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Anders Lundkvist

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The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt
The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt
by Toby Wilkinson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.51

19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars History as a moral science, 13 Jun. 2012
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This is a truly amazing read.
The author doesn't like the political and economic system of ancient Egypt. The Pharaoes suffered from megalomania, and they suppressed and exploited there population. This we are told at every other page, ad nauseam. It is not surprising, that the rulers of the past do not live up to the standards of today, but it is strangely anacronistic to be told this throughout the book.
Who cares about Wilkinson's moral judgment, except himself?
Worse, after having found out that Ancient Egypt was bad, he loses interest. There are a thousand fascinatiing questions which could have been raised, e.g. the intricate problems of chronology and the question what we know for certain and what are merely educated guesses. But nothing in the book about this. Nor about hieroglyphs. And very little about the economic system (market versus planeconomy, how did they manage without money?). We are told about the system of granarie, but mainly when this system breakes dow And of course: The rulers did not establish the granaries for the benefit of the people, but because they themselves had an interest in it!
There is also very little about everyday life, that is apparantly precluded by the authors vendetta - after so many thousand of years! - against the rulers.
The main problem with moral history is that it makes the author not curious in his subject. Amazing that such a thrilling subject can be made boring.


The Cambridge Economic History of Modern Europe, Volume 2: 1870 to the Present
The Cambridge Economic History of Modern Europe, Volume 2: 1870 to the Present
by Stephen Broadberry
Edition: Paperback
Price: £27.99

7 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Amazing read, 13 Jun. 2012
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This is a truly amazing read.
The authors are fiercely neoliberal in their politics and theories.
Keynes is terrible, democratic regulation of markets are bad,'employment protection' likewise and taxes are by definition 'distortions'. Free trade, free capital movements (no 'financial repression', i.e. democratic regulation of the economy) are the ideals.
Mercifully, the history stops short af the present crises, where the whole edifice is coming tumbling down.


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