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The Wealth and Poverty of Nations: Why Some Are So Rich and Some So Poor Paperback – May 17, 1999
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
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“Powerful and lucid.... There are few historians who would not be proud to be the author of this book.”
- 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
About the Author
David S. Landes (1924―2013) was professor emeritus at Harvard University and the author of Bankers and Pashas, The Unbound Prometheus, and Revolution in Time.
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
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He emphasizes not only the geographic and periodic reasons but the technological and particularly the intellectual reasons. He shows that ideas can and do affect the way history turns out.
Too many times our history in schools is taught from a distance. In an effort to convince ourselves that all cultures are morally equivalent, all comparisons between cultures are avoided. Yet it is the intellectual stimulation, the ideas generated by great men and women that drive nations onward. The author demonstrates that a nation can take nothing for granted. Inertia never succeeds in the long run.
It is worth the price of admission just for the bibliography and footnotes as well as his humor and cynicism. Again a great read!!!
For anyone interested in the world, the book also provides a jumping off point to other fantastic books. It referred often to Albion's Seed, a wonderful book about the USA; to Cruelty and Silence - a disconcerting by important book about Iraq.
The scope of the books is immense. Dr. Landes touches on topics as diverse as maleria, the Spanish Inqusition and Islam to present a case based on a satisfying balance of material and social factors that fit with common sense as well as the fine scholarship used in writing the book.
I have been recommending it to everyone.