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Publisher's Summary

Commodities permeate virtually every aspect of modern daily living, but for all their importance - their breadth, their depth, their intricacies, and their central role in daily life - few people who are not economists or traders know how commodity markets work. Almost every day, newspaper headlines and media commentators scream warnings of impending doom - shortages of arable land, clashes over water, and political conflict as global demand for fossil fuels outstrips supply. The picture is bleak, but our grasp of the details and the macro shifts in commodities markets remain blurry.

Winner Take All is about the commodity dynamics that the world will face over the next several decades. In particular, it is about the implications of China’s rush for resources across all regions of the world. The scale of China’s resource campaign for hard commodities (metals and minerals) and soft commodities (timber and food) is among the largest in history.

To be sure, China is not the first country to launch a global crusade to secure resources. From Britain’s transcontinental operations dating back to the end of the 16th century, to the rise of modern European and American transnational corporations between the mid 1860s and 1870s, the industrial revolution that powered these economies created a voracious demand for raw materials and created the need to go far beyond their native countries.

So too is China’s resource rush today. Although still in its early stages, already the breadth of China’s operation is awesome, and seemingly unstoppable. China’s global charge for commodities is a story of China’s quest to secure its claims on resource assets and to guarantee the flow of inputs needed to continue to drive economic development. Moyo, an expert in global commodities markets, explains the implications of China’s resource grab in a world of diminishing resources.

©2012 Dambisa Moyo (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Written to clarify important global questions, this book deserves a wide audience." (Kirkus Reviews)
"With Winner Take All, Dambisa Moyo offers a timely and provocative answer to two crucial questions: How are China’s leaders rushing to meet their country’s exploding demand for energy, and what does this mean for the rest of us? From Africa to Central Asia to Latin America, China exerts growing influence over prices for the commodities we all must buy to fuel our cars, heat our homes, and power our economies. It’s a recipe for conflict—and at a crucial moment for the future of the global economy." (Ian Bremmer, President of Eurasia Group and author of The End of the Free Market)

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Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Reader is Terrible

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Subject is very interesting

What did you like best about this story?

Dambisa is an excellent writer

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Ken Perlstein?

Explains the economics in a clear way

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

His delivery is terrible.....Jerkey delivery .. mispronounced words...terrible inflections.

Any additional comments?

none

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Interesting Book with Very Good Narration

What made the experience of listening to Winner Take All the most enjoyable?

This book is a very detailed book outlining the political and economic happenings in China and around the world. It is an extremely timely and informative book and definitely worth a listen for anyone who has an interest in the rise of China as a major economic power in the world.

What about Ken Perlstein’s performance did you like?

Ken Perlstein has a very good quality voice and I enjoyed listening to him. I strongly disagree with the earlier narration comments, this narrator is very good and easy to listen to.

Any additional comments?

I learned a lot and am glad I bought it. It has sparked an interest in reading more about China and the recent economic events.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Reza
  • ORANGE, CA, United States
  • 06-28-12

Worst narrator ever! Ruins a very good book.

Any additional comments?

This is a very timely and interesting read. Unfortunately, this is doubtless the worst narrator for an audiobook I've ever come across. Do your ears a favor, but the book.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Narration is so bad can't tell if book is good.

Would you try another book from Dambisa Moyo and/or Ken Perlstein?

Do not get a book performed by this narrator unless it is a children's book.

How could the performance have been better?

How could the performance have been worse? Only if a heavy foreign accent were added. The narrator's intonation and rhythm were that of someone who does not speak the language. Multiple mid-phrase pauses so effectively obscured the meaning of all but the shortest sentences that they seemed calculated to do so. Combine this with frequent mispronunciations and word substitutions (e.g., casualty for causality) that the listener finds he is inadvertently learning cryptology rather than economics, which is the topic of the book.

Was Winner Take All worth the listening time?

No. If you want to understand the content of this book, read it rather than listen to it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Mike
  • Johannesburg, TX, United States
  • 06-26-12

The worst reading of an audio book ever.

What would have made Winner Take All better?

This is the worst reading of an audio book that I have ever listened to. I cant believe that I spent money on this production. I cant figure out if the reading is done by a computer or if the reader is just bad. This completely detracts from the book, which I think would have been ok. Please do NOT buy this book.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Decent Content, Awful Performance

The book had pretty content, though it probably could have been 1/2 its length and conveyed the same ideas.

The performance of the narrator was terrible. It seemed clear that he had little knowledge of the subject and simply read the words in a boring monotone fashion. In addition, though I don't have a copy of the written book, I'm pretty sure he frequently said the wrong words and also mispronounced words often.

  • Overall
  • Performance
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Interesting content, terrible performance

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Dambisa Moyo paints a vivid picture of the motivations and strategies China employs to become the de-facto commodities monopsonist and thereby dictate terms to all suppliers worldwide. However, the real challenge of this audio book is to figure out what the narrator is actually saying. The rhythm and intonation of the performance is below Text-To-Speech level. I'm very sorry to say that this book is better read than listened to.

  • Overall
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  • Story

Nothing new - 101 markets mixed with political ops

What would have made Winner Take All better?

Something else than is obvious and that has not been in the newspapers for years.

What was most disappointing about Dambisa Moyo’s story?

It doesn not spend enough time on China and Chinas way of thinking, probably the author does not have any deep insight into the Chinease way of thinking (maybe nobody has) but to take people on an exended 101 commodity markets mixed with typical moral highground punchlines without giving any deep insight that might actually be usefull, ahh waste of time! A one hour abriged version might have sufficed!

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

It is a really interesting topic so it should be possible to rwite a thrilling book

  • Overall
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Great book, poor reader

Is there anything you would change about this book?

I agree with most of the other reviewers that Ken was not the best choice for narrator. He seems to read words rather than sentences, and often emphasizes the wrong words. In some cases I had to restate the sentences in my head before they made sense. Pronunciation is generally good but he sometimes skips articles, like "a" and "the" when he comes to a word that is going to be difficult. This distracts from an otherwise excellent book. Nonetheless, I think it was well worth my time in spite of the reader. I was gratified to discover that the book is about much more than China. Moyo sets each resource in its international context before telling us how China is reacting. The book evidently has many charts and graphs and it would have been nice to have those available while I listened, andI think I am going to buy the print version so that I can go back and look at the graphics. I will put it next to Gilding's, The Great Disruption, another book worth listening to.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Ken Perlstein?

The great Grover Gardner would have been better.

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  • Steven
  • Lancaster, NH, United States
  • 08-06-12

Narrator is awful!

While the subject matter is compelling, the narrator's reading is simply the worst I have ever heard in an audiobook. He has frequent awkward pauses, breaks common expressions and phrases into multiple parts by stopping in the middle, and seems to need to pause after every four or five words, regardless of the sentence structure. It's very, very strange. Was no one else listening to him as he recorded this? (Hello, recording engineer?) How could he have been allowed to go on to record the narration for the entire book? I listened to what must have been only the first page of the text before thinking, what's wrong with this guy? His delivery is so halting and weird that it is off-putting ... it's hard to stay focused on the content because his narration is what is getting your attention. Honestly, this audiobook should be re-recorded. This is the first time I have ever commented on an audiobook's narration, and I listen to a lot of them.