"In a world in which conflict is the norm, the first objective of the state must be the achievement of economic security. . . . Interdependence and freer trade increase uncertainty and risk." Fifteen years in Parliament, several of them as secretary of state for trade in a Labour government, plus business and academic experience, provide the bases for Edmund Dell's clear, vigorous and often witty arguments. He bashes the case for free trade (and its proponents) but he accepts no other economic theory as a guide to statecraft, only pragmatism and negotiation. He seems to associate himself with a "modern mercantilism" that reflects "a calculating attitude instead of a committed attitude to the benefits of free international trade." Although it is far from solving all the problems it poses, this lively and interesting book provides something that has been missing in the literature and nicely illustrates some of the points made by Gilpin (above).