Capitalism and Its Economics : A Critical History
Written by a maverick in the world of alternative economics, this book is a critical history of the relationship between economic thought and capitalism from 1750 to the present. The book examines th dynamic interaction of two processes: the historical realities of capitalism and the evolution of economic theory. As Dowd demonstrates, the study of economics celebrates capitalism in ways which make it necessary to classify economic science as pure ideology. A thoroughly modern history, this book shows how economics has become ideology. A radical critic of capitalism, Dowd surveys its detrimental impact across the globe and throughout history. The book includes biographical sketches and brief analyses of the major proponents and critics of capitalism throughout history, including Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Jeremy Bentham, John Stuart Mill, Karl Marx, Thorstein Veblen, Rosa Luxemburg, John Maynard Keynes, Paul Samuelson, Milton Friedman, Eric Hobsbawm.
- Hardback | 320 pages
- 139.7 x 228.6 x 19.05mm | 589.67g
- 01 Oct 2000
- PLUTO PRESS
- London, United Kingdom
Table of contents
Prologue: what has capitalism done for us? to us? the dynamics of capitalist development; the sociology of economic theory. Part 1 1750-1945: Birth - the Industrial revolution and classical political economy, 1750-1850 - the start of something big, the state - now you see it, now you don't, emperor cotton, industrialism in the saddle, the brains trust; maturation - global capitalism and neo-classical economics, 1850-1914 - and British industry shall rule the world - for a while, the United Sates, Germany, a digression on the casting of stones, Japan, arise, ye prisoners of starvation!, a place in the sun, economics in wonderland; death throes - chaos, war, depression, war again, economics in disarray, 1914-1945 - the war to end all wars, as you sow, so shall you rap, the big one, new deal, Nazi Germany, through a glass darkly, the waste land, economics - almost out with the old; almost in with the new. Part 2 1945-2000: resurrection - global economy II and crisis; hopeful stirrings in economics - 1945-1975 - the best of times...for some, for a while, Behemoth capitalism unbound, from the ashes arising, super-states, all together now - shop! and borrow!, stagflation - the monster with two heads, economics on a seesaw; new world order - globalisation and financialisation; and decadent economics, 1975-1000 - introduction and retrospect, monopoly capitalism II, giants roaming the earth, the super-state's new masters, the world as capital's oyster.
"In this remarkable book, Dowd packs the history of the capitalist economy from the Industrial Revolution in the middle of the 18th century to the present-day together with a history of how economists reacted to the rapidly changing conditions. He goes beyond the conventional story of capitalism developing in England and then taking root in US by covering the development of competitors to the Anglo-American version of capitalism, first in France, then in Germany, the Soviet Union, and Japan. Each chapter covers a particular period and each period has a particular theme. So, for example, he characterizes the years between 1945 and 1975 with the theme of resurrection and the years since 1975 in terms of globalization and financialization. Dowd has made this book emminently readable. It is accessible to a general reader who lacks any real exposure to economic theory. This ability to compress such private reading of the economy and economics into a single work is a marvelous accomplishment. Dowd's sympathy lies with the downtrodden. He has the ability to bring humor into his work, even when he is addressing grim topics. This book is extraordinarily rich in the breadth of its topics as well as in the many insights sprinkled throughout. Highly recommended for public and academic library collections." --- M. Perelman, California State University, Chico, in CHOICE"Douglas Dowd is addressing some of the most crucial questions of the current era. The answers will cast a long shadow over what lies ahead. He brings formidable qualities to this challenging task: deep knowledge of economic history, a comprehensive grasp of contemporary global conditions, freedom from stultifying dogmas, and, notleast an admirable ability to extricate and expound what is really important with lucidity and skill. An impressive achievement." -- Noam Chomsky"Dowd's strategy of linking together in a single volume the development of economic ideas and the closely related evolution of economic institutions and policies is carried out with his usual efficiency and wit. This is a work of enlightenment that will be intelligible to students and non-economists." -- Edward S. Herman
About Douglas Dowd
Douglas Dowd is a widely respected academic and political activist. He has taught at Cornell University, Johns Hopkins University, University of California, Berkeley, and San Jose State University and is currently teaching at the University of Modena in Italy. He is the author of Capitalism and its Economics (Pluto, 2004).