The book under review is fascinating and disappointing at the same time. It is a masterly survey of the developmental and economic history literature on the significant changes that have taken place in the global economy over a long historical period stretching into many centuries. The data that has been carefully used and analysed comes from reliable sources mostly UN data. Deepak Nayyar, a Left Keynesian who belongs to the developmental state school of thought in the field of development economics has not only surveyed global economic history but also very brilliantly summarized the main contributions to development economics in the field of industrialization that is the focus of this study. The central contribution of work is in two fields: one, it provides a panoramic view of the rise and fall of nations in the tradition of the work which Angus Maddison is most famous for, and two, it critiques the neo-liberal paradigm that still remains hegemonic in development literature in spite of a serious setback that the triumphalism of the paradigm has suffered in the wake of the recent multipronged crisis of global capitalism (For my examination of this multi-pronged crises, see ‘Contemporary Global Capitalism: Multi-pronged crises’, Economic and Political Weekly, October 11, 2008).
July 2014, volume 38, No 7