Merchant, Soldier, Sage by David Priestland
A History of the World in Three Castes

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...it's a schema well worth pondering and reflecting on. And among the many contributions to the dissection of our current predicament, this is surely one of the most thought-provoking.
-Guardian

Synopsis

A bold new interpretation of modern history as a struggle between three economic groups

We are now living in an age of merchants, but it was not always so. The history of civilization, in large part, is a story of a battle between agrarian aristocracy, the military, and a class of learned experts, or priests. Yet in seventeenth-century England and in the Netherlands, another group entered the mêlée for power: the merchants. For the last four decades, the merchant's power has been unfettered. In Merchant, Soldier, Sage, acclaimed Oxford scholar David Priestland proposes a radical new approach to understanding today’s balance of power, and analyzes the societal and economic historical conditions required for one of these three value systems to dominate. Priestland asserts that, in the wake of the Great Recession, the weakened and discredited merchant still clings to power—but the world is again in the midst of a period of upheaval.
 

About David Priestland

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DAVID PRIESTLAND is the author of the widely acclaimed The Red Flag: Communism and the Making of the Modern World. He teaches modern history at the University of Oxford and is a fellow of St. Edmund Hall.
 
Published March 21, 2013 by Penguin Books. 352 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction
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Guardian

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Reviewed by Richard J Evans on Aug 23 2012

...it's a schema well worth pondering and reflecting on. And among the many contributions to the dissection of our current predicament, this is surely one of the most thought-provoking.

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