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"A hugely impressive, tremendously rich book that I read with admiration and fascination. One of the most interesting intellectuals of our age, Geerat Vermeij writes with verve and grace, and he is willing, indeed eager, to take risks in order to look at the (very) big picture. His book is chock-full of knowledge and wisdom as well as keen and succinct original insights. It will be widely read and admired."--Joel Mokyr, Northwestern University, author of "The Gifts of Athena: Historical Origins of the Knowledge Economy"
"Both ecological systems and economic systems are complex and adaptive, with self-organization and evolutionary change coupled in each; but the analogy is deeper, extending to the fundamental nature of how these systems are organized. This is the basic theme of Vermeij's masterful and scholarly book. From a biological point of view, Nature is a remarkable synthesis. Few people could have ventured out of their disciplines with such insights."--Simon A. Levin, Princeton University
"Fascinating. Above and beyond enriching our understanding of evolution per se, this engagingly written book, which I am very glad to have read, helps us think about where we as a species may be headed in the future. What more can you ask for?"--Kenneth Pomeranz, University of California, Irvine, author of "The Great Divergence"
"An important and well-written contribution to evolutionary biology. Analogies between ecology/evolution and economics were 'subliminally' apparent to Darwin, many have developed particular analogies quite explicitly, and economists have looked to evolutionary biology to explain why human beings engage in irrational forms of altruism. Vermeij develops theseanalogies in a far more synoptic and comprehensive manner than anyone has before."--Egbert G. Leigh, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, author of "Tropical Forest Ecology"
From humans to hermit crabs to deep water plankton, all living things compete for locally limiting resources. This universal truth unites three bodies of thought--economics, evolution, and history--that have developed largely in mutual isolation. Here, Geerat Vermeij undertakes a groundbreaking and provocative exploration of the facts and theories of biology, economics, and geology to show how processes common to all economic systems--competition, cooperation, adaptation, and feedback--govern evolution as surely as they do the human economy, and how historical patterns in both human and nonhuman evolution follow from this principle.
Using a wealth of examples of evolutionary innovations, Vermeij argues that evolution and economics are one. Powerful consumers and producers exercise disproportionate controls on the characteristics, activities, and distribution of all life forms. Competition-driven demand by consumers, when coupled with supply-side conditions permitting economic growth, leads to adaptation and escalation among organisms. Although disruptions in production halt or reverse these processes temporarily, they amplify escalation in the long run to produce trends in all economic systems toward greater power, higher production rates, and a wider reach for economic systems and their strongest members.
Despite our unprecedented power to shape our surroundings, we humans are subject to all the economic principles and historical trends that emerged at life's origin more than 3 billion years ago. Engagingly written, brilliantly argued, and sweeping in scope, "Nature: An Economic History" shows that the human institutions most likely to preserve opportunity and adaptability are, after all, built like successful living things.
About the Author :
Geerat J Vermeij has contributed to Nature: An Economic History as an author.
Geerat J. Vermeij is Distinguished Professor of Geology at the University of California, Davis. As an evolutionary biologist and paleontologist, he studies shells and the fossil and living animals responsible for building them. His books include Evolution and Escalation: An Ecological History of Life and A Natural History of Shells (both Princeton). He received a MacArthur Fellowship in 1992.
|Title:||Nature: An Economic History||Publisher:||Princeton University Press|
|Author:||Geerat J Vermeij|
|No. of Pages:||445|
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