The Wealth and Poverty of Nations Book Report
David S. Landes is a historian at Harvard University who happens to have written one of history’s most finest publications on economic growth and development, The Wealth and Poverty of Nations: Why Some are so Rich and some so Poor. Landes sought out to make history with his work, and he’s done just that. Landes goes about addressing a large controversial topic that no historian has been able to answer, why is some of the world so rich and others so poor? But he attempts to help us understand it a little bit more. With this book Landes was able to give us a better understanding of the development of our nations through years of studying and research. Landes does not assert that his claim is to be the right claim, but that his claim should be considered.
Through his work, David Landes was able to clearly state some reasons, or factors that historians have considered that they believe have led to economic successes in different countries, such as the West. His main focus was for his audience to have a better understanding of a largely known economic struggle. He shoots to give us a better understanding of a question many ask but no one has been able to answer. “Landes enables us to separate out the elements that make for success, (Gress, David).” Landes spoke of how growth in technology, environmental advantages; such as temperatures, water and trees, and small discoveries have led some nations to fall behind and others to rise above the rest. Landes believes that Europe has risen to the top and it’s reasonable that they have. “Europe had come to recognize the autonomy of intellectual inquiry, it had established a method for combining the perception of measurement, verification, and mathemized deduction, (203).” Landes is saying that Europe was able to go out of their comfort zone to achieve their success. They looked pass their religious views, cultural differences to create a new way of producing a stronger...
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