Book Reviews

Book Reviews

The Cosmopolitan Businessman: World and Worldview of Greek Merchant-Entrepreneurs

“Prof. Ariadni Moutafidou, a renowned historian and expert in the field of Modern Greek socio-economic history, explores in her innovative superb and sophisticated book on the Greek ‘big’ merchant-entrepreneurs, not only their mercantile operations, but mainly their thoughts, views, ideas, notions and beliefs within their own and the ‘outer’ world. Her broadened research encompasses the remarkable rise of Greek long-distance trade and shipping in the Mediterranean followed by their significant entrance into the Atlantic and the Indian Oceans during their golden era from the mid-eighteenth to the beginning of the twentieth century. Based on various rare autobiographical accounts, ego documents and commercial guidebooks as well as complementary archival documents and oral history preserved in second and third generation family accounts, the author firstly outlines the commercial culture of these businessmen. Ariadni Moutafidou then argues that the Greek merchant-entrepreneurs’ world and operations with extended international, economic and socio-economic networks, serve not only as a paradigm, but also constitute an integral, constitutive part of the merchant-entrepreneurs’ cosmopolitan world within the broader European-Mediterranean milieu during the nineteenth century. The Cosmopolitan Businessman broadened the research on the economic, social and cultural worldview of merchant-entrepreneurs, as well as on the interrelations between the ethnic mercantile communities. This rich, in-depth oeuvre offers a welcome challenge and contribution to the cultural, social and economic history of trading Diasporas including the interaction between them and their Jewish counterparts as described by the Greek merchants. Therefore, I strongly recommend publication of the manuscript.”
Orly C. Meron, Associate Professor, Former Head of the Interdisciplinary Department of Social Sciences, Bar-Ilan University, Israel;  Author of Jewish Entrepreneurship in Salonica, 1912-1940: An Ethnic Economy in Transition, Sussex Academic Press, 2011/2013

“I have been acquainted with Dr. Ariadni Moutafidou’s research for many years and am delighted to recommend her book for publication. Dr. Moutafidou is a highly regarded historian whose research presents a fine combination of substantial use of archival material and behavioral theories and models. Her articles have been published in respected journals and in collected volumes. The present book is an original investigation of the social and cultural world of Greek big merchant-entrepreneurs of the nineteenth century. It is the product of an exhaustive and wide-ranging research, based on an impressive collection of primary sources, autobiographical accounts of businessmen, personal papers and commercial reports and other relevant archival documents. This group of businessmen had a great impact in various areas on the development of Greek economy and society. The results of their activities were felt in many important urban centers in the Near and Middle East. This research is a significant contribution to Greek economic history in particular and to nineteenth century history of entrepreneurship in general. It will constitute an important source of documentation for historians in this field as well as for economists specializing in international trade and business networks. On these grounds, I warmly recommend the publication of this excellent manuscript.”
Prof. Jeannine Horowitz, Head Program of Hellenic Studies, University of Haifa

“I have known Dr. Ariadni Moutafidou for almost two decades and held her and her historical research in great esteem. I have read the manuscript of her latest work, The Cosmopolitan Businessman, with interest and I think it is minutely researched, carefully argued, and elegantly presented. It brings to life the complex world of Greek merchant entrepreneurs in the nineteenth century, seen in the broader context of historical developments in the Near and Middle East. It will definitely be of interest to specialists in the field but its informative and narrative virtues will also be appreciated by any reader with broader historical interests. I therefore have no hesitation in recommending its publication.”
Pantelis Lekkas BA (Sussex) PhD (Cantab), Professor of Political Sociology, Faculty of Political Science & Public Administration, University of Athens, Greece

“Building upon a profound historical knowledge, from which my own studies on European Philhellenism have very much profited, Moutafidou’s scholarship embarks on new explorations of the factors shaping the physiognomy of the 19th century Mediterranean world. The cosmopolitan Businessman offers a vivid account of and an erudite study on the trajectories of entrepreneurial action in intercultural spirit. The book maps persuasively the contribution of Greek merchants to the formation of the First Globalisation. An indispensable reading.”
Dr. Dr. Konstadinos Maras, Research Fellow Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities (KWI), Essen University of Duisburg-Essen

“This original study opens new avenues to our understanding of the social and cultural world of Greek entrepreneurs of the modern era. It offers fascinating insights into the ideas and concepts of rising entrepreneurs in a traditional economy that has undergone processes of modernization. Historians of Greek economic and social history as well as economists specializing in international trade and business networks will certainly be delighted to read this book.”
Prof. Gad Gilbar, University of Haifa

Caspian: Status, Challenges, and Prospects. An Analysis into the Legal Classification, Security and Environmental Concerns, Geopolitics and Energy Flow Impact of the Caspian Plateau

"A thoughtful, comprehensive, and balanced analysis of the complex interplay between geopolitics and geo-economics in Central Eurasia, and pivotal energy plateau - that of Caspian. We finally have an all-in reader that was otherwise chronically missing in international literature, which will hopefully reverse the trend of underreporting on such a prime world's spot. Hence, this is a must-read book for those wondering about the future of one of the most dynamic and most promising regions of the world and what it could entail for both regional and external players."
Andrey Kortunov
Director General of the Russian International Affairs Council

“Although of pivotal geopolitical and geo-economic importance, the Caspian energy plateau represents one of the most underreported subjects in the western literature. Interdisciplinary research on the topic is simply missing. This book by the three authors is unbiased, multidisciplinary, accurate, and timely. It is certainly a much-needed and long-awaited reader: a must read for scholars and practitioners, be it from Eurasia or beyond. Authors were able to tackle a challenging subject with a passion, knowledge and precision, and turn it into a compelling, comprehensive (yet concise) read which I highly recommend. It is truly a remarkable piece of work!”
Mr. Erzhan Kazykhanov
Ambassador, Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Washington, D.C., USA
Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Kazakhstan

“ARTNeT secretariat is pleased to see how our initial invitation to Prof. Anis H. Bajrektarevic to present at the ARTNeT Seminar Series in 2015 evolved. The talk was initially published as a working paper for ARTNeT (AWP 149). Now Prof. Bajrektarevic, in collaboration with another two co-authors, offers a comprehensive study on a nexus of legal, security, and environmental issues all emanating from and linked to energy cooperation (or lack thereof) in the subregion. This volume’s value extends beyond the education of readers on the Caspian Basin’s legal status (e.g., is it a sea or a lake?). It is just as relevant for those who want a more in-depth understanding of an interplay of economic, security, and political interest of players in the region and outside. With the global institutions increasingly less capable of dealing with rising geopolitics and geo-economic tensions, more clarity – even if only about some aspects of those problematic issues – should be appreciated. This volume offers such clarity.”
Mia Mikic
Director, UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN ESCAP)
ARTNeT coordinator

This book on the Caspian Region by Anis Bajrektarevic and his two co-authors, Tanvi Chauhan and Mak Bajrektarevic, is a comprehensive overview of Central Asian area. Its very title is comprehensive and fitting. This region’s pivotal place – practically in the heart of world’s largest continental landmass, that of Eurasia – is masterfully covered: Their instabilities, energy security, including pipelines, and economic interests are only some of the areas covered. It even addresses the important legal classification of the Caspian Basin, this world’s largest inland (landlocked) water plateau. For me, the book offers a wonderful learning experience, because we in the west (of my generation) learned little of the history and even geography of the various states and peoples making up the Soviet Union. Our interest and preoccupations focused primarily on geopolitical issues associated with the cold war between the Soviet Union and the West led by the United States.”
Honorable Donald J Johnston PC OC QC
Former Minister of the Canadian Government, Secretary General of the OECD (1996-2006)

“The book by Professor Bajrektarevic and his co-authors embodies a wide-ranging overview of the intertwined interests pursued by the young democracies of the Caspian basin, battling with inherited land and water disputes, and their interplay with regional and global powers. Apparently, supporting political independence of the formers and promoting their integration into the latter’s markets requires adequate analyses, timely outreach policies and consistent engagement. In this sense the publication serves as one of the scarce handbooks to understand diverse interests of stakeholders, dynamically changing security architecture of the region and emerging opportunities of cooperation around the Caspian Sea.”
Ambassador Galib Israfilov
Permanent Representative to the UN Vienna and to the OSCE
Embassy of Azerbaijan to Austria

"The Caspian basin and adjacent Central Asian region (all being OSCE member states, apart from Iran) have, since the early Middle ages, acted as a crossroads between different civilizations and geopolitical spaces. In an increasingly interconnected world, growing geopolitical competition, economic interdependence and the emergence of new global challenges, particularly those related to water, energy and the climate emergency, have highlighted the relevance of this region, making it of increasing interest to researchers and academics. This book presents a thorough analytical compendium of historical factors, political dynamics, economic trends, legal frameworks and geopolitical interests which underpin, but also affect, the stability and development of this complex, diverse and strategically significant region."
Ambassador Lamberto Zanier
Secretary-General, Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (2011-2017)
OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities (2017-2020)

"It is my honor to reflect on this work on Caspian. Comprehensive and content rich, this book of professor Anis H. Bajrektarevic and his co-authors brings up comprehensively all the useful information on Caspian, with the geographical and historical background and cultural, economic as well as security aspects related to it. Authors’ novel and unbiased approach shall certainly help decision makers in their bettered understanding of the region that has centuries-long history of peace and cordial neighbourly relations. Long-needed and timely coming, I warmly recommend this reader to those who want to know, but more importantly to all those who want to understand, this pivotal region of the world."
Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Former Ambassador of Islamic Republic of Iran to United Nations and other International Organizations in Geneva & Vienna

Georgian Military Forces of 19th Century

“It turned out that the rebellion of 1829, known before as the peasants’ riot, was actually the anti-Russian riot. This is confirmed by the unknown archive materials provided in this book.”
Avtandil Songulashvili
Doctor of History, Professor, Head of Department New History of Tbilisi State Universitety’s Ivane Javakhishvili Institute of History and Ethnology

“Ideology of regular Russian army of that period, with long service term (25 years), slaveholding relationships and strict, enslaving discipline, did not cause any good feelings in Georgian population that was characterized with high military culture and traditions. Cult of the warrior, protector of the native land was apparently much higher than the model of the soldier offered by Russian Empire to Georgians.”
Nikoloz Janjgava
Major General, Doctor of History

“XIX century was a very interesting and painful period in the history of Georgia. To regain the historical lands of their country the Georgians fought under Russian flag.”
Khatuna Ioseliani
Doctor of History, Chief Scientific Worker of Tbilisi State Universitety’s Ivane Javakhishvili Institute of History and Ethnology

“Waste-to-Profit” (W-t-P): Circular Economy in the Construction Industry for a Sustainable Future. Volume 2

"The book is structured not only for researchers but for business people, municipalities as well as investors. I have never seen such an innovation before. I liked the fact that the authors of the chapters highlighted very important element for researchers to translate research and development findings into products, essential for economic gains. In addition, policies governing and regulating different enterprises are clearly highlighted to help entrepreneurs to start businesses in selected countries. What I found interesting is the way the authors explained processes to product development. Furthermore, recent research and development for each chapter is given comprehensively to accommodate professors. The author wanted the readers to get an idea about how different waste streams can be translated to commercial products. This has been the main challenge not only in South Africa, but globally. The book has accomplished displaying innovative processes which are used to translate waste to profit after demolishing a building. The argument is clearly stated. The topic is also clearly articulated. The author covers all aspects of the subject in a balanced fashion and the subject is covered adequately. The approach adopted is innovative in nature...This book has helped me understand the need to do much more value addition to construction wastes and how new innovative products can be produced. The demand of such products is highlighted with the view to help investors know where to invest. SWOT analysis is also given extensively. I would recommend this book to others who wish to do much more value addition to produce commercial products. The book meets the highest academic standards of clarity. I therefore, recommend this book, it will help different countries to learn processes of innovative product development for economic growth. It teaches practical approach to solving waste management challenges and processes are clearly highlighted. We thank the authors of chapters (contributors) for such a valuable contribution to “Waste-to-Profit” (W-t-P): Circular Economy in the Construction Industry for a Sustainable Future. Volume 2."
Dr. Nobathembu Faleni
Lecturer, Walter Sisulu University (WSU)

Emerging Human and Techno-Human Business Management Dynamics in a Globalized Environment

An exponential stride in globalization, impressively expedited by advanced technology, has brought about immense changes in the backdrop of world markets. Big data and digital technologies like Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and Artificial Intelligence, assisted this progression by improving efficiency and effectiveness of the way ‘things are done’. All of these factors, in conjunction, have highly influenced the how, where and when of business management today. Leveraging on them has enabled advanced markets to establish themselves further, and new markets to start emerging spectacularly. In this novel, Environment of Emerging Human and Techno-Human Business Management Dynamics, virtual influencers and gamification started becoming the norm of the day. What’s more, businesses are in constant competition to achieve brand loyalty among their customers through bolstering up the branding of their products and services. Advancement in technology though comes at a price, as it leads to an increase in fraudulent activities. In this climate, ethical leadership is required to lead people. Management by mission and evidence-based management can be tools to steer towards better and more transparent decision making in organizations. Amidst this, the role of crisis management is vital to assist in crisis and disaster preparedness.

200 Years and Beyond: The Changing Social, Economics and the Politics of Britain and America since the Industrial Revolution

This book is a concise historical insight into how the British economy developed and expanded from the Industrial revolution to date. Maurice also manages to portray the important political decisions mentioned in his book and illustrate the importance of such decisions on British society and the economy. It is an exquisite joy to read, and provides the reader with so much knowledge.
Mark Attard Montalto B.A. LL.D., M.Jur (Eur.Law)

There is a tendency among historians to downplay the role that economics play in historical events and their evolution. Yet, economic factors have been the catalyst sustaining revolutions. This study by Professor Mullard is, therefore, of huge importance because it demonstrates the interlink between economics and politics as it traces British and American history since the Industrial Revolution.
Godfrey A. Pirotta
Professor of Government and Policy Studies
Chairperson Mediterranean Diplomatic Academy
University of Malta
Malta

I have now had a chance to read through a couple of the chapters, Chapter 2 The Industrial Revolution in Britain and Chapter 3 Economics and Politics in 19th Century America. There is some really interesting material here, great breadth and the individual stories are compelling. The material in the chapters is very broad…covering a huge range which is very impressive

Professor Andrew Gamble
Professor of Politics University of Sheffield
Professor Emeritus University of Cambridge

The Elusive Search for Job Security: A Historical Inquiry into Dismissals in the US Workplace

“In this elegantly argued book, Matthias Beck has produced a masterful account of how and why successive attempts at strengthening job security for American employees at their place of work have come virtually to nothing. Synthesising brilliantly a mass of historical detail, he shows how powerful institutional and organizational forces have been mobilised to prevent American employees enjoying a level of employment protection that is taken-for-granted in most parts of Europe. As a result, at-will-employment is the Sword of Damocles that continues to hang most American workplaces. Above all, what emerges from this fine book is the perverse irony of the world’s richest country affording its citizens the least job security of any economically advanced nation.” - Professor Paul Teague, Martin Naughton Chair of Management at Queen’s University, Belfast

“In this impressively researched and scholarly book Prof Beck investigates the origins and consequences of limited legal protection offered to American workers ... and explores the particular historical reasons for this apparent American exceptionalism. Thoroughly footnoted throughout, the narrative concentrates on the legal aspects of dismissal and the role of the judiciary promoting ‘at will’ firing and plant level bargaining. A detailed array of evidence is fielded to show how attempts to restrict managerial rights were doomed to failure … The book will be of interest to business, legal and economic historians, and policy makers. Above all, it will appeal to those readers who are seeking new insights into the linkages between disorganised labour and the evident competitive advantage of American capitalism before the financial crisis of 2007.” - Professor Steven Toms, Chair in Accounting at Leeds University Business School, UK and Editor of Business History.

For more information about this book, please click here.

Macroeconomic Policies in Countries of the Global South

"This book considers what macroeconomic policies are conducive to growth in developing countries, including particular fiscal, monetary, and exchange rate options. The book critically considers the growth consequences of insufficient government spending on public goods, central bank independence, alternative monetary policies, low-inflation targeting policy and foreign exchange reserve accumulation." - Jomo Kwame Sundaram, a former economics professor, was United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development, and received the Wassily Leontief Prize for Advancing the Frontiers of Economic Thought

"Despite the unfortunate "global south" term, this book is not to be missed. With these 12 essays, Chowdhury and Popov provide an analytical clear presentation of how to design a progressive and effective macroeconomic policy. This is book for policy makers, students and the interested public. Not to be missed." - Professor John Weeks, BSc, MSc PhD, Department of Development Studies, SOAS University of London

"The New York-based Nova Science Publishers has published a collection of works, Macroeconomic Policies in Countries of the Global South, which was compiled by the Dialogue of Civilizations Research Institute and prominent scientists from Russia, Germany, Switzerland, Brazil, Australia, and the Philippines. Some of the authors are employees of international economic organizations, such as the Asian Development Bank, which provided support for the publication."READ MORE... - Published in the journal of Russia’s Foreign Ministry, International Affairs

"Anis Chowdhury and Vladimir Popov’s Macroeconomic Policies in the Countries of the Global South (2019) offers insight into the thinking behind and practices of macroeconomic policy-setting in some of the regions of the Global South."READ MORE... - Published in C2C Digital Magazine (Fall 2019 / Winter 2020). Reviewed by Shalin Hai-Jew, instructional designer, Kansas State University, USA

For more information about this book, please click here.

Best Human Resource Management Practices and Firm Performance in the Pacific Island Countries

"The book is a valuable resource for both scholars wishing to study more about HRM in hotels in developing small islands, and for HR managers who want to study and improve their day to day working process." READ MORE... - Erez Katz Volovelsky, student of Professor Leo Dana, Associate Professor of Management, The University of Canterbury

For more information about this book, please click here.

Phoenix Economics: From Crisis to Renascence

"The author of this recently published book is an Italian academic, who earned his PhD in Economic history. Phoenix Economics, his fourth book, is addressed to academics, researchers and those in need of food for thought to debate on economic current issues such as debt, financial crisis or fiscal and monetary policies." READ MORE... - Marie-Aimée Tourres, Associate Fellow, Foundation for Int’l Development Study and Research (FERDI), France

For more information about this book, please click here.