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Response to Review no. 1004

I read with great pleasure William Gallois’s review of the Relentless Revolution and appreciate the careful reading that he gave my book. I agree with his strictures; I do not cover the vast Marxist literature on capitalism. There is actually very little said about any economic theorist in the book. I set out to write a narrative history of capitalism, reading the scholarly literature insofar as it helped me prepare that story. I wrote with non-academic readers in mind which I must say was fun to do.

I think that there is a crucial distinction between capitalist practices which can be found in many places and times from Ancient Athens to Medieval Europe and capitalism which I define as a culture rising from a private enterprise economy. In the first chapter I make my case for the value of this distinction and for the shallow roots of capitalism. I try to convince readers of the correctness of these assertions in the rest of the text.

With thanks for this opportunity to respond to what I consider a splendid review.