Contours_of_the_World_Economy_1-2030AD_E

Contours_of_the_World_Economy_1-2030AD_E - 218 Book reviews...

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those economic historians wishing a broad summary of recent research in the discipline. Lyndon Moore University of Montreal Angus Maddison, Contours of the World Economy, 1–2030AD: Essays in Macro-Economic History . Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007. xii + 418 pp. ISBN: 978 0 19 922720 4. Paperback £19.99. Most people reading this review will have read some of the ‘twenty books on the long run performance of nations’ written by Maddison, or used the ‘Maddison datasets’ or may even be part of his ‘network of international scholars working in this field’. As such, I will focus on what is new and different about Contours of the World Economy, 1–2030AD . The first things to note are the subtitle Essays in Macro-Economic History and the end date 2030 . ‘Essays’ is important as the book has three parts. Part 1 comprises four chapters and charts the ‘Contours of World Development, 1–2003AD’ from ‘The Roman Empire and its Economy’ (chapter 1) to ‘The Impact of Islam and Europe on African Development: 1–2003AD’ (chapter 4). Chapter 2 considers ‘The Resurrection of Western Europe and the Transformation of the Americas’ and chapter 3 charts the ‘Interaction between Asia and the West, 1500–2003’. Part 1 is an excellent source of factual economic history from two millennia, which utilises Maddison’s masterly knowledge of what we know or might reason- ably assume from the data. It is, however, much more than homage to data.
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