Free Trade versus Protectionism: A Source Book of Essays and Readings

By Edwards, James Rolph | Ideas on Liberty, August 2000 | Go to article overview

Free Trade versus Protectionism: A Source Book of Essays and Readings


Edwards, James Rolph, Ideas on Liberty


Free Trade Versus Protectionism: A Source Book of Essays and Readings by Johannes Overbeek Edward Elgar - 1999 - 656 pages - $120.00

This is a book that operates on several levels and succeeds, to a greater or lesser degree, on all of them. Centrally, it is a history of economic thought in the form of extracts and short essays by the prominent advocates of free trade and protectionism, extending from mercantilist times to the present. Thus the reader is treated to a roughly chronological and fairly complete view of the development of economic thought and understanding of international trade and finance over more than two centuries, as well as the vital points in the free trade/protectionist debate.

Overbeek, professor of economics at the University of the Virgin Islands, divides the book into historical periods and for each one presents writings by the most prominent writers on both sides of the issue. He gives a short history of the periods regarding international trade and the public debate over the issue, and discusses how government policies were affected. He also provides a biography of each author and a summary of his arguments.

In his choice of material, I give Overbeek an A-plus. The most important writers are included, from Thomas Mun through Alexander Hamilton, Friedrich List, Mussolini, John Maynard Keynes, and Robert Reich on the protectionist side, and from David Hume and Adam Smith through John Stuart Mill, Ludwig von Mises, Gottfried Haberler, Melvyn Krauss, and Paul Krugman on the free trade side. Moreover, the extracts Overbeek has selected are all readable by anyone with even a rudimentary familiarity with economics. Abstruse mathematics is thankfully absent. My only criticism is that some of the readings are longer than necessary to make the author's argument, while others seem too short. In an apparent attempt to shorten the book to its still-daunting 656 pages, the writings of some key economists (Henry Hazlitt and Milton Friedman chief among them) have been left out in favor of summaries by Overbeek.

The book's virtue is that it clearly presents the arguments of both sides on the free trade debate. One cannot read both with any objectivity without seeing that the free traders have by far the stronger arguments. Interestingly, the reader observes that the brilliant breakthroughs occurred early on and that the principles established have never been overthrown. Particularly crucial are Ricardo's demonstration of the principle of comparative advantage and David Hume's demonstration of how monetary flows through international payments imbalances alter exports and imports to bring equilibrium to those balances and generate a natural distribution of specie. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Free Trade versus Protectionism: A Source Book of Essays and Readings
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.