economics | November 05, 2012

Why Nations Fail: "A Grand, Provocative History In The Style Of Jared Diamond"

Fresh off the heels of a Goodread's Choice Award nominationWhy Nations Fail by James Robinson and economics speaker Daron Acemoglu just received a glowing review in the Huffington Post. “This is a great read,” the reviewer writes, “it is provocative and fun...go and get it.” Further, the reviewer compares Acemoglu and Robinson's book to the work of another Lavin speaker, saying it “is grand history in the style of Jared Diamond.” Diamond is the author of Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed and Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies; the latter winning him a Pulitzer. Similar to Why Nation's Fail, both of Diamond's contributions address the rise and fall of societies through a historical lens.

Why Nations Fail uses historical research to explain why some nations prosper and others do not. In the book, Acemoglu and Robinson provide numerous examples that showcase how their theory of growth—and stagnation—has taken place throughout the ages. Acemoglu, an MIT Professor and highly-quoted economist, also places an “emphasis on the intrinsic randomness of history,” in the book; something the book reviewer praises. The book has turned previous economic theory on its head, and the two authors' fresh insights on the prosperity of nations provides a new way to assess national successes and failures. In Acemoglu's speeches he breaks down these insights; explaining how we can use his research to help nations that are struggling, and help those that succeed become even more successful in the future.