"[I]n France, Italy, and Germany it was the change in corporate law in the last third of the 19th century that made property less of a binding constraint on family life. Property no longer tied the individual son or (more frequently) daughter to responsibility for management of the family firm. The share should be understood as a kind of contract that made business life more rational and in doing that took the economic weight off the marriage contract."  --  But the importance of family ties has lately been reasserting itself.  --  So argues Harold James, author of Family Capitalism, to be published next month by Harvard University Press.  --  James summarized his ideas in a piece in the weekend edition of London's Financial Times.[1]  --  On the reappearance of "dynastization," see the second chapter of Kevin Phillips's American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune, and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush (Viking, 2004), which focuses more on the political than the economic, but includes a section on "The Economic Dynastization of America" (pp. 64-68)....


According to a new book, the Anglo-French "bilateral relationship has been one of the most intense, troubled, and significant of modern times."  --  Robert and Isabelle Tombs, a British academic and his French wife, have published a 624-page survey of Franco-British relations from the times of Louis XIV to Jacques Chirac, and they conclude that at present "almost for the first time in history Britain and France face each other on equal terms." ...


Kevin Phillips's American Theocracy: The Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil, and Borrowed Money in the 21st Century (Viking, 2006), was reviewed Friday in the New York Times.  --  Phillips's new book "anatomize[s] a host of economic, political, military, and social developments that Mr. Phillips sees as troubling indices of the United States' coming decline," wrote Michiko Kakutani....