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Free Trade versus Protectionism
A Source Book of Essays and Readings
With selected readings ranging from the mercantilists of the 16th and 17th centuries to contemporary 20th century authors, Free Trade versus Protectionism addresses one of the oldest controversies in economic science - the fundamental opposition of these two doctrines. It is the first book ever to trace this debate over more than three centuries.
Overbeek presents arguments advanced by advocates of free trade and protectionism alike, creating a useful tool for scrutinizing the standpoints of both schools. The book consists of seven parts, beginning with mercantilism and its critics. Subsequent sections examine the free traders and protectionists of the nineteenth century, the evolution of the debate between 1900 and 1940, and the discussion of free trade versus protectionism during the latter half of the twentieth century. At the beginning of each section, the editor's survey of the period under review places the material in proper context; the selections themselves are then preceded by the editor's introduction, which contains a brief biography of the author and an explanation of the author's views.
Free Trade versus Protectionism will prove a useful source book for professors and students of the history of economic thought, international economics, international politics, and international business.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
`The book under review provides a splendid sense of history about the debate between protectionists and free traders. . . . Overbeek quotes Goethe (viii) who wrote that "without a knowledge of history, we must retain content to remain in obscurity". It is for this reason that I strongly recommend this book, not only to students, but also to all those who want to be armed against the arguments of opportunistic politicians, rent-seeking interest groups and single issue promoters who have only contempt for liberty and prosperity.' -- Wolfgang Kasper, Policy