The iconic deserts of the American southwest could not have been colonized and settled without the help of desert experts from the Middle East. For example: In 1856, a caravan of thirty-three camels arrived in Indianola, Texas, led by a Syrian cameleer the Americans called “Hi Jolly.” This “camel corps,” the US government hoped, could help the army secure the new southwest swath of the country just wrested from Mexico. Though the dream of the camel corps – and sadly, the camels – died, the idea of drawing on expertise, knowledge, and practices from the desert countries of the Middle East did not. […Learn More]
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? […Learn More]
The future of finance – the way Wall Street operates and how individuals manage their money – is on the verge of upheaval. And the force underlying the change comes from China, where finance and technology are being merged into a system with consequences that resonate far beyond China’s border. The changes of this global revolution in finance and technology – fintech – will be as powerful as those wrought in social media, retailing and advertising by giants such as Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Twitter, which have overturned how we shop and communicate. […Learn More]
While the United States stumbles, an award-winning foreign correspondent chronicles China’s dramatic moves to become a dominant power.
As the world’s second-largest economy, China is extending its influence across the globe with the complicity of democratic nations. Joanna Chiu has spent a decade tracking China’s propulsive rise, from the political aspects of the multi-billion-dollar “New Silk Road” global investment project to a growing sway on foreign countries and multilateral institutions through “United Front” efforts. […Learn More]
How can poor and weak societies escape poverty traps? Political economists have traditionally offered three answers: “stimulate growth first,” “build good institutions first,” or “some fortunate nations inherited good institutions that led to growth.”
Yuen Yuen Ang rejects all three schools of thought and their underlying assumptions: linear causation, a mechanistic worldview, and historical determinism. Instead, she launches a new paradigm grounded in complex adaptive systems, which embraces the reality of interdependence and humanity’s capacity to innovate. […Learn More]
For two decades, militant jihadism has been one of the world’s most pressing security crises. In civil wars and insurgencies across the Muslim world, certain Islamist groups have taken advantage of the anarchy to establish political control over a broad range of territories and communities. In effect, they have built radical new jihadist proto-states. […Learn More]
A leading economic historian traces the evolution of American capitalism from the colonial era to the present—and argues that we’ve reached a turning point that will define the era ahead.
“The best one-volume history of American capitalism . . . It is impossible to understand the United States without understanding its economic history. This book, from one of the nation’s foremost historians of capitalism, brings that important and endlessly fascinating story to life.”—Sven Beckert, author of Empire of Cotton […Learn More]
From the authors of the international bestseller Why Nations Fail, a crucial new big-picture framework that answers the question of how liberty flourishes in some states but falls to authoritarianism or anarchy in others—and explains how it can continue to thrive despite new threats.
In Why Nations Fail, Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson argued that countries rise and fall based not on culture, geography, or chance, but on the power of their institutions. In their new book, they build a new theory about liberty and how to achieve it, drawing a wealth of evidence from both current affairs and disparate threads of world history. […Learn More]
Meritocracy: the idea that people should be advanced according to their talents rather than their birth. While this initially seemed like a novel concept, by the end of the twentieth century it had become the world’s ruling ideology. How did this happen, and why is meritocracy now under attack from both right and left? […Learn More]
In this “lively and entertaining” history of ideas (Liaquat Ahamed, The New Yorker), New York Times editorial writer Binyamin Appelbaum tells the story of the people who sparked four decades of economic revolution.
Before the 1960s, American politicians had never paid much attention to economists. But as the post-World War II boom began to sputter, economists gained influence and power.
In The Economists’ Hour, Binyamin Appelbaum traces the rise of the economists, first in the United States and then around the globe, as their ideas reshaped the modern world, curbing government, unleashing corporations and hastening globalization. […Learn More]