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War, Wine, and Taxes:
The Political Economy of Anglo-French Trade, 1689-1900
John V. C. Nye

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"Nye has performed a useful service by providing an accurate portrayal of the true state of the trade policy of the British government, a policy that was often at odds with the free-trade claims of thinkers and politicians."--K. Steven Vincent, European Legacy


"In War, Wine, and Taxes John Nye overturns the widespread belief that Britain promoted the free trade that eventually brought so many benefits in the nineteenth century. Britain, it turns out, was surprisingly protectionist, and the political economy of its tariffs has left a mark on French winemaking and on British pubs that still survives today."--Philip T. Hoffman, author of Growth in a Traditional Society: The French Countryside, 1450-1815

"The humorist Artemus Ward famously said, 'It ain't so much the things we don't know that get us into trouble. It's the things we do know that just ain't so.' Everyone knows that England was the first European nation to move, largely unilaterally, toward a free-trade regime. And everyone also knows that this was the cause of British prosperity and power. The problem is that it just ain't so, as Nye shows in this remarkable book. Using data that have long been available, but that have never been compiled and compared in any systematic manner, Nye meticulously discredits the conventional wisdom. And the history he writes of the economics of trade in beer and wine is a tour de force, well written and with as many strange characters and unexpected twists as a detective novel. It is no exaggeration to say that this is the most controversial, and possibly the most important, book on political economy yet published in the new millennium."--Michael Munger, Duke University

"Nye's arguments are novel and fresh, and they are enunciated with great gusto. He brings to bear a fine intuition and understanding of economic analysis, and he combines his economic history with a deep understanding of political economy and the complex ways in which special interests and ideology jointly affect policy decisions. His analysis of the politics and economics of protectionist legislation is quite compelling, and his handling of the data and ability to see in them something that others have missed are quite impressive."--Joel Mokyr, author of The Gifts of Athena

"Nye provides a new view of British commercial policy and its links to financing war. Historians have long studied politics, war, taxation, and trade. What they have failed to do is see how all these are connected. Nye's strength is suggesting how these stories tie together into a single story. Along the way emerges a wonderful treatment of the industrial organization of beer and wine, particularly why Britain was a nation of beer drinkers and France of wine."--Barry Weingast, Stanford University

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File created: 4/21/2017

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