Commanding Heights

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PBS (Mini-Series 2002)

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Commanding Heights

Show Summary

Commanding Heights is a 6-hour television documentary television series made by PBS in 2002. The series is based off of a book called "Commanding Heights: The Battle for the World Economy" written by Daniel Yergin and Joseph Stanislaw in 1998. The documentary has since been broken up into three 2-hour long segments which are all available for viewing on PBS. In short, the documentary attempts to document the rise of the free-market economy which reigns in most countries today. The series kicks off at the beginning of WWI in 1914. After a most dreadful war, the economies of most countries are nonexistent. Capitalism comes to rise, but these markets are soon trumped by Hitler and others with their communist and fascist ideas. WWII takes place and after the disintegration of communism, economies are stagnant once again. Things changed when Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan came into power during the 1980's. Both leaders disowned a central planning idea, and adopted ideas of free-market economies with little government regulation. Many countries adopted the free-market idea, and as a result, prospered overall. However, Yergin and Stanislaw, the authors of the book, argue that the era of globalization didn't really begin until 1991, with the collapse of the Soviet Union. As the documentary reaches an end, Yergin and Stanislaw argue the improbability of a globalized, free-market economy existing forever. They argue that many third world countries do not have the resources needed to support such economies, and this will lead to a decline of yet another era of globalization. Watch the series and brush up on your economics!

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Season 1 : Episode 3

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    Themes

    social issues, issues with authority, government conspiracies, social commentary, Politics