Solomos Solomou presents a clear and systematic examination of the evidence for long-term patterns of economic growth. Using data on Britain, France, Germany, the USA and the world economy between 1850 and 1973 he refutes the existence of long (Kondratieff) waves in the course of economic development. Instead he presents persuasive evidence for a growth pattern characterised by shock-induced, long-term variations in growth at the level of the world economy. The findings show that national patterns of growth did not necessarily coincide with those of the world economy, but followed episodic long swing fluctuations of twenty to thirty years before the Second World War and trend-accelerated growth in the post-war period. The author provides new historical perspectives on the pre-1913 era, the inter-war years and the post-war boom.