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Capitalism: A Very Short Introduction

James Fulcher

Publication Date - July 2004

ISBN: 9780192802187

160 pages
4-1/2 x 7 inches

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $11.95

An intriguing look at the origins and possible future of capitalism


This Introduction explores the origins of capitalism and questions whether it did indeed originate in Europe. It examines a distinctive stage in the development of capitalism that began in the 1980s, in order to understand where we are now and how capitalism has evolved since. The book discusses the crisis tendencies of capitalism--including the S.E. Asian banking crisis, the collapse of the Russian economy, and the 1997-1998 global financial crisis--asking whether capitalism is doomed to fail. In the end, the author ruminates on a possible alternative to capitalism, discussing socialism, communal and cooperative experiments, and alternatives proposed by environmentalists.

About the Series: Combining authority with wit, accessibility, and style, Very Short Introductions offer an introduction to some of life's most interesting topics. Written by experts for the newcomer, they demonstrate the finest contemporary thinking about the central problems and issues in hundreds of key topics, from philosophy to Freud, quantum theory to Islam.


  • This book answers the questions people have about capitalism
  • Covers the basics at the start by asking such questions as: 'what is capital?'
  • International scope dealing with Europe, Japan, the United States, and the 'third world'
  • Exciting examples taken from the ancient world to the 1990s and 2000s

About the Author(s)

James Fulcher is Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Leicester.

Table of Contents

    1. What is capitalism
    2. Where did it come from?
    3. How did we get here?
    4. Is capitalism the same everywhere?
    5. Has capitalism gone global?
    6. Crisis? What crisis?
    7. Is there an alternative?