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“The Relentless Revolution”

The Relentless Revolution: A History of CapitalismThe premise of Joyce Appleby’s “The Relentless Revolution,” published by W.W. Norton, is that the emergence of capitalism required a coincidence of multiple factors. She argues that it was not an evolutionary inevitability but a grand departure from the preceding centuries of human thought. “This was a revolution of the mind, not machines, and it ushered in profound changes in how people viewed everything from usury to joint stock companies,” writes the New York Times. The historian traces the origins of capitalism to its source. “She doesn’t merely tell the history of capitalism, but what she calls the ‘shadow history of anticapitalism’ — the resistance to the revolutions that capitalism wrought, ” continues the Times. Appleby is not blind to the faults of the system; a true historian, she looks at her subject from all perspectives. “The Relentless Revolution” arrives at an opportune time: Appleby combines her study of the past with an examination of the present. “[For] the present, she recommends globalized capitalism as a remedy for easing poverty, but warns that mathematical models often ignore the messiness of social relations,” writes the New Yorker.

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