Why Nations Fail - Daron Ac...

Why Nations Fail - Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson - Audiobook

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Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty

Written by: Daron Acemoglu, James Robinson
Narrated by: Dan Woren
Length: 17 hrs and 55 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release Date:03-20-12

Brilliant and engagingly written, Why Nations Fail answers the question that has stumped the experts
for centuries: Why are some nations rich and others poor, divided by wealth and poverty, health and
sickness, food and famine?

Is it culture, the weather, geography? Perhaps ignorance of what the right policies are?

Simply, no. None of these factors is either definitive or destiny. Otherwise, how to explain why
Botswana has become one of the fastest growing countries in the world, while other African nations,
such as Zimbabwe, the Congo, and Sierra Leone, are mired in poverty and violence?

Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson conclusively show that it is man-made political and economic
institutions that underlie economic success (or lack of it). Korea, to take just one of their
fascinating examples, is a remarkably homogeneous nation, yet the people of North Korea are among
the poorest on earth while their brothers and sisters in South Korea are among the richest. The
south forged a society that created incentives, rewarded innovation, and allowed everyone to
participate in economic opportunities. The economic success thus spurred was sustained because the
government became accountable and responsive to citizens and the great mass of people. Sadly, the
people of the north have endured decades of famine, political repression, and very different
economic institutions - with no end in sight. The differences between the Koreas is due to the
politics that created these completely different institutional trajectories.

Based on 15 years of original research Acemoglu and Robinson marshall extraordinary historical
evidence from the Roman Empire, the Mayan city-states, medieval Venice, the Soviet Union, Latin
America, England, Europe, the United States, and Africa to build a new theory of political economy
with great relevance for the big questions of today, including:

China has built an authoritarian growth machine. Will it continue to grow at such high speed and
overwhelm the West?
Are America’s best days behind it? Are we moving from a virtuous circle in which efforts by elites
to aggrandize power are resisted to a vicious one that enriches and empowers a small minority?
What is the most effective way to help move billions of people from the rut of poverty to
prosperity? More philanthropy from the wealthy nations of the West? Or learning the hard-won lessons
of Acemoglu and Robinson’s breakthrough ideas on the interplay between inclusive political and
economic institutions?

Why Nations Fail will change the way you look at—and understand—the world.

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