A clue to the dichotomy at the heart of this accessible history of American capitalism is buried deep within it. In describing the growth of the footwear company Nike in the 1970s and 1980s, Bhu Srinivasan writes that ‘Nike, as a new symbol of Americana, was a potent mix of high-margin, high-value American intellectual property and low-margin, low-value foreign labor.’ The revolution exemplified by Nike’s growth has only accelerated since. In his concluding chapter, Srinivasan classifies Apple founder Steve Jobs, ‘a man who had made it so that a customer in India could buy a product made in China, which never entered American airspace or physically touched an American hand’, as an equal to the industrial magnates of the 19th and early 20th centuries.
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'"Dutch Light" roots its subject in his local environment, explaining, for example, how an abundance of sand for making glass led naturally to a thriving business in optical instruments in Holland.'
Patricia Fara on the life & work of Christiaan Huygens.
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'We may not be able to shield ourselves from irrational passions such as hatred, anger, envy, mockery and pride, or from the buffetings of circumstance, but we can rise above them by obtaining insight into their nature and their causes.'