The Anxious Triumph: A Global History of Capitalism, 1860-1914

£30.00

Capitalism has co-existed with many different kinds of states, from Victorian Britain to republican France and confederate Switzerland, from Fascist and Nazi regimes to post-war European democracies, from post-Meiji Japan to south-east Asian and Latin American dictatorships, communist China and even Russia. Today, the march of capitalism appears inexorable – but it was not always so. In this riveting account of the rise of global capitalism from the 1880s until 1914, Donald Sassoon describes how after industrialization swept the world in the early nineteenth century the modernization of society and global capitalism followed.

ISBN: 9780241315163 Author: Sassoon, Donald Publisher: Allen Lane, Penguin Books Ltd Publication Date: 27th June 2019 Imprint: Allen Lane Cover: Hardback Dewey: 330.122 (edition:23) Pages: xli, 753 Language: English Readership: General - Trade / Code: K Category: Subjects: , , ,

The long-awaited magnum opus of one of Britain’s most wide-ranging historians

Capitalist enterprise has existed in some form since ancient times, but the globalization and dominance of capitalism as a system began in the 1860s when, in different forms and supported by different political forces, states all over the world developed their modern political frameworks: the unifications of Italy and Germany, the establishment of a republic in France, the elimination of slavery in the American south, the Meiji Restoration in Japan, the emancipation of the serfs in Tsarist Russia. This book magnificently explores how, after the upheavals of industrialisation, a truly global capitalism followed. For the first time in the history of humanity, there was a social system able to provide a high level of consumption for the majority of those who lived within its bounds. Today, capitalism dominates the world.

With wide-ranging scholarship, Donald Sassoon analyses the impact of capitalism on the histories of many different states, and how it creates winners and losers by constantly innovating. This chronic instability, he writes, ‘is the foundation of its advance, not a fault in the system or an incidental by-product’. And it is this instability, this constant churn, which produces the anxious triumph of his title. To control or alleviate such anxieties it was necessary to create a national community, if necessary with colonial adventures, to develop a welfare state, to intervene in the market economy, and to protect it from foreign competition. Capitalists needed a state to discipline them, to nurture them, and to sacrifice a few to save the rest: a state overseeing the war of all against all.

Vigorous, argumentative, surprising and constantly stimulating, The Anxious Triumph gives a fresh perspective on all these questions and on its era. It is a masterpiece by one of Britain’s most engaging and wide-ranging historians.

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