Author: Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson

Book review by: Ziad Hafez (**) 

published by: New York, NY, Crown

year of publication: 2012

Number of pages: 528

ISBN: 978-0-307-71921-8


This is an interesting book. It attempts to answer an important question about the origins of power, prosperity and poverty. Its title is reminiscent of Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations, and more recently of Paul Kennedy’s Rise and Fall of Nations. It is an attempt at answering a baffling question about why some nations are rich and others poor, as well as how and why many try to avoid falling into the category of the latter and aspire to join the ranks of the former. In a sense, it partially answers the question, although by no means in a definitive way to which one can subscribe unreservedly. Perhaps it might suggest that in the end actually finding an answer is not as important as the process of trying to find the answer.

The first few pages are glowing commendations by prominent economists. No fewer than five Nobel Laureates are quoted: Kenneth Arrow, Gary Becker, Peter Diamond, Michael Spence and Robert Solow. Added to this prestigious parade, others lauding the book include a list of bestselling authors such Niall Ferguson, Francis Fukuyama, and academics from elite institutions of higher education. With such credentials the book browser as well as serious academics, political scientists and economists would seem compelled to buy and read it!

Read full text here  why nations fail the origins of power prosperity and poverty


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