The Company of Strangers: A Natural History of Economic Life - Revised Edition by Paul SeabrightThe Company of Strangers: A Natural History of Economic Life - Revised Edition by Paul Seabright

The Company of Strangers: A Natural History of Economic Life - Revised Edition

byPaul Seabright

Paperback | May 2, 2010

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The Company of Strangersshows us the remarkable strangeness, and fragility, of our everyday lives. This completely revised and updated edition includes a new chapter analyzing how the rise and fall of social trust explain the unsustainable boom in the global economy over the past decade and the financial crisis that succeeded it.

Drawing on insights from biology, anthropology, history, psychology, and literature, Paul Seabright explores how our evolved ability of abstract reasoning has allowed institutions like money, markets, cities, and the banking system to provide the foundations of social trust that we need in our everyday lives. Even the simple acts of buying food and clothing depend on an astonishing web of interaction that spans the globe. How did humans develop the ability to trust total strangers with providing our most basic needs?

Paul Seabrightis professor of economics at the Toulouse School of Economics. He has been a fellow of All Souls College, University of Oxford, and Churchill College, University of Cambridge.
Title:The Company of Strangers: A Natural History of Economic Life - Revised EditionFormat:PaperbackDimensions:400 pagesPublished:May 2, 2010Publisher:Princeton University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0691146462

ISBN - 13:9780691146461

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Table of Contents

Foreword xi

Acknowledgments xv

Trust and Panic: Introduction to the Revised Edition 1

Part I: Tunnel Vision 15

Chapter 1: Who's in Charge? 17

Prologue to Part II 33

Part II: From Murderous Apes to Honorary Friends: How Is Human Cooperation Possible? 35

Chapter 2: Man and the Risks of Nature 37

Chapter 3: Our Violent Past 55

Chapter 4: How Have We Tamed Our Violent Instincts? 65

Chapter 5: How Did the Social Emotions Evolve? 80

Chapter 6: Money and Human Relationships 91

Chapter 7: Honor among Thieves: Hoarding and Stealing 106

Chapter 8: Honor among Bankers? What Caused the Financial Crisis? 116

Chapter 9: Professionalism and Fulfillment in Work and War 134

Epilogue to Parts I and II 147

Prologue to Part III 151

Part III: Unintended Consequences: From Family Bands to Industrial Cities 155

Chapter 10: The City, from Ancient Athens to Modern Manhattan 157

Chapter 11: Water: Commodity or Social Institution? 172

Chapter 12: Prices for Everything? 186

Chapter 13: Families and Firms 204

Chapter 14: Knowledge and Symbolism 226

Chapter 15: Exclusion: Unemployment, Poverty, and Illness 244

Epilogue to Part III 263

Prologue to Part IV 265

Part IV: Collective Action: From Belligerent States to a Marketplace of Nations 269

Chapter 16: States and Empires 271

Chapter 17: Globalization and Political Action 288

Chapter 18: Conclusion: How Fragile Is the Great Experiment? 302

Notes 317

References 343

Index 365

Editorial Reviews

"Fascinating. If you really want to understand who we are today, and how we make a living, read The Company of Strangers to learn how, some 200, 500, even 140,000 years ago, we grew and evolved-in rather amazing ways."-Shlomo Maital, author of Executive Economics: Ten Essential Tools for Managers