Books by Jeffrey E. Garten

FROM SILK TO SILICON by Jeffrey E. Garten
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 1, 2016

"Of interest to students of economic history, though less intellectually compelling than David Warsh's Knowledge and the Wealth of Nations (2006) or even Robert Allen's Global Economic History: A Very Short Introduction (2011)."
Yale economic historian Garten (The Big Ten: The Big Emerging Markets and How They Will Change Our Lives, 1997, etc.) looks at 10 pioneers of the new global economy, from Genghis Khan to Deng Xiaoping.Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: May 21, 1997

Having identified Germany and Japan as America's principal challengers for economic dominion in A Cold Peace (1992), Garten changes his mind and policy recommendations in this didactic briefing on up-and-coming rivals. Drawing largely on work done while serving as undersecretary of commerce for international trade in the first Clinton administration, the author (now dean of the Yale School of Management) offers a survey of ten countries he categorizes as big emerging markets, or BEMs: Argentina, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Poland, South Africa, South Korea, and Turkey. All of the disparate nations, Garten notes, are populous, rich in resources, and have become regional powers; in response to postCold War exigencies, they also are endeavoring to make democratic capitalism the ruling principle of their economies. While BEMs are among the Global Village's most rapidly expanding outlets for exports, he warns, doing business with them can prove difficult. Cases in point include restricted access to markets, corruption, cutthroat competition, and the theft of intellectual property. There is also the risk of clashes over cultural values, in particular, environmental protection, human rights, and labor practices. Asserting that America is ill prepared to take advantage of its opportunities in BEMs, Garten goes on to offer initiatives designed to retrieve the situation. By and large, his proposals (accelerating domestic economic growth, encouraging capital investment, controlling inflation, creating a new social contract, rethinking higher education) are longer on good intentions than details. And what he calls vigorous commercial diplomacy may strike less enthusiastic observers as going global with high-level jawboning and industrial policy. A call to arms for corporate America, more interesting for its details on new foreign markets than for its rather vague prescriptions. (illustrations, not seen) Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: July 1, 1992

An attempt to probe future relations between the US, Japan, and Germany. Garten, who held senior posts at the White House and State Department during the Nixon, Ford, and Carter Administrations, is now an investment banker. ``History has been in a deep freeze since 1945,'' Garten says, ``and the thaw is occurring before our eyes.'' The most dangerous consequence, he argues, is that the long-term tractability of Germany and Japan is changing—a treacherous situation given the declining economic strength of the US in relation to both nations. Between 1950 and 1990, Garten points out, Japan's share of the world's GNP rose from 5 to 16 percent, while Germany's share of the European Community budget is now twice that of the UK and France combined. The author is particularly good on the historical sources of this strength, finding its origins in the determinations of both Bismarck and the Meiji leaders to use accelerated economic development to build their respective nations. Neither Japan nor Germany, Garten says, has permitted conflict between rival centers of constitutional power—as has the US; neither suffers from historical antagonisms between government and business; and, unlike the US, both tend to be far-seeing in planning, to invest deeply, and to spare capital gains from taxation. The potential for conflict is likely to be particularly severe, the author finds, in the late 1990's, as the huge investments made by Japan in new technology come to fruition. Perhaps because of his historical and cultural approach, Garten disappoints with his solutions, which seldom depart from the general and formulaic. ``A new sense of community,'' ``a leader who is not afraid to talk about the country's deep-seated problems,'' and outrage over the salaries of corporate executives are hardly going to do the job. A thoughtful and often excellent analysis, calling for tough decisions but failing to come up with tough prescriptions. Read full book review >