Here’s a book recommended by Charles Kenny, a fellow at the Center for Global Development and the New America Foundation. He's also the author of Getting Better: Why Global Development is Succeeding, and How We Can Improve the World Even More.
The book I’ve just finished is a couple of years old – so out in paperback and perfect for the beach. It’s A Splendid Exchange: How Trade Shaped the World by William Bernstein – a history of trade from pretty much the beginning to now. That makes it a global history, but one focused on some of the most colorful of the world’s explorers and some of its most interesting technology. It is particularly interesting to see how much truly globe-spanning trade has turned from an activity designed to bring a few luxuries to the very rich into a vital part of preserving the quality of life of everyone planet-wide.