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Money, Morals and Markets
Capitalism has lifted millions out of poverty. Under its guiding hand, living standards throughout the Western world have been transformed. Further afield, the trail blazed by Japan is being followed by other emerging market countries across the globe, creating prosperity on a breathtaking scale.And yet, capitalism is unloved. From its discontents to its outright enemies, voices compete to point out the flaws in the system that allow increasingly powerful elites to grab an ever larger share of our collective wealth.In this incisive, clear-sighted guide, award winning Financial Times journalist John Plender explores the paradoxes and pitfalls inherent in this extraordinarily dynamic mechanism - and in our attitudes to it. Taking us on a journey from the Venetian merchants of the Rennaissance to the gleaming temples of commerce in 21st-century Canary Wharf via the South Sea Bubble, Dutch tulip mania and manic-depressive gambling addicts, Plender shows us our economic creation through the eyes of philosophers, novelists, poets, artists and the divines.Along the way, he delves into the ethics of debt; reveals the truth about the unashamedly materialistic artistic giants who pioneered copyrighting; and traces the path of our instinctive conviction that entrepreneurs are greedy, unethical opportunists, hell-bent on capital accumulation, while manufacturing is innately virtuous.
Thoughtful, eloquent and above all compelling, Capitalism is a remarkable contribution to the enduring debate.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
'A superbly erudite excursion through the theory and practice of market economies down the ages.' - Dominic Lawson, The Sunday Times; 'In this thoughtful and stimulating intervention, John Plender [...] offers a tour d'horizon of the debate, enlivened by a deep knowledge of the global economy and an interest in history, together with an open-minded willingness to place capitalism on the scales of justice and see which way they tip.' - David Priestland, Financial Times; 'John Plender is one of capitalism's more thoughtful observers. His erudition and lifelong curiosity come together beautifully in this wise and wide-ranging book.' - Stephanie Flanders; 'Plender is neither dogmatic nor prescriptive; if you like to read something that furnishes ideas for debate, then this book is for you.' - Richard Walker, CapX; '[John Plender] approaches the quandaries of capitalism with a shrewd eye for detail.' - The Economist; 'It [Capitalism] does a better job of bringing together all the key issues facing today's global economy than any other book I've read... a delight to read.' - Tim Montgomerie, The Times