Book Search:  

 

 
Google full text of our books:

bookjacket

A Free Nation Deep in Debt:
The Financial Roots of Democracy
James Macdonald

Paperback | 2006 | $45.00 / £30.95 | ISBN: 9780691126326
576 pp. | 6 x 9 | 18 line illus. 22 tables.
| SHOPPING CART

Reviews | Table of Contents
Introduction [HTML] or [PDF] pdf-icon

For the greater part of recorded history the most successful and powerful states were autocracies; yet now the world is increasingly dominated by democracies. In A Free Nation Deep in Debt, James Macdonald provides a novel answer for how and why this political transformation occurred. The pressures of war finance led ancient states to store up treasure; and treasure accumulation invariably favored autocratic states. But when the art of public borrowing was developed by the city-states of medieval Italy as a democratic alternative to the treasure chest, the balance of power tipped. From that point on, the pressures of war favored states with the greatest public creditworthiness; and the most creditworthy states were invariably those in which the people who provided the money also controlled the government. Democracy had found a secret weapon and the era of the citizen creditor was born. Macdonald unfolds this tale in a sweeping history that starts in biblical times, passes via medieval Italy to the wars and revolutions of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and ends with the great bond drives that financed the two world wars.

Review:

"Remarkable. . . . [This] book could scarcely be more comprehensive. . . . Since Macdonald was for many years a British investment banker, he has a hands-on feel for his subject. But he has not allowed his technical expertise to get in the way of his lucid prose: his argument is readily accessible to a lay reader. And that argument is convincing."--Gordon S. Wood, New York Review of Books

"A fine history of public finance from ancient Greece and Persia to the present."--Richard N. Cooper, Foreign Affairs

"Written clearly and accessibly. . . . A challenging yet fascinating work [that] could hardly be more timely."--Michelle Wucker, Washington Post

"Macdonald has something exciting to teach all serious students of history-that the evolution of democratic institutions is not just about taxation and representation but also about investment."--Niall Ferguson, author of The Cash Nexus

"This book begins with Moses, ends with World War II, and covers just about every important development in public finance in between. Yet, for all his range, MacDonald offers a simple, stunning thesis: Democracy arises from public debt."--James Galbraith, Democracy

Table of Contents

Subject Areas:

Hardcover published in 2003 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Shopping Cart:

  • For hardcover/paperback orders:

    For hardcover/paperback orders in the United States, Canada, Latin America, Asia, and Australia

    Paperback: $45.00 ISBN: 9780691126326

    For hardcover/paperback orders in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and India

    Paperback: £30.95 ISBN: 9780691126326

    Prices subject to change without notice

    File created: 4/17/2014

Questions and comments to: webmaster@press.princeton.edu
Princeton University Press

New Book E-mails
New In Print
PUP Blog
Videos/Audios
Princeton APPS
Sample Chapters
Subjects
Series
Catalogs
Textbooks
For Reviewers
Class Use
Rights
Permissions
Ordering
Recent Awards
Princeton Shorts
Freshman Reading
PUP Europe
About Us
Contact Us
Links
F.A.Q.
PUP Home


Bookmark and Share
Send me emails
about new books in:
Economics
Political Science and International Relations
More Choices
Email:
Country:
Name: