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The Wealth and Poverty of Nations: Why Some Are So Rich and Some So Poor Kindle Edition
|Length: 692 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled|
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From Library Journal
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
- Eric Hobsbawm, Los Angeles Times
“Mr. Landes writes with verve and gusto.... This is indeed good history.”
- Douglass C. North, Wall Street Journal
“You cannot even begin to think about problems of economic development and convergence without knowing the story that Landes tells. ...I know of no better place to start thinking about the wealth and poverty of nations.”
- J. Bradford DeLong, Washington Post
“Enormously erudite and provocative.... Never less than scintillating, witty, and brilliant.”
- Kirkus Reviews
“Truly wonderful. No question that this will establish David Landes as preeminent in his field and in his time.”
- John Kenneth Galbraith
“A picture of enormous sweep and brilliant insight... embodied in a light and vigorous prose which carries the reader along irresistibly.”
- Kenneth Arrow
“A masterly survey... with verve, broad vision, and a whole series of sharp opinions that he is not shy about stating plainly.”
- Robert Solow --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
- Publication date : May 17, 1999
- File size : 3643 KB
- Publisher : W. W. Norton & Company (May 17, 1999)
- ASIN : B0049H96FA
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 692 pages
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Language: : English
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #204,594 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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This book of 525 pages would have been better buy if it was 350. What I expected was a discussion on why some nations are wealthy and others poor but the author did not even mention this until page 523 of 525 and then claimed it was not his job to provide answers It is a wordy text more designed to show the brilliance of the author than to grant insight..
While it's pretty obvious that the advance of technology has advanced the human race, the disparity between nations is clearly not the result of anything material. Singapore, with no resources is rich: Nigeria with an abundance is poor. The seminal question is: why? This book does not address that. There are also a number of easily challenged allegations, tossed off as fact, the most galling being that countries within a few thousand miles of the equator were too hot to develop, had disease and a drought/flood cycle, but we know of huge, powerful empires in the Amazon such as the Incas and powerful nations in Africa that flourished. Furthermore, air conditioning, medicine and reservoirs have solved those ancient problems, but still some countries that have all the resources to be rich are poor.
What we know about "why countries are poor" is that they have social and government systems that create poverty and degraded or non-existent capitalist systems that deter, defeat or de-incentivise personal gain. Wealthy nations have poured money into these places like into a black hole, thinking that the lack of money is the problem, whereas it is the lack of opportunity and the chance to benefit from one's efforts that count.
Otherwise well done. Keep a notepad to check things. Remember, this was written at the end of the last century (1999). Hindsight proves and disproves many thing here, but that aside, the basic assertions are solid.
This a great book on the history of how the world came to be as it is. The book answered many questions I've wondered about for a long time, not the least of which is how European nations were able to leap frog over the far east when they were centuries ahead of the west on many developmental fronts. Its a slow but a great read, savor it.
Top reviews from other countries
The work becomes more diffuse and uncertain in tone in its closing chapters; perhaps this is to be expected in what is basically a work of economic history rather than prognosis. Among the many topics reviewed in this work, the following struck me of being of particular interest: how climate and
geography present challenges and obstacles to economic development; the corrupting effect of unearned wealth on a state (Spain's squandering of its gold and silver wealth form the Americas; compare the misuse of oil wealth today); the complex factors that gave rise to the industrial revolution in Britain and not elsewhere; the different and unexpected outcomes of the post-colonial world.
Throughout the book advocates a free, undogmatic and enterprising spirit that must be undergirded by the rule of law and confidence in trustworthy financial institutions - something that has taken a blow in recent years. A follow-up to this excellent work which examines the causes and
consequences of the Global Financial Crisis, the digital age, the mergence of crony-capitalist China, and gathering doubts about globalisation would be very welcome.