The Ghanaian Job

Posted on by Jonathan Beckman

‘Ghanaians love their con men. It’s the national sport,’ writes the Anglo-Ghanaian journalist Yepoka Yeebo in her introduction to this tale of world-class fraud, sustained over many years, despite the suspicions of numerous agencies and thanks to the gullibility of legions of investors and intermediaries. Yeebo’s title refers to the cautionary tales that Ghanaian parents […]

Curse of Cane

Posted on by Jonathan Beckman

There was a time when commodity histories were everywhere. They tended to focus on consumption and trade over very long distances. Ulbe Bosma’s The World of Sugar is much more than this sort of book. It is one of the most accomplished longue durée case studies in the history of capitalism that we have, concerned not just with trade and consumption but with production also. At every turn it subverts both critiques and celebrations of capitalism, and our understanding of much else besides. It is an extraordinary achievement. It is, for a start, a genuinely global history. Bosma discusses all the sugar-growing places of the world, from

Fuzzing It Up

Posted on by Jonathan Beckman

Martin Daunton has written a powerful and comprehensive survey of what most people think of as world economic governance: the extraordinary network of financial institutions that manage global interconnectedness. This work will become a classic analysis of disillusion. It begins with an iconic example of the failure of multilateralism, the 1933 London World Economic Conference, […]

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RLF - March