image : David S. Landes

David S. Landes

David S. Landes

The Best 10 Books on David S. Landes

image David S. Landes

The Wealth and Poverty of Nations: Why Some Are So Rich and Some So Poor

"Readers cannot but be provoked and stimulated by this splendidly iconoclastic and refreshing book."―Andrew Porter, New York Times Book Review

The Wealth and Poverty of Nations is David S. Landes's acclaimed, best-selling exploration of one of the most contentious and hotly debated questions of our time: Why do some nations achieve economic success while others remain mired in poverty? The answer, as Landes definitively illustrates, is a complex interplay of cultural mores and historical circumstance. Rich with anecdotal evidence, piercing analysis, and a truly astonishing range of erudition, The Wealth and Poverty of Nations is a "picture of enormous sweep and brilliant insight" (Kenneth Arrow) as well as one of the most audaciously ambitious works of history in decades.

For the paperback edition, Landes has written a new epilogue, in which he takes account of Asian financial crisises and the international tension between overconfidence and reality. Maps
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Dynasties: Fortunes and Misfortunes of the World's Great Family Businesses

From the author of the New York Times bestseller The Wealth and Poverty of Nations, a fascinating look at the crossroads of kin and coin

David S. Landes has earned a reputation as a brilliant writer and iconoclast among economic historians. In his latest acclaimed work, he takes a revealing look at the quality that distinguishes a third of today's Fortune 500 companies: family ownership. From the banking fortunes of Rothschild and Morgan to the automobile empires of Ford and Toyota, Landes explores thirteen different dynasties, revealing what lay behind their successes-and how extravagance, bad behavior, and poor enterprise brought some of them to their knees. A colorful history that is full of surprising conclusions, Dynasties is an engrossing mix of ambition, eccentricity, and wealth.
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Favorites of Fortune: Technology, Growth, and Economic Development since the Industrial Revolution

A galaxy of distinguished international economists and historians pit economic history against the shaky assumptions of the classical economic theory of natural growth. Their explanations consider the factors of technology, entrepreneurialism, and paths to economic growth, but each reflects an ideological wave of explanation that has marked the last two hundred years.
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Revolution in Time: Clocks and the Making of the Modern World, Revised and Enlarged Edition

More than a decade after the publication of his dazzling book on the cultural, technological, and manufacturing aspects of measuring time and making clocks, David Landes has significantly expanded Revolution in Time.

In a new preface and scores of updated passages, he explores new findings about medieval and early-modern time keeping, as well as contemporary hi-tech uses of the watch as mini-computer, cellular phone, and even radio receiver or television screen. While commenting on the latest research, Landes never loses his focus on the historical meaning of time and its many perceptions and uses, questions that go beyond history, that involve philosophers and possibly, theologians and literary folk as well.

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The Unbound Prometheus: Technological Change and Industrial Development in Western Europe from 1750 to the Present

In this new edition of his classic history on revolution and economic development in Europe, David Landes reasserts his original arguments in the light of current debates about globalization and comparative economic growth. Questions about why Europe was the first to industrialize and the viability of the post-war economic boom are as controversial as ever and Landes concludes that only by continuous industrial revolution can Europe and the world sustain itself in the years ahead. First Edition Hb (1969): 0-521-07200-X First Edition Pb (1969): 0-521-09418-6
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Western Europe: The trials of partnership (Critical choices for Americans)

Book by Commission on Critical Choices for Americans, Landes, David S. (Editor)
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The Invention of Enterprise: Entrepreneurship from Ancient Mesopotamia to Modern Times (The Kauffman Foundation Series on Innovation and Entrepreneurship)

Whether hailed as heroes or cast as threats to social order, entrepreneurs--and their innovations--have had an enormous influence on the growth and prosperity of nations. The Invention of Enterprise gathers together, for the first time, leading economic historians to explore the entrepreneur's role in society from antiquity to the present. Addressing social and institutional influences from a historical context, each chapter examines entrepreneurship during a particular period and in an important geographic location.


The book chronicles the sweeping history of enterprise in Mesopotamia and Neo-Babylon; carries the reader through the Islamic Middle East; offers insights into the entrepreneurial history of China, Japan, and Colonial India; and describes the crucial role of the entrepreneur in innovative activity in Europe and the United States, from the medieval period to today. In considering the critical contributions of entrepreneurship, the authors discuss why entrepreneurial activities are not always productive and may even sabotage prosperity. They examine the institutions and restrictions that have enabled or impeded innovation, and the incentives for the adoption and dissemination of inventions. They also describe the wide variations in global entrepreneurial activity during different historical periods and the similarities in development, as well as entrepreneurship's role in economic growth. The book is filled with past examples and events that provide lessons for promoting and successfully pursuing contemporary entrepreneurship as a means of contributing to the welfare of society.



The Invention of Enterprise lays out a definitive picture for all who seek an understanding of innovation's central place in our world.

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The Unbound Prometheus: Technical Change and Industrial Development in Western Europe from 1750 to Present

Professor Landes's study, Technological Change and Industrial Development in Western Europe, 1750-1914, first appeare as a chapter in volume VI of the Cambridge Economic History of Europe. He has now extended it by adding a full-scale analysis of modern industrial Europe from the First World War to the 1960s. In his new Introduction, Professor Landes discusses the characteristics, progress, and political, economic and social implications of the Industrial Revolution in Britain, France and Germany. He raises the general question: why was Europe the first to industrialize? His section on the inter-war years covers the effect of the First World War in accelerating the dissolution of the old international economy, the reasons for monetary instability and the consequences of monetary difficulties for the economic history of Europe. In particular he discusses the causes of the economic crisis of 1929-1932, the reasons for its severity and quasi-universality and for Britain's early and sustained recovery. An important theme is the impediments posed by generalized international egoism to the efficiency and growth of the European economies. In his final chapter on the economic recovery of Western Europe after the Second World War, Professor Landes examines the forces which have operated since the early 1950s to give Western Europe a period of unprecedented economic growth. He raises the vital question: is this recent boom a temporary phenomenon or the first stage in a new trend of more rapid growth, reflecting an acceleration in technological advance?
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