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A Brief History of Neoliberalism Paperback – Feb 8 2007

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (Feb. 8 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199283273
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199283279
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 2.5 x 12.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 336 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #44,481 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


`Review from previous edition 'With characteristic brilliance, David Harvey offers a razor-sharp analysis of the history and current condition of neoliberalism. A must read if you want to know the state we are in and how to change it.'' Erik Swyngedouw, Professor of Geography, University of Oxford

`'This is a succinct account of what neoliberalism is, where it came from and where it is going.'' Morning Star

`'presents a concise but extremely well-documented economic history of the last three decades, encompassing not only the usual G7 countries but the entire world, with a particular emphasis on the US and capitalist China'.' Interactivist Info Exchange

From the Publisher

2 tables, numerous figures --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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For any way of thought to become dominant, a conceptual apparatus has to be advanced that appeals to our intuitions and instincts, to our values and our desires, as well as to the possibilities inherent in the social world we inhabit. Read the first page
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By D. V. S. on July 2 2009
Format: Paperback
The author gives an explanation of what could best be described as "neoliberal" ecopolinomics (Political economics? Economic politics?) and its history. Not difficult to read for a well-read person. This book exposes the root causes of the world wide capitalistic failures, especially the current financial one. It is not anti-capitalist; it just shows how the dominance of world affairs by relatively few powerful capitalists has been to the detriment of this planet and its life forms. Humans are no different from other creatures in their quest to survive, even at the expense of their fellow creatures.

I give it 1 star short of 5 stars because it is not suitable for general public reading. Get your dictionary out for unusual words on about every 3rd page.

The International Simultaneous Policy Organisation (ISPO at provides a profound worldwide solution to worldwide abusive capitalism.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By dimpossibility on July 31 2010
Format: Paperback
I watched David Harvey in an online video interview. He made several interesting points about the nature of our social system with special reference to how economic concerns of elites had, through manipulation of non-elites, trumped all other concerns. Curious to know more, I purchased this book. I was not disappointed. Harvey is a smart fellow with a good grasp of both history and economics. His analysis of the rise of liberalism, neoliberalism, and neoconservatism is detailed and persuasive. While I recommend the book, I confess that at times I felt he was too academic, preferring to match some often important insight he was making with his strict Marxist outlook. These moments are few and the book is not the worse for them. If you can, please search him out online for interviews, forums, and such. He is a better, more interesting, speaker than a writer.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gordon Garrettt on Feb. 11 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book disects the history of where Capitalism has come from and where it is now. One might not like what is being written because it is not nice to the people who have accumulated money with disregard for particularly the have nots and why unemployment is so high. It actually is a preview of why the big meltdown of big banks happened but does not give confidence that things will get better without drastic changes.
Gordon Garrett
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By Daffy Bibliophile TOP 1000 REVIEWER on Aug. 8 2015
Format: Paperback
David Harvey is a Professor of Anthropology and Geography at the City University of New York. In "A Brief History of Neoliberalism" he provides a Marxist interpretation of this form of capitalism from the 1970s to the early twenty-first century. It's a fairly short read but Harvey provides ample evidence that neoliberalism is either a failure as a utopian economic system which promises personal freedom, dignity and wealth for the middle class or a success as a project to recreate (or create, in the case of nations like China and Russia) economic and political power of the wealthy minority. If you believe the propaganda about neoliberal policies then you have to conclude that neoliberalism is a failure as economic inequality increases, unemployment and poverty increase in all areas of the world and individual freedom decreases due to the need of the neoliberal state to use the police and the courts to keep a lid on the resulting social discontent. If you see neoliberalism as a project by the wealthy elite to regain the power and the privilege which it held prior to the Great Depression and the Second World War, a project to defeat Keynesian policies at the expense of the rest of society, then you have to conclude that neoliberalism is a success.

Harvey provides a brief history of the 1947 meeting of Friedrich von Hayek, Ludvig von Mises, Milton Friedman and others which established the theory of neoliberalism. Beginning with the 1973 coup in Chile which overthrew democratically elected President Salvador Allende and installed a military dictatorship Harvey traces the history of the actual imposition of neoliberal practices.
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