Economics

Press release: Wright, Financial Founding Fathers

April 26, 2006
By
Press release: Wright, Financial Founding Fathers

When you think of the founding fathers, you think of men like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin—exceptional minds and matchless statesmen who led the colonies to a seemingly impossible victory over the British and established the constitutional and legal framework for our democratic government. But the American Revolution was about far more than freedom and liberty. It was about economics as well. In Financial Founding Fathers: The Men Who Made America Rich, Robert E. Wright and David J. Cowen chronicle how a different group of founding fathers forged the wealth and institutions necessary to transform the American colonies from a diffuse alliance of contending business interests into one cohesive economic superpower. From Alexander Hamilton to Andrew Jackson, the authors focus on the lives of nine Americans in particular—some famous, some unknown, others misunderstood, but all among our nation’s financial founding fathers.… Read the press release. Read an excerpt. . . .

Read more »

Press release: Miller, Reluctant Capitalists

April 26, 2006
By
Press release: Miller, Reluctant Capitalists

In a time when the arrival of yet another Starbucks, Best Buy, or Borders to a neighborhood is viewed as routine, the presence of the chain bookstores is still challenged by a formidable contingent of book buyers who consider the association between books and mass consumerism as crass. In Reluctant Capitalists: Bookselling and the Culture of Consumption, Laura J. Miller explores what it is about books that elicit such passions in consumers, and why the business of selling books is viewed with such skepticism by book lovers.… Read the press release. Read an excerpt. . . .

Read more »

Review: Robert E. Wright, Financial Founding Fathers

March 27, 2006
By
Review: Robert E. Wright, Financial Founding Fathers

Library Journal recently reviewed Robert E. Wright and David J. Cowen’s Financial Founding Fathers: The Men Who Made America. From the review: "The early financial history of the United States merits additional popular and scholarly attention, and Wright and Cowen provide biographical information on nine founders of America’s financial and economic systems, from Alexander Hamilton to Andrew Jackson and Nicholas Biddle.… The book emphasizes biographical information with limited explanation of financial and economic arguments.… This book is useful for large public libraries so that general readers may understand formative economic ideas in American history." Robert E. Wright and David J. Cowen chronicle how a different group of founding fathers forged the wealth and institutions necessary to transform the American colonies from a diffuse alliance of contending business interests into one cohesive economic superpower. From Alexander Hamilton to Andrew Jackson, the authors focus on the lives of nine Americans in particular—some famous, some unknown, others misunderstood, but all among our nation’s financial founding fathers. Read an excerpt. Visit Wright and Cowen’s Financial Founding Fathers Web site. . . .

Read more »

Press release: Michele de La Pradelle, Market Day in Provence

March 23, 2006
By
Press release: Michele de La Pradelle, Market Day in Provence

An institution as old as time, the outdoor farmers’ market has experienced a renaissance in recent decades as consumers have sought an alternative to chain supermarkets and pre-packaged goods. For patrons of these street markets, the tomatoes are always redder, the lettuce greener, the melons larger, and the meat and fish more fresh. But are they? In Market Day in Provence, the late Michèle de La Pradelle (1944-2004) lifts the curtain behind the traditional farmers’ market once and for all in her award-winning study of the street market of Carpentras, France One of the oldest and most celebrated markets, Carpentras is the model for its more modern cousins. But they are all alike, according to de La Pradelle, in that above all else, money rules. On any Friday, several hours before dawn, trucks file in along the cobblestone streets of the city bearing goods not brought in from farmers but from wholesalers—many of whom supply the superstore chains surrounding the city. The vast majority of produce, meats, dairy products, and fruit here is of the same quality and price as elsewhere in the city. But the products at the market appear different, even fresher—a tribute to the market’s spectacle of . . .

Read more »

Review: Edward Castronova, Synthetic Worlds

March 6, 2006
By
Review: Edward Castronova, Synthetic Worlds

The Guardian‘s Steven Poole recently reviewed Edward Castronova’s Synthetic Worlds: The Business and Culture of Online Games: "Those who spend their nights pretending to be elves on the internet are, it appears, worthy of more than your bafflement or idle contempt, for this is the future of human society. Already, as the economist author points out, massive multiplayer online roleplaying games such as World of Warcraft host large economies whose apparently fictional currencies are traded against the real-life dollar, and political institutions are just as real in the virtual world as they are when housed in actual buildings.… Castronova’s discussion is detailed and thought-provoking, although … his optimism seems to underplay the fate of the underclass that will inevitably be locked out of these digital utopias: after all, some people will always have to maintain infrastructure and energy and food supplies while the rest sublime happily into cyberspace." Read an interview with Edward Castronova. . . .

Read more »

Review: Laura J. Miller, Reluctant Capitalists

March 2, 2006
By
Review: Laura J. Miller, Reluctant Capitalists

Publishers Weekly recently reviewed Laura J. Miller’s Reluctant Capitalists: Bookselling and the Culture of Consumption: "Though independent booksellers may believe they already understand all that there is to know about maintaining the delicate balance between economic success and cultural integrity, those who dip into Miller’s impressive examination will find their curiousity well rewarded.… A carefully articulated investigation." Publishers Weekly’s Ron Hogan interviewed Miller about Reluctant Capitalists. Read the interview here. . . .

Read more »

Robert E. Wright discusses The First Wall Street on NPR

February 22, 2006
By
Robert E. Wright discusses The First Wall Street on NPR

Earlier this week, Robert E. Wright talked to NPR’s Cheryl Glaser about his new book The First Wall Street: Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, and the Birth of American Finance. When Americans think of investment and finance, they think of Wall Street—though this was not always the case. During the dawn of the Republic, Philadelphia was the center of American finance. The first stock exchange in the nation was founded there in 1790, and around it the bustling thoroughfare known as Chestnut Street was home to the nation’s most powerful financial institutions. The First Wall Street recounts the fascinating history of Chestnut Street and its forgotten role in the birth of American finance. An audio file of the program is on NPR’s Marketplace Web site. Read an excerpt. . . .

Read more »

Forbes interview with Peter Bearman

February 22, 2006
By
Forbes interview with Peter Bearman

Last week, Forbes interviewed Peter Bearman, author of Doormen. Combining observation, interviews, and survey information, Doormen provides a deep and enduring ethnography of the occupational role of doormen, the dynamics of the residential lobby, and the mundane features of highly consequential social exchanges between doormen and tenants. From the Forbes interview: To me, money is…Because I am a sociologist, I conducted a survey to get the answer to this question. Twenty-three percent of my respondents said that money was a "mixed blessing." Eleven percent thought that money was "potent." The rest of the people I talked to—pretty much everyone in New York City—thought that money is always a better choice than cookies for their doorman’s holiday bonus. Read more about the Christmas Bonus in an excerpt from Doormen. Read the New Yorker feature on Bearman and Kieran Healy’s review of Doormen. . . .

Read more »

Review: Edward Castronova, Synthetic Worlds

February 8, 2006
By
Review: Edward Castronova, Synthetic Worlds

Tim Harford reviewed nine popular economics books in the Chronicle of Higher Education, including Edward Castronova’s Synthetic Worlds: The Business and Culture of Online Games. Harford says that "Synthetic Worlds is a surprisingly profound book about the social, political, and economic issues arising from the emergence of vast multiplayer games on the Internet. What Castronova has realized is that these games, where players contribute considerable labor in exchange for things they value, are not merely like real economies, they are real economies, displaying inflation, fraud, Chinese sweatshops, and some surprising in-game innovations." Harford also wrote a longer review of the book last month for the Financial Times; that review is available on his website. You can also read our interview with Castronova. . . .

Read more »

Press release: Robert E. Wright, The First Wall Street

January 20, 2006
By
Press release: Robert E. Wright, The First Wall Street

Picture, if you can, a time when New York wasn’t the center of the financial universe. A time when the business and investment capital of our great nation was Philadelphia, home of the Bank of the United States, the U.S. Mint, the country’s first stock exchange, and several major banks all clustered on or around Chestnut Street—the thoroughfare which historian Robert Wright dubs The First Wall Street. Here in this fascinating work, Wright recounts the forgotten story of Chestnut Street and its pivotal role in the birth of American finance.… Read the press release. Read an excerpt. . . .

Read more »

Search for books and authors