Robert Skidelsky
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Articles from New York Review of Books

The Chinese Shadow
Robert Skidelsky
New York Review of Books | Monday, October 17, 2005

Three Billion New Capitalists: The Great Shift of Wealth and Power to the East
by Clyde Prestowitz
Basic Books, 321 pp., $26.95
China, Inc.: How the Rise of the Next Superpower Challenges America and the World
by Ted C. Fishman
Scribner, 342 pp., $26.00
The "rise" of China has suddenly become the all-absorbing topic for those professionally concerned with the future of the planet. Will the twenty-first century be the Chinese century, and, if so, in what sense? Will China's rise be peaceful or violent? And how will this affect the United States, the current "hyperpower"? In fact, China has been "rising" for some time (after several hundred years of "fall"), but for many years its claim to notice was obscured by more exciting

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In the Führer’s Face
Robert Skidelsky
New York Review of Books | Thursday, February 24, 2005

Making Friends with Hitler: Lord Londonderry, the Nazis and the Road to World War II
by Ian Kershaw
Penguin, 488 pp., $29.95
Two themes run through the life and career of Charles Stewart Henry Vane-Tempest-Stewart, 7th Marquess of Londonderry. The first is the decline and fall of the British aristocracy; the second is British attitudes toward Hitler and Nazi Germany. They intersect in the person of "Charley" Londonderry because he was an aristocratic survivor in an age of democratic politics who, like many of his kind, saw agreement—friendship is too strong a word—with Hitler as a way of avoiding another war which would finally destroy his kind, and the civilization for which it stood.
Londonderry was an important-enough figure

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One World?
Robert Skidelsky
New York Review of Books | Thursday, March 25, 2004

One World: The Ethics of Globalization
by Peter Singer
Yale University Press, 235 pp., $21.95
Free Trade Today
by Jagdish Bhagwati
Princeton University Press, 128 pp., $35.00; $14.95 (paper)
The Chastening: Inside the Crisis That Rocked the Global Financial System and Humbled the IMF
by Paul Blustein
Public Affairs, 435 pp., $18.00 (paper)
World on Fire: How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability
by Amy Chua
Doubleday, 340 pp., $26.00
Globalization was the most dramatic idea to emerge from the collapse of communism and the end of the cold war. Suddenly, it seemed, there was "one world." US State Department official Francis Fukuyama said it first: there was now no ideological obstacle to

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The Mystery of Growth
Robert Skidelsky
New York Review of Books | Thursday, March 13, 2003

The Spirit of Capitalism: Nationalism and Economic Growth
by Liah Greenfeld
Harvard University Press, 541 pp., $45.00
Lectures on Economic Growth
by Robert E. Lucas Jr.
Harvard University Press, 204 pp., $49.95
The question of what causes economies to grow is theoretically interesting and practically important. If we could discover the secrets of economic growth—what causes income per person to increase over time—we might be able to make growth happen at will, abolishing poverty and creating a world of universal abundance.
Until about three hundred years ago, periods of economic growth had always been reversed, leaving long-term income levels unchanged: the standard of living of a European agricultural worker in the sixteenth

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What Makes the World Go Round?
New York Review of Books
Robert Skidelsky | Thursday, August 09, 2001

The Cash Nexus: Money and Power in the Modern World, 1700-2000
by Niall Ferguson
Basic Books, 552 pp., $30.00
In 1987 the historian Paul Kennedy published a controversial book called The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers: Economic Change and Military Conflict from 1500 to 2000. Its message was that the United States was suffering from imperial "overstretch." Its economy was no longer large or dynamic enough to support its strategic commitments. It had to accept a lesser role in a "multipolar" world. This message was embedded in a grand historical-geopolitical narrative. Kennedy discerned a long-run correlation between economic and military power. This gave rise to a historic pattern of "rise and fall," in which successive dominant

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