Summary of The Rise and Fall of an Economic Empire

With Lessons for Aspiring Economies

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The Rise and Fall of an Economic Empire book summary
Economic empires sow the seeds of their own destruction.


6 Overall

7 Importance

6 Innovation

5 Style


Economic empires, like their political or military counterparts, tend to sow the seeds of their own destruction once they’ve reached their peaks. From those lofty heights, arrogance, changing consumption patterns, altered social expectations and, ultimately, a reversion to government to keep the financial engine going, all foretell an inevitable decline. So says Colin Read, an economics professor at the State University of New York, in his ambitious treatise on economic empires. He offers a thorough, if disordered, trip through economic history, while critiquing the problems of global empire. Though his text is challenging in its density and breadth but short on solutions, it is a solid introduction for students of economic history. getAbstract recommends this book mostly for an academic audience who believes that those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How economic empires have evolved throughout history,
  • Why shifts in economic power are accelerating and
  • How economies at their heights can reinvent themselves.


Economic Hegemony
Economic empires no longer evolve over many generations, as they once did. Over the past 100 years, the US ousted the UK as the world’s largest economy, and soon China likely will take the title. Technology and information accelerate the pace of modern financial change...
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About the Author

Colin Read is an economics professor at the State University of New York College at Plattsburgh

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