FIRST EDITION IN ENGLISH OF HECKSHER’S MERCANTILISM, 1934, IN ORIGINAL DUST JACKETS
HECKSCHER, Eli F. Mercantilism. London: George Allen & Unwin, (1934). Octavo, original green cloth, original dust jackets. $2200.
First edition in English of this economic history of Europe from the 16th to the 18th century focusing on identifying the key characteristics of mercantilism, translated by Mendel Shapiro, in original dust jackets.
One of the great classics of economic history, Mercantilism explores the role of mercantilist ideas in Europe over two centuries. Though Heckscher acknowledges the problems with setting forth a strict definition for mercantilism, he succeeds in laying out a set of mercantilism’s fundamental characteristics. Today, mercantilism is largely regarded as a system of economic nationalism meant to create wealthy nations by reducing imports and increasing exports—a system often leading to global imbalances and war. While for much of the 20th century Heckscher’s work was ignored due to concerns about the rise of the far left, its relevance is again clear as new concerns emerge about power imbalances with regard to a totalitarian right. Heckscher, writing as fascist governments were gaining power all over Europe, offers important insight into the economic conditions that lead—and have always led—to great danger in Europe and, indeed, worldwide. His analysis of 16th to 18th century Europe was meant to be relevant in the tumultuous political and economic environment that marked 1934, but it is no less relevant today. First published in Swedish in 1931. This first edition in English was prepared from the German edition and was revised by the author.
Books fine, price-clipped dust jackets with light wear and toning to extremities. A near-fine copy.