An im­por­tant ques­tion in­deed

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Ti­tle: Why Na­tions Fail: The Ori­gins of Power, Pros­per­ity and Poverty Author: Daron Ace­moglu & James A. Robin­son

Pub­lisher: Crown Busi­ness Price: 1595Rs

No. of pages: 560

Why some na­tions fail while oth­ers suc­ceed is an im­por­tant ques­tion that is an­swered in this book writ­ten by lead­ing aca­demics Daron Ace­moglu & James A. Robin­son.

Both the au­thors have em­pha­sised that it is the na­tions’ in­sti­tu­tions and not cli­mate, ge­og­ra­phy or cul­ture that serves as an im­por­tant fac­tor in its suc­cess or fail­ure. This is sup­ported by var­i­ous con­tem­po­rary and his­tor­i­cal ex­am­ples from the an­cient Rome to mod­ern-day China. Th­ese ex­am­ples al­low the au­thors to il­lus­trate their ideas and to ex­pose many of the pop­u­lar ex­pla­na­tions on why some na­tions are rich while oth­ers are poor. The crit­i­cal role of pol­i­tics in na­tions de­vel­op­ment have also been em­pha­sised in the book.

‘Why Na­tions Fail’ is an in­for­ma­tive and thought-pro­vok­ing book but at times the au­thors are car­ried away by ir­rel­e­vant his­tor­i­cal ex­am­ples and pro­vide un­nec­es­sary de­tails. It is a mix of economics, pol­i­tics, his­tory and cur­rent af­fairs to of­fer a novel way of un­der­stand­ing wealth and poverty of na­tions. The book, short­listed for the Fi­nan­cial Times and Gold­man Sachs Busi­ness Book of the Year Award 2012, is rec­om­mended for peo­ple who want to al­le­vi­ate global poverty.

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