Staples, Markets, and Cultural Change: Selected Essays

At the start of his career Innis set out to explain the significance of price rigidities in the cultural, social, and political institutions of new countries; by the end of his intellectual journey he had become one of the most influential critics of modernity. The essays in this collection address a variety of themes, including the rise of industrialism and the expansion of international markets, staples trades, critical factors in Canadian development, metropolitanism and nationality, the problems of adjustment, the political economy of communications, the economics of cultural change, and Innis's conception of the role of the intellectual as citizen. Innis succeeded as few others have in providing an astute and comprehensive account of the economic and social forces shaping modernity. His abiding interest in the contradictory and unintended consequences of markets in general - the dominant structure of modern economic activity - gave rise to the rich legacy of his prodigious output.