Economic Change in World History
An affordable new edition intended for course use
This important book compares the growth achieved in Japan and Europe with the frustrated growth in the major societies of mainland Eurasia. More broadly, it is about the conflict in world history between economic growth and political greed. Eric Jones proposes two fundamentally new frameworks. One replaces industrial revolution or great discontinuity as the source of change and challenges the reader to accept early periods and non-western societies as vital to understanding the growth process. The second offers a new explanation in which tendencies for growth were omnipresent but were usually—though not always—suppressed. Finally, the erosion of these negative factors is discussed, explaining the rise of a world economy in which growth has recurred and East Asia takes a prominent place.
Eric Jones has written a substantial new introduction for this edition, which includes discussions of early evidence of growth episodes and the relation of these points to the Industrial Revolution, and the relevance of the East Asian "miracle" to his thesis.
Praise / Awards
". . . a multi-tiered and sophisticated hypothesis . . . the thrust of the argument, the range of conceptual interest and empirical reference, and the exceptional learning remind us of the value of well-informed economic historians departing from specialist byways in order to tackle really important questions."
---Economic History Review
"Jones's style is both delightful and lapidary. He strikes innumerable sparks with challenging assertions on almost every page . . . as thought provoking as The European Miracle."
---American Historical Review
"Well worth reading. It is daring in its breadth of scope . . . often illuminating. For the general reader, the emphasis on recurring growth may serve to put modern economic growth in better perspective."
---Journal of Economic Literature
"Professor Jones . . . seems incapable of writing a book which does not really advance the debate and improve our understanding . . . brilliant and learned argument."
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