Amazing History of Trade would sum up the book in ~3 words. But it is so much more. Ridley shows the many false starts of civilization and explains why trade is the key to creating wealth. Why were we stuck in the stone age for 50,000 years? Why did Sumer and other early civilizations fall. How did wealth lead to the substitution of human labor for animal labor in Japan? Why was the bureaucracy of the Ming Dynasty such a disaster? Why did England succeed so radically? This book answers all these and more. This is better than a degree in history. Instead of memorizing what happened, you learn why it happened.
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