Thursday, August 04, 2005

Commanding Heights, parts II and III

Last night I blogged about the first part of Commanding Heights, the new PBS miniseries about the changing economic institutions of the last 100 years. Today I watched listened to the last four hours, and they were quite good.

Part II focuses on transition economies, specifically Chile, Bolivia, India, Poland, China and Russia. Chile was the home of the infamous Chicago Boys, which is a very interesting story in itself. One thing I hadn't known was that Milton Friedman himself actually went to Chile and lectured. After 30% unemployment from the Boys' austerity policies set in he was violently protested, including at his Nobel prize reception. The parts about Bolivia and Poland are also particularly interesting. Bolivia was the original "shock therapy"'s fascinating to hear Sachs tell the story of how it came to be.

Part III is about globalization in the 90's and is largely depressing. About a third of it is on the Asian financial crisis, which is a very sad topic. They also talk about the protests from Seattle on, but as I mentioned before they are very even-handed about everything. It's probably the most objective look at globalization I've ever seen.

You can watch it online if you have an agreeable internet connection.


Blogger Isaac said...

I'm in the middle of Sachs' "The End of Poverty" in which he also tells the story of Bolivia and Poland (and China and Russia and India...).

10:46 PM  
Blogger henry said...

Do you recommend it? I need some econ to take to Budapest and I might like to know what he actually thinks before I criticize him....

10:48 PM  

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