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Trade & Tariffs

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  1. 10.5 hrs • 6/1/2014 • Unabridged

    An exciting, hugely revealing account of China’s burgeoning presence in Africa—a developing empire already shaping, and reshaping, the future of millions of people A prizewinning foreign correspondent and former New York Times bureau chief in Shanghai and in West and Central Africa, Howard French is uniquely positioned to tell the story of China in Africa. Through meticulous on-the-ground reporting—conducted in Mandarin, French, and Portuguese, among other languages—French crafts a layered investigation of astonishing depth and breadth as he engages not only with policy-shaping moguls and diplomats but also with the ordinary men and women navigating the street-level realities of cooperation, prejudice, corruption, and opportunity forged by this seismic geopolitical development. With incisiveness and empathy, French reveals the human face of China’s economic, political, and human presence across the African continent—and in doing so reveals what is at stake for everyone involved. We meet a broad spectrum of China’s dogged emigrant population, from those singlehandedly reshaping African infrastructure, commerce, and even environment to those just barely scraping by, still convinced that Africa affords them better opportunities than their homeland. And we encounter an equally panoramic array of African responses: a citizens’ backlash in Senegal against a “Trojan horse” Chinese construction project; a Zambian political candidate who, having protested China’s intrusiveness during the previous election and lost, now turns accommodating; the ascendant middle class of an industrial boomtown; African mine workers bitterly condemning their foreign employers, citing inadequate safety precautions and wages a fraction of their immigrant counterparts’. French’s nuanced portraits reveal the paradigms forming around this new world order, from the all-too-familiar echoes of colonial ambition—exploitation of resources and labor, cut-rate infrastructure projects, dubious treaties—to new frontiers of cultural and economic exchange, where dichotomies of suspicion and trust, assimilation and isolation, idealism and disillusionment are in dynamic flux. Part intrepid travelogue, part cultural census, part industrial and political exposé, French’s keenly observed account ultimately offers a fresh perspective on the most pressing unknowns of modern Sino-African relations: why China is making the incursions it is, just how extensive its cultural and economic inroads are, what Africa’s role in the equation is, and just what the ramifications for both parties—and the watching world—will be in the foreseeable future.

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    China’s Second Continent

    10.5 hrs • 6/1/14 • Unabridged
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  2. 17.2 hrs • 4/25/2008 • Unabridged

    Adam Smith wrote that man has an intrinsic “propensity to truck, barter, and exchange one thing for another.” But how did trade evolve to the point where we don’t think twice about biting into an apple from the other side of the world? In A Splendid Exchange, William J. Bernstein tells the extraordinary story of global commerce from its prehistoric origins to the myriad controversies surrounding it today. He transports readers from ancient sailing ships that brought the silk trade from China to Rome in the second century to the rise and fall of the Portuguese monopoly in spices in the sixteenth; from the rush for sugar that brought the British to Jamaica in 1655 to the American trade battles of the early twentieth century; from key innovations such as steam, steel, and refrigeration to the modern era of televisions from Taiwan, lettuce from Mexico, and T-shirts from China. Along the way, Bernstein examines how our age-old dependency on trade has contributed to our planet’s agricultural bounty, stimulated intellectual progress, and made us both prosperous and vulnerable. Although the impulse to trade often takes a backseat to xenophobia and war, Bernstein concludes that trade is ultimately a force for good among nations, and he argues that societies are far more successful and stable when they are involved in vigorous trade with their neighbors. Lively, authoritative, and astonishing in scope, A Splendid Exchange is a riveting narrative that views trade and globalization not in political terms, but rather as an evolutionary process as old as war and religion—a historical constant—that will continue to foster the growth of intellectual capital, shrink the world, and propel the trajectory of the human species.

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    A Splendid Exchange

    17.2 hrs • 4/25/08 • Unabridged
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  3. 10.5 hrs • 4/15/2008 • Unabridged

    Alexandra Harney uncovers the truth about how China is able to offer such amazingly low prices to the rest of the world. She has discovered that intense pricing pressure from Western companies combined with ubiquitous corruption and a lack of transparency exacts an unseen and unconscionable toll in human misery and environmental damage. In this landmark work of investigative reporting, former Financial Times correspondent Alexandra Harney uncovers a story of immense significance to us all: how China’s factory economy gains a competitive edge by selling out its workers, environment, and future. Harney’s firsthand reporting brings us face-to-face with a world in which intense pricing pressure from Western companies combines with ubiquitous corruption and a lack of transparency to exact a staggering toll in human misery and environmental damage. This eye-opening expose offers, for the first time, an intimate look at the defining business story of our time.

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    The China Price

    10.5 hrs • 4/15/08 • Unabridged
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  4. 2.6 hrs • 1/4/2006 • Unabridged

    This island was once a clearing house for importing slaves into the New World. It later became one of the world’s few remaining bastions of Marxism, proclaiming socio-economic equality. In both forms, Cuba has played a unique and dramatic role in American affairs. This presentation focuses on Cuba’s economic and social upheaval, with special attention to how this has affected the United States. The World’s Political Hotspots Series explains the basis of conflicts in some of the world’s most politically sensitive areas. Many of these regions are in today’s headlines, and tensions recently have become violent in virtually all of them. Each presentation covers up to ten centuries of background, revealing how and why today’s problems occur.

    Available Formats: Download, CD, Digital Rental
    Cuba by Joseph Stromberg

    Cuba

    Edited by Wendy McElroy
    2.6 hrs • 1/4/06 • Unabridged
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    Also: CD, Digital Rental
  5. 7.8 hrs • 3/5/2003 • Unabridged

    In his explosive New York Times bestseller, See No Evil, former CIA operative Robert Baer exposed how Washington politics drastically compromised the CIA’s efforts to fight global terrorism. Now in his powerful new book, Sleeping with the Devil, Baer turns his attention to Saudi Arabia, revealing how our government’s cynical relationship with our Middle Eastern ally and America’s dependence on Saudi oil make us increasingly vulnerable to economic disaster and put us at risk for further acts of terrorism. For decades, the United States and Saudi Arabia have been locked in a “harmony of interests.” America counted on the Saudis for cheap oil, political stability in the Middle East, and lucrative business relationships for the United States, while providing a voracious market for the kingdom’s vast oil reserves. With money and oil flowing freely between Washington and Riyadh, the United States felt secure in its relationship with the Saudis and the ruling Al Sa’ud family. But the rot at the core of our “friendship” with the Saudis was dramatically revealed when fifteen of the nineteen September 11 hijackers proved to be Saudi citizens. In Sleeping with the Devil, Baer documents with chilling clarity how our addiction to cheap oil and Saudi petrodollars caused us to turn a blind eye to the Al Sa’ud’s culture of bribery, its abysmal human rights record, and its financial support of fundamentalist Islamic groups that have been directly linked to international acts of terror, including those against the United States. Drawing on his experience as a field operative who was on the ground in the Middle East for much of his twenty years with the agency, as well as the large network of sources he has cultivated in the region and in the U.S. intelligence community, Baer vividly portrays our decades-old relationship with the increasingly dysfunctional and corrupt Al Sa’ud family, the fierce anti-Western sentiment that is sweeping the kingdom, and the desperate link between the two. In hopes of saving its own neck, the royal family has been shoveling money as fast as it can to mosque schools that preach hatred of America and to militant fundamentalist groups—an end game just waiting to play out. Baer not only reveals the outrageous excesses of a Saudi royal family completely out of touch with the people of its kingdom, he also takes readers on a highly personal search for the deeper roots of modern terrorism, a journey that returns time again and again to Saudi Arabia: to the Wahhabis, the powerful Islamic sect that rules the Saudi street; to the Taliban and al Qaeda, both of which Saudi Arabia helped to underwrite; and to the Muslim Brotherhood, one of the most active and effective terrorist groups in existence, which the Al Sa’ud have sheltered and funded. The money and arms that we send to Saudi Arabia are, in effect, being used to cut our own throat, Baer writes, but America might have only itself to blame. So long as we continue to encourage the highly volatile Saudi state to bank our oil under its sand—and so long as we continue to grab at the Al Sa’ud’s money—we are laying the groundwork for a potential global economic catastrophe.

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    Sleeping with the Devil

    7.8 hrs • 3/5/03 • Unabridged
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