cover image A World of Wealth: How Capitalism Turns Profit into Progress

A World of Wealth: How Capitalism Turns Profit into Progress

Thomas G. Donlan, . . Pearson/FT Press, $24.99 (215pp) ISBN 978-0-13-235000-6

According to business columnist Donlan, “the free market always works.” His analysis of major issues in modern economics and current affairs is devoted to lavish illustrations and reiterations of this point. Donlan's scope is as broad as his bias is narrow; he considers environmental pollution, global warming, immigration, investment, taxes, price controls, health care, retirement and debt—for each issue's ills, he prescribes the panacea of the free market. The book's sections on American economic history are clearly and cogently presented; still, the author's refusal to engage with theories outside of the strict capitalist equation frustrates. Donlan's restricted perspective has the unfortunate effect of simplifying complex issues, and when describing government initiatives he disapproves of (particularly environmental protection efforts and carbon caps), he resorts to condescending and loaded language. While this book might be useful to a reader looking for a primer on the virtues of the free market as narrated by one of its staunchest champions, those seeking more objectivity and subtler argumentation should look elsewhere. (June)

Correction: The subject of Michael Dobbs's One Minute to Midnight (Reviews, Apr. 21) is the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, not the 1961 Bay of Pigs incident.