This book has 2 recommendations

Mark Zuckerberg (Founder / Facebook)

My next book for A Year of Books is Why Nations Fail by Daron Acemoğlu and James A. Robinson. This book explores the different kinds of social institutions and incentives that nations have applied to encourage prosperity, economic development and elimination of poverty. This is a good complement to our last book, Portfolios of the Poor, which focused on how people live in poverty. This one discusses why poverty exists and how to reduce it.

Bill Gates (CEO / Microsoft)

"I read two books that raise big, interesting questions about social change and technological progress. I’m planning to write longer reviews of each of these books, but let me flag them for you now. One is Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty by Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson.The topic of this book is why some countries have prospered and created great living conditions for their citizens while others have not. This is an important topic, which I care a lot about. The book makes an appealing argument that economic development depends on political institutions that protect individual rights. It is well written and very easy to read with lots of interesting historical stories about different countries. But it is a major disappointment. Its analysis is vague and simplistic. I’ll explain more in a longer review."

Amazon description

Shortlisted for the Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award 2012.

Why are some nations more prosperous than others? Why Nations Fail sets out to answer this question, with a compelling and elegantly argued new theory: that it is not down to climate, geography or culture, but because of institutions. Drawing on an extraordinary range of contemporary and historical examples, from ancient Rome through the Tudors to modern-day China, leading academics Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson show that to invest and prosper, people need to know that if they work hard, they can make money and actually keep it - and this means sound institutions that allow virtuous circles of innovation, expansion and peace.

Based on fifteen years of research, and answering the competing arguments of authors ranging from Max Weber to Jeffrey Sachs and Jared Diamond, Acemoglu and Robinson step boldly into the territory of Francis Fukuyama and Ian Morris. They blend economics, politics, history and current affairs to provide a new, powerful and persuasive way of understanding wealth and poverty.

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Daron AcemogluJames Robinson

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