Paul Bairoch sets the record straight on twenty commonly held myths about economic history. Among these are that free trade and population growth have historically led to periods of economic growth; that a move away from free trade caused the Great Depression; and that colonial powers in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries became rich through the exploitation of the Third World. Bairoch argues that these beliefs are based on insufficient knowledge and misguided interpretations of the economic history of the United States, Europe, and the Third World.
"A challenging and readable introduction to some major controversial themes in modern international economic history."—Peter J. Cain, International History Review
"Paul Bairoch sheds fascinating light on many of the accepted truths of modern economic history: an intriguing account, well executed."—Alfred L. Malabre, Jr., Economics Editor, Wall Street Journal