What is capitalism? Is capitalism the same everywhere? Is there an alternative? The word 'capitalism' is one that is heard and used frequently, but what is capitalism really all about, and what does it mean? The book begins by addressing basic issues such as 'what is capital?' before discussing the history and development of capitalism through three detailed and absorbing case studies ranging from the tulipomania of seventeenth-century Holland to the recent Enron crisis in America. Fulcher addresses important present day issues, such as New Labour's relationship with capitalism, the significance of global capitalism, and distinctive national models of capitalism. He also explores whether capital has escaped the nation-state by going global, emphasizing that globalizing processes are not new. He discusses the crisis tendencies of capitalism, such as the Southeast Asian banking crisis, the collapse of the Russian economy, and the 1997- 1998 global financial crisis, and asks whether capitalism is doomed. The book ends by asking whether there is an alternative to capitalism, discussing socialism, communal and cooperative experiments, and the alternatives proposed by environmentalists. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.