The Commanding Heights: The Battle for the World Economy

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Simon and Schuster, Jun 15, 2002 - Business & Economics - 464 pages
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The Commanding Heights is about the most powerful political and economic force in the world today -- the epic struggle between government and the marketplace that has, over the last twenty years, turned the world upside down and dramatically transformed our lives. Now, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Prize joins with a leading expert on the new marketplace to explain the revolution in ideas that is reshaping the modern world. Written with the same sweeping narrative power that made The Prize an enormous success, The Commanding Heights provides the historical perspective, the global vision, and the insight to help us understand the tumult of the past half century.
Trillions of dollars in assets and fundamental political power are changing hands as free markets wrest control from government of the "commanding heights" -- the dominant businesses and industries of the world economy. Daniel Yergin and Joseph Stanislaw demonstrate that words like "privatization" and "deregulation" are inadequate to describe the enormous upheaval that is unfolding before our eyes. Along with the creation of vast new wealth, the map of the global economy is being redrawn. Indeed, the very structure of society is changing. New markets and new opportunities have brought great new risks as well. How has all this come about? Who are the major figures behind it? How does it affect our lives?
The collapse of the Soviet Union, the awesome rise of China, the awakening of India, economic revival in Latin America, the march toward the European Union -- all are a part of this political and economic revolution. Fiscal realities and financial markets are relentlessly propelling deregulation; achieving a new balance between government and marketplace will be the major political challenge in the coming years. Looking back, the authors describe how the old balance was overturned, and by whom. Looking forward, they explore these questions: Will the new balance prevail? Or does the free market contain the seeds of its own destruction? Will there be a backlash against any excesses of the free market? And finally, The Commanding Heights illuminates the five tests by which the success or failure of all these changes can be measured, and defines the key issues as we enter the twenty-first century.
The Commanding Heights captures this revolution in ideas in riveting accounts of the history and the politics of the postwar years and compelling tales of the astute politicians, brilliant thinkers, and tenacious businessmen who brought these changes about. Margaret Thatcher, Donald Reagan, Deng Xiaoping, and Bill Clinton share the stage with the "Minister of Thought" Keith Joseph, the broommaker's son Domingo Cavallo, and Friedrich von Hayek, the Austrian economist who was determined to win the twenty-year "battle of ideas." It is a complex and wide-ranging story, and the authors tell it brilliantly, with a deep understanding of human character, making critically important ideas lucid and accessible. Written with unique access to many of the key players, The Commanding Heights, like no other book, brings us an understanding of the last half of the twentieth century -- and sheds a powerful light on what lies ahead in the twenty-first century.
 

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Each century, an elite cast of monumental thinkers emerges onto the stage of world economics and shares some stunning insights, which, if promulgated, pervade the prevailing vox populi. From ... Read full review

Contents

Europes Mixed Economy
xx
Americas Regulatory Capitalism
lvii
The Rise of the Third World
lxxxvi
Britains Market Revolution
cxxi
The Global Critique
clxvi
Asias Emergence
ccx
Chinas Transformation
cclxxvi
Indias Awakening 9 PLAYING BY THE RULES The New Game in Latin America
cccxxxix
Americas New Balance
cdlxxxix
The Battle for the World Economy
dxlviii
The New Rules of the Game PHOTOGRAPHS
14
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
70
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
75
CHRONOLOGY
1776
INTERVIEWS
2004
INDEX
2025

The Journey After Communism
cccxcv
Europes Search for a New Social Contract
cdxlviii

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About the author (2002)

Daniel Yergin, chairman of Cambridge Energy Research Associates and the Global Energy Expert for the CNBC business news network, is a highly respected authority on energy, international politics, and economics. Dr. Yergin received the Pulitzer Prize for the number one bestseller The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money & Power, which was also made into an eight-hour PBS/BBC series seen by 20 million people in the United States. The book has been translated into 12 languages. It also received the Eccles Prize for best book on an economic subject for a general audience.

Of Dr. Yergin’s subsequent book, Commanding Heights: The Battle for the World Economy, the Wall Street Journal said: “No one could ask for a better account of the world’s political and economic destiny since World War II.” This book has been translated into 13 languages and Dr. Yergin led the team that turned it into a six-hour PBS/BBC documentary — the major PBS television series on globalization.  The series received three Emmy nominations, a CINE Golden Eagle Award and the New York Festival’s Gold World Medal for best documentary. Dr. Yergin’s other books include Shattered Peace, an award-winning history of the origins of the Cold War, Russia 2010 and What It Means for the World (with Thane Gustafson), and Energy Future: The Report of the Energy Project at the Harvard Business School, which he edited with Robert Stobaugh.

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