As the fable goes, in the summer when the ants were busy gathering food, grasshoppers lived a carefree life. Come winter, the ants lived off their store, while the grasshoppers were left starving. It appears that this lesson was eventually learnt by humans, who shifted from hunting and gathering to agriculture. The wisdom of ants that they borrowed did not end here but helped to lay the foundation of economics as a distinct discipline. This book takes the reader through the history of economics through the ages and the four major world civilisations: European, Islamic, Indian and Chinese, pointing out the ways in which we think of economics today were formed. In the process, Shankar Jaganathan asks us to question our ideas of the importance of these ideas and their ability to drive the world. Written in a lucid, easy style, with many historical examples, The Wisdom of Ants views economic ideas through an ethical, social and political lens, allowing readers to understand the relevance of this history to their own daily lives.
About the Author:
Shankar Jaganathan is passionate about economic history, sustainability practices and corporate governance. A chartered accountant and law graduate, he has varied experience in corporate, academic and social sectors in a career spanning twenty-five years. A select list of the entities and institutions he is/was associated with includes Wipro, Azim Premji Foundation, Indian Institute of Science, Union Bank of India, Oxfam India and Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies. He currently divides his time between corporate consulting for rapidly growing entities, teaching, research and writing. He is also an independent director on the boards of Indian corporates and NGOs, and teaches at leading management schools. Shankar is the author of Corporate Disclosures: 1553-2007: The Origin of Financial and Business Reports, published by Routledge in 2008. This book was selected by the Indian Society of Training and Development, New Delhi for commendation in 2010 and was awarded a cash prize.
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