Why Nations Fail – Daron Acemoglu

51jelhw0zul-_sx324_bo1204203200_Why Nations Fail

(Recommend, Would Read Again )

The author presents an idea and then spends 500 pages defending that idea through various historical examples, from all over the world. Overall, the book is interesting and at times very entertaining, however, it quickly becomes repetitive as the author keeps hitting us in the face with the same idea all over and over again.



“THE REACTION TO LEE’S brilliant invention illustrates a key idea of this book. The fear of creative destruction is the main reason why there was no sustained increase in living standards between the Neolithic and Industrial revolutions. Technological innovation makes human societies prosperous, but also involves the replacement of the old with the new, and the destruction of the economic privileges and political power of certain people. For sustained economic growth we need new technologies, new ways of doing things, and more often than not they will come from newcomers such as Lee. It may make society prosperous, but the process of creative destruction that it initiates threatens the livelihood of those who work with old technologies, such as the hand-knitters who would have found themselves unemployed by Lee’s technology. More important, major innovations such as Lee’s stocking frame machine also threaten to reshape political power. Ultimately it was not concern about the fate of those who might become unemployed as a result of Lee’s machine that led Elizabeth I and James I to oppose his patent; it was their fear that they would become political losers—their concern that those displaced by the invention would create political instability and threaten their own power.”


3 thoughts on “Why Nations Fail – Daron Acemoglu

  1. Without any doubt a recommended read! This is the type of non-fiction book I am always looking for: specialists bundle the knowlegde they have assembled in the course of decades in a well structured overview.

    In my view this book should be a mandatory read for all teachers of history: instead of listing dates and facts, it brings high level insights into the reasons why things are really happening, connecting economy and history in a very understandable way.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I have a link to my Goodreads collection on my blog (www.janvanhaver.com) – bottom of the sidebar on the right.
        Some great non fiction titles on it (with years of experience behind them rather than decades) are the ones by Dan Ariely (on rationality/irrationality) and Ben Goldacre (Bad Science, and the follow up Bad Pharma).

        Liked by 1 person

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