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

Book review by Deane Barker
tags: politics, geography
Daron Acemoğlu

Tedious book. Seemed a bit scattered.

The gist appears to be that the biggest reason nations fail is because of unfair, “extractive” institutions, like dictatorships, that give people little incentive to work and are designed to enrich a few. The book goes on about this for 460+ pages, with example after example, some of which I honestly had trouble relating back to the premise.

In an early chapter, the author calls out other theories, including, notably, Jared Diamond’s geography theory from “Guns, Germs, and Steel.”

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