Customer Review

26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The other half of a pair of indispensible books, November 3, 2004
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This review is from: The Wealth and Poverty of Nations: Why Some Are So Rich and Some So Poor (Paperback)
I did not agree with everything in this book, but I sure learned a lot from reading it.

I read this book because I was starting to read John Hobson's _Eastern_Origins_of_Western_Civilisation_. In Hobson's introduction, he made it clear that his book is largely a response to the view of history represented by the book I am reviewing right now. I stopped reading Hobson's book and read this one first, and I am very glad I did. (For one thing, Landes has written a terrific example of a history book that is actually enjoyable to read, as well as informative.)

As a conversation, these two books have a great deal to offer. Neither is completely balanced, but between them, they cover a great deal of ground, both in terms of historical content and in terms of how the two authors understand the same events. Reading these two books together taught me a great deal, both about history, and about the historian's profession.

I strongly recommend that if you read one of these two books, you read the other. Be warned that if you agree with one, the other will probably infuriate you, but if you can stay the course, you will be both better informed and a bit wiser at the end of it all.
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