How markets nurtured our civilization

A survey since ancient times

Civilization began with private property. To one degree or another, private property was recognized in all known primitive societies -- even those having some form of communal property. People owned tools, pottery, land, houses and animals. Private property was transferred and inherited. Consequently, people had a crucial incentive to maintain and improve things.

Private property was the basis for markets which go back tens of thousands of years. Long before human beings formed settlements and cultivated land, long before the appearance of governments and organized religions -- there were markets. They enabled people peacefully to trade their surplus for goods other people developed. Living standards went up. Private property was essential for long distance commerce, because traders needed authority to dispose of goods as they saw fit. Complex, long distance trade evolved in prehistory, long before the appearance of states. There wasn't any central direction.

The ancient origin of private markets is most clearly evident in prehistoric trade goods such as obsidian, a brittle volcanic glass which can be chipped into knife blades, mirrors and other implements. Valued for some 20,000 years, obsidian tools have turned up at most early village sites in the Middle East and Mediterranean. Usually such villages were hundreds of miles away from the sources.

During the 1960s, British archeologists J.E. Dixon, J.R. Cann and Colin Renfrew used spectrographic analysis to determine just how extensive the obsidian trade networks were. Heated to incandescence, each element emits a characteristic wavelength of light. When working with a sample, such as obsidian, a prism is used to spread out the wavelengths, so the various elements can be identified. These archeologists analyzed obsidian samples from ancient volcanoes and discovered that the level of certain trace elements -- barium, zirconium and cesium -- can reveal which volcano a sample came from. Dixon, Cann and Renfrew concluded: "the most important traffic must have been in ideas. The network of contacts arising from the trade in goods must have been a major factor in the rapid development of the economic and cultural revolution that within a few thousand years transformed mankind from a hunting animal to a builder of civilization." [1]

Further evidence of early trade: near Tepe Yaya, southwestern Iran, people produced chloritite and steatite stone bowls. Archeologists found most of these at ancient village sites in Mesopotamia several hundred miles away, suggesting they were exported for other goods. Somewhat different bowls have turned up at widely-scattered sites from Syria to Soviet Uzbekistan and the Indus Valley. So many bowls have been recovered that an elaborate commercial network must have evolved with these ancient civilizations.

Analysis of other commodities confirms that trade flourished throughout the ancient world. For example, the remains of many inland Anatolian settlements include sea shells from the Aegean as well as amber from the Baltic; both were valued for jewelry. Copper was used at Ali Kosh, an early farming village in southern Mesopotamia, yet the nearest copper deposits were hundreds of miles away. Pearls from Bahrain, jasper from Armenia, beryl from India and perfume from Egypt have turned up at distant village sites. "The foreign trade of the Ancient Orient can be classed as more capitalistic from these finds and from our written documents than any other economic sector of the same period," noted the German economic historian Fritz Heichelheim.[2]

A universal phenomenon. Back around the turn of the century, the German historian Werner Sombart wrote a book claiming that Jews invented capitalism. Sombart's contemporary, the German sociologist Max Weber, became famous for a book which argued that capitalism really started with Protestants and their fabled work ethic.

But people of all races, religions and cultures have participated in markets -- long before there were any Jews or Protestants. From the beginning of history, markets seem to have developed on every continent. They're the ultimate multi-cultural experience.

Civilization arose not in remote regions, but along trade routes where it was convenient for people to gather. "From the third millenary, BC," wrote the Belgian economic historian Jacques Pirenne, "international trade seems to have exercised a decisive influence on the development of civilization. It is enough to look at the great routes that it made use of to see that it was essentially continental. Seagoing trade was, undoubtedly, an important factor; the seas and the rivers determined not only trade but also the areas where civilization developed and spread." [3] The French historian Paul Bairoch added that "trade not only fostered a division of labor, but also encouraged the diffusion of technological innovations -- writing and methods of political and economic management as well as techniques of farming and industrial production." [4] Or as historian Will Durant put it: "Trade was the great disturber of the primitive world." [5]

Archeologists believe that a light-skinned, dark-haired Sumerian people migrated south from the Caspian Sea about 8500 BC, settling along the delta where the Tigris and Euphrates empty into the Arabian Gulf. Trade was absolutely vital for civilization here, because the only natural resources were water and mud. There wasn't any stone, metal or timber. People had to figure out what they could produce that others wanted, so mutually beneficial exchange could take place. The original name of the Euphrates was Urudu, meaning "copper river" -- reflecting its early role as an artery for copper trade. Sumerian traders -- some of whom were women -- invented sailboats, so they could travel long distances. They organized caravans to bring their trading partners manufactured goods like tools and weapons. Traders pooled their capital, shared the risks and profits of long distance commerce. It was in this vortex of trade that writing developed.

"Through their trading expeditions in search of raw materials, especially metal and perhaps other commodities," wrote economic historian Rondo Cameron, "the Mesopotamian city states stimulated the nascent civilizations of Egypt, the eastern Mediterranean and Aegean area, Anatolia, and the Indus Valley." [6]

Since at least 7000 BC, Jericho was a major commercial center. It was located on a natural trade route between Anatolia, which had obsidian, and Beidha -- a village to the south which supplied sea shells and hematite, an iron oxide valued for its red color. Jericho's principal resource was Dead Sea salt, used to help preserve food. Jericho tombs, filled with furniture, textiles, dishes and even food, provided the earliest evidence of material culture in Palestin. [7]

Europe's first great civilization arose from trade. Beginning perhaps around 7000 BC, a resourceful maritime people established themselves in Crete. British archeologist Arthur Evans directed the excavations which revealed a 1,500-room palace at Knossos, and he dubbed the Bronze Age people Minoans. The best guess is they came from Asia Minor. The Minoans became great raiders who dominated the Aegean. They brought copper from Cyprus, tin from Asia Minor. Many Egyptian objects were unearthed at Knossus, while Minoan pottery made its way to Egypt. In Eastern Crete, archeologists discovered diorite from the Nile Valley and elephant tusks from Syria. Minoan artifacts suggest an abundance of grain, olives and wine. Houses had terra cotta plumbing. Minoan frescoes depict royal personalities, athletic youths and a lot of attractive, outgoing women who mingle comfortably with men. The Minoans thrived between about 3000 BC and 1450 BC when their civilization was suddenly destroyed, perhaps by earthquakes and tidal waves following ferocious explosions at the volcanic island Thera, about 70 miles north of Crete.

Around 3000 B.C., Egyptian civilization arose along the Nile River, a 550-mile-long commercial thoroughfare. Moreover, by exporting grain via the Mediterranean and Red Sea, Egyptians gained gold, ebony and spices. "The Nile Valey, Mesopotamia, and the Indus Basin all owed their rapid cultural development to their commerce," observed Jacques Pirenne. "But this in its turn depended on international trade. Thus in the first centuries of civilization, the trade routes played a leading role." [8]

Prosperous trading cities appeared in Palestine. For example, Ugarit (now Ras Shamra). There, reported historian Chester G. Starr, "artistic objects have been found which originated in Mesopotamia, in Egypt, and also in the Minoan-Mycenaean world of the Aegean Sea; Ugarit in turn manufactured and exported cosmetics, wooden objects, textiles tinted in a famous purple dye derived from the shellfish of the coast, and bronze work based on the copper of Cyprus." [9]

Greece lacked natural resources and navigable rivers, but it had many harbors which enterprising people turned into prosperous commercial centers. In his famous funeral oration, more than 400 years before Christ, the Athenian leader Pericles declared that "We throw open our city to the world, and never by alien acts exclude foreigners from any opportunity of learning or observing, although the eyes of an enemy may occasionally profit by our liberality." [10] Foreigners were treated well in Greece, so they brought their practical expertise and started businesses which helped everyone prosper. Most of Athenian commerce, including the biggest businesses, were operated by foreigners. Half the population of Athens consisted of foreigners. In Greece, noted economic historian Shepard Clough, "the accumulation of economic surplus was followed by a high level of civilization." [11] Socrates, Plato, Aristotle and other creative geniuses flourished during a great era of Greek prosperity.

Greek trade, in turn, diffused prosperity and culture from the Levant to Spain. "The commercial activity of the Greek world affected many barbarian countries," observed the French economic historian Jules Toutain. "In the search for raw materials and markets, Greek industry and art made their way along distant trails, to the English Channel, the North Sea, the Baltic, and the unknown regions where Europe meets Asia." [12] Clough added: "As the economies of other areas came to surpass the material well-being of Greece, so too intellectual and artistic accomplishments came to be of a higher order...." [13]

Italy developed as Etruscans conducted trade north through the Po Valley and the Appenines during the 6th century B.C. Etruscan beaked wine bottles have been unearthed in Germany, so the Etruscans did business with barbarian tribes. [14] Rome gradually established a free trade area which extended across the Mediterranean and into Western Europe. Uniform coinage, weights and measures helped facilitate trade which brought tremendous volumes of grain, metals, dyes and Indian textiles to Rome.

Trade links between Britain and Europe go back to prehistoric times. "Throughout the Bronze Age, with increasing momentum," reported the British archeologist Barry Cunliffe, "the redistribution of metals, copper, tin, their alloy bronze, and to a lesser extent gold, was carried out within a complex exchange system which involved the shipping of considerable quantities of metal, in the form of ingots, finished items or scrap, from the metal-producing areas of the west -- Brittany, Cornwall, Wales and Ireland -- to those parts of the Continent unable to supply their own needs from local sources." [15]

There were markets in Scandanavia. Halogaland and the Lofoten islands were lively commercial centers. Baltic islands, such as Gotland, prospered through trade. The Danish port Aarhus sat astride regional trade routes connecting Funen, Scania, Norway and the Isle of Zealand. Hedeby facilitated trade between Sweden and Western Europe. [16]

Arab territories were mostly arid, extending along the Mediterranean Sea and reaching the Indian Ocean. Consequently, Arabs turned to commerce. Since Mohammed had been a merchant before becoming a prophet, Moslems considered commerce an honorable profession. [17] Arabian deserts were criss-crossed by trade-routes. The Hijaz route, for instance, connected Red Sea ports and border posts in Palestine and Trans-Jordan. Another route connected central Arabia with what is now northeast Yemen, from which yet another route went to southern Mesopotamia. "The merchants of Quraish had trading agreements with the Byzantine, Absynnian and Persian border authorities and conducted an extensive trade," noted historian Bernard Lewis. "Twice a year they dispatched great caravans to the north and the south." [18]

The most famous Muslim market was Baghdad, on the west bank of the Tigris River, near a canal which linked it to the Euphrates River, astride trade routes extending from Central Asia to the Mediterranean. Baghdad markets offered silk and ink from China, sandalwood and dyes from India, grain and linen from Egypt, fruit and glass from Syria, pearls and perfumes from Arabia, furs and amber from Russia.

Historian Albert Hourani reported how Moslem markets spurred people to develop norms of peaceful behavior. "The interaction of specialized workers and dealers in produce," he wrote, "the meeting of people of different origins and faiths, the varied chances and problems of life in the streets and the market all demanded shared expectations about how others would act in certain circumstances, and a norm of how they ought to act, a system of rules and habits generally accepted as valid and obeyed more often than not." [19]

A complex commercial network evolved in Africa. There was lively trade between southern Sahara nomads -- offering milk, meat and wool from their flocks -- and settled people who produced grain, cloth and metals. [20] North African business people gathered in Marrakech to haggle over grain, cloth, camels, goats and more. Goods flowed across the Sahara Desert. The kola-nut trade proceeded back and forth along the Volta River Basin, now part of Ghana. Hundreds of commercial towns appeared in West Africa. East Asian traders used dhows to conduct a lively trade in honey, coconuts, ivory, gold. [21]

By about 60 A.D., a mariner -- probably Greek -- had written Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, a pilot-book which described commercial networks extending far down the East Coast of Africa. Trade goods included grain, glass, hatchets, awls, ivory, tortoise shell, rhinoceros horn and palm oil. Archeological excavations have confirmed that there was considerable early African trade with India and China. [22]

Even the smallest Indian villages always seem to have had their markets. Early Indian merchants supplied customers in the Middle East and Europe with indigo from Gujarat, saltpetre from Bengal, cotton from the Coromandel Coast, spices from the Malabar Coast. Bombay developed more than 70 street bazaars. The Kling people handled trade along the northern Cormandel Coast. The Chetti people, from the southern Coromandel Coast, traded across the Bay of Bengal.

Indian culture developed along major trade routes, especially the Indus and Ganges rivers. Archeological evidence suggests that the Indus‑based Harappa people derived much of their income by trading in the northern and western sub-continent as well as in Mesopotamia. Merchants travelled back and forth along the Ganges and, in ancient times, ventured east to Burma.

Indian commerce stimulated cultural life, as historian Romila Thapar reported: "The changing features of social and economic life, such as the growth of towns, expansion of the artisan class, and the rapid development of trade and commerce were closely linked with changes in another sphere: that of religion and philosophical speculation." A large number of merchants promoted Jainism, because this religious doctrine emphasized non-violence and frugality. Merchants did much to give Buddhism respectability. [23]

Indian merchants radiated cultural influence. "As a supplier of goods to Africa and consumer of goods from Africa," wrote historian Basil Davidson, "the rising civilizations of western and southern India would act and react on east and southeast Africa for many hundreds of years." [24]

The cradle of Chinese civilization was the Yellow River valley which supported agriculture and made possible extensive commerce. Traders vastly enriched local diet -- based on millet -- by bringing rice from Southeast Asia, barley and wheat from the Mideast. [25] Shang dynasty (1765 BC to 1122 BC) tombs contain trade goods such as sea shells, turtle shells, turquoise, jade and tin whose source was often hundreds of miles away. The Han (206 BC to 220 AD) conducted extensive trade with "barbarians". Markets developed along China's northern frontier. Han Chinese merchant ships ventured as far south as Malaya. Commercial networks developed across Central Asia and as far away as Western Europe. "The Chinese obtained through this trade fine horses," reported historian John K. Fairbank. "They especially valued glass objects from the Mediterranean area. But Chinese silk was in even greater demand in the Roman Empire." Accordingly, Han merchants opened the famous "silk road." [26]

Chinese trade -- mainly in private hands -- boomed between 960 AD and 1430 AD under the Song, Yuan and early Ming emperors. Chinese merchants established settlements on Java and Sumatra. This was the period when Chinese civilization was most dynamic. Chinese went to their bazaars for rice, millet, tea, bronze, leather and wood, and in the process were often entertained by acrobats and storytellers. At the bazaars, curious Chinese watched visiting foreigners like Turkish pawnbrokers and Persian gem merchants.

The Japanese developed a sophisticated civilization much later than many other people, probably because ocean distances were forbidding. Japanese maritime capabilities were primitive. Communication with China or Korea was difficult. Cut off from the outside world, the Japanese missed external stimuli which had contributed so much to civilization elsewhere. Thus, Japan persisted as a stagnant agricultural economy. [27]

By the 9th century, Japanese merchants were selling sulphur and swords to China and importing Chinese raw silk, brocades, porcelains and copper coins. Prosperous commercial centers arose in Kamakura, Kagoshima, Nagasaki, Sakai and elsewhere. Prosperity, in turn, made it possible to lavish more resources on learning and culture. [28]

Markets flourished in ancient America. Between about 1600 BC and 500 BC, Chalcatzingo, about a hundred miles southwest of Mexico City, seems to have been a major trading center. Trade started along Mexico's Gulf Coast around 1500 BC and somewhat later inland. Olmec objects, found throughout Central America, suggest that trade flourished from about 800 BC to 400 BC there. Cacao beans were used for small change as well as preparing a popular beverage. The Aztecs had markets which offered beans, squash, corn, venison, cotton cloth, fiber sandals, jade jewelry and wooden swords with a sharp obsidian edge. [29]

Mayan cities arose along the Pasion River, because it was an important trade route between highland and lowland communities. Peddlers handled jade, pottery, jaguar pelts and fluorescent green quetzal feathers. [30] The archeologist Raymond Sidrys analyzed obsidian tools at Mayan sites and discovered evidence of an efficient commercial network several hundred miles long. The farther away a site was from an obsidian source, the more expensive the obsidian, and the more carvers economized with it; blades were larger in proportion to the overall weight of a knife. [31]

In 1519, the Spanish conquistador Bernal Diaz reported seeing prosperous markets near Mexico City: "When we arrived at the great market place, called Tlatelolco, we were astounded at the number of people and the quantity of merchandise that it contained, for we had never seen such a thing before. The chieftains who accompanied us acted as guides. Each kind of merchandise was kept by itself and had its fixed place marked out. Let us begin with the dealers in gold, silver, and precious stones, feathers, mantles and embroidered goods. Then there were other wares consisting of Indian slaves both men and women...Next there were other traders who sold great pieces of cloth and cotton, and articles of twisted thread, and there were those who sold cacao. In this way one could see every sort of merchandise that is to be found in the whole of New Spain." [32]

There were many more American markets. In Xicalanco, on the Gulf of Mexico, people could buy goods from Yucatan, Honduras and the Caribbean. In what is now Guatemala, there were markets supplying cacao, jade, quetzal feathers and precious metals. Merchants worked on the basis of contracts, they developed norms of behavior and private courts for resolving disputes. [33]

Jacques Pirenne marvelled at how civilized regions "are connected by land and sea-routes, punctuated by great ports and caravan cities whose influence extended far afield...On all the coasts of Asia along the great sea‑route from Alexandria to India and China, civilization penetrated through the cities which owed their existence to the sea. Flourishing ports had been founded on the coasts of Arabia, and on the borders of her deserts great markets were formed under the influence of traffic which, from time immemorial, had linked Egypt by sea and land to Mesopotamia." [34]

People gained the enormous benefits of global cooperation, even though they didn't understand how it all worked. "A multitude of inventions now attributed to China were received in Europe by people who had no clear idea where they had originated or by what routes they had come," wrote historian Donald F. Lach. "Europeans were certainly aware that silk, spices and gems came from somewhere in the East. But they did not associate the group of inventions relating to horses which appeared in eighth-century Europe with India or China...While the fiddle bow of Java and the pointed arch and vault of Indian Buddhist architecture had appeared in Europe before 1100, the twelfth century was the first to see a significant cluster of borrowings from China: the traction trebuchet, the magnetic needle for navigation, and paper." [35]

Commerce, cities, culture. The Belgian economic historian Henri Pirenne observed that "In no civilization is city life evolved independently of commerce. Neither antiquity nor modern times show any exception to this rule.

"A city," Pirenne explained, "can live only by importing its food-supply from outside. But with this importation must correspond, on the other hand, an exportation of manufactured products constituting a counterpart or countervalue. Thus is established, between the city and the surrounding country, a close interrelation of services. Commerce and industry are indispensible to the maintenance of this reciprocal dependence; without the first, to assure a steady traffic, without the second, to furnish goods for exchange, the city would perish." [36]

The French economic historian Robert Latouche disagreed with Pirenne on many points but affirmed the link between commerce and towns. "In the growth of medieval towns and the formation of the merchant class, [markets] played a decisive part which has too often been disregarded," he wrote. He added that the market was typically the most dynamic quarter in medieval towns. [37]

For a thousand years after the fall of Rome, Europe's most successful commercial center was Byzantium which was at the vortex of flourishing trade routes. Camel caravans arrived from the East and connected with traders who headed north toward Russia as well as the Baltic. Byzantine wharves were crowded with ships which did business throughout the Mediterranean. Byzantine markets offered an extraordinary variety of goods, including salt, honey, caviar, silks, furs, cotton, sandalwood and gems. Trade stimulated all kinds of industries from textiles and metal-working to soap and jewelry. Historians estimated that more than a million people lived in medieval Byzantium, making it by far the most popular European or Middle Eastern city. Commercial prosperity made it possible for many of these people to spend their time creating magnificent works of art. Byzantium, observed the French historian P. Boissonnade, was a city "of elegance and luxury, wherein business went side by side with the cult of intelligence and art." [38]

Byzantium radiated a tremendous civilizing influence. Byzantine commerce helped civilize brutal Bulgar and Slavic tribes which had settled in the Balkans. Byzantine commerce helped revive Italian cities like Romagna, Istria, Rimini and Syracuse which had been plundered by barbarian invaders. Thanks to Byzantine commerce, Amalfi, Brindisi, Salerno and Naples prospered. Venice emerged as among the most wealthy and cultured cities of all. [39]

Throughout Europe, towns developed along trade routes. The English towns of Cambridge, Hereford, Oxford and Uxbridge appeared where rivers could be crossed easily. London is at the lowest point of the Thames where a bridge could be built. Champagne, east of Paris, became an important market because it's near the upper Saone, Seine, Loire, Marne, Meuse and Moselle rivers. Cologne is at the highest point where the Rhine could be navigated. Coblentz, Kiev, Lyons and Mainz are at river junctions. Augsburg, Nuremburg, Regensburg, Salzburg and Ulm link rivers and mountain passes. Milan links seven mountain passes which afford access to the Rhone and Rhine rivers. Venice started as a fishing and trading community, probably in the fifth century A.D. By the 10th century, Florence was a market center for Tuscan farmers. Around 1200, Vienna emerged as a center for trade along the Danube. A century later, Amsterdam was functioning as a port. New York became an important North American port during the 17th century.

Medieval Europe emerged from wretched isolation in large part because markets revived. Commercial fairs brought together merchants from Europe, Russia, Scandanavia, the Mediterranean and Middle East. These fairs were the most potent civilizing force for centuries, helping to erode ancient prejudices and inform people about new ideas as well as goods. [40]

"With the growth of trade and industry," wrote Shephard Clough, "towns increased in size, and in the urban areas there took place a division of economic and intellectual labor. Here we find again the chief centers for the achievement of those things which we consider to be the marks of civilization. We have also found a considerable correspondence in time and place between general economic well-being and the creation of masterpieces in the arts and sciences." [41]

During the 11th century, Western European markets started to revive from centuries of warfare and barbarism. The following century, things got dramatically better. "This almost revolutionary resurgence of commerce, taken in its largest sense, was surely one of the really decisive factors in the development of the 12th century," observed historian Sidney R. Packard.[42] People had more wealth and leisure which could be lavished on cultural achievement. Hence, an outpouring of literary works such as the Chanson de Roland in France, the tales of King Arthur and his Round Table in England, Tristan and Isolde in Germany, Dante's Divine Comedy in Italy. Universities were established in Bologna, Montpelier, Oxford and Paris. There was an ecclesiastical building boom.

Although churches benefited from the expansion of commerce, many powerful clergymen hated both commerce and towns. After fire destroyed Deutz, a town near Cologne on the Rhine, the Deutz-based abbot Rupert, an influential theologian, began promoting the doctrine that towns were the work of the devil. He despised towns for encouraging people to desire property, profit and an active, cosmopolitan life. Righteous Christian believers, he insisted, lived in desert tents. Rupert drew upon widely‑held Church doctrines which condemned capitalist economic calculation and held that enterprise aimed at gaining more than bare necessities was a sin. [43]

Nonetheless, commerce continued to expand and create wealth as well as new ideas essential for cultural development. The Dutch writer Hendrik Willem Van Loon observed: "The Renaissance was the result of the triumph of commerce (by means of money and credit) over the earlier medieval method of trading by barter...there never would have been any renaissance without the rapid increase in prosperity of the middle classes." [44]

Commerce made possible the work of creative geniuses like Chaucer, Erasmus, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Raphael. The Dutch creative explosion, with artists such as Rubens, Van Dyck and Rembrandt, occurred amidst a trade boom. Scientific discoveries flourished in the most prosperous regions of Western Europe during the 17th century. The phenomenal musical creativity of Johann Sebastian Bach, Frederick Handel, Franz Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Ludwig von Beethoven followed the prosperity of Germany and Austria. During the 18th century, Britain became the greatest commercial power and the scene of prolific mechanical inventions associated with the Industrial Revolution.

Global markets boomed in the 19th century, a period of unprecedented prosperity when such scientists as Charles Darwin, Michael Faraday and Louis Pasteur vastly expanded knowledge of the world around us, and artists like Victor Hugo, Charles Dickens, Johannes Brahms, Frederic Chopin and Giuseppe Verdi did their work. Historian Daniel Boorstin pointed out that until the Industrial Revolution painters generally had to work in studios, because preparing pigments was a laborious process. Then easy-to-use metal-tubed pigments became available in the 1840s, artists could work outdoors -- and luminous Impressionist paintings became possible. [45] Painting was influenced by new technology, especially photography, and by international trade which, among other things, exposed Europeans to Japanese design ideas. Edgar Degas was among those who learned much from Japanese artists. [46] It is to the Industrial Revolution that we owe the development of pianos, modern violins, more versatile horns and woodwind instruments, as well as the orchestra itself. [47]

Cultural riches from beyond our borders. Trade brings the riches of the world to our door. Imagine how dull our diet would be if we were limited to eating just what originated locally. We'd be foraging for edible roots and berries like cavemen. Practically all the food which has become an integral part of our culture originated someplace else. Archeological evidence suggests that sheep were first domesticated in what is now Iraq; chickens, in Pakistan; cattle, in Greece and Anatolia. The Egyptians were among the earliest people to domesticate wheat. Apples are considered about as wholesomely American as anything can be, but the apple, Malus pumilia, seems to have come from central Asia. Pears and grapes are from central Asia, too. Oranges, peaches, apricots and Japanese plums, from China. Bananas, from India or Malaysia. Pineapples, from Brazil or Paraguay. Cherries, from northern Europe.

Vegetables? Olives originated in the eastern Mediterranean. Garlic and onions, in central Asia. Scallions, sometimes referred to as Welsh onions, are from China. The earliest green peas -- Pisum sativum -- were cultivated around India, Ethiopia and the Near East. Potatoes originated in the Andes, possibly Chile from which they were probably brought to Peru, then to Ireland during the 16th century, and Irish immigrants introduced potatoes in New England; hence the common name "Irish potato". A meager-looking maize probably originated in Peru, then crossed with other varieties to emerge in Guatemala as flour corn which was brought to North America and hybridized into modern sweet corn during the 19th century. Tomatoes originated in the Andes, but perhaps because they're in the same botanical family as deadly nightshade, Americans avoided them until the 18th century, after Europeans showed they weren't poisonous. [48] Agricultural commodities have always been an important part of trade, and consumers everywhere are better off because of it.

Similarly, Braudel noted that the ancient Roman historian Herodotus would be astonished to discover how trade has enriched Mediterranean life far beyond what he knew. For example, Braudel cited "orange, lemon and mandarine trees imported from the Far East by the Arabs; cactus from America; eucalyptus trees from Australia; cypresses from Persia; the tomato, an immigrant perhaps from Peru; peppers from Guyana; maize from Mexico; rice, 'the blessing brought by the Arabs'; the peach-tree, a Chinese mountain dweller who came to Iran, the bean, the potato, the Barbary fig-tree, tobacco -- the list is neither complete nor closed. A veritable saga could be written about the migrations of the cotton‑plant, native to Egypt which it emerged to sail the seas." [49]

American culture is rich and dynamic because this country has been open to the world. What could be more American than cowboys? Well, actually they reflect Mexican influence in the Southwest; the pioneers who went to Texas were farmers, not cowboys. Many other Spanish words have entered the American language to describe life in the Old West – like corral, pinto, palomino, rodeo, canyon, mesa, mesquite, pronto, fiesta. [50]

Immigrant Slavs have not only provided industrial muscle but given us Stan Musiel, Carl Yastremski, John Havlicek and other star athletes. [51] The poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, entrepreneur Pierre Samuel du Pont de Nemours, author Henry David Thoreau and sculptor Augustus St. Gaudens were of French descent, and of course the French gave America the Statue of Liberty. Italians were among the first to settle Virginia, back in 1622, and since World War II, Italian food like pizza and pasta has become a familiar part of American cuisine. Chinese and Japanese laborers helped build railroads across America.

Perhaps the most popular expression of American culture is movies, and here Jews have made stupendous contributions -- from entrepreneurs such as William Fox, Samuel Goldwyn, Louis B. Mayer, Adolph Zukor and Jack Warner to entertainers like George Burns, Groucho Marx and Jack Benny and composers like Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein. [52] Black composers and musicians like Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald have delighted millions. It is largely because of German immigrants that Christmas is such a joyous holiday in America -- the Puritans had banned festivities. Germans introduced Christmas feasts, Christmas carols like "Silent Night" and Christmas trees decorated with lights. German immigrants also introduced the Easter Bunny, frankfurters, hamburgers, coffee cakes, gymnasiums, picnics and state fairs. [53] What would America be like without all these things?

American cultural life was vastly enriched by the influx of talented people who fled European dictators during the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s. From Italy came conductor Arturo Toscanini. From Poland: sculpture Jacques Lipchitz, harpsichordist Wanda Landowska and pianist Arthur Rubenstein. From Austria: pianist Arthur Schnabel, conductor Erich Leinsdorf and stage director Max Reinhardt. From Czechoslovakia: pianist Rudolph Serkin and conductor George Szell. From Russia: novelists Vladimir Nabokov and Ayn Rand. From France: painters Marc Chagall, Salvador Dali and Max Ernst. From Germany: novelist Thomas Mann, conductor Bruno Walter, architects Walter Gropius and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. [54]

Sol Hurok was born in Polgar, Russia and at age 17 was sent by his father Israel to America where hopefully he would learn the hardware business. But he loved opera and got the idea of someday managing these temperamental performers. As a sideline, he promoted fund-raising violin concerts. Before long, his enthusiasm won the confidence of stars like baritone Feodore Chaliapin and ballerina Anna Pavlova. One observer remarked that "He was illiterate musically, but he had a fantastic sense of what was excellent." Hurok booked performances by British Guards and Japanese Kabuki players. He became perhaps the world's leading impresario of classical music, arranging performances in the United States by dancer Isadora Duncan, guitarist Andres Segovia, ballerina Margot Fonteyn, tenor Giuseppe di Steffano, pianists Van Cliburn and Artur Rubenstein, violinists David Oistrakh and Isaac Stern, sopranos Marion Anderson, Maria Callas and Victoria de Los Angeles, the Bolshoi Balet, Moiseyyev Dance Company and Comedie Francaise, among others. By the time Hurok died in 1974 at the age of 85, he had delighted audiences not only in America but around the world. [55]

The Hungarian immigrant Eugene Fodor has done much to inform people everywhere about world civilizations. After attending the Sorbonne and the University of Grenoble (France), he got a job as a clerk/interpreter with the French Line whose ships cruised between Le Havre and New York in the summer and the Mediterranean and Caribbean in the winter. On these cruises, Fodor began writing travel articles for a Hungarian newspaper. Soon they were syndicated in France and Britain. His first travel book was 1936 On The Continent. Houghton Mifflin, the U.S. publisher, asked him to expand this by covering Britain and Ireland, and the result was Europe 1937. These were the first books with dates in the title, assuring their timeliness. As Fodor wrote more books, he added lively articles about local culture. He encouraged travelers to meet local people "whose customs, habits and general outlook are different from your own." Until his death in 1991, Fodor had maintained an international team of travel writers who produced more than 140 travel guides annually, covering just about every country. [56] More than 200 million copies have been sold. "I always say we could really solve the world's worst political problems simply by throwing out every government and replacing it with a national tourist office," the feisty Fodor remarked. [57]

What can an American possibly learn about the English language from a foreigner? A number of successful American publishing firms were started by immigrants, such as Phaidon (Frederick A. Ungar, Austria), Frederick A. Praeger, Inc. (Frederick A. Praeger, Austria), Pantheon Books (Kurt Wolff, Germany) and Academic Press (Walter Johnson and Kurt Jacoby, Germany). Rudolph Flesch has probably had as much influence as anyone on the way people write English. He was preparing for the Austrian bar when Hitler annexed his country. Soon after arriving in the United States, Flesch, age 27, decided he didn't want to study law all over again. He got a job as a stock clerk at a book bindery, then won a one-year scholarship at the Columbia University School of Library Science. There he began studying stylistic elements which distinguish readable from turgid writing. This led to The Art of Plain Talk (1946), The Art of Readable Writing (1949), Why Johnny Can't Read (1955), Say What You Mean (1972) and 10 other books which have probably sold over a million copies and continue to sell well. Flesch convinced people in journalism, advertising and business to write simpler, more conversational English which can be easily understood. [58]

In the Old World, art collections were often built up from plunder, but in the New World art has been a byproduct of markets. Entrepreneurs succeeded aristocrats as patrons of the arts. Without the wealth they created, many people who had artistic talent probably would have been tilling fields. Museums were born in the 18th century, during the industrial revolution. Entrepreneurs and their heirs like the Rockefellers, Guggenheims, Havemeyers and Mellons supported museums. Unlike European museums which catered mainly to artists and scholars, American museums aimed to educate the public. As Joseph Choate, a founder of New York's Metropolitan Museum, put it in 1880: "the diffusion of knowledge of art in its higher forms of beauty would tend directly to humanize, to educate and refine a practical and laborious people; that though the great masterpieces of painting and sculptor...could never be within their reach, yet it might be possible in the progress of time to gather together a collection of works to a people who were yet to take almost their first steps in that department of knowledge." [59]

Great American art collections could be built up because there was free trade in art. However, when protectionism surged after 1890, Congress slapped tariffs on imported art. These tariffs became an issue in 1907 when J.P. Morgan wanted to give the Metropolitan Museum his vast collection of paintings in London. He held off, because the tariffs would have cost him an estimated $1.5 million. Trade liberalization was in the air, though, partially because American tariffs had triggered trade retaliation which harmed Americans, and so -- encouraged by Morgan's lobbying clout -- the 1909 tariff law put art on the free list. No more tariffs on imported art. The Metropolitan Museum subsequently took delivery of Morgan's collection. [60]

Nineteenth century museum curators generally bought "modern" paintings, which meant contemporary American and French artists, but American entrepreneur-collectors developed a passion for European paintings, sculptures, tapestries and other works of art by Old Masters. The wily British-born Joseph Duveen, who started his career dealing in little Dutch delft porcelains, prospered by helping to fulfill this passion. He learned much from his uncle Henry Duveen who sold Chinese porcelains to department store entrepreneur Benjamin Altman and furnished J.P. Morgan's Madison Avenue, New York mansion. Joseph Duveen sold Thomas Gainsborough's portrait of "The Blue Boy" to California railroad operator Henry E. Huntington. Van Dyck's "Queen Henrietta Maria and her Dwarf", to newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst. Verrochio's "Lorenzo de Medici" to dime store magnate Samuel H. Kress. Duveen sold paintings to Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner who established a museum in her name. Duveen helped steel entrepreneur Henry Clay Frick design his opulent Fifth Avenue, New York mansion and filled it with dozens of paintings. Duveen sold more than 150 paintings to Andrew Mellon and helped him establish the National Gallery of Art in Washington. [61]

While dealers continue to flourish, the major auction houses have taken center stage in the international art market. Christie's, for instance, which has held auctions since 1766 and generates over $1.2 billion annually. It handles more than 30 categories of art and antiques through auction rooms in the United States, Britain, Italy, Monaco, Netherlands, Switzerland, Australia, Hong Kong and Japan. Christie's sold an 18th century English silver sideboard dish for $2.55 million, a Diego Rivera oil painting for $2.97 million, a Gutenberg Bible for $4 million, an 18th century American desk for $12.1 million and Vincent Van Gogh's portrait of Dr. Gachet for $82.5 million. Impressionist paintings continue to attract the widest following. At a 1991 Impressionist sale which realized $38.8 million, about 2% of the dollars were spent by Latin American buyers, 10% were spent by Asians, 24% by North Americans and 64% by Europeans. [62]

Culture for millions. Until the 19th century, books were typically published as a cooperative venture between a printer and bookseller. Consequently, sales were limited. Thomas Paine's Common Sense (1776) was among the first books published in quantity for distribution to many shops; it sold an estimated 150,000 copies, more than any other book since the introduction of printing in America. During the 19th century, this publish-for-the‑market strategy became commonplace. Popular fiction sold in the millions. In April 1862, Victor Hugo's Les Miserables was published simultaneously in Paris, London, New York, Brussels, Madrid, Turin and St. Petersburg. Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin sold 3 million copies before the outbreak of the Civil War. Henry George's Progress and Poverty sold 2 million copies after it was published in 1879 [63] Between 1900 and 1930, Edward Stratemeyer wrote more than 1,300 children's books, including the famous Tom Swift, Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys and Bobbsey Twins series which sold over 200 million copies. [64]

Since the late 19th century, cultural entrepreneurs have served huge markets. Free-wheeling Americans began building large newspaper circulations: Adolph Ochs and Joseph Pulitzer in 1878, William Randolph Hearst in 1887. Cyrus H.K. Curtis bought the ailing weekly Saturday Evening Post for $1,000 in 1897, hiked circulation past 1 million within a decade, and eventually it reached 3 million. In 1922, Dewitt and Lila Wallace launched Reader's Digest which has achieved a monthly circulation over 100 million in more than 180 countries and sold 1.1 billion books. Condensed Books Editor John S. Zinsser remarked: "At Reader's Digest, we never considered reading an elite activity." In 1923, Henry Luce published the first issue of Time which became a publishing colossus with 23 magazines reaching 120 million readers a month; it has also sold over 28 million books. In 1926, entrepreneurs Harry Scherman and Maxwell Sackheim launched Book-of-the-Month Club which signed up 3.5 million members in 70 countries, including out of the way spots like Belize, Oman and Andorra. It has sold over 600 million books. [65]

Because the United States had dynamic markets, it spawned those impressive temples of commerce -- skyscrapers. Real estate markets made it possible for entrepreneurs to acquire small urban plots and assemble sites big enough for tall buildings. Industrial markets produced structural steel, electrical power, safety elevators and other essential technologies. Efficient capital markets provided the wherewithal for these ambitious projects. Brokerage networks helped fill the buildings with tenants, so they could be sustained. Modern architects like Louis Sullivan, Daniel Burnham and Raymond Hood designed the first distinctive skyscrapers in Chicago, a booming commercial center. [66]

Markets gave millions of people the affluence, leisure and competitive spirit to pursue sports. Except for horse racing, organized sports didn't exist before the American Civil War. Back then, baseball was only for amateurs. Football was a variation of soccer played around Boston. Boxing was outlawed in every state. Basketball, golf, tennis, ice hockey and auto racing were unknown. Even track and field developed after the Civil War. Most modern sports date from the era of great entrepreneurs who pioneered American industry. The National Baseball League was started in 1876, the U.S. Lawn Tennis Association in 1881, the American Hockey Association in 1887, the U.S. Golf Association in 1894. Modern soccer, rugby and football -- seven variation all together -- developed during the late 19th century; the American Professional Football Association got underway in 1920. Basketball made its professional debut with the American Basketball League (1937). Women as well as men began participating in popular pastimes like croquet, bicycling, roller skating. [67]

As the yachting writer John Rousmaniere noted: "The men who won the cup called America's were sons of the Industrial Revolution, and their slippery schooner was as much a product of that fantastic era of invention as the steamboats and locomotives whose profits created the pastime of yachting. Without the smoking factories and slag heaps of the early nineteenth century, without the sensitivity to forces and power and how things worked that grew from generation to generation, such modern concepts as leisure and sport might never have been born. And without money, free time, and competition, there would be no America's cup sailing as we know it." [68]

Redemption through markets. Only markets have been able to revive nations from barbarism. Germany furnishes about as dramatic an example as one might imagine. During the 1930s, Hitler enforced a new kind of socialism and provoked a war in which 50 million people were killed. Though devastated, Germany regained its position as the leading Western European nation within a decade. Its method was not diplomacy or military might, but markets -- a seemingly miraculous economic boom enabling people to enjoy a civilized life again. [69]

With reunification and reconstruction of the East, Germany is securing its position as Europe's peaceful powerhouse. Germany is pushing for the European Community to adopt more liberal trade policies, whereas sometimes violent French protectionists want to keep out British sheep, Japanese cars and other imports. Instead of soldiers, Germany is sending bankers, accountants, brokers and manufacturers to help nurture the spirit of enterprise amidst Communist ruins.

Japan's worst nightmare was the era of militarism which gathered momentum in the 1930s and ended with wartime destruction in 1945. Like Germany, Japan achieved a dramatic comeback through peaceful commerce, not diplomacy or military might. Indeed, during recent years, U.S. officials have criticized the Japanese for being so uninvolved in global politics. They've preferred civilized pursuits -- working hard, spending time with their families and enjoying the good life.

Japan's militarist "Greater East Asian Co Prosperity Sphere" is long gone, succeeded by peaceful capitalist investments. Instead of killing people, Japanese businesses have built factories and created jobs in South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Australia -- nations which recorded some of the fastest economic growth rates anywhere during the past three decades. [70]

Argentina's experience, too, suggests that a decent civilization is impossible without markets. During much of the 19th century, Argentina was ruled by brutal caudillos -- military men. The xenophobic Juan Manuel de Rosas formed a strong central government and massacred thousands of people before he was deposed in 1853. Between 1874 and 1879, another caudillo, Julio Roca, launched a genocidal campaign against the native population. It was only after these bloodbaths had ended that the economy began a sustained boom which transformed Argentina into one of the world's wealthiest countries.

Argentina became a cultural capital. Among the many delighted visitors was an American minister named G.I. Morrill who published this rave about Buenos Aires in 1914: "An afternoon walk shows the city very much like Paris in its architecture, fashionable stores, cafes and sidewalks filled with little tables where males and females flirt and gossip. There are newspaper kiosks and flower girls selling violets on the corners. The side streets are crowded with cars and carts and the main avenues with taxis which rest in the center or rush up and down either side. At nights it is a big white way with electric lights blazing a trail to the light-hearted cafes and theaters." [71]

After World War II, Argentina embraced economic nationalism which triggered runaway inflation, military dictatorship and chaos. But impressed by the extraordinary performance of market economies during the 1980s, Argentine leaders have begun abolishing obstacles to private enterprise. There's new hope in the air. As Oscar Imbellone, President of CPC International, Buenos Aires, said: "We can't wait for anybody to help other than ourselves. We need to use our own management know-how, capitalist structure, innovation, research and development. We have to do the things all civilized countries do." [72]

Portions of this article were published in Cato Policy Report.

[1] J.E. Dixon, J.R. Cann and Colin Renfrew, "Obsidian and the Origins of Trade," in Old World Archaeology: Foundations of Civilization (San Francisco: W.H. Freeman and Company, 1972), p. 87. Article originally published in Scientific American.

[2] Fritz M. Heichelheim, An Ancient Economic History (Leiden: A.W. Sijthoff's Uitgeversmaatschappij N.V., 1957), I, pp. 116-117.

[3] Jacques Pirenne, The Tides of History (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1962), I, p. 60.

[4] Paul Bairoch, Cities and Economic Development, From the Dawn of History to the Present (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988), p. 97.

[5] Will Durant, Our Oriental Heritage (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1954), p. 16.

[6] Rondo Cameron, A Concise Economic History of the World (New York: Oxford University Press, 1989), p. 29.

[7] Kathleen M. Kenyon, "Ancient Jericho," in Old World Archaeology: Foundations of Civilization (San Francisco: W.H. Freeman and Company, 1972), pp. 90-94.

[8] Jacques Pirenne, Op. cit., p. 59.

[9] Chester G. Starr, A History of the Ancient World (New York: Oxford University Press, 1991), p. 87.

[10] Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1980), I, p. 325.

[11] Shepard B. Clough, The Rise and Fall of Civilization (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1978), p. 80.

[12] Jules Toutain, The Economic Life of the Ancient World (London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co., 1930), p. 30.

[13] Clough, Op. cit., p. 114.

[14] Barry Cunliffe, Greeks, Romans & Barbarians, Spheres of Interaction (New York: Methuen, 1988), p. 23.

[15] Ibid, p. 145.

[16] Robert Lafouche, The Birth of Western Economy (London: Methuen, 1961), pp. 226, 231, 232.

[17] Cameron, Op. cit., p. 80.

[18] Bernard Lewis, The Arabs in History (New York: Harper & Row, 1966), pp. 22, 34.

[19] Albert Hourani, A History of the Arab Peoples (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1991), p. 113.

[20] Cameron, Op. cit., p. 90.

[21] Philip D. Curtin, Cross-cultural trade in world history (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984), pp. 15-59.

[22] Basil Davidson, The Lost Cities of Africa (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1987), pp. 175-177.

[23] Romila Thapar, A History of India (London: Penguin Books, 1990), I, pp. 24, 63, 65, 68, 109, 129.

[24] Davidson, Op. cit., pp. 180-181.

[25] Cameron, Op. cit., p. 82.

[26] John K. Fairbank and Edwin O. Reischauer, China, Tradition and Transformation (Boston: Houghton-Mifflin, 1978), p. 76.

[27] George Sansom, A History of Japan to 1334 (Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 1958), pp. 39-40.

[28] Jacques Pirenne, Op. cit., II, pp. 181, 410, 622.

[29] Curtin, Op. cit., pp. 81-87.

[30] Scott Norvell, "Where Mayas Ruled," New York Times, January 10, 1993, p. 8.

[31] Ibid, p. 83.

[32] Bernal Diaz del Castillo, The Discovery and Conquest of Mexico (New York: Grove Press, 1956), pp. 215-217.

[33] Richard Eells and Clarence Walton, "Trade in the Aztec Civilization," in The World of Business (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1962), I, pp. 192-212.

[34] Jacques Pirenne, Op. cit., I, pp. 555, 557.

[35] Donald F. Lach, Asia in the Making of Europe (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1977), II, p. 398.

[36] Henri Pirenne, Medieval Cities (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1969), p. 130.

[37] Latouche, Op. cit., p. 247.

[38] P. Boissonnade, Life and Work in Medieval Europe (New York: Dorset Press, 1987), p. 54.

[39] Ibid, pp. 57-61.

[40] Fernand Braudel, The Wheels of Commerce (New York: Harper & Row, 1979), pp. 81-94.

[41] Clough, Op. cit., p. 215.

[42] Sidney R. Packard, 12th Century Europe, An Interpretive Essay (Amherst, Massachusetts: University of Massachusetts, 1973), p. 77.

[43] Jacques Le Goff, Medieval Civilization (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Basil Blackwell, 1989), pp. 222, 223, 295.

[44] Hendrik Willem Van Loon, The Arts (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1937), p. 225.

[45] Daniel J. Boorstin, The Creators (New York: Random House, 1992), p. 513.

[46] E.H. Gombrich, The Story of Art (New York: Phaidon Publishers, 1951), pp. 395-398.

[47] Boorstin, Op. cit., pp. 440-444.

[48] See Wendell H. Camp, Victor R. Boswell and John R. Magness, The World in Your Garden (Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society, 1957), pp. 98-223. See also: James Trager, Foodbook (New York: Grossman Publishers, 1970).

[49] Fernand Braudel, The Mediterranean (New York: HarperCollins, 1992), pp. 548, 550.

[50] Albert Q. Maisel, "The Mexicans Among Us," Reader's Digest, 1955, pp. 177-186.

[51] Michael Novak, "The Slavs Among Us," Reader's Digest, pp. 9-16.

[52] Albert Q. Maisel, "The Jews Among Us," Reader's Digest, April 1955, pp. 26-31.

[53] Albert Q. Maisel, The Germans Among Us," Reader's Digest, March 1955, pp. 97-101.

[54] Laura Fermi, Illustrious Immigrants, the Intellectual Migration from Europe 1930-41 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1971), pp. 93-135. See also: Donald Fleming and Bernard Bailyn ed., The Intellectual Migration, Europe and America, 1930-1960 (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1969).

[55] Alden Whitman, Come to Judgment (New York: Viking Press, 1980), pp. 235-243.

[56] "Eugene Fodor, Creator of Guides for Worldwide Travel, Dies at 85," New York Times, February 19, 1991, p. B10.

[57] United Press International wire, February 20, 1991, 4:25AM.

[58] Fermi, Op. cit., pp. 109-110.

[59] Calvin Tomkins, Merchants and Masterpieces, the Story of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York: E.P. Dutton & Co., 1970), pp. 16-17.

[60] Karl E. Meyer, The Art Museum: Power, Money, Politics (New York: William Morrow and Company, 1979), pp. 32-33.

[61] S.N. Behrman, Duveen (Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1972).

[62] Figures supplied by public affairs people at Christie's New York office, January 1992.

[63] John Tebbel, A History of Book Publishing in the United States (New York: R.R. Bowker, 1972), I, pp. 147, 544.

[64] Bruce Watson, "Tom Swift, Nancy Drew and pals all had the same dad," Smithsonian, November 1991, pp. 50-61.

[65] Figures provided, respectively, by Reader's Digest, Time-Warner and Book-of-the-Month Club.

[66] See Paul Goldberger, The Skyscraper (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1982).

[67] John Durant and Otto Bettmann, American Sports From Colonial Times To The Present (A.S. Barnes and Company, 1952), pp. 46-49, 66-74, 88, 102.

[68] John Rousmaniere, America's Cup Book, 1851-1983 (New York: Norton, 1983), p. 1.

[69] See Ludwig Erhard, Germany's Comeback in the World Market (New York: Macmillan, 1954) and William Henry Chamberlin, The German Phoenix (New York: Duell, Sloan & Pearce, 1963).

[70] See, for example, David E. Sanger, "Power of the Yen Winning Asia," New York Times, December 5, 1991, pp. D1, D22.

[71] Argentina (Singapore: Insight Guides, 1990), p. 74. Many more visitors were similarly rhapsodic. The Englishman James Bryce, for instance: "Buenos Aires is something between Paris and New York. It has the business rush and the luxury of the one, the gaiety and pleasure-loving aspect of the other. Everybody seems to have money, and to like spending it, and to like letting everyone else know that it is being spent...Nowhere else in the world does one get a stronger impression of exuberant wealth and extravagance." Bryce, South America, Observations and Impressions (New York: Macmillan, 1916), p. 318

[72] My interview with him in Buenos Aires, May 1991.

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