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The Great Transformation

The Great Transformation

The Political and Economic Origins of Our Time


Tracing the history of capitalism in England and beyond, Karl Polanyi's landmark 1944 classic brilliantly exposed the myth of laissez-faire economics. From the great transformation that occurred during the industrial revolution onwards, he showed, there has been nothing 'natural' about the market state. Instead, the economy must always be embedded in society, and human needs and relations. Witnessing the 'avalanche of social dislocation' of his time - from the Great Depression, to the rise of fascism and communism and the First and Second World Wars - Polanyi ends with a rallying cry for freedom, and a passionate vision to protect our common humanity.

About the author

Karl Polanyi

Karl Polanyi (1886-1964) is considered one of the twentieth century's most prophetic and perceptive economic historians. He left his native Austria with the rise of fascism and became a British citizen. During his academic career he taught at Bennington College, the University of Oxford, and the University of London, and wrote The Essence of Fascism, The Great Transformation, and (with A. Rotstein) Dahomey and the Slave Trade.
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