolutionary biology). In A Splendid Exchange, William Bernstein's multiple areas of expertise come together to produce something extraordinary. Very few professional historians could approach his theoretical understanding of financial economics, fewer still share his practical experience of the functioning of markets, and hardly any share his knowledge of medical science. (Bernstein is a retired neurologist who holds a doctorate in chemistry, and a noted authority on financial investing who is regularly quoted by the Wall Street Journal and whose books on the topic are core reading.) Yet each of these strands of knowledge is critical to fully understanding the rise and development of trade.

To these, add another essential strand - encyclopedic knowledge of world history - and then Bernstein's ability to weave it all into an engaging tale. He knows how to clarify abstract points with apposite stories, which range from exotic historical figures to everyday kitchen items. The writing entertains while the thinking enlightens.

A Splendid Exchange illuminates more than you would expect. Consider military history: if you think of history as a chronicle of war, here you will learn just how much of that conflict resulted from trade agendas, in ancient times as well as modern. An example is the discussion of geographical "choke points"; I had never before understood how big a role they played in causing historical wars, nor had I understood the role they are likely to play in our own era.

Trade is naturally a hot issue in an election year when the economy is rocky; this book helps you put the debates in the largest historical perspective. (You will find previews of today's trade rhetoric going back to the Renaissance.) But don't think of reading this book as a duty; it is a gripping, addictive pleasure.
99 internautes sur 120 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A Triumph. Do not miss! 31 mars 2008
Par John C. Bogle - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
I loved this book when I read it in manuscript form, and I loved it even more when I read the beautiful published version, well-edited and laced with explanatory maps and lovely illustrations.

Begin with the long sweep of world trading history;add its remarkable relevance to the global issues in the headlines today; revel in the plethora of entertaining anecdotes of personalities and events, large and small; then mix with a graceful writing style that turns an educational treatise into a suspenseful page-turner. Result: a book as good as--if not better than--any other book you'll read in 2008.

John C. Bogle
31 internautes sur 36 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Interesting and informative but somewhat unbalanced 17 février 2011
Par Brett K. - Publié sur Amazon.com
I began "A Splendid Exchange" with enthusiasm. The topic is fascinating, and the writing is good if not excellent. But very soon into the book I began to feel uncomfortable with the authors periodic interjection of personal, subjective conclusions and characterizations of cultures and events. The further into the book I got, the more I was irritated by this. For example, the Portuguese are on numerous occasions characterized as cruel and evil... even as the "most brutal trading nation" of the period. However the atrocities of the conquering Mongols and Muslims are either ignored or dispassionately stated as fact (no moral judgement, in other words). It almost seems that the author has a double standard; he feels free to criticize the evils of the West, but takes a far more PC and non-judgemental view of other cultures. I do not suggest that his facts are wrong. I simply feel a historian needs to either present all the facts dispassionately (which is preferable), or else be evenhanded and consistent in his/her moral judgments.

That aside, the book did present a fairly comprehensive overview of the topic, and was relatively easy and enjoyable to read. It helped me solidify the links between different economic and geopolitical events. I would say that the authors strong suit is in economics more than history... some of his facts are inaccurate. But as a general overview it succeeds.
13 internautes sur 16 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 The Urge to Trade 29 juillet 2008
Par Izaak VanGaalen - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
For those who like their history on a broad canvas, this book will certainly satisfy. William Bernstein, who has written books on finance and economics, including The Birth of Plenty : How the Prosperity of the Modern World was Created, takes a look at global trade from ancient Sumeria to the present day. He has written in the words of David Landes a "big history," taking one idea or observation and tracing through the ages.

That trade has always existed and that it is beneficial is not exactly a new idea, but in Bernstein's account he gives it a new primacy. Trade can be said to be war by other means. Countries can acquire goods and materials peacefully rather than belligerently. Bernstein emphasizes that trade has always been and always will be a great deterrent to war. If wars have loudly made history, trade has done so quietly in influencing its course.

This book can be read a resounding defense of the principle of comparative advantage in that trade always benefits all parties involved. (Granted that this principle is still debatable.) It shows how countries, regions, and individuals sought to possess goods and resources that they could not produce or acquire locally. The history of global trade is vast, but Bernstein focuses mainly on the pre-modern age, dealing more with the commodities of the pre-industrial world.

Toward the end of the book, Bernstein discusses some of the issues of global trade today. He concedes that globalization has not benefited everyone uniformly, indeed many of the workers of the industrial world have lost their jobs to offshoring. However, in the aggregate, trade has created economic growth and wealth. It is still better than protectionism and isolationism. The eponymous splendid exchange has brought a bounty of goods and reduced the chances of war. Not a bad deal when one considers the alternatives.
16 internautes sur 22 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 A not-so-splendid book on the history of trade 6 septembre 2010
Par Deb Nam-Krane - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
By the title, the liner and the introduction, I assumed that this book was going to be about global trade. Not really. By the middle of the book, the main action is taking place in Europe and the Americas. I'll grant that the majority of this book's readers might be American or European, as I am. However, even we find the story of how the rest of the world evolved into their trading systems interesting.

That's one complaint. Another is that the author is not a good storyteller. He begins several chapters with an anecdote, a related question and then says he's going to answer it. The answer is usually hidden within the middle of the chapter, but it feels like the story is left dangling by the end because he doesn't close the loop. For example, he opens with the story of the violence and protests in Seattle in 1998. His point is that even in the civilized, privileged United States, we're still going to see the same passions stirred up that less prosperous people saw in earlier times. However, while he speaks in generalities of who some of the alienated parties were, his lack of specifics is very unsatisfying.

Further, some of his chapter titles are misleading. One would think that a chapter entitled "Collapse" would be focused on a period of some degree of economic collapse. Indeed, the chapter does spend a good bit of time on the Great Depression. However, the chapter spends just as much if not more time on the recovery after the Depression, highlighting especially the work of the GATT Treaty to back down high American tariffs. That sounds like it belongs in a chapter called "Recovery".

He is also, frankly, not a very good writer. Twice he makes a reference to Croesus, or being as rich as Croesus. There was no better analogy? He also uses flowery prose that both annoys and oversimplifies. He opens Chapter 12 with: "The dance of modern international manufacturing dazzles the imagination." The best I can say is that by page 316 the reader is used to this.

The author also manages to make the reader cringe in a couple of places. On page 279, he describes the Chinese as being "self-sufficient and self-satisfied". That's a little bit much. He also seems to shrug off opium and the Opium Wars, writing the equivalent of "everyone was doing it" and "it wasn't that bad". On page 384, he writes "Revenge is sweet" to describe the irony of Indians taking call center jobs from American corporations in the 20th century after having been so badly hurt by free trade in the 18th and 19th centuries. Point taken, but it seemed like the way a college junior would end a thesis, not the way a professional writer would end his book.

His material on the Stolper-Samuelson theory and his explanation calling for social safety nets to balance the "winners and losers" of free trade is clear and easy to follow. However, these are at the very end of the book, and feel like they were pasted in as an afterthought.

The evolution of our trading systems around the world (not just in Europe and the United States) is a fascinating story. Read Power and Plenty: Trade, War, and the World Economy in the Second Millennium (Princeton Economic History of the Western World) to get that.
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