Sunday, 9 September 2012

Prometheus Shackled

my book with Peter Temin on banking and the Industrial Revolution will be out later this year. We are just finalizing the cover and waiting for the index. In the meantime, our friends who generously read (and criticized) the  manuscript have sent in their testimonials, and they have been very kind. Here is what their testimonials say:

“A major contribution to economic history, business history, social history, and economics, Prometheus Shackled resolves a great enigma about the Industrial Revolution by explaining why economic growth was so slow despite massive technical change."—Philip T. Hoffman, California Institute of Technology "Based on newly opened archival material, two economists have written a sparkling and provocative book on how banking worked in the past, that will force all scholars working in the area to re-examine their notions about the economics of the British Industrial Revolution, the importance of banking and finance in economic development, and the role that government regulation has played in the process of capital accumulation and industrialization."—Joel Mokyr, Northwestern University; author of The Enlightened Economy “Peter Temin and Joachim Voth have written a marvelous blend of business history and economic analysis.  Their careful study of Hoare’s Bank documents the origins of modern banking and relates the story to the state’s insatiable demand for credit to finance war.  Prometheus Shackled is a pleasure to read and calls into question many grand narratives that seek to explain the rise of the West.”--Bob Allen, University of Oxford; author of The British Industrial Revolution in Global Perspective “In a world still hobbled by the unchecked excesses of modern finance, this timely study of Industrial Revolution banking reminds us that bankers are as important for growth as engineers.  Indeed, the authors argue, too few bankers in eighteenth century Londonlimited economic growth much more than too many in the untrammeled City of today.” -- Greg Clark, University of California, Davis; author of A Farewell to Alms.
“This is an important work, and it is written in an engaging style. The authors integrate goldsmith banking operations with the history of the rise of the nation state’s finances and military aspirations, the broader economic trends that gave rise to industrialization, the rise of the middle class and the changing distribution of wealth, and evolving societal attitudes that accompanied industrialization. The central thesis of the book – that England’s constrained banking system served sovereign interests at the expense of private interests during the early industrial revolution (1760-1830) – is argued persuasively.” -- Charles Calomiris, Columbia University
“Prometheus Shackled solves a major puzzle:  Why during the first Industrial Revolution was Britain's economic growth anemic?  The authors show that financial and other policies diverted credit from the private economy to the government, making it easier for the British state to finance its numerous wars.  With implications for both history and our own financially and economically troubled times, this is an important book.” -- Richard Sylla, New YorkUniversity

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