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Publisher's Summary

In these 36 engaging lectures, Professor Muller takes you deep inside the perspectives on this most important and pervasive force. You'll gain fresh insights that will strengthen your understanding of capitalism's rich history, its fascinating proponents and opponents, and its startling impact on our world.
These lectures take you beyond economic analysis to look at how some of the greatest intellects have thought about capitalism and its moral, political, and cultural ramifications. Covering capitalism from its 17th-century beginnings to today's era of globalization, Professor Muller explores some wide-ranging questions. What effect does capitalism have on personal development? What about the seemingly unending variety of consumer goods made possible by capitalism? Do the facts support our tendency to think about capitalism as the economic system practiced in "free" countries? Or can capitalism exist in a wide variety of political systems? These are just a few of the many provocative and absorbing questions and issues you'll untangle here.
By placing capitalism in its full societal context, these lectures will enhance your ability to consider, discuss, and answer these and other critical questions - whatever your point of view. Genial and disarming, Professor Muller connects the dots from idea to idea, thinker to thinker, and helps you finally grasp the history and the concepts of this vital economic system, as well as its importance on the global economic stage and in your own life.
©2008 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2008 The Great Courses
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Customer Reviews

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By Jake on 06-21-14

A great intellectual historical look at capitalism

Professor Muller exquisitely weaves the historical dialectic between the eminent thinkers of capitalism with the contexts surrounding it. He evenhandedly addresses each thinker and elucidates why each one was so influential. You will come away with a more nuanced view of capitalism after listening to this course. Leftists will move right and rightists will move left. Prof. Muller constantly intrigues with his knack for storytelling and explication of ideas, never allowing for a boring moment. Highly recommended.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful


By Christopher on 07-13-15

Dazzling and Essential

This course is a juggernaut. Every chapter feels like a precious jewel has been revealed. The professor is a whirlwind and is able to delicately weave complex themes together. The substance and lessons of this course are indispensable to understanding the world we leave in, historically, politically, economically, culturally, philosophically, etc.

Bravo, a hundred times.

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7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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By Victor Gil López on 03-19-16

Just a bit too much on th right for my taste

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Depnding on what they are looking for. The author talks about the points of view of many clasic phylosophers and economists about capitalism but avoids dealing with contemporary issues I was more interested on like the inestability of the financial sector or how capitalism affects climate change. In my opinion the author is a bit too much on the right for my own taste.

Would you be willing to try another book from The Great Courses? Why or why not?

Yes, I listened to some before and I will do so in the future, possibly not in economics though.

What does Professor Jerry Z. Muller bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Nothing, this isn't conceived as a book but a series of lectures so it wouldn't work in any other way.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Not much, it's quite factual.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful


By D. J. Wilkinson on 01-03-15

Brilliant tour of the thinking

A thought provoking course, which has completely changed the way I think about capitalism, what it is, what it does and the effects it has on us.
Highly recommended.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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By Amazon Customer on 02-29-16

Capitalism explained without the literary politics

This is a balanced almost agnostic view of capitalism. It shies neither from rationales nor the dark sides of Capitalism as presented by Left and Right. Regardless of your persuasions this book will teach you something.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful


By Leo T. Hogan on 01-25-18

Depth, breadth and impartiality

Jerry Muller's lectures on capitalism are outstanding. They are broad ranging and given with a degree of critical thinking and impartiality that is very refreshing . i hope he does more on another topic

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