978-0-316-85598-3 / 9780316855983

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About the book:

George Soros has been at the cutting edge of the new global capitalism ever since bringing the pound to its knees in the early 1990s, and his deification as something of a financial guru with the publication of his economic and political philosophy in his 1998 book The Crisis of Global Capitalism. Open Society: Reforming Global Capitalism is, as Soros concedes, an updated version of this earlier book, but now offering a much more upbeat vision of the future of the global economy. Soros admits that "in retrospect, I was wrong to predict disaster", having underestimated both "the capacity of the financial authorities to prevent a disaster", and "the impact of the technological revolution". Refreshing in admitting his miscalculations, Open Society sees Soros expanding on his belief in Karl Popper's concept of an open society, and offers "a conceptual framework" for "the guiding principles for a global open society".

In many respects Soros follows the reforming positions of John Gray's chilling book False Dawn, but here is a practitioner, not an economist, exploring the possibilities but also pitfalls of developing a truly democratic and open global society, through both debate and the practical work of his own foundations across the globe. The first section entitled "Conceptual Framework" is heavy-going economics, but the second half of the book on "The Present Moment in History" contains fascinating accounts of the chaos in Russia and the financial crisis of 1997-99 from the horse's mouth, concluding with the call for the formation of what Soros calls "The Open Society Alliance". Open Society represents the intelligent, benign face of global capitalism. Let's hope Soros is right. --Jerry Brotton

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