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Films & Other Videos

Films with: Jay, Peter

Best of times, worst of times
Describes how industrialization and science transformed the world by creating revolutionary changes in transport and communications and expanding international trade, which led to an age of great wealth creation. Examines the economic tensions which were the crucial causes of two world wars which destroyed human life and economic wealth on an unimaginable scale. Analyzes the importance of science and technology, banking and big business, immigration, nationalism, and laissez-faire capitalism as forces for rapid societal change. Also addresses economic collapse in post-World War I Germany and America.
DVD 2298
Clever & greedy
Provides a concise overview of brain evolution in early hominids and what appears to be barter behavior in chimps. Traces the rudiments of the human wealth orientation as it developed at Wadi Faynan, a prehistoric agrarian settlement, at the ancient town of Çatalhöyük, and at Uruk, a major Sumerian trading city. Considers the transformative effect of farming, the commercial impact of obsidian, and the invention of proto-cuneiform as an accounting tool.
DVD 2736
Love of money
Discusses the emergence of money as ancient trading broadened and became more complex and barter became inadequate. Examines history's first surge of coinage from the stamped nuggets of electrum used at Sardis to the dominance of the denarius throughout the far-flung Roman Empire. Looks at the rise of the Agora in Athens as a locus for commerce and information, the effects of Roman law on trade, and the massive limestone currency used on the Micronesian island of Yap.
DVD 2733
Never the same again
Concentrates on two significant historic transformations--the discovery and subjugation of the New World by the European powers and the emergence of a truly modern economy during what is known as the industrial revolution. Asserts that the driving force underlying these developments was consumption and consumerism. Features commentary on the Aztec civilization, Europe's bullion famine, England's cottage industries, expanding markets in North America, and the prescient writings of Daniel DeFoe and Bernard de Mandeville. Contrasts the Spanish use of plunder from the Americas, which was unproductively invested and soon depleted, with British commercial enterprise, which paved the way for ongoing economic growth.
DVD 2735
Risky business
Describes how, as recession enfolded Europe after the fall of the Roman Empire, the economic axis shifted to the Islamic world, where the concept of risk management was born. Explores the Muslim commercial empire in Egypt, the reemergence of trade in northwestern Europe with the waning of the Dark Ages, and the rise of banking and sophisticated accounting methods among the Italian states. Discusses subjects ranging from centuries-old financial records preserved in Cairo's Ben Ezra synagogue to Venetian maritime trade.
DVD 2734