The Relentless Revolution: A History of Capitalism

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9780393068948: The Relentless Revolution: A History of Capitalism

The unlikely development of a potent historical force, told with grace, insight, and authority by one of our best historians.

With its deep roots and global scope, the capitalist system provides the framework for our lives. It is a framework of constant change, sometimes measured and predictable, sometimes drastic and out of control. Yet what is now ubiquitous was not always so. Capitalism took shape centuries ago, starting with a handful of isolated changes in farming, trade, and manufacturing, clustered in early-modern England. Astute observers began to notice these changes and consider their effects. Those in power began to harness these new practices to the state, enhancing both. A system generating wealth, power, and new ideas arose to reshape societies in a constant surge of change.

The centuries-long history of capitalism is rich and eventful. Approaching capitalism as a culture, as important for its ideas and values as for its inventions and systems, Joyce Appleby gives us a fascinating introduction to this most potent creation of mankind from its origins to now.

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From the Back Cover:

Advance Praise for The Relentless Revolution:

“Joyce Appleby’s prolific historical writings on politics and economic thought have earned her a distinguished reputation for incisiveness and originality. The Relentless Revolution, a crowning achievement, shows that capitalism is as much a matter of values and ideas as of supply, demand, and balance sheets. This is sweeping, challenging historical writing of the highest order.” ―Sean Wilentz, Princeton University, author of The Rise of American Democracy: Jefferson to Lincoln

“Joyce Appleby is one of our most distinguished historians, an elegant writer as well as an innovative and penetrating thinker. The Relentless Revolution is Appleby at her best: a brisk, fair-minded history of capitalism and its consequences.” ―T. J. Stiles, author of The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt

“Joyce Appleby, one of the leading historians of our generation, here provides the general reader with an impressively wide-ranging account and analysis of the making of the modern economic world. A fitting capstone to a distinguished career and a must-read for businesspeople.” ―Daniel Walker Howe, UCLA, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815–1848

The Relentless Revolution tackles the enormous subject of the rise and expansion of modern capitalism. Starting in medieval England and ending with the global crisis that began in 2008, Appleby explores the successes and failures of capitalism over the last five hundred years and more. This readable, engaging, comprehensive account will enlighten and entertain anyone with an interest in understanding where the world economy has come from, and where it might be going.” ―Jeffrey Frieden, Harvard University, author of Global Capitalism: Its Fall and Rise in the Twentieth-Century World

About the Author:

Joyce Appleby (1929―2016) was a professor of history emerita at UCLA and the author of The Relentless Revolution: A History of Capitalism and coauthor of Telling the Truth about History, among many other works. A former president of the American History Association, she was awarded the 2009 Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. Prize for distinguished writing in American history from the Society of American Historians.

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