Monday, November 9, 2020

Review of Bound Together: How Traders, Preachers, Adventurers, and Warriors Shaped Globalization by Nayan Chanda

This review is written by Eugene Kernes

Book can be found in:
Genre = History

Elaborate Description

Globalization may have expanded faster and reached more people starting in the twentieth century, but globalization itself is not new. Ever since the first explorers out of Africa came to populate the world, other explorers, preachers, traders, and warriors have interlaced various civilizations with each other. From DNA to ideas, infrastructure to cultural products, everything has its roots in various places. Now people are bound together by the very life styles requiring multiple regional specialties. An ever increasingly interconnected world has benefits, but also creates a risk that local issues become a catalyst for the issue on a global scale. The new movement is the alt-globalization, focusing on rectifying the ills of globalization without going against globalization.

Humans are superficially diverse. Having 99% of the same genetic makeup, varying only in color. The difference in color is explained via body’s evolution to the sun’s radiation and varying nutrients found in regional’s fauna and flora. From African explorers seeking alternative sources of food, to those who find routes that reconnect the people, adventures have become common people who can now venture to other regions relatively safely.

Traders allowed not only for new products to be found in the regional places, but also for similar products to compete. Finding that the foreigner had advanced technology caused many nations to adopt the technology. Choosing to seek out foreign innovations or seeking to keep their own had dire consequences for the future of the any kingdom.

Preachers are those who try to help people defend their own rights, keeping government accountable. History shows that religious preachers tried to convert peoples and regions for more selfish reason, but there were spiritual conversions as well. The cost of the written word, books and paper, only decreased due to an increase in demand for religious texts. To influence conversions, preachers often shared their cultures and histories, spreading the diffusion of ideas.

Globalization is not only a benefactor of the people, it can hurt many occupations. Many nations protect their people from global competition, but that protection has costs on others within the nation. Taking away the protection hurts livelihoods who become proponents of an anti-globalization movement. Ironically, for the anti-globalization movement to have communicate the message and have broad awareness required globalization. Many occupations are outspoken in their need retain subsidies but do not hear how foreigners are being hurt by the subsidies.

The book is easily read, but the context is more a survey of various histories. The majority of example are given only a paragraph or two until moving on to the next example. The quickly varying examples do help support the theme, but the lack of context makes it difficult to generalize as examples can have different explanations and understandings when taking a deeper look.

Book Details

Edition ISBN:  9780300112016
Pages to read:   322
Publication:     2007
1st Edition:      2007
Format:            Paperback

Ratings out of 5:
Readability    5
Content          4
Overall           4