A History of the World in Seven Cheap Things: A Guide to Capitalism, Nature, and the Future of the Planet

Nature, money, work, care, food, energy, and lives: these are the seven things that have made our world and will shape its future. In making these things cheap, modern commerce has transformed, governed, and devastated Earth. In A History of the World in Seven Cheap Things, Raj Patel and Jason W. Moore present a new approach to analyzing today’s planetary emergencies. Bringing the latest ecological research together with histories of colonialism, indigenous struggles, slave revolts, and other rebellions and uprisings, Patel and Moore demonstrate that throughout history, crises have always prompted fresh strategies to make the world cheap and safe for capitalism. At a time of crisis in all seven cheap things, innovative and systemic thinking is urgently required. This book proposes a radical new way of understanding—and reclaiming—the planet in the turbulent twenty-first century.

Praise for A History of the World in Seven Cheap Things

“Raj Patel and Jason W. Moore have transformed ‘cheapness’ into a brilliant and original lens that helps us understand the most pressing crises of our time, from hyper-exploitation of labor to climate change. They demystify the systemic forces that have gotten us here, showing how our various struggles for justice are connected. As we come together to build a better world, this book could well become a defining framework to broaden and deepen our ambitions.”

—Naomi Klein, author of No Is Not Enough and This Changes Everything

About the Authors

Raj Patel is an award-winning writer, activist and academic. He is a Research Professor in the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas, Austin and a Senior Research Associate at the Unit for the Humanities at Rhodes University. He is the author of Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food System and The Value of Nothing. Follow Raj on Twitter: @_rajpatel

Jason W. Moore teaches world history and world-ecology at Binghamton University, and is coordinator of the World-Ecology Research Network. He is the author of several books, including Capitalism in the Web of Life: Ecology and the Accumulation of Capital, and numerous award-winning essays in environmental history, political economy, and social theory. Follow Jason on Twitter: @oikeios

Real Food Reads Recipes

Our resident recipe guru Jessica Jones weighs in with some tasty treats that’ll take your book club to the next level. Check out Jessica’s blog and podcast, Food Heaven Made Easy, an online resource for delicious and nutritious plant-based living. 

Jalapeño Chickpea Burgers

From Food Heaven Made Easy

Serves 8
2 cups of cooked chickpeas
1/4 cup of shredded carrots
1 jalapeño, de-seeded and finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon of grounded flaxseed
1/2 cup of rolled oats
1 teaspoon of curry powder
1/2 cup of water
1 tablespoon of olive oil
Salt to taste
  1. Blend all ingredients (except olive oil and oats) in a food processor or blender
  2. When finished blending, add in oats and manually stir until they are evenly distributed.
  3. With your hands, form mini-burgers with the chickpea mix. Should yield 7-8 burgers.
  4. Preheat oven to 400F, and lightly oil a baking sheet with olive oil.
  5. Bake for ~7 minutes on each side, or until brown and crisp. Enjoy!

Header photo by Scott & Emily www.wegoslow.com/flickr