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Commanding Heights: The Battle for the World Economy

Commanding Heights: The Battle for the World Economy is a PBS documentary series based on the book under the same name by Daniel Yergin and Joseph Stanislaw. The series provides an understanding of globalization, world trade, and economic development, including the forces and ideas that have shaped the present global economic system. The first episode "The Battle of Ideas" takes a look at two major competing ideas about the world economy: the "planned economy" favored by John Maynard Keynes and the "free market" favored by Friedrich von Hayek. The second episode "The Agony of Reform" focuses on how reform played out in several countries - Russia, Poland, India, Bolivia, and Chile - as they lived through the upheavals of rapid change. The third and final episode "The New Rules of the Game" examines the promise and perils of globalization in the 1990s.

Episode 1 - The Battle of Ideas
Looking at two major competing ideas about the world economy: the "planned economy" favored by John Maynard Keynes and the "free market" favored by Friedrich von Hayek, this episode tells the story of how, for half a century, the world moved toward more government control - from the centrally planned economies of the communist world to the United States' regulated capitalism - and then began to move away.

Episode 2 - The Agony of Reform
This episode focuses in detail on how reform played out in several countries - Russia, Poland, India, Bolivia, and Chile - as they lived through the upheavals of rapid change, dealing with both the new freedoms and the new dangers of privatization, deregulation, and freewheeling competition.

Episode 3 - The New Rules of the Game
This episode examines the promise and perils of globalization in the 1990s, focusing on the story of President Bill Clinton's embrace of free-trade policies, the challenges the world's leaders faced in taming the virulent contagion of financial collapse in the developing world, and the violent debate over globalization that suddenly surfaced in the Seattle protests.


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