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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.

Author: Ashish

Prof at Gokhale Institute, Pune, Blogger at econforeverybody.com, Podcaster at anchor.fm/backtocollege

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