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More tracks the development of the world economy, starting with the first obsidian blades that made their way from what is now Turkey to the Iran-Iraq border 7000 years before Christ, and ending with the Sino-American trade war that we are in right now.
Taking history in great strides, More illustrates broad changes by examining details from the design of the standard medieval cottage to the stranglehold that Paris's three belt-buckle-making guilds exercised over innovation in the field of holding up trousers. Along the way Coggan reveals that historical economies were far more sophisticated than we might imagine - tied together by webs of credit and financial instruments much like the modern economy.
Coggan shows how, at every step of our long journey, it was connections between people - allowing more trade, more specialisation, more ideas and more freedom - that always created the conditions of prosperity.