5 non-textbook books about international trade

A student asked me this question in class the other day – if I could recommend five books about international trade that aren’t textbooks. I found the question quite interesting, and what follows are five books that I recommended on the spot

  1. Vermeer’s Hat: One of my favorite books to read about globalization, and the fact that it also speaks about art and history just adds to the treat. Lovely book.
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  2. Shogun: An extremely long book, but also an extremely readable one. On the face of it, this is about internal politics in Japan – and that’s one way to read it. But another way to read it is to think about globalization before the era of globalization.
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  3. Tai-Pan: An equally long book, and this one explains why and how Hong Kong became Hong Kong. Again, explains the historical context and the start of globalization in Asia.
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  4. Monsoon: This was written a while ago, and it holds up reasonably well. Kaplan argues that it is time to take a look at the world with the Indian Ocean front and center, and examines who the key players in this part of the world are likely to be. Especially appropriate for a read today – and this book was written in the pre-Belt-and-Road era.
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  5. OK, I’m cheating a little. I can’t for the life of me remember what I actually said in class the other day, but even if I didn’t mention this book, I’ll go along with it. Easily the most academic book of the five (and easily the most boring, if I am going to be honest), but a good read nonetheless for gaining information about the development of international trade. Power and Plenty, by Findlay et al.

India: Links for 26th August, 2019

Five more articles about Kashmir today.

  1. Shekhar Gupta on India’s first mover advantage.
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  2. “Again, a counter-question: Who are the Kashmiris? The Right-Nationalists are missing nuance when they say just 10 districts of the Valley can’t speak for all of the state. Because these represent the state’s majority. The liberal argument is more flawed. If the majority view of Valley Muslims then subsumes the sizeable minorities of the state, what do we do for the view of the rest, about 99.5 per cent of India? Can you have the democratic logic of majority work in one place and not in the other?”
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    No better paragraph, to my mind, than this to help you understand what democracy is, and what it’s limitations (by design) are.
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  3. On cutting the Kashmiri knot.
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  4. “So the idle thought is this: If religions and constitutions are both the product of the human brains devised in order to bring order to peoples’ lives and societies, why do some people prefer one over the other? As demand theory would say, they should be on an indifference curve.”
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    Speaking of wonderfully written paragraphs
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  5. In search of peace(?)