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Bourgeois Dignity: Why Economics Can't Explain the Modern World (edition 2011)
Bourgeois Dignity: Why Economics Can't Explain the Modern World by Deirdre N. McCloskey
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0226556654, Hardcover)
The big economic story of our times is not the Great Recession. It is how China and India began to embrace neoliberal ideas of economics and attributed a sense of dignity and liberty to the bourgeoisie they had denied for so long. The result was an explosion in economic growth and proof that economic change depends less on foreign trade, investment, or material causes, and a whole lot more on ideas and what people believe.
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:08 -0400)
Bourgeois Dignity turns to seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Europe to reconsider the birth of the Industrial Revolution and the rise of capitalism. According to McCloskey our modern world was not the product of new markets or imperial theft, but rather of shifting opinions about the economy. Talk of private property, commerce, innovation, and the bourgeoisie radically altered, becoming far more approving and contradicting prejudices several millennia old. The wealth of nations, then, didn't grow so dramatically after 1800 because of economic factors; it grew because rhetoric about markets, enterprise, and innovation finally became enthusiastic and encouraging of their inherent dignity.Bourgeois Dignity retells the story of modern economic growth, recasting what we thought we knew from 1776 to the present. McCloskey tests the traditional stories against what actually happenedu and the usual stories don't work very well. Not Marx and his classes. Not Max Weber and his Protestants. Not Fernand Braudel and his Mafia-style capitalists. Not Douglass North and his institutions. Not the mathematical theories of endogenous growth. Not the left wing's theory of working-class struggle, nor the right wing's theory of spiritual decline. What works is "rhetoric." What people said about markets and innovation changed in Holland and then England and then the world. --Book Jacket.
(summary from another edition)
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