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The Adventure Capitalist: Camels, carpets and coffee: how face-to-face trade is the new economics Paperback – Unabridged, 4 Sep 2009


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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Pan; 1 edition (4 Sep 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330467883
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330467889
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 458,824 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Conor Woodman is an economist, author and presenter with a fresh, relevant take on how changes in the wider world affect us all. His passion is to unravel economic issues in an accessible way.

His first book Around The World in 80 Trades - The Adventure Capitalist and accompanying four-part television series for Channel 4 tell the story of how he left his job in the City, sold his London flat and embarked on a round-the-world trading adventure. Travelling through four continents over five months, he turned his hand to making a profit out of everything from camels in Sudan to inflatable surfboards in Mexico, to discover how real people make real money in real markets.

Conor's new book Unfair Trade deals with how ordinary people around the world survive at the bottom of the supply chain. By living alongside miners, farmers, factory workers and fishermen from Africa to Asia to Central America, Conor tells the stories of the real people on whom the global economy depends.

Conor is an adept public speaker at corporate events and after dinner speeches, and has spoken about his experiences at Hay-on-Wye and Edinburgh literary festivals. Conor has written for the Independent, Conde Nast Traveller and Wanderlust and is a contributor to the BBC's From Our Own Correspondent.


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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Bachelier on 3 Mar 2009
Format: Paperback
Around the World in 80 Trades is wonderful adventure LadLit that follows the author's adventures roughly along the old silk route around the world trying to turn a profit from investments he makes in working capital (camels, coffee, tea, jade, horses, rugs, fish, timber, etc.).

It is written in a light, self deprecating style that is welcome in that the ex-banker turned author-adventurer Conor Woodman does want to make a profit but doesn't take himself too seriously. He hits just the right tone throughout, and the wry humor in the context of his full disclosure of his successes and failures makes for easy, compelling reading.

The book is the result of a companion series broadcast on the UK's Channel Four, but international audiences will not be deprived by missing the video and just reading this fascinating adventure.

Woodman begins and ends his journey in London, over the course of less than a year, and the year is 2008. He returns to a London devastated by the global financial crisis, and closes the book with some wise observations concerning humanity's ongoing global trading culture of interlocking markets (and he doesn't mean electronically linked exchanges, he means roads and clearings serving as places of exchange for goods).

Throughout the book you end up easily sharing with Woodman his successes and failures and end up rooting for him all the way. I won't spoil the fun for future readers, but let's just say there are surprises and tension all the way to the end.

This is an excellent book for economists, adventure lovers, thriller readers, traders, bankers, pop economics readers, or even housewives (my wife also loved the book and counts it among her favorites in years).

Highly recommended and the best book of 2009 already! Riveting!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Eric Stephen on 7 Nov 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Good enough idea but fairly lightweight - suitable for holiday reading.
Don't expect any in depth analysis on "the new economics".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mr. George Macduff on 23 July 2009
Format: Hardcover
Total inspiration.
Eveybody should read this. If you got a sense of adventure then try doing it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Scott on 15 May 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is a fascinating companion to the hugely entertaining, intelligent and thought provoking TV series. Conor's trip round the world, buying, selling, coming into contact with professional attitudes and cultures of business and entrepeneurship of all shades is a timely and and thought provoking look at the way we are all economically bound together. Written with self deprecating wit and real intelligence, it is a lovely read.
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By Paul Bach on 11 Mar 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
What he did with his career and on its replacement are brilliant - and now he can observe, involve and write it all up brilliantly too!
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By markr TOP 500 REVIEWER on 9 Feb 2014
Format: Hardcover
This is very enjoyable travel writing in which the author relates the story of his travel around the world buying and selling a wide variety of goods with the target of doubling his money. Taking in Morrocco, Sudan, Zambia, Botswana, South Africa, Kazakstan, India, China, Tiawan, Japan, Mexico, and Brazil, before returning to London, Conor Woodman's travels are fascinating to read about, as are the trades he made in everything from horses to jade, wood, and wine amongst many others. Some of the trades were successful, some not, but they are all great fun to read about.

There is a little economics thrown in for good measure but mostly this is travel writing - the places he visited and the people he met are described well with lots of photographs to add colour and faces to names, and it is easy to visualise the journey the author made.

I raced through this very enjoyable book in just two sittings and was disapointed to have turned the last page
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By T Mason on 29 Sep 2013
Format: Hardcover
A really good read for fans if travel and business. Conor had a great writing style as he discusses the highs and lows of circumnavigating the world one deal ate time. Very inspiring and insightful.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Conor proved that that nothing is impossible if your set your mind to it. The book was entertaining, inspirational and taught me a great deal about sales and negotiations....Highly recommended.
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