On page 58 of Edward Luce’s otherwise well-behaved new book, there is a highly subversive remark.
Luce writes: “For most of history, growth (by which he means economic growth) was absent.” Between the fall of the Roman Empire and the Middle Ages, there was basically none. England’s per-capita income doubled between 1300 and 1700, a rate so slow as to be imperceptible. Only in the 19th century did that change. Fast growth, in other...
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