Why can’t we all be rich?

J. Bradford DeLong  |  University of California, Berkeley  |  02 September 2022

On 6 September, Basic Books is publishing “Slouching Towards Utopia”, my economic history of the “long twentieth century” from 1870 to 2010. It is past time, I argue, that we shift our understanding of where the hinge of global economic history lies.

Some might put it in 1076, when the European Investiture Controversy cemented the idea that law should constrain even the most powerful, rather than being merely a tool at their disposal. Another big year is 1450, when the arrival of the Gutenberg moveable-type printing press and the Renaissance set the stage for the Enlightenment. ...

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