This book clearly explains how two countries or regions side by side geographically, with the same resources, the same culture, and the same population ethnicity can nevertheless be vastly different in output and wealth. It is one of the most useful books I have ever read. It is clearly written. It has lots of interesting examples. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys politics, economics, or history.
This book did a great job of allowing me to understand "why nations fail" It presents a logical and intelligent framework for viewing social history, without making specific predictions (save for a couple on China). Well worth the listen, even though for me, and 18 hour book needs to be done marathon style (1.5 weeks) or it will take a month or more to complete.
One of those books where you go back and re-listen when it is over. As I rode the train across the midwest I stared out the window and was completely mesmerized by the chain of history laid out and the results we live with today. Turned my assumptions about cultural and geographic advantages on its head, replaced them with the social and economic influences that are the motor of history.
Having just finished Graeber's "Debt", this book compliments the history of influences that make up modern nations, and shows the perils of the 1% face if left to their own devices.
If I hadn't heard an interview by the author on the Majority Report, I would have dismissed this book as another End Times screed I avoid. In reality the book is why economic systems rise and fall no matter the nationalistic or political trends. From socialistic dictatorships to ancient empires, the institutions we build determine the fate of nations.
I wish the authors had more to say of the upheavals in our own economy in recent times and the influences that brought us here, for instance for all the benefits of the Glorious Revolution in England, why are they now a nation in decline and austerity? I guess they as educators want us to draw our own conclusions about current events, dots are defiantly. being connected in my own mind.
Solid, steady narration that is meant to be read aloud.
It appears that the authors like the US and this book is propaganda disguised as scholarly research meant to justify and also downplay US Imperialism. It glosses over the fact that not just some, but all of the natural resources the US enjoys to this day are the result of a massive theft. Much of the labor used to found the US was done by slaves. Much of the labor performed to this day is done by women and minorities who get paid decidedly less to do the same jobs as white men. I say these things not to criticize Americans or anything like that, but to highlight the ridiculousness of a theory of wealth/economics/freedom etc that doesn't address reality. This theory may be scholarly success and a hit with the ivory tower crowd, but its not useful or enlightening to anyone looking for truth.
Listening to this book first allowed me to absorb the big over riding concepts in a relaxed manner. This also allowed me to appreciate the consistently high quality of writing style. I bought the book after listening to it in its entirety so I could reference some of the minutiae of this important work
About two chapters in you realize this is an important piece of scholarship that points the study of politics and the science of economics in new directions.
Yes. The perfect voice for this work.
The history of extractive elites resisting the evolution of inclusive democracies
Yes. It's informative and well reasoned, with an interesting survey of history told within the context of the book's central argument. It's not the sort of book that you can half pay attention to, even though many of the points are repeated a few times.
Why nations succeed :)
Clarity of the importance of freedom to create wealth for all!
I think they are correct on China! You only get some wealth for the elites when you do not have political freedom
Traveler. Artist. Dreamer.
This is an amazing overview of why certain nations are prosperous and why certain nations are not. The research on this must have not been easy, but the thesis seems to be supported with many examples. I am curious to see if the predictions will come to pass. It is not the most interesting book in the world at certain times and a bit repetitive, but if you like history and like to see why things prosper, you will like this book.