Front Matter

Long Notes to "Slouching Towards Utopia?: An Economic History of the Long 29th Century"

Forthcoming from Basic:

Slouching Towards Utopia?1:

An Economic History of the Long Twentieth Century, 1870-2016



Introduction: My Grand Narrative

  1. Globalizing the World

  2. Revving-Up the Engine of Technological Growth

  3. Democratizing the Global North

  4. Global Empires

  5. World War I

  6. Roaring Twenties

  7. The Great Depression

  8. Really-Existing Socialism

  9. Fascism and Naziism

  10. World War II

  11. The Cold War of Hostile Yet Coexisting Systems

  12. False (& True) Starts to Economic Development

  13. Inclusion

  14. Thirty Glorious Years in the Global North

  15. The Neoliberal Turn

  16. Reglobalization, Infotech, & Hyperglobalization

  17. Great Recession & Anemic Recovery

Conclusion: Are We Still Slouching Towards Utopia?


Yes, the reference is to what may be the most-cited twentieth-century poem in the English language: William Butler Yeats, “The Second Coming”. The Dial Vol. 69, p. 466 (1920) <>. (Plus, secondarily, to Joan Didion, Slouching Towards Bethlehem: Essays, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1979 <>).

A few words about notes: 

I have limited the endnotes in this volume to direct quotations, close paraphrases, markers for where my thought and knowledge has been predominantly shaped by a single source, and places where I think a reference for “what to read next to go more deeply” is appropriate. 

I have done so even though I am well aware that they are grossly inadequate. Nearly every single paragraph needs to be substantially buttressed, for each certainly could be—and, I hope, will be—be fiercely disputed by at least one person of great intelligence and knowledge. Moreover, where I am swimming with (or against) a current, I have not dropped a note to any of the people who make up that current, save where I think I can recommend a best entry point into the literature. And even where I think I am original… put it this way: Keynes wrote of the madmen in authority who thought they were hearing voices in the air when actually academic scribblers had insinuated themselves into their minds. Machiavelli wrote of how his books were his friends who he spoke to, and they answered—as he spun-up from black marks on white pages sub-Turing instantiations of the minds of the authors which he then ran on his wetware. Even where I think that I am most original, I am almost surely simply repeating something that my internal model of some wiser person’s mind has said to me in my internal dialogue.

So there should for justice’s sake be many more notes. But there are stringent limits to how effective lengthy footnotes can possibly be. And there are even more stringent limits to how effective endnotes can be. 

So this book also has a supporting- and contradicting-arguments website at <>. Come on over, and read and comment, please.