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A Concise Economic History of the World

From Paleolithic Times to the Present

Fourth Edition

the late Rondo Cameron and Larry Neal

Publication Date - May 2002

ISBN: 9780195127058

480 pages
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $85.95


This classic book offers a broad sweep of economic history from prehistoric times to the present and explores the disparity of wealth among nations. Now in its fourth edition, A Concise Economic History of the World has been updated to reflect the stunning changes in the world economy since 1989. Truly a definitive history of globalization, the new edition has been expanded to include coverage of the most recent developments in the European Union, East Asia, and, in general, transition economies. Comprehensive and global in scope, this concise text features ample illustrations and a fully updated annotated bibliography that guides readers to the relevant scholarly literature. Now available in eleven languages, including Spanish (second edition), French, German (two volumes), Polish, and Chinese, this unique work remains an invaluable, lively, and accessible text for both undergraduate and graduate students of European economic history, the history of globalization, and world development.

Previous Publication Date(s)

March 1993
March 1993


Praise for previous editions:

"I have long been an admirer of Professor Cameron's published scholarship. The topics he addresses are important and he writes with remarkable clarity and grace. The level of presentation is perfect for an undergraduate audience."--Michael Moohr, Bucknell University

"This book fits well with an undergraduate course in European or World Economic history. The text is strongest in describing national rivalries and why nations rose and fell."--Daniel R. Shiman, State University of New York at Oswego

"I am now even happier that I have consistently assigned (this book) in my classes. Cameron's interpretations of events always seem to me both sensible and consistent."--Richard N. Langlois, University of Connecticut

"A tour de force.... Manages to pack an astonishing wealth of detail on many topics, from the manorial system to the recovery and integration of Western Europe after World War II....Learned, lucid, readable, and appositely illustrated."--Journal of Economic Literature

Table of Contents

    List of Figures
    List of Tables
    1. Introduction: Economic History and Economic Development
    Development and Underdevelopment
    Growth, Development, and Progress
    Determinants of Economic Development
    Production and Productivity
    Economic Structure and Structural Change
    The Logistics of Economic Growth
    2. Economic Development in Ancient Times
    Economics and the Emergence of Civilization
    The Economic Foundations of Empire
    Trade and Development in the Mediterranean World
    Economic Achievements and Limits of Ancient Civilization
    3. Economic Development in Medieval Europe
    The Agrarian Basis
    Rural Society
    Patterns of Stability
    Forces of Change
    Europe Expands
    The Revival of Urban Life
    Commercial Currents and Techniques
    Industrial Technology and the Origins of Mechanical Power
    The Crisis of the Medieval Economy
    4. Non-Western Economies on the Eve of Western Expansion
    The World of Islam
    The Ottoman Empire
    East Asia
    South Asia
    The Americas
    5. Europe's Second Logistic
    Population and Levels of Living
    Exploration and Discovery
    Overseas Expansion and the Feedback to Europe
    The Price Revolution
    Agricultural Technology and Productivity
    Industrial Technology and Productivity
    Trade, Trade Routes, and Commercial Organization
    6. Economic Nationalism and Imperialism
    Mercantilism: A Misnomer
    The Common Elements
    Spain and Spanish America
    Central, Eastern, and Northern Europe
    Colbertism in France
    The Prodigious Increase of the Netherlands
    "Parliamentary Colbertism" in Britain
    7. The Dawn of Modern Industry
    Characteristics of Modern Industry
    The Industrial Revolution: A Misnomer
    Prerequisites and Concomitants of Industrialization
    Industrial Technology and Innovation
    Regional Variation
    Social Aspects of Early Industrialization
    8. Economic Development in the Nineteenth Century: Basic Determinants
    The Development and Diffusion of Technology
    Prime Movers and Power Production
    Cheap Steel
    Transport and Communications
    The Application of Science
    The Institutional Framework
    Legal Foundations
    Economic Thought and Policy
    Class Structure and Class Struggles
    Education and Literacy
    International Relations
    9. Patterns of Development: The Early Industrializers
    Great Britain
    The United States
    10. Patterns of Development: Latecomers and No-Shows
    The Netherlands and Scandinavia
    The Austro-Hungarian Empire
    Southern and Eastern Europe
    The Iberian Peninsula
    Southeastern Europe
    Imperial Russia
    11. Strategic Sectors
    Finance and Banking
    The Role of the State
    12. The Growth of the World Economy
    Britain Opts for Free Trade
    The Free Trade Era
    The "Great Depression" and the Return to Protection
    The International Gold Standard
    International Migration and Investment
    The Revival of Western Imperialism
    Explanations of Imperialism
    13. Overview of the World Economy in the Twentieth Century
    International Relations
    The Role of Government
    The Forms of Enterprise
    Organized Labor
    Informal Institutions
    14. International Economic Disintegration
    The Economic Consequences of World War I
    Economic Consequences of the Peace
    The Great Contraction, 1929-33
    Rival Attempts at Reconstruction
    The Russian Revolutions and the Soviet Union
    Economic Aspects of World War II
    15. Rebuilding the World Economy
    Planning for the Postwar Economy
    The Marshall Plan and Economic "Miracles"
    The Era of High Growth
    The Emergence of the Soviet Bloc
    The Economics of Decolonization
    The Travails of the Third World
    The Origins of the European Union
    16. The World Economy at the Beginning of the Twenty-First Century
    The Collapse of the Soviet Bloc
    The Evolution of the European Union
    Limits to Growth?
    Annotated Bibliography