This Week In Books: Seven Newly Published Works

● Shutdown: How Covid Shook the World’s Economy
Adam Tooze
Review via Reuters
Confronting the crisis forced governments to discard old orthodoxies, many of which were already under attack. Politicians who had previously sought to rein in public spending deployed vast sums to support citizens stuck at home and businesses which had been forced to close. Central banks hoovered up government bonds and backstopped a range of financial markets. Commitments to free trade and private enterprise were discarded in the rush to secure face masks and vaccines, and support crisis-struck industries.

● The Blue Age: How the US Navy Created Global Prosperity–And Why We’re in Danger of Losing It
Gregg Easterbrook
Summary via publisher (Public Affairs Books)
For decades, the Navy has stood sentinel over crucial waterways, ensuring safe passage of goods from nearly all nations. The result is the longest phase of peace on the waters since the Phoenicians, with rising living standards, more (total) jobs, and the dramatic decline of poverty in Asia. But these prosperous times could be at an end. Today China is building warships at an extraordinary pace. India, Japan, Vietnam, and Europe are responding with more fighting ships. What will result from China’s rising naval might, particularly in the South China Sea? As ocean resources are shaped by climate change and new discoveries, will the world share them or fight over them? What will happen if America turns against free trade? Without American investment, the world could see a rise of supply shortages and seagoing conflict that would dwarf the impact of the container ship stuck in the Suez Canal.

● The Great Recoil: Politics after Populism and Pandemic
Paolo Gerbaudo
Summary via publisher (Verso)
In these times of health emergency, economic collapse, populist anger and ecological threat, societies are forced to turn inward in search of protection. Neoliberalism, the ideology that presided over decades of market globalisation, is on trial, while state intervention is making a spectacular comeback amid lockdowns, mass vaccination programmes, deficit spending and climate planning. This is the Great Recoil, the era when the neo-statist endopolitics of national sovereignty, economic protection and democratic control overrides the neoliberal exopolitics of free markets, labour flexibility and business opportunity.

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Disclosures: None.

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