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Download A Splendid Exchange: How Trade Shaped the World Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample A Splendid Exchange: How Trade Shaped the World, by William J. Bernstein Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (502 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: William J. Bernstein Narrator: Mel Foster Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Adam Smith wrote that man has an intrinsic "propensity to truck, barter, and exchange one thing for another." But how did trade evolve to the point where we don't think twice about biting into an apple from the other side of the world? In A Splendid Exchange, William J. Bernstein tells the extraordinary story of global commerce from its prehistoric origins to the myriad controversies surrounding it today. He transports readers from ancient sailing ships that brought the silk trade from China to Rome in the second century to the rise and fall of the Portuguese monopoly in spices in the sixteenth; from the rush for sugar that brought the British to Jamaica in 1655 to the American trade battles of the early twentieth century; from key innovations such as steam, steel, and refrigeration to the modern era of televisions from Taiwan, lettuce from Mexico, and T-shirts from China. Along the way, Bernstein examines how our age-old dependency on trade has contributed to our planet's agricultural bounty, stimulated intellectual progress, and made us both prosperous and vulnerable. Although the impulse to trade often takes a backseat to xenophobia and war, Bernstein concludes that trade is ultimately a force for good among nations, and he argues that societies are far more successful and stable when they are involved in vigorous trade with their neighbors. Lively, authoritative, and astonishing in scope, A Splendid Exchange is a riveting narrative that views trade and globalization not in political terms, but rather as an evolutionary process as old as war and religion-a historical constant-that will continue to foster the growth of intellectual capital, shrink the world, and propel the trajectory of the human species. Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • Bernstein has given us a master's insights into the past to help us understand an issue of deep divisions in the present age. Sara Bongiorni, author of A Year without "Made in China"
  • “Mr. Bernstein is a fine writer and knows how to tell a great story well…A Splendid Exchange is a splendid book.”

    New York Times

  • “Mel Foster’s delivery is unflagging as the work introduces us to a truly global panoply of civilizations…Foster keeps us listening, whether he’s describing a seventh-century Syrian plague or the first transport of ice to Bombay.”


  • “Bernstein has given us a master’s insights into the past to help us understand an issue of deep divisions in the present age.”

    Sara Bongiorni, author of A Year without “Made in China”

  • “The book is not just essential reading; it is fun all the way.”

    Peter L. Bernstein, author of Against the Gods

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Vickie | 2/17/2014

    " This is an excellent book.It is hard to put it down. Even though it has a lot of information in every page,it is so well written that it makes for easy and pleasant reading "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Kathleen McRae | 2/1/2014

    " This book was a very good read. Mr Bernstein gave a very readable history of global commerce From its origins in prehistory to the behemoth that is trade today.The book is written from an evolutionary viewpoint as opposed to a political viewpoint and tells how trade has shaped our world in a intellectual and industrial way that has left us both prosperous and vulnerable.This book is worth a second read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Dan Murphy | 1/28/2014

    " - nice mixture of history and the undeniable logic of trade "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Kalpana | 1/25/2014

    " Interesting information, a little dry reading. "

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About the Narrator

Mel Foster is a prolific audiobook narrator, having read dozens of titles throughout his career. He is the recipient of the prestigious Audie Award, as well as the AudioFile Earphones Award. A former advertising agency executive who used to record test tracks for commercials, his narration career was born out of encouragement from his clients who would often say, “why are we hiring someone else? I like this guy.”