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Frieden, an academic, traces the history of globalization from the late 1800s to the present, telling us, "Global economy and culture form a nearly seamless web in which the national boundaries are increasingly irrelevant to trade, investment, finance and other economic activity." Globalization is a choice formed by politics and policy decisions. It is now considered the norm, a fact of life that will continue. However, the author points out that this was also true from the end of the 1800s to 1914 and the start of World War I. The foundations of preexisting global economic order disintegrated, reemerging in the 1970s but not thriving until the 1990s. International integration usually expands economic opportunities and benefits society, but global capitalism, which does not address those ill-treated by world markets (e.g., the unemployed, the poor, children and the elderly), has driven societies toward conflict and class warfare. This is an excellent, readable history of globalization with important lessons for our society today. Mary Whaley
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“Frieden has a wonderful way of weaving together politics and economics, past and present in an accessible narrative that is...even-handed and objective.” — Washington Post
“This is an excellent, readable history of globalization with important lessons for our society.” — Booklist
“An economic history of the twentieth century that makes the whole thing come alive.” — David Warsh (economicprinciples.com)
“Broad and ambitious in its sweep.... One lesson with enormous contemporary resonance emerges: globalization is neither inevitable nor irreversible. Governments can choose to retreat into isolation and have often done so.” — Alan Beattie (FTmagazine)
“Essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the history of globalization from 1870 to the present.” — John Bruton (Irish Independent)