Winner Take All by Dambisa Moyo


10 Critic Reviews

A study of China's impact on the world economy neglects the country's domestic failings.


Commodities permeate virtually every aspect of modern daily living, but for all their importance—their breadth, their depth, their intricacies, and their central role in daily life—few people who are not economists or traders know how commodity markets work. Almost every day, newspaper headlines and media commentators scream warnings of impending doom--shortages of arable land, clashes over water, and political conflict as global demand for fossil fuels outstrips supply. The picture is bleak, but our grasp of the details and the macro shifts in commodities markets remain blurry.

Winner Take All is about the commodity dynamics that the world will face over the next several decades. In particular, it is about the implications of China’s rush for resources across all regions of the world. The scale of China’s resource campaign for hard commodities (metals and minerals) and soft commodities (timber and food) is among the largest in history. To be sure, China is not the first country to launch a global crusade to secure resources. From Britain’s transcontinental operations dating back to the end of the 16th century, to the rise of modern European and American transnational corporations between the mid 1860’s and 1870’s, the industrial revolution that powered these economies created a voracious demand for raw materials and created the need to go far beyond their native countries.

So too is China’s resource rush today. Although still in its early stages, already the breadth of China’s operation is awesome, and seemingly unstoppable. China’s global charge for commodities is a story of China’s quest to secure its claims on resource assets, and to guarantee the flow of inputs needed to continue to drive economic development. Moyo, an expert in global commodities markets, explains the implications of China’s resource grab in a world of diminishing resources.

About Dambisa Moyo

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Born and raised in Zambia, Dambisa Moyo is an international economist who writes on the macroeconomy and global affairs. She earned her Ph.D. in economics from Oxford University and her master's degree from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. She is the author of the New York Times bestseller Dead Aid, which details the inefficacy of development aid for poor countries. Named one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World by Time magazine, she writes regularly for Financial Times, the Economist, the Wall Street Journal, and other publications. Anne Flosnik is an accomplished, multi-award-winning British actress, with lead credits for stage, television, commercials, industrials, voice-overs, and audiobooks. Anne has garnered three AudioFile Earphones Awards, an ALA Award, and four Audie Award nominations. Her narration of Little Bee by Chris Cleave was chosen as one of the Best Audiobooks of the Year 2009 by AudioFile magazine and one of the Top 40 Best Audiobooks of 2009 by Library Journal.
Published June 5, 2012 by Basic Books. 274 pages
Genres: Business & Economics, Political & Social Sciences, Nature & Wildlife, Professional & Technical, Science & Math. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
Peak Rank on Jun 24 2012
Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for Winner Take All
All: 10 | Positive: 4 | Negative: 6


Reviewed by Kirkus Reviews on May 15 2012

Written to clarify important global questions, this book deserves a wide audience.

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Reviewed by Jonathan Fenby on Jul 01 2012

A study of China's impact on the world economy neglects the country's domestic failings.

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Financial Times

Reviewed by John Gapper on Jun 23 2012

One cannot accuse Moyo of failing to do her homework. So much has been packed into it that her book is impossible to read without learning something.

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Washington Times

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Reviewed by The Washington Times on Aug 10 2012

Page after page of prose describes the Chinese party-state as operating from the purest of economic motives, exculpates China from charges of neocolonialism and pooh-poohs the possibility that China might be tempted to military action in defense of its interests.

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The Independent

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Reviewed by HAMISH MCRAE on Jun 30 2012

This is not an elegantly written book. Her technique is to pepper her assertions with a mass of statistics that often seem scattered like a condiment onto the meal.

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The Telegraph

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Reviewed by David Blair on Jun 19 2012

...she has produced a flawed and frustrating book, simplistic, poorly written, careless with facts and largely devoid of originality.

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Huntington News

Reviewed by DAVID KINCHEN on Jun 26 2012 an important book and should be read by everyone seeking to understand the importance of commodities in a world where population growth is outpacing the supply of the commodities needed to sustain life.

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USA Today

Reviewed by Jon Rosen on Jul 11 2012

Thoroughly researched and alarmingly convincing, Winner Take All should serve as a warning of what might be in store down the road.

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Reviewed by Tim Bennett on Jul 03 2012

Winner Take All is “simplistic, poorly written, careless with facts and largely devoid of originality”.

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Asia Media Partners

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Reviewed by Nicholas MacDonald

Unequivocally no. Moyo’s book is not a case against China- it’s a case for China’s approach to resource security, and the need of other powers to embrace the same, for their good and that of the developing world, before time runs out.

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