Imagine the elites of China, Turkey, Britain, and all the other great powers of the day meeting in Davos in 1600 to discuss who among them would emerge as the world’s greatest economic power over the next few centuries. None would have even considered North America, and yet it is the United States that today produces the plurality of world GDP with less than 5 percent of the world’s population. How did that happen? In the excellent new book “Capitalism in America: A History” Alan Greenspan and Adrian Wooldridge provide the answer.

Adrian recently joined me on the show to discuss his book, American and world economic history more broadly, and the lessons voters and policymakers should draw today. Adrian Wooldridge is the political editor and Bagehot columnist at The Economist and the author of “Measuring the Mind: Education and Psychology in England, 1860–1990.” You can follow him on Twitter @adwooldridge.


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